I Am a Coward

Infertility has taught me that I am a coward (no, really, hear me out). I have always been an extremely private person. I don’t talk about my feelings with anyone unless I am forced to. I have battled the storm of infertility almost completely on my own.

The only people that know about our struggle is my husband, a girl I met on the internet with PCOS, a girl from my hometown (who conceived via IVF), and my friend Lauren (because she is a nurse and I need her advice). The rest of our family and friends have no idea that we are battling infertility (or even trying to conceive for that matter). I debated starting a physical journal vs a blog but I went with a blog because I was afraid someone may find my (physical) journal and reveal my secret.

I am ashamed to write that I have kept my struggles private because I am not brave enough to share them publicly. At first I kept infertility a secret because I thought it was temporary. No need to tell them we didn’t conceive this month because I know it will happen next month. After I realized this wasn’t a temporary situation, I still kept my infertility a secret. I finally asked myself one day, “what are you afraid of?”

The reason I am afraid to share my infertility struggles publicly is because I worry too much about what people think of me. I have always worried what others thought of me (I wish I wasn’t that way) and I can’t bare the thought of someone thinking I am inadequate because I can’t do what they can or because I don’t have what they have.

The reason I am afraid to share my infertility struggles with my closest friends and family is because I am afraid they will treat me differently. In middle school, our P.E. coach openly admitted she was in a homosexual relationship. Everyone was extremely supportive of our coach and her relationship choices. However, we all subconsciously stopped changing in front of her. We stopped walking around half naked and utilized the robes in our lockers. You are probably thinking, “what does your middle school coach have to do with your inability to share your infertility with friends”? I do not want my family and friends to treat me differently because I am infertile. I do not want them to fear talking about pregnancy in front of me or with me because they know my struggle. I do not want them to think that I will be upset with them for wanting to become pregnant. My family and friends are all pretty great and I know they would be there for me through the journey. I do not think that they would purposely treat me differently but subconsciously, I am afraid they would.

I am a coward because I would rather suffer alone than be judged or treated differently. I hate that I am this way but I am. For those of you who share your infertility struggle publicly (or any struggle for that matter), I applaud you. I commend you. I envy you.

“The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us but those who win battles we know nothing about.”

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36 comments

  1. bjiggity · June 4, 2018

    I think it’s brave of you to put this out there. I have been writing my blog for myself, but I do plan to eventually share it publicly when I am ready. That will most likely be well after I have a child.

    Sometimes just talking through your feelings, even with yourself, can help.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Journey Through The Storm · June 4, 2018

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I wish I was brave enough to share my journey with others but I am just not that strong. I have found that this blog has helped me tremendously thus far. It is so much easier for me to share my sorrows with people I don’t know personally because there is no judgement ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The Magpie at Midnight · June 4, 2018

    It was a total mixed bag for me. I told people at work early on as I had appointments that took me out of the office so in part people needed to know where I was. But also there are a lot of younger women in the office and I didn’t want to perpetuate the idea of infertility as something to be ashamed of. But I’ve only just told my mum because i hoped (possibly like you describe here) that treatment would work quickly and I wouldn’t have to upset her with this. But it hasn’t worked quickly so I hit the point where I was more uncomfortable about keeping the secret than having the conversation. It’s such a personal thing – don’t let anyone convince you there is a right or wrong way to get through this thing.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Journey Through The Storm · June 4, 2018

      Thank you! It gets lonely going through this process without the support of my friends and family, but I am just not brave enough to share it with them yet. It took me two weeks to think of a blog name because I didn’t have anyone to ask 🙈

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Magpie at Midnight · June 4, 2018

        I think you’ll find the right time, and it’ll be the right time for you, not anyone else. Good luck. Xx

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Ashlie · June 4, 2018

    I know you may feel like a coward but this post shows you how brave you really are. I felt all of these same things before my husband and I shared our infertility struggle with others. Now I’m so glad that I did. They encouragement, love and support that we have received is overwhelming and amazing at the same time. I understand that talking about this publicly is not for every one. Just know that if you decide to things will be better than you’re imagining! Also if you need an infertile friend to talk to, I’m here! 😘

