green grass, brown grass

I read this post of Murgdan’s the other day, and for some reason, it got my brain a goin’.  Maybe because of some of the drama last week, and seeing how different people have responded to pain in their lives, how different people have responded even to the same kind of pain and come out on the other side very different kinds of people.  Maybe because I’m feeling my own brand of survivor’s guilt these days, having escaped X without any bodily harm and with comparatively few years wasted spent with him.

Murgdan talks in her post about how she realizes she had it worse than some, but so much easier than so many.  She’s pregnant now, after one failed IVF and one successful FET.

If you hang around the ALI blogworld very long (or hell, just around the world), you can always, always find someone “worse off” than you, in some way.  Someone who never got pregnant.  Someone who had an unbelievable number of miscarriages.  Someone who endured more loss than you could imagine surviving.

And then in great abundance, we all have, in our real worlds, those who seem to have it (whatever “it” may be) handed to them on the proverbial silver platter–pregnancy, babies, love, money.

If infertility and loss does nothing else, it cements for us the truth that life is unfair.  (Somehow we trick ourselves into forgetting, don’t we?)

We can always find greener or browner grass somewhere, be it in the realm of fertility or relationships or general life happiness. To paraphrase one of Murgdan’s commenters, life is not a pain Olympics, though we definitely make it that way at times.

Back when Mr. X and I were in the throes of the IF war, I remember talking with a friend about another person’s apparent lack of awareness that anything could go wrong with a pregnancy (she announced to EVERYONE including her two year old the minute she got the positive pee stick). I remember being totally stunned by her actions, knowing that pregnancy could be a such a delicate blessing, especially at that early stage.  I remember saying to my friend, “What world does she live in that it doesn’t occur to her that anything bad might happen?” and my (also IF veteran) friend said, “I wish I still lived in that world.”

It really took me aback when she said that, because, well, I didn’t and I don’t.  Unlike some innocences that I’ve lost, this is not one I’d take back.

I haven’t talked about IF very much on this blog.  But I’m in the club.  I have PCOS, though I’m not sure it would have kept me from getting pregnant (X’s low-morphology sperm were much more the barrier to that dream).  At the moment, it’s pretty much a moot point, as well, I am barely taking care of myself and Miss Famous.  Someday it may be relevant again.  The point is, I don’t live in “that” world anymore.  The one where there’s no possibility that nothing bad will happen.  You can be sure, after this year, if anyone doesn’t live in that world, it’s me.

But I’m not saying this to get a medal in the pain Olympics, but rather to come back to the idea of response.  Cait’s Mom wrote a lovely piece about pain and compassion that hit me right where I needed to learn something.  It’s very much worth a read.

What do we do with our pain?  Do we let it open us up, bring us awareness?  Or do we let it harden us, dull us to others’ pain?

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7 responses to “green grass, brown grass

  1. What a beautiful post this.

    Life is unfair. It did not take me to too long to figure that out. Which does not mean that I hand over everything to fate or destiny.

    I was also spooned that good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people. That’s such a myth. Now I know that all things happen to all people!

    But if the pain makes one whine like being stuck in a perpetual Bermuda Triangle, someday or the other, your companions are going to stand up and walk away.

    The joy of steering the ship lies in going through the storms and not by standing on the dock and crying for the sun to shine a bit more.

  2. My experience with the life unfairness contest has made me more sensitive to others. At least I feel more sensitive. It’s made me see that sometimes people are worse off than me. And it’s made me grateful for what I have. It’s changed me in ways I never dreamed, but after the initial funk and angry period, so far it’s all been for the better.

  3. This is a beautiful beautiful post. It really is something I’ve been pondering lately. How there are people who have it worse, and people who have it easier. How I never felt the unfairness of the world until I waited a year to try tro get pregnant and then miscarried back to back. IF is the one area in which life just makes no sense. Yes, I’d be a good mom. Yes, I’d certainly be better than the crackhead with the baby in the dumpster…. why her, why not me. It’s UNFAIR. It just is. I don’t understand people who can announce pregnancies before the pee stick is dry- for me that just allows me entry into the race but I have no idea if I’ll finish it. It’s a lost innocence, but I can’t afford to believe otherwise now.

  4. Good questions. All good questions. Not sure if I have an answer….but I know this experience has made me more sensitive. And not ONLY to the ALI community…but all types of pain. Pain and loss in general. I feel more attuned to that.

  5. You are so right in this. I know that I may not always think of it as quickly or clearly as I should in regards to IF but I’ve seen it before in other areas of life. I have a friend whose dad was abusive and an ass and it has pretty much paralyzed him in life. Yet I’ve met others or read stories of some who have been abused much much worse and they’ve picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and moved on, learning what type of parent they don’t want to be.
    I will admit that I have often wondered if those who seem like they have had everything come so very easy to them if they realize it has been easy and how blessed they are or if they also have feelings of having struggled so hard for what they have. Just one of those thoughts that bounce around in my head.

  6. Wow, that was truly an incredible post. Thanks for pointing it out to me.

  7. Great post!

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