featured post: “never going back again” by arch mama

What does it mean to heal from infertility?

This week, we’re featuring a post by Arch Mama, who has a unique ability to put a complex issue into just the right words to make it click. That’s what her post “Never Going Back Again” did for me. I’ve been thinking around a topic for a week and knew what my thoughts were, but not what the topic was. Turns out it was healing, and how I plan to manage healing from IF when I haven’t yet finished building my family, or while I’m still knee-deep in this community. I know how to avoid the rain by staying indoors in a storm; I’ve not yet figured out how to hold my umbrella at just the right angle to keep my legs and feet dry when the wind picks up.

It’s something I wrote about in a post syndicated over at BlogHer and something I mentioned in my contribution for PAIL’s vlogoversary: we, as individuals and as a community, sometimes do ourselves a serious injustice, unintentionally and otherwise, by sabotaging our paths to healing. We forsake healthy boundaries and repeatedly expose ourselves to trauma. And we guilt and judge others… who try to find new footing beyond their infertility.

An excellent question pops out from between the lines in this paragraph: how can we move on when we’re still right here? More specifically, how can someone manage the delicate balance of personal growth and momentum toward healing while remaining steeped in advocacy and dedication to one’s personal history with infertility and loss? And on the flip side, if someone chooses to move on from an infertility blog, to cut the majority of her blog reading list, to shut down her blog entirely and walk away, is she a deserter to the sisterhood and to her own personal history? Is it possible to spare oneself and not “repeatedly expose ourselves to trauma” while making an active and conscious decision to remain knee-deep in a world built around the very notion that infertility is ongoing and seeps into the experience of parenthood?

Forgetting infertility would mean forsaking something incredibly sacred to me: my journey to motherhood. It would degrade the very inestimable meaning of my parenthood experience.

My point in all of this: Some of us aren’t repressing our infertility experience as a coping mechanism; we’re healing. We’re not IF deserters; we’re healing. There is a distinction, and it should be acknowledged and respected.

This post is a two-parter. Normally we shut down comments to encourage our readers to head straight to the post we’re featuring and leave comments there. Today, we’d like to ask you to visit Arch Mama and read her full post “Never Going Back Again” (and if you can, play the song while reading it– trust me). The post in full is a real eye-opener and may set a blog post in motion for you like it did for me (that draft may be sitting for a few days while I try to process). We’d also like to invite you to comment below and share some of your thoughts on these questions inspired by Arch Mama’s post:

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Where are you in the path towards healing?

What is helping you to get there? What is holding you back?

What role does infertility play in your identity, and how actively do you participate in that part of your identity?

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Share. Visit. Read. Comment. Support.

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