From the moment I stepped out of my home, every morning, it felt like I was wearing a neon sign. As I walked through the lobby of my office building, as I walked into Church on Sunday morning, as I walked into any social gathering…in my mind, all eyes were definitely on me…Mrs Infertile! It felt like everyone was talking about me, wondering about me, worrying about me, and even joking about me. I had concluded that I had become everybody’s talking point, gossip subject, and the butt of all jokes. In retrospect, I see now that not only was it the height of paranoia, it was almost borderline narcissistic too…thinking everything was all about me!
Looking back, I realise that no…it wasn’t all about me! I wasn’t necessarily everyone’s waking and sleeping thought. The person whom I thought was staring in the elevator was probably lost in thought over something else. She might not have been looking out for a baby bump, as my paranoid mind had thought. The work colleague who asked if I was doing okay might have been genuinely concerned about my consistently harassed look, and might not have been trying to extract gist…as my little brain had told me back then. When people stared in Church, maybe, just maybe, it might have been because I had managed to look nice, and not because they were wondering why I wasn’t yet pregnant. When an aunt would wrap me in a warm embrace, it might have simply been out of love, and not because she was trying to console me. When my Father-in-law sometimes sounded unenthusiastic on the phone, maybe he had just been tired after a long day, and not necessarily a direct attack on me. Heck, when friends included me in prayer chains, maybe they just wanted us to pray together, and not that they were pitying me!
I can say this now, because I am able to look at it from a non-TTC angle. When I was still trying to conceive, I was a HOT, OVER-SENSITIVE, OVER-PARANOID MESS! I spent the little time I wasn’t fixating on TTC issues, to analyse, and over analyse people’s words, looks, actions, body language. In my mind, everybody had some sort of agenda. Gosh, how silly I was! It saddens me how much I robbed myself then. Because of my conviction that all eyes were literally on me, I withdrew into my shell. I hardly went for social functions, kept very few friends at work, and was out the Church door the minute the Priest gave the final blessing. I became a hermit…a recluse. All because I thought my infertility had made me a persona non grata!
And a lot of women who are trying to conceive feel this way. But my darlings, I have a news flash for you! These people you think are watching and analysing your every move, have lives of their own. Sorry to say, but they probably have more important things to talk about…or even think about. And even for those who do make you a subject of discussion, trust me, a few minutes later they are already on the next topic. Even for that person whom you think is all up in your business, and even if they truly might be, no matter how much they might carry your matter, they will eventually drop it to live their own lives. So have this at the back of your mind, when you are lying awake all night, tossing and turning in your bed, stewing over something someone said, or didn’t say, did, or didn’t do. While you are working yourself up into a state, they are probably fast asleep on their beds, sleeping soundly, without a care in the world.
If I had the opportunity to go back in time to talk to my TTC self, boyyyyy, would I have a lot to say!!! For every time that I changed my mind about attending a social function, at the last minute, for fear of people gossiping about me, I would give theÂ TTC Nicole a slap up the back side of her head, order her to baff up to the highest, and go enjoy herself! I would tell her to loosen up and stop being so uptight! I would ask her to conserve her energy for fighting the real battle of infertility, rather than wasting time, strength, and emotions chasing shadows. I would advice her to smile more, open up more, step out of her box more. And even for those cases when she would really be a talking point, I would advice her to grow some extra skin, and let it all slide off. I would advice her to find a way to convert all the negativity to positivity! I would let her know that, in the grand scheme of things, the supposed gossip, taunting, and pity, will not contribute an iota to her ability to conceive. Which, in effect, makes worrying about them a colossal waste of time.
Food for thought!
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