Monday, April 8, 2013

Pins and pining for something out of reach.

Two hours.

How much time was consumed while I was re-pinning and liking pins about infertility and childlessness on Pinterest?

Two hours!!

Staring at the pins on my infertility/childlessness board, questions popped up

Validation of my experience? 

Finding my happy space? 

Acknowledging that it did truly happen to me?

Seeking community to affirm that I'm not alone?

If so, why 369 pins?   Isn't that a 'tad' overmuch? 

I like to collect things, but thankfully, they are manageable. Definitely not a hoarder.

I have a strict list of rules that I follow, to reduce risk of saving everything.  One rule: if certain things don't fit on the shelves, or box, or  closet, I have to give one or two things up as a trade.

That's not so on Pinterest.   I find myself consumed, finding more and more.  Why?  I have other boards, such as horses, ice cream, cadbury eggs and Star Wars, yet I keep returning to infertility boards to see what pins had been posted, either for me to pin on my board or to click on 'like'.

That Infertility/Childlessness board used to have 502 pins, but to make me feel less obsessed, I broke it down into three infertility/childlessness boards: general, blogs and humor/sarcasm.

It has been a year and two months since the surgery, and it seems now these days I'm burying myself in  reading books on grief and living with childlessness, writing in my journal, painting, and staring outwards, feeling empty, and fanatically collecting pins for the infertility board on Pinterest, and all that.

What am I doing?

This little dark voice whispered, "If you had a child, you'd not be spending all this time online."  

Pesky voice.  However, there's the sense that is true.

Now that I found out that I couldn't  have children, I felt I had to give up a lot things that either I enjoyed or prepare myself to have children, such as going to zoos, (children), street fairs (children), art/craft classes and sewing/crocheting baby blankets, a lot that I did not realize until after the doctor told me I couldn't have children. And then children and babies were everywhere, and so I constantly bumped into 'em.  At malls.  At plays.  and big events like Derby festivals or music festivals.

So, I started to hide.  I stopped doing things I enjoyed especially when it would put me within distance of children.

I hid behind my laptop.  Books.  DVDS.  My porch garden.  Painting.  Hiking.  Pinterest was one of many reasons why it's easier to hide behind.  Same with reading blogs and ebooks.  Ditto for photography and writing in my blog.

It's easier for me to pin up things that I understand, to pin for something that is out of my reach, to verify that I have the reason to do so, to keep the pain to myself, yet telling the world in my way, I hurt.

It's easier to hide behind the curtain.

Now that I said it, I look outward at the outside, seeing the flowering trees, the darkening clouds and a couple walking their dog, and I find the world....  intimidating.


  1. Hey, it's YOUR right to grieve and process grief the way you did/do/have been doing. You're NOT crazy. In the past I used to read as many IF blogs as possible (like a lunatic) - hours on end whenever I don't have work...something to validate my position, someone to make me feel less alone, someone who understands, someone who makes me feel that "I belong"...Some people may even think I'm obsessed, but that was my way to hang on to the thin threads of sanity.

    Trust me, there will be days later when you go out again without feeling intimidated. I can't tell you when, but the day will come...

    Anyway, last night a preggy friend posted her belly bump and just now I had another friend posted an ultrasound pic (just found out she's preggy). Yep, I knew there would be other baby/preggy pics coming this year (and I'm still waiting for more) and I could really feel happy for them both without feeling like I'm being "punched below the belt". :-D Of course it helps that I'm not on my PMS right now, but still...the only constant is change and no storms stay forever. :-)

    Take your time, make peace with yourself and all the stages of grief that you have to go through and be kind to yourself...

    1. Thanks, Amel- not sure why, but reading your comment, I burst into tears. That's not bad, trust me. THANK you for totally getting me.

  2. Oh yeah, forgot to add that back then I didn't know Pinterest, so my way of trying to validate myself and my grief was to post infertility or CNBC links on FB or notes about "Things NOT To Say to An Infertile" (stuff like that) - some of which got the responses that I didn't want he he he he...but as I once said in my blog, these days I share those links to spread awareness, but back then I shared those links to validate my grief. I was in so much pain that I wanted to scream to the whole world and tell them all how much I was grieving ('coz the grief isn't something obvious).

    1. Yeah, I suspect that is what I'm doing too, to show that I'm still grieving, not something to be swept under the rug. It is like as long as I continue grieving, I become invisible to many friends, and that hurts. I don't know how y'all handle that.

    2. I think blogging has helped A LOT...reading lots of IF bloggers and also interacting with those who've gone before me (those who don't get children in the end). Of course finding parents who understand also help, but I don't really count on them 'coz not many of them would truly understand, though I can honestly say I have one mother friend who does empathize much more than all the others. I've also found some other IF friends along the way (who were my uni/school friends) and that helps, too.

      I think you just have to take it one day at a time, esp. when it seems like a "cycle of doom". One step at a time. One simple hug at a time (hugging yourself mentally, I mean). One acceptance at a time. Letting go after letting go after letting go at a time. One forgiveness at a time (forgiving others, yourself). It'd all add up, making yourself lighter in the end, even though during the process it doesn't seem to be that way, but in the long run it'll feel lighter...

  3. Everything Amel said! And sending you virtual hugs.

  4. My first thought? Two hours on Pinterest doesn't sound like that much to me -- which obviously gives away my own Pinterest obsession! In fact, now I'm wondering if your pins were some of the ones I stumbled across a few weeks ago, when I first noticed some infertility jokes on there. If so ... well, thanks! They gave me some desperately needed laughs, perspective, and reminders that I'm not alone.

    I think Pinterest tends to be addictive anyway ... plus, infertility is such a consuming experience. You're focusing on things that are very important to you, and right now they're things that are painful.

    I see what you're saying, though, about missing some other things that are or used to be important to you, too.

    Right now I'm trying to decide whether to go to a party this weekend. On one hand, having a social life is important to me and my mental health. On the other hand, there will be several pregnant women there -- all great women (but *pregnant*). I'll probably just end up deciding at the last minute, based on whatever feels healthiest for me at the time.

    I think that's all we can ask of ourselves -- honesty and self-compassion.

    Wishing you peace...

    1. Thanks, A Crack- it does seem that now these days, what is at the event (such as your party, or a music festival here), contributes to whether we'd go or not...especially knowing there'd be a number of pregnant women.

  5. "Validation of my experience?
    Finding my happy space?
    Acknowledging that it did truly happen to me?
    Seeking community to affirm that I'm not alone?"

    They all sound like perfectly valid reasons for doing what you're doing.

  6. There are infertility things on Pinterest?!? BRB...

    1. Yup- just type in infertility, IVF, childlessness, sorrow, etc... can't miss 'em.

  7. Hi, Julie...been wondering why I haven't seen you on my FB newsfeed...Are you taking time off of FB? Just wanna make sure everything's OK. :-)