Apparently there's a big hullabaloo here in ALI land about a new blogroll for parenting after infertility. I'm on my computer pretty much all the time, surfing the web for lack of anything better to do, and yet I still somehow managed to have no clue as to what the hell is going on that has everyone in a tizzy.
I'm getting the impression that there are 2 issues going on.
First, Mel over at Stirrup-Queens has done a lot of work over the years to build a community and to become the hub for all things infertility related. If I'm understanding correctly (which I'm not claiming I do), another blogger has basically used her ideas and site as a template to try to create a hub for those who are parenting after infertility, a topic that Mel also covers.
So that's kind of sucky. I don't think it was a malicious thing, but rather someone not understanding the work that went into creating that template and not understanding that they were kind of stealing all of that work while also usurping a portion of the community as well.
Second, I think people are hurt that a portion of their community is forming a new club that they aren't able to join (yet). I understand the hurt, but it also seems like a perfectly natural thing to me.
The infertility community is a really crappy club to belong to. The people are fabulous, but the reason for coming together royally sucks. Same with the Miscarriage Mamas. It's lovely that we all come together and support each other in our time of tragedy, but seriously, what a shitty thing to come together for.
This is where I might come off as harsh, but I think most of my readers will understand that I'm not being mean, I'm being realistic. My goal is to leave the infertility and miscarriage mamas clubs. They will leave an imprint on my life, and I'll always speak up on behalf of those who belong in those clubs, but I don't wish to be an active member forever. My goal is to get the hell out and start a new chapter in my life.
I suffered from bipolar II for more than a decade. It's only by random chance, a one in a million shot, that in my particular case we accidentally "cured" it, or at least found a means of putting it into remission. When surgery cured my sleep apnea, the bipolar issues went away too.
I no longer read depression blogs. I don't read books about depression and how to cope with it. I don't actively participate in any forums, clubs, or other gatherings of those who are suffering from it.
Sure, when an article comes up about it and people are commenting, I'll see what the comments are and educate where I can, because for a portion of my life, depression was all encompassing and I still have empathy for those who are not as fortunate as I am to have found their cure (if there is one which for the vast majority of sufferers, there isn't).
But what consumed me for all of those years is not the subject of this blog. Sure, the topic comes up from time to time in passing, but it's not the focus. That's because my life is in a different place now. And I don't feel guilty about that. I think anyone who is in that shitty, shitty club would kill or be killed if they had the opportunity to leave it. I'm not going to feel guilty about being the lucky bitch who did get to leave.
That's how I feel about the infertility and loss community. If I get the chance to leave this summer, you damn well better bet that I'm going to run as hard and as fast as I can to get the hell out of here and as far away as possible. It doesn't mean that I don't care for those who are stuck here, it means I'm taking full advantage of the opportunity we are all hoping will one day be ours.
As my confidence grows that it might soon be my turn to leave, I'm starting to unsubscribe from infertility blogs, slowly. Those that are friends beyond their infertility and/or loss, I'm keeping them, but the others are starting to leave my reader. I'm simply moving to a new place in life and that's no longer the topic that consumes me.
I'm not going to forget. As I complain about parenting or pregnancy pains, I'm not ungrateful or trying to rub others noses in it. This blog is where I put my thoughts and most of my thoughts tend to be about my current life situation. I'm really hoping that infertility and grieving are going to be a part of my past and the topics of my current will be changing significantly. I'm sure they will creep into my current thoughts from time to time, because like I said, they left an imprint on who I am.
But I'm not like Mel. She has built a community around infertility and has remained an active member even though she is parenting now. It's commendable and I applaud her for constantly providing for those who are coming into the struggle behind her. It's like a rape victim who uses her pain to open a crisis center for other women. I don't know how they have the strength to remain an active part of a struggle that hurt them so terribly.
I don't think I have that strength. When/if I graduate, I'm going to get myself into a lifeboat and row away as fast as I can. When I'm away from the wreckage, I'll turn and look to see if I'm able to help anyone else. If I find myself feeling really stable, I'll go back to the wreckage and see what I can do to help until my boat is filled to capacity. But if my own lifeboat is shaky, I'm sorry, I'm not going to let others topple me over. Right now, I'm predicting a pretty wobbly lifeboat that I'll be working my ass off to keep afloat, so I won't be able to support those still in the water. I hope I'm wrong about that.
If this makes me a royal bitch, so be it. I never wanted to join these clubs. From the day I found myself in these clubs, I've only ever wanted to get the hell out. Still like the people, but hate the club dues. If I get the opportunity to leave, I'm leaving.
I feel like I'm really tempting fate by putting these thoughts out there. Universe, I'm still fully aware that this pregnancy can be taken away from me at any moment. Acutely aware since I had trouble finding one of my girls on the doppler this afternoon (found her eventually but it still make me nervous because she's usually front and center and easy to find). I haven't forgotten, I'm still not assuming that I'm on the last legs of my struggle. I'm simply acknowledging that there's a chance that I might be changing life chapters. Please don't take this blog post as an arrogant assault on the hand you are still capable of dealing me. I'm still humble, I'm still wary, I'm still scared.