f is for family–and failure

So over the weekend I told my mother.

She is coming for a visit next week, and I just don’t think I could have pretended that nothing was wrong.  I told her everything:  the depression, the therapy, the reasons why (it’s still hard to type…in-fer-til-i-ty…).

Now she knows I’m broken.

It’s so hard to write these things–on the one hand I want to be accurate about how I’m feeling, but on the other hand there’s that voice inside my head that keeps saying “don’t be a drama queen.”  “There’s nothing really wrong in your life.”  “Be grateful for what you have.”  So I just don’t know what to say.

And I am grateful.  I’m grateful for my wonderful husband, for the relatively privileged start I got in life, for my education and my awesome apartment and my loving family.

And then I start to think–maybe this is the way it’s meant to be.  Maybe there’s something so wrong with me that it’s better I don’t ever have children.  Like when my pregnant sister-in-law said it was a good thing I don’t have kids yet (she thinks we don’t have enough money).  Or maybe I would just fail at motherhood, like I’ve failed and am continuing to fail at conception.

And then I get to this place:  who am I to think that I deserve to be a mother?

This is well-trodden ground, a path I’ve walked around and around, and I think I may have made it worse by telling my mother.  I don’t want her to worry.  I don’t want her to be disappointed in me and the continuing lack of grandchildren.  I think I should have kept it to myself a while longer.


5 responses to “f is for family–and failure

  1. Being distressed because you haven’t gotten pregnant is not drama. It’s completely legitimate to be upset. Deeply. Lastingly. It’s a Major Life Event. I mean, do you think all the IF bloggers in your sidebar are just a bunch of whiners? Okay, we/they are, but we/they are also genuiniely suffering. Do not trust the voice that says “There’s nothing really wrong in your life.” It’s trying to minimize real pain. There IS something really wrong with your life. You can tell, because you’re crying all the time. As for the not meant to be, I think that’s a phantom that haunts all of us. In different ways, depending on where we come down on issues like God, natural selection, etc. My own approach is to say if I do everything I can to ensure I have a child, and I never do, okay, then it wasn’t meant to be. It breaks my heart that you’d even entertain the notion that you don’t deserve to be a mother. There is no deserve, in my book. Just looking at the awful things people do to their children confirms that for me.

    ANYWAY! I hope your mother surprises you with her supportive and loving reaction. But if not, don’t ever feel guilty for the ways in which what you’re experiencing might affect her. You are the important person here.

    Sorry if my tone is all opinionated and scoldy. I don’t mean it that way…

  2. I don’t think you should feel bad about being dissapointed with the hand you have been dealt. Just because other areas of your life are going good it doesn’t make your pain towards infertility any less. I often throw my hands up in the air and wonder what stupid joke the universe is playing on me and whether it is my punishment for being a right brat to my parents when I was growing up. I know its not logical to think that way and I know its not true but when you are searching for answers and can’t find any you’ll look for clues anywhere. So I get where you are coming from and I know you don’t want to come accross as a drama queen and let me just say that you are not one. This is your real life, infertility is painful and it’s not a small thing that is easily ignored so I think its brave and wise of you to tell your mother. Its nice to have the support of family members, even if they never understand completely what you are going through (how could they unless they’ve been there themselves) at least you have someone looking out for you. It sometimes feels like it is easier to keep all this stuff bottled inside but as long as you set a few ground rules with those you tell I don’t think you’ll regret being open about it.

  3. you are not a failure. i have felt “broken” many times too. Some days it gets me down – other times it fuels me to keep going to “fix” myself up – and I know that that fixing is gonna take time – and the solution may not be what i always thought. i told my family too – and whiule we don’t talk about it too much – some how it’s relaxing to me to not have it in my head that i haven’t told them – it’s been a huge relief. It sounds like your family loves you and will be there for you in whatever way you need – hugs

  4. I am impressed by your bravery in talking to your mother. I am not there yet, and it is for exactly the reasons that you listed.

    I’m wallowing in misery today too, so your post really spoke to me. Thanks for sharing…

  5. Thank you so much for the kind words! I really think it was a mistake to tell at this point…but I did it and there’s no taking it back.

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