It's been a nice Sunday morning so far. I've baked muffins, cleaned the kitchen, practiced yoga and, wait, I hadn't had coffee yet. Ooops! This post may be less than lucid because of that. I hope your Sunday morning is lovely and involves coffee (but probably not for Adele)
I read your comments to my last post with some degree of horror. It was difficult to read about the comments you had received in relation to your infertility. Yes, of course I got mad about it. How could these people say those things? But my first reaction was one where my heart ached for yours. I wish those comments could be given back to their owners somehow. My examples felt a bit mild compared to what you've had to endure.
I regret to report that the last entry has also had some unfortunate consequences in my IRL friendships. One of my most beloved friend believed I was describing her in one example (I wasn't). Another friend wrote to me and said she was worried about having been insensitive in the past (she never has been). I did not intend to make my dear, dear friends feel like they had mis-spoken, but that was the consequence of it. I guess this parallels how people who make insensitive comments to infertiles usually don't intend on hurting our feelings. It's a great irony, as Foxy pointed out.
I looked back on why I had written that post. I know that I was feeling burdened by the sting of the comments and was finding myself ruminating about them and how I should have responded (rumination: sucking the soul out of healthy women everywhere. see psychologist Susan Nolen-Hoeksema's research for more info on that). I was hoping that writing the comments on my blog may help me just s.t.o.p. ruminating.
I think it did, but unfortunately, it created this other problem. The response from my IRL friends made me reflect on the principle of "Right Speech". The basic principle is that one needs to avoid creating harm in the world through lying or saying things that will be hurtful. One of my teachers would say that before one speaks, one should ask themselves "Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?". In the same way that those folks who made comments that hurt me, I have also written words that caused harm in other people.
This left me quite conflicted in my theoretical orientation (and what am I without a theoretical orientation, I ask you?). On one hand, I believe that some limited, carefully timed venting can bring a bit of relief. On the other hand, I believe in not harming other people. So I sit here with my heart half-filled to the brim with regret, and the other half glad that we were able to write some of the comments down and (perhaps) let them go.
I also want to write that overwhelmingly, my IRL friends are absolutely amazing women and men. They have brought incredible grace and kindness to my life. My friends are my family. I credit them with helping me through dark days and with celebrating joys at each turn. My friends hold my heart. I can't tell you how sad I was that some of them felt like I might not appreciate what they have done for me.
So I may still vent on the blog. I probably will. Yet I think next time, I may give some more thought about right speech before I lay it all out.