    Liked by 4 people

    • Journey Through The Storm · June 4, 2018

      Thank you so much for the kind words, Ashlie! Fighting this journey privately can be so overwhelming, I could definitely use an infertile friend 💕

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ashlie · June 4, 2018

        I’m here anytime you need me! I totally understand being public about your infertility isn’t for everyone. I debated and stressed for weeks before we started telling people.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. thorntonalgmailcom · June 4, 2018

    I totally get every feeling you’re having! At first we were super secretive about it all, but somewhere along the way it became more stressful to keep it all in than to just let it out (the “Are you pregnant yet?s” and the “Clock is ticking, what are you waiting for?s” and so forth were getting really hard to blow off!). So now that things are pretty out in the open for us I think that I would say some of our friends do seem to unknowingly tiptoe around the subject but some have been absolutely wonderful. May I suggest looking for a support group in your area? (https://resolve.org/support/find-a-support-group/)
    We have started attending a support group, which is something I NEVER though I would be doing (you mean you want me to share my deepest feelings with strangers?!) But honestly it is so good just to connect with other people going through the same thing. There is absolutely no judgement, no being treated like an outsider, no “Just relax and have fun and you’ll get pregnants.” And bonus, your friends don’t have to know if you don’t want them to!
    I think we all kind of go through this in our own way, and that does NOT qualify you as a coward. Just know there can be some great support out there if and when you are ready. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you ever need someone who gets it! Baby blessings to you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Journey Through The Storm · June 4, 2018

      I have never thought about looking for a support group for infertility but it looks like there is one only an hour away from me! I am definitely going to look into going next month. It is easier for me to discuss my feelings with people who don’t know me personally so I honestly think the support group is exactly what I need. Thank you so so much for the suggestion! ❤️❤️❤️

      Liked by 2 people

  5. deborahmarie · June 6, 2018

    Somethings are hard to share and sometimes we don’t know how to share so please don’t feel like a coward. In time you will talk about this openly with family and friends but until then, pour your heart out to those of us who have delt with infertility so we can support you on your journey. When I was younger, there was no such thing as a blog to share anonymously with others and I kept to myself as well. The step you have taken to blog is a big and brave step! It’s your step and the right step for you.

    Like

  6. My Ottawa Life · June 6, 2018

    Thank you so much for sharing a part of your journey. It’s not easy to put yourself out there but I want you to know you’re amazing for not only sharing this, but also for being able to help others that may be going through this.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. CW · June 6, 2018

    I know exactly what you mean and you’re no coward. I use a pseudonym because folks are always tempted to reduce you to the one failure you have. Nevermind that she runs a successful company – she’s the infertile one. Suddenly everything is tinted with that knowledge. It somehow defines you and everything else that you are or want to be suddenly fades/pales. Weird and often unrelated stuff gets thrown into the mix (oh THAT’S why she didn’t come for XXXX or opt for XXXX or vote for XXXX). People are strange – and quite predictably reductionist. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  8. WordsofaKing · June 6, 2018

    We’ve slowly shared with a few people, my work, in my line they’re like family. My Parents, a few of our closest friends, her sisters and mum. I’d say the hardest thing about it is them not understanding the emotional journey. They’ve all heard a success story of a friend who went through IVF, so see it as more of an inconvenience. Try to sell me the Silver lining. So I don’t talk to them when things are tough because they don’t understand it. I don’t want to hear it’s all going to be okay. I just want you to listen to the fact that it’s all BS and that I’m hurting. I still wouldn’t publicly announce it to everyone due to your same fears – but I tried to be selective about who I did speak to. My only advice if you do choose to speak to someone is brace yourself. I’ve heard some really stupid things that weren’t helpful, from people with good intentions.

