Infertility has made me more aware of the thread of humanity linking each one of us. In the beginning of my IF journey, when my wounds were really raw and I was bleeding inside, I felt so many different types of emotions and each time my period started, a new wave of grief washed over me even before I had finished processing the previous one. It was total chaos.
Whenever total chaos reigned, I felt ugly inside and there was a voice within me that made me feel that I didn't deserve to be a mother, but after a while I realized that there was yet another soothing voice whispering. The soothing voice was telling me that all those feelings I called ugly were there to teach me something. The whisper was barely audible in the beginning, but these days I can hear it loud and clear.
Those feelings I called ugly? Anyone else could have felt them. Why? Because each of us has different pain triggers and buttons to push. After I had felt so many emotional triggers that made me feel like I was the worst version of myself, I became more aware of the thread binding me and others.
Case in point: when I was drowned in jealousy and anger about my infertility, I flinched inside and got judgmental whenever I heard or saw someone who I felt wasn't "good enough" to be a parent. But that made me think. Am I really better than them?
And that's the whole point. I may be good at some things and bad at other things that other people are good at. What drives me crazy may be different from what drives you crazy. My strengths are different from yours and my weaknesses are different from yours. However, if any one of us is put in a situation where all our weaknesses are forced to come out, where we see so many triggers every single day, where we don't receive any or enough support, I'm not too sure that anyone would be immune to those ugly feelings.
I've heard of a mother being driven to the edge of sanity because of her child's learning problems, the lack of support, the isolation, and the judgment she gets from other people. And then I started thinking about these things in a wider scope and every time I do this mental exercise, I'm reminded again and again that we're in this together - even though our problems and crosses-to-bear and triggers are different. Not everybody will be driven to the edge of sanity and some people will get more support because of different reasons (one of which is probably because their problems are more widely recognized), but still what I'm trying to say here is that we all have the potentials to be the worst versions of ourselves.
And for me, this insight has helped me in being kinder to myself and others. Granted, every once in a while I forget about this and my judgmental side takes over because I'm only human, but these days whenever I have some ugly feelings inside me, I'm more reminded of the link between me and you instead. :-)
P.S. I had this funny convo the other day with hubby.
Me: "I want my Mother's Day caaaaaaaake!" (it's a joke between us, a twist of the line used in the 1982 movie Creepshow)
Hubby: "But you're not a mother."
You know what? When I heard those words, I didn't feel any pain AT ALL. In fact, I didn't feel anything. It was just as though he had said to me, "But you're not a tree." WOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! What a great feeling!
But anyway, in order to continue the joke, I replied, "Awww shucks...that hurts!"
And he said, "That means you can have your cake every single day."
I replied, "Ohhhhh that's a BRILLIANT idea!" ---> And that means if he complains that I eat too much cake, I'm gonna hold his words against him HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...