Chioma didn’t even realize how far off the grid she had gone, until one Saturday, her parents called her and asked that she come see them. “Is anyone in your husband’s family giving you trouble?”, her father asked, while they were having lunch. Chioma was surprised at that question; nobody in her husband’s family was giving her trouble, and she had no clue why her father would have asked such a question. “Nobody is giving me any trouble Dad, why do you ask?” She replied, looking from her father to her mother. It was her mother who replied “Because we don’t understand you anymore. You don’t open up to us! Your sisters have told us about how your life is falling apart over this childbirth issue”. Chioma dropped her cutlery in fury and got up “So it’s because I open up to Onyinye and Chidiogo that they would come and start gossiping with you about my problems?” she retorted angrily.
Her father commanded her to sit and talk with respect. She sat down again, and there was acute silence for about thirty seconds before he added “Nobody in this house gossips about you. Was it wrong for your sisters to tell us how you have been acting, so we can intervene and help you get back to your former self? Look at the attitude you are displaying? When did you start raising your voice at your parents? The fact that you are yet to have a child is not an excuse to act like a spoilt brat!” Chioma forced back her tears as she sat and listened to her father; they didn’t understand. None of them could understand what she was going through. But still, it was none of their business and they had no right to summon her for such discussion.
“I have to leave” she finally said “I can’t sit down here and be judged by you. Whatever cross is it I have, I am carrying it, and I need no-one’s help. When I want to talk about my problems with my parents, I will call you and talk. And as for Onyinye and Chidiogo, God help them the day either of them calls my phone”.
As she drove home, she felt sorry for herself. So, her sisters now assumed that her case was so bad that they needed to report her to their parents? She was still fuming when she got home and luckily her husband was around, so she proceeded to vent. After she was done, he simply asked “Don’t you think it’s quite a co-incidence that your family is complaining of the exact same thing you said your colleagues at work complained about?” “That’s the thing!” Chioma responded “I don’t know they are all in my business, complaining about my attitude!!!”
Her husband’s silence made her ask “Do you think I have any attitude problem?” More silence, and Chioma realized that her friends and family had the guts to tell her what her husband couldn’t. Apparently, he also thought there was a problem with her attitude. “You have just changed so much in the last year…you get irritated easily, you pick quarrels and when your period shows, you give me silent treatment like I am the cause. I want a baby as much as you do, but punishing everyone around you will not get you a baby sooner!” The volcano had finally erupted! Chioma was speechless; she knew he was right. He was so right. She had gone irritable and threw her frustrations on everyone else.
In the office, her colleagues had staged an intervention, which they had crafted to look like a lunch date, but Ronny and Chibuzor only managed to get her more pissed, when they told her about what people were saying behind her back about her attitude, and also when they noted that her performance had dropped, and that if she continued the way she was going, she was likely to miss out on the next promotion. They reminded her of staff meetings when she had been absent-minded, and the times she had flipped on a junior staff in the presence of clients.
Finally, she opened up to her husband about her frustrations month in, and month out. Everyone in her office who got married around the time she had, already had kids. She had assumed that they felt better than her because she was yet to have a baby, and she had unconsciously gotten defensive. Eventually, her TTC frustrations gotten the better of her, and her attitude really spiraled out of control. Now, everyone was complaining and attempting to stage an intervention.
It’s hard trying to conceive in an environment filled with people who do not understand what you are going through. It can seem as though you are fighting alone, and that you need to fight for yourself, so as not to be intimidated by those around you. Unconsciously we tend to get our emotions on overdrive, assuming that well-meaning colleagues are the enemy, and taking out frustrations on everyone around. When concerned friends and family decide to intervene, and ask us to sit down for a chat…our response is usually It’s none of anyone’s business but how true or false is this? Granted, they probably don’t understand exactly what you are going through, but they care, and they would help if you need them to. Yes, there are those who shove their fertility down your throat and try to lord things over you, but that should not affect our own attitude. We start to lose the battle when we get negative and hurt loved ones in the process. Dealing with infertility is hard, and it is paramount that we keep check over our emotions and thoughts always. Stay positive…avoid negative environments and try to keep your attitude in check, even as you wait for your miracles.
God speed to us all!
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