    Like

    • Journey Through The Storm · June 8, 2018

      I hate that people don’t understand how hard infertility is. I agree that a lot of people see it as an inconvenience. If only that’s all it was 😭

      Liked by 1 person

  9. janelleope1979 · June 7, 2018

    I wear my heart on my sleeve and probably at times over share so I have not found it hard writing about it but when my friends want to then talk about what I’ve written to see if I’m ok I at times am not up for that when they all fell pregnant easily and have like three kids each. Mum and I talk all the time that’s just how we are though. Everyone is different but I think we have to stop hiding infertility away to increase awareness. I listened to a podcast the other day and they were so right saying we teach people how not to have babies in school but should we not be teaching people about things like infertility or that even for someone with everything working fine it’s like a 20 % chance a month to get pregnant! I’m loving your posts keep them up we are with you xx

    Like

    • Journey Through The Storm · June 8, 2018

      Thank you for the kind words! I agree that we have to increase awareness. I can’t wait for the day when I can fill this blog with real pictures of my life and share it with my friends and family ❤️

      Like

  10. chanazahav · June 7, 2018

    welcome! it’s brave of you to step forward! We are married 14 and a half years without children in a religious community so it is not such a secret anymore but so much of what we all go through is so private that I think most people have no idea what we go through even when they think they do. Hopefully we will all have children soon and be done with all of the craziness!

    Like

  11. whileinwaitingweb · June 12, 2018

    You are brave for sharing this! Infertility is a raw and emotional place to be. I didn’t share about my journey until after the fact. Know that there are many people out there for support, and that you are not alone! If you need someone to talk to please feel free to reach out to me! I have some connections with support groups too if you would be interested! Hugs!!

    Like

  12. Mary · June 12, 2018

    I am from a large Catholic family and all of my siblings easily had children and a lot of them. I was definitely treated differently. With kid gloves as though I couldn’t be happy for each of my 28 nieces and nephews coming into the world. It is hard to live that way and when feeling sad about the month after month of negative tests being told all the cliche platitudes. I applaud you having the courage to find the steps that are right for you to work through this. It’s a terrible road to travel and from what I’ve read so far you are doing it with far more grace than I ever did💖

    Like

  13. candiglitr · June 14, 2018

    We are the same page exactly! I am reading what few posts you’ve posted so far and I feel like we’re writing the same thing in different words! Writing about it helps tremendously and having your husband as your biggest cheerleader is the best! *hugs to you*

    Like

    • Journey Through The Storm · June 15, 2018

      Thank you for the kind words! It helps me so much to read through blogs about infertility and to know that I am not struggling alone. ❤️

      Like

  14. candiglitr · June 14, 2018

    *are on the same page*

    Like

  15. Keeley · June 15, 2018

    Girl I totally feel you!!! I think this is a very understandable way to feel. It is scary to open yourself up for that type of judgement. My husband has yet to tell a single soul about our infertility journey, but I have told all of my friends and family. It is all just a personal preference and what you feel comfortable with. I think that sharing your thoughts is brave! Infertility is a rough journey, but hang in there girl! You got this! I am not sure if it helps, but I like to think of it as ” Embrace your story because it may help others.” You are strong!! 🙂

    Like

    • Journey Through The Storm · June 19, 2018

      Thank you! I have always struggled with worrying about what people think/say about me. I should probably get over that and just embrace it.

      Like

  16. Lauren · June 18, 2018

    You are absolutely not a coward. We all face challenges differently. we are all different humans. How you handle your battle is what works for you. You have us. You have me ❤

    Like

  17. corissabetts · July 11, 2018

    You are no coward. I believe that your decision is (or was) so incredibly selfless. I envy you for having the strength to be able to carry that alone. The reason? My best friend WAS afraid to tell me she as pregnant because she number 1 she was not even trying and number 2 she knew that i knew she was in no way shape or form financially stable to care for a child properly. It took my a few days and if I’m honest a couple of weeks for me to prayerfully be in a good place about it. Looking back on not just that situation but many others I realized how selfish I was to not rejoice in such a blessing. But know that you are not alone in this journey ❤️

    Like

    • Journey Through The Storm · July 12, 2018

      Thank you so much! I never looked at it as having strength to carry this alone until you mentioned it. That is a good way to look at it! Hugs to you ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Julia · September 7

    You are far from a coward, my friend. Your bravery to share shows that. I understand your hesitance to share with loved ones. I hesitate too. You also aren’t suffering alone. I started a blog for the same reason you did… It is more therapy for the things I need to say out loud but don’t feel comfortable with quite yet 💜

    Like

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