An Apology From Infertility

During therapy this week, my counselor asked me what is it that makes me still so angry with infertility. I thought it was a stupid question at first, but I rolled with it. I said that I hated that it was beyond my control, that other than treatments to get pregnant, there was nothing I could do to cure or prevent it. Related to that, I hated that because it wasn’t anyone’s fault, including my own, there wasn’t anyone who could give me an apology for all the pain and suffering. It sounds ridiculous, but I think I’m finally getting closer to the root of my misery. I just want an apology.

That’s when she suggested that I write my own apology to myself, as if I were infertility. Again, I was skeptical that this would lead to anything helpful, but I said I’d give it a try. Some women have written letters TO infertility, but this is my letter FROM infertility.

Dear K ~

I’m sorry.

As you know, I strike randomly. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how healthy you are, or how much money you have. I don’t care about the color of your skin or where you were born. I don’t care about your sex.

I don’t care if you’re a kind or terrible person. I don’t care if you did everything “right” in life. You’re wrong when you say it’s not fair, because literally none of that matters to me, which is the most fair way, don’t you think? But I digress.

I wanted to say I’m sorry. Truly sorry.

I’m sorry that I didn’t give you a say in any of this. I’m sorry that your expectations for your family were shattered because of me.

I’m sorry for all the pain I caused you.

I’m sorry for the all the negative pregnancy tests that crushed your soul month after month for years. I’m sorry for taking the fun out of sex, and for causing a strain on your marriage. I’m sorry that I forced you to undergo expensive and sometimes painful procedures in order to have a chance at having a baby.

I’m sorry that I caused you to look upon pregnant women with jealousy and sadness. I’m sorry that every invitation to a baby shower made you crumple to the floor in tears. I’m sorry that you had to smile through your pain and hold back your tears when the subject of children came up during professional functions.

I’m sorry that it still hurts after all this time, and that it will likely hurt for quite some time. Maybe forever.

I’m so sorry for all of this. 

So… This did nothing for me. I don’t feel better. Maybe it’s because I don’t feel it’s sincere. (Can it be sincere, coming from me?) Maybe the whole point of the exercise is not feel better, but to realize that it’s ridiculous to expect an apology for something like this. Perhaps the lesson is that I need to seek closure from elsewhere. I don’t know.

The other piece of advice from my therapist was to channel my anger into something like advocacy or helping others. I think that’s probably a better path. I’ll have to give some thought to it.


9 thoughts on “An Apology From Infertility

  1. Yeah I really like your letter (love the snark) but I wouldn’t feel any relief from this exercise. It’s still pretty raw so you might need to grieve and be pissed off and bitter for awhile–if that’s the case I say “go with the flow”. Just, you know, try to be present as much as you can with the important people and things, while you work through your grief? Like, don’t let infertility steal any more joy than it already has. Maybe eat ice cream for dinner. XOXO

  2. Your letter made me tear up. It made me think what I might write to myself from my infertility. I thought about writing something tender, but infertility isn’t that kind. It’s funny, it seems like a good exercise… until you’re the one doing it for yourself. (I was encouraged to write a letter to say goodbye to all the genetic children I’ll never have, but it seemed really cheesy so I never did…)

  3. For whatever it is worth I think it’s a stupid suggestion. Sometimes our counsellors mean well but have fails too! Do you really believe that in your case a sincere apology would right anything or give you closure? I do not believe that would be the case for me. As for advocacy – if you haven’t got it in you or healed your own wounds at the moment it could be triggering. I hope you can trust yourself and find a path toward peace, whatever road takes you in gas direction.

    • Thanks. She’s a great therapist, but this exercise missed, and that’s okay. I honestly don’t know if an apology would help. It was just something that fell out of my mouth when I was trying to explain why I was still holding on to so much anger towards infertility. I just want it to be something tangible that I can say, “Hey, you SUCK! You OWE me! DIE DIE DIE!”

  4. Well it was good that your letter acknowledged that it’s not fair and that you did nothing wrong. I think it would be helpful if ‘infertility’ also gave a reason for the bad behaviour. Like, ‘I’m sorry, I’m just a bitch/asshole who strikes randomly’. I’m not sure whether I would find this task useful or not either.

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