Monday, May 16, 2011

Denial Ain't No River in Egypt


Today I learned that I am in denial about being in denial (yes, I just came from my therapy session!) Denial is a defense mechanism postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead. Specifically, I use minimization as my form of denial where I admit the fact but deny its seriousness (a combination of denial and rationalization.) The minute I start experiencing my feelings, especially anger, I rationalize why I can't feel the way I do. How does this relate to infertility you ask? I am working on dealing and experiencing the feelings that I have around this journey as I want to be in the best place possible when we start this next IVF. I haven't exactly dealt with the various emotions that surround my losses. Yes, we all know that I am sad and we can probably safely say that I am angry. I mean, really, who wouldn't be? When talking about the losses, not just the physical loss of the pregnancy but the loss of time/effort as well, my first instinct is to cry. I allow myself to cry for about 60 seconds and then there is a voice (no, I'm not schizophrenic) that starts rationalizing what happened, usually leading to the feeling that I am wrong for the way I feel. Anger is a completely different story. The minute I start to feel anger, anxiety kicks in to give this voice time to rationalize my anger, so I don't have to face it. I often wonder what it is going to take to get me to allow myself to experience these feelings. Maybe I am afraid that I won't be able to handle it. Maybe it is the fact that I have conveniently rationalized everything that has happened to protect myself and acknowledging and experiencing these feeling will only make me vulnerable and weak.

I have tried everything I can think of to help myself cope. I have bought angles for each loss, to acknowledge what I no longer have. I even went as far as buying a necklace that has a birthstone to represent each month of loss. So how come this hasn't worked? I'll tell you why. After every loss I forcefully picked myself back up, brushed myself off, and jumped back on the horse. Not once did I allow myself to grieve. It is so ingrained in me that crying/sadness/grieving are signs of weakness, that I have forced myself to deny the feelings I have towards these last couple of years. What has this accomplished? Absolutely nothing. I am always so concerned about what others think of me, and how they would view me if I allowed myself to feel this sadness, but in reality, it is me judging myself. I need to accept that it is okay to feel what I feel as they are my feelings and they can't be wrong. So now what? Do I allow myself to experience these feelings or do I keep them buried safely inside me to avoid the reality of it all? I think I now know the answer to this question...

3 comments:

  1. Wonderful post. I'm a big cry baby, so I know my two cents probably isn't relevant to your situation, but I can tell you that greiving was absolutely necessary before I did my last cycle. Things had built up for too long without being fully examined and fully felt...and once I did the grieving...I was free to move on with renewed hope. I am thinking of you as you go through your own process. May you get through the grief quickly and find peace on the other side.

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  2. I agree I can't say I understand exactly where you are coming from with your loses. However I never allowed my self to face my lose of each failed cycle. Before my last cycle I too had to allow myself to deal with the pain of it and face all of my fears. I remember Greta telling me once it was okay to be mad or sad and finally I lost it. I talked through all my fears and what if's and my thoughts of myself being a failure. Then I dusted myself off fixed my make-up made a new plan and moved forward, I felt so much more mentally healthy after that. I'm here cheering you on everyday you are always in my prayers. If you need a shoulder to cry on or someone to scream at I'm here no matter what. Big Hugs to you!

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  3. Thanks so much ladies for your comments. Your support means more than you know!

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