Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Forgiving Myself


Once again, I have found myself in a slump. I feel fine with my infertility, and then, without notice, I am hurting again. Sometimes I can point out what triggered it, but other times, I can't.

I wasn't even looking for inspiration today. But I keep stumbling onto it.

It started with this quote:

I seriously need to frame that and hang it where I will see it often.

Then, a friend shared this link on Facebook: Learn to Forgive Yourself
It mentions NOTHING about infertility. But I was reading through it and it suddenly occurred to me. Maybe I'm the problem. I started turning thoughts around in my head and applying them to myself in relation to forgiveness. I've thought before that my bitterness is because I've never been able to let go, but I've never been able to figure out what it was and how to let go of it.

That's when it dawned on me.

I have never forgiven myself. 

Instantly, I could trace all my bitterness back to that.

 I've never forgiven my body for not working the way a women's body a should. 
When people ask, I will usually share that we both have problems conceiving. But, I know its me. Sperm would have been useless in my body. I know this in my heart. So I never once blamed Josh for his lack of sperm. It was just a means to an end of something that was never going to happen. But each month, when my period comes, I hate myself.

I hate that I took birth control for YEARS, just to control the symptoms of a horrible period. I hate the side effects I have gone through as I've gone off the birth control, simply because I'm sick of taking a pill every single day. A few weeks ago, I thought maybe I was going through early menopause and I hated my body even more.

I really struggle with my body image. And in my case, I don't think its because of the media and society pressure to be model skinny. No, for me, its because I couldn't make a baby and I've never forgiven myself for that. 

I've never forgiven myself, for never providing grand babies to our parents. 
This might be what eats at me the most and I've held a lot of bitterness over this one. Why do I do that to myself? Both our parents now have grandchildren. But it kills me that I couldn't give them that much more joy by providing my own set of grandchildren for them. I really struggle with this and so I have cut myself off from them. I've told myself, that without a child of my own, I am useless to them.

Being childless is very hard in Utah. I can't compare to other states, but Utah's culture is strongly based on families. At church, they teach you life skills, but all those skills center around preparing to be a mother. When you are an adult, everything is based around creating a family, raising your children, etc. Little time is spent on those who don't have children. Its all brushed over with "someday". I always felt like they never realized that "someday" doesn't always come for some of us.

And its not like I've ever felt excessive pressure from them. Especially, not after all  that we went through. But I've never been able to look past the fact we couldn't provide them more grand babies. I've let it haunt me and break me. They don't need to blame me (not that they ever would). I blame myself enough on my own.

I've never forgiven myself, for not being good enough.
From the moment we were unchosen, I thought, "What did I do wrong?" "What should I have done differently?" I never once thought to blame her. I knew it was my fault. I wasn't good enough. 

I've never forgive myself, for not trying harder.
"Why don't you try foster care?"
"Why don't you try a sperm bank?"
"Why didn't you keep trying to adopt?"

But you know what, we tried our hardest! Its the rest of the world that tries to make me doubt myself.
Foster Card is needed, I won't deny this. But I know myself enough to know I can't do it. It wouldn't be fair to the child, my husband or myself. I will not go into something like that for the wrong reasons.

Sperm bank doesn't matter, not with my body. No point of even trying.

And we tried to adopt for FOUR years. A person can only try for so long before you realize its time to turn around and walk away. 

But still, people with good intentions, try to plant those thoughts and I then I doubt myself. They didn't travel on this journey with me, so they have no idea. And really, I know they are just trying to be helpful, but it does more damage than good. I need to quit letting this happen.



Then, I look at my digital picture frame at work and I see:

Josh helping Valex catch his first fish.


Countless pictures of myself with Daxsen because he was the first baby I could hold.


Myself, with Preston his first time fishing.


Tyler, sitting with Josh, like they are best friends.



Myself, with all of my nephews at the cornmaze.


And I feel so lucky that I'll be getting a 5th nephew this summer.

These boys have brought me countless joy. They have filled the holes in my heart; and continue to do so each time I let another fester drill into my heart time and time again. They are my saving grace. I thought I would never be whole, but with them, I am. 

I just know, that if I could forgive myself, I would be able to move on without looking back. This is the answer I've been looking for. Each time I start to doubt myself, or tear into myself, I'm going to tell myself "You are Forgiven." It wasn't your fault, quit holding it against you. 

10 comments:

  1. Beautiful!! Thank you for sharing.

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  2. I am so proud of you and I love you

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  3. Beautiful...absolutely beautiful. I think we could all take a word of advice from this post. I know it hit me with this post that some of the things I've held on to from the past are not because I haven't forgiven one person or another but because I haven't forgiven myself for my actions or inaction's what ever the case may be. Your pretty amazing Savannah. I hope you know that :)

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  4. I'm glad you are on the path to forgiveness. I wrote this some time ago and it, and the comments, might help. http://nokiddinginnz.blogspot.co.nz/2013/02/forgiveness_19.html

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  5. Savannah, I don't know you but found your blog through FB. Thank you for your honesty and your beautiful words. I am fighting a similar infertility battle and have thought about this. Forgiving myself and forgiving my body. Thank you for putting words to my feelings and sharing so openly! I love that you find fulfillment with your nieces and nephews- that is so wonderful! I'm glad you have that healing balm to get you through the difficult times.
    Thank you!!

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  6. Savannah, I am also an infertile. The last six years of TTC have been rough. I have spent the last hour reading through your blog and agreeing with everything you have said. This post on forgiving yourself is wonderful, but hard to actually do. Infertility is something that is always going to be there. There is not one day that goes by that I don't think about it or mourn what may never be. I live in Utah and totally understand what you mean. Our culture is horrible if you are a childless person/couple. If you ever need another friend, look me up @ www.chapmanplaceblog.com. You can email me from there...

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  7. I hear you. Xxx

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  8. I needed to read this today Savannah. Thank you! You are inspiring!!

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  9. I also go through the same struggle. I have had two miscarriages and I some days want to climb a wall when people say "it will happen at the right time" . This while I know time is running out. I can't even say why I keep having miscarriages, there doesn't seem to be a reason. But we keep trying. Thank you for sharing your experience. It helps people like me.

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