The sense of not quite fitting in. As a 35 year old woman without kids it is the story of my life. As a woman who said no more to infertility treatments and knowing adoption is not my family’s path, I do not fit in even more. As a woman who lost three embryos, I feel pushed even further outside the circle sometimes.
Loss is loss. I have written this many times before. No matter your thoughts and feelings about my three lost babies (you may only call them embryos), I am also a member in the loss family.
Fitting in is not the same as belonging. This is the work we do in The Daring Way™ curriculum, as I am trained by Brené Brown. When I try to fit in, I change myself to be like you and my self-worth is on the line. When I trust that I belong, I am myself no matter what.
Despite that inner critic voice in my head that sometimes tries to make me feel like I do not quite fit into my own infertility and loss community, I choose to trust my inner wisdom.
Because she knows the truth, that we are all worth of love and belonging.
I am beyond thankful to the Don't Talk About the Baby community, for the work they are doing to break the silence but also because they are always happy to have me be a part of it. Not every infertility and loss community has been so loving and kind to me and the Ever Upward message.
And, I understand why. My story scares people. The woman who stopped treatments, the woman who never even achieved a pregnancy, the childless not by choice woman who is finding parenting roles in living a childfull life.
This journey of infertility and loss is lifelong, some days bearable and others unexpectedly knock you completely flat on your face. I am thankful to be surrounded by so many fellow warriors that simply look at one another with open hearts and eyes wide open, knowing the pain of this lifelong loss. Embracing me with the knowing heart of loss.
It is only with these open hearts and wide eyes that I truly feel seen, known and loved.
And for that I am beyond grateful.
When people learn that I am a mental health therapist they almost always want some sort of advice. When they learn that I am a mental health therapist and a survivor of loss and infertility that almost always seek a place to feel seen in their own pain. This is all I can hope for anyone going through loss and infertility. Reach out and seek that support. Find the community that truly sees you, knows you and loves you. But, remember you must also use your voice to find that, asking for what you want and need.
It is through these connections with others, and the connection to our own story, all the parts of it, that we will find our truth.