The Pain Olympics. If the ALI community was twitter this would be the trending hash-tag. This is not a new phenomenon that has come upon us, but something that is continually a struggle in our little world. This particular wave first caught my attention by Jjiffare. Since then there have been many insightful posts about the topic that is currently plaguing us.
Here is the what I perceive to be the truth though, at one point or another all of us has had the thought “Well at least you haven’t…” or “I’ve dealt with more…”. We are human. Not only are we human though, we are humans going through one of the most stressful and emotional experiences that one can go through. Every day we see others achieving what we yearn so desperately for so easily and it causes us pain. I am perfectly willing to admit there was a time that I bitterly thought “Well at least some of these woman know they can get pregnant, I’ve never even had a chemical pregnancy!”. I now look at that statement in shame, but I am flawed. At least now I can recognize how truly disturbing this thought really is.
Part of the wonderful thing about blogging online is anonymity. We can say whatever is deep in our hearts and the backlash is not “real”. I think sometimes we forget that on the other side of these posts there are actual people with actual feelings, doing the same thing we are doing…trying to find some comfort. It is easy to lash out on someone online when you don’t like something they posted. It is a way for us to let out all the bitterness and anger that we hide away from people in our real lives. I’m sure most of us have had experiences where a friend or someone you know has said something insensitive or hurtful, but most of us don’t lash out at them. Instead we fight back the tears because we are afraid of showing them how damaged we really are. But if someone in the ALI community makes the same comment we immediately light the torches and tear that person down. Maybe it is because we think they should know better. But again, we need to remember, people are flawed.
So begins the Pain Olympics. Comparing your level of pain to someone elses. I’m going to be blunt and to the point here…this is not okay. I recently had an experience with a woman also dealing with infertility that I met through mutual friends. She had a miscarriage at about the same gestation as MB. I tried to connect or give a little comfort to this person, telling her that although I am by no means even close to “over it”, the pain does start to get better. Instead this woman decided to tell me that at least I was still young and would have plenty of chances to try again, that because of her age she might never have another chance. I sat there in stunned silence, because I felt attacked. How is the loss of my child any less than hers because of my age? Point blank – it isn’t.
But I don’t hold this against her. She was hurting and taking it out on me. That is okay, I’m a big girl and can handle it. I also don’t believe that my pain is more prominent because of the number of losses I have had in comparison to someone who has never suffered a loss. Our pain is different but one is not stronger than the other. My point is we all are suffering in one way or another. Maybe it is because you’ve had multiple losses, maybe it is because you’ve never been pregnant, or maybe it is because you have no more options to have a family. There are dozens of scenarios that surround infertility and each and every one of them are awful. We are all struggling and instead of comparing our pain we should be sharing our common thread. It will not take away your pain if you call someone else out. All you are doing is bringing more darkness and negativity into your own life. If you don’t like what someone else wrote or if you feel like you can’t connect with them because their journey is different from your own, I have a simple suggestion…don’t follow them. There are thousands of blogs about IF, and you have control over what you read.
Maybe this is just the hippie side of me coming out. I just hate when I read about people posting hurtful comments to someone. It really breaks my heart. We all are apart of this community for a reason…we need a way to cope through this journey and find others to help give us strength. Through this blog I have met INCREDIBLE people. I just wish we could all realize that although our paths are different, we all have one common goal. We can all get along, I believe that. We all just need to remember that the ALI community is not just an assortment of posts, but the thoughts of real people who are only seeking acceptance.