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Thursday, October 05, 2006

The In or Out Chronicles--The Second Why Entry

These are the last thoughts on this for a while. Every time I think I'm finished thinking about being in or out, a bunch of people pipe up with more interesting thoughts. Which continues this idea...The reasons why someone is out vs. someone is in. Most people straddle both sides--they're out to some and they're in to some. And the exceptions (the group that's in the minority for you) are what interests me the most.

From what you've said so far, there are multiple reasons for being out:

(1) gain emotional support
(2) need to vent
(3) gain important information (I know people have come out to me not because they want my support, but because they want my information)
(4) not ashamed of the situation
(5) feel guilt over not being fertile and want people to know that the lack of children is not for lack of trying
(6) it's a HUGE part of your life and it's impossible to hide it
(7) to gain other support (for example, if we want to do IVF, realistically, I would need to tell my mother because I would be asking her to babysit my current children and I would need help if I was feeling like crap)
(8) put a quick end to invasive questions about baby-making
(9) infertility is part of who I am (Lunarmagic said this well)
(10) to pass on information to others (eg. Tina's comment about how being out has helped others come out)

And there are multiple reasons for being in:

(1) want privacy
(2) don't want assvice (I loved Carlynn's thoughts about being lightyears away from the advice the average person could give)
(3) don't want the whole family discussing you
(4) there is no reason the world should know about your cervical mucous
(5) it's no one's business except your own
(6) it could have a negative impact on other facets of your life (such as work)

And both being in or out come with their own bag of ass (I'm sorry, but I can't stop using this Smarshyism). If you're in, the person doesn't know to be supportive and the stupid comments fly (actually, the stupid comments fly either way). If you're out, you may or may not get the support you need. What are the other drawbacks to being in or out?

But this list is just what I've come up with off the top of my head as well as comments on past blog entries. Are there other reasons for being in or out that I left off my list?

Lastly, I love Murray's comment about not having expectations (this goes back to my question at the beginning of the week about when you share and receive no support in return). I had a boyfriend once who used this idea as his mantra. And I think it's nice (well, there's a wishy-washy word if I ever heard one), but not very realistic. Because I don't know anyone who lives without expectations. Truly without expectations. And once one starts down this road to live without expectations, it's sort of like that Friends episode where Phoebe attempts to do good deeds without receiving anything in return. It sort of becomes impossible except for a sliver of possible actions. So not a way to lead an entire life, but a way to deal with a small scattering of certain situations.

But wouldn't it be so nice if we never felt let down?

And wouldn't it be nice if we could breeze through the entire two week wait without expectations? Eh, Serenity? Hang in there, sweetie.


Anonymous said...

I know that one of the drawbacks to being out is that sometimes I do get asked questions that are too TMI - but, in general, the questions asked are very informed or, if not informed, at least intelligent.

I think one plus of being out is you get an idea of who you can really count on when you need it. And, who are more "fairweather friends." People I didn't expect to be supportive were, and people I thought would be there for us weren't. It was a great learning experience.

For me, IF and miscarraige are a part of who I am, if someone is friends with me or meets me for the first time, these things are part of my personality and they will never go away. Take it or leave it, so to speak. Being out about it is just easier in my world - less stories to weave about why I need time off of work, why I need to go to the doctors so often, etc.

C said...

I agree with Tina--the only times I regret being out are when someone asks me a question that's too personal or too painful for me to discuss. While I know that their intentions are good, there are some things I need to keep between me and my husband.

That said, I could never be completely "in". No matter how uncomfortable being out sometimes is, I think if I didn't share my infertility with the people I care about, I'd feel like I was living a lie.

Murray said...

Now I did say that my *sister* often says that about expectatations... this is the time when I'm on the other end of the phone going 'hmmm'. My sister and I are two very different people... but some of the time she is right...sometimes wrong. But I agree it is almost impossible to live in the world without expectations...

I am in. Because mostly I can't shake this feeling that people think I'm a little crazy for making such a big deal of one measly miscarriage (please let it only be one). But as you said people experience things differently. I had a friend (he was a guy) say 'oh you had a miscarriage? How did you handle that?' and I said 'Actually both my husband and I found it quite difficult' and he said 'Oh, well when my wife had one at 8 weeks before we had our daugher, we both looked at the 'stuff' in the toilet and I turned to her and said 'shall I get you a drink honey?' they both cracked up..... I'm not making this up.

People sure do react differently to things.

gotrocks said...

I agree with you murray, people do react differently. The conversation I had with friends about my IF I was told that I needed to change doctors and try harder. As if either of those choices would make me ovulate. I am new to this blogging and it feels really good to have others to talk with.

Josefina said...

I think one of my reasons of not being totally out is that I still have the idea of not having an IF issue...maybe I'm just cheating myself...or maybe I don't want to make a big deal about know? I still prefer some people think I'm "trying" than to start giving an endless speech of how it has affected our lives and all.
Finally, the comments would probably be "but relax! of course there's nothing wrong with you (meaning husband and me), just be patient...maybe you're too stressed about it" for most people, I'd rather not tell them details of my life...I don't know if it's my friends or is it general that people tend to get their noses way beyond comfortable limits, you know what I mean?