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...


  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.

  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!

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