Doing The Work of Byron Katie, on my stressful thoughts taught me a lot about how to handle this situation.
“They should not preach me what to do.” became “I shouldn’t preach them what to do.” I was doing mentally the same thing what they were doing, I was preaching. I was judging them for doing the same thing, what I did. And yes, I was only doing it mentally, so it did not hurt them probably, but it hurt me very much.
When I was thinking about an example how I could have hurt somebody with my unsolicited advice I remembered a situation where I really could have been perceived as a jerk.
I was around 23 years old and well before we TTC, and I wasn’t aware of the many ways one can build a family. I have met a colleague whom I rarely see, and barely know. When I saw that she was pregnant, I congratulated her. And then I asked: “Is your husband Spanish as well?”, as she was Spanish. She answered: “No, I do not have a husband.” “Then your boyfriend?” I continued. She said “I do not have a boyfriend.” I was confused for a second and continued “But then the baby?…” It was followed with an awkward silence. And then I said the worst: “Well you will find your partner, you will see…”
I just wanted to have a small-talk with her and it turned out so badly. I did not meant to hurt her. I was just so naive at that time. I really thought that women who are pregnant must have a partner. And I really thought that prince charming turns up in everybody’s life at the right time. Now that I got older, I know that it is not always the case. And I try to be more sensitive and not to hurt others with my words.
If those women telling me “Just relax” are jerks, than I am too. I have done already the same thing, and probably not only once. We are equal, we are in the same boot.
They share advices from their own perspective, what is true for them. That’s all. This is what I did too.
Having this compassion for them helps me a lot to handle those situation when I hear “It will happen when it’s meant to.” or “Why don’t you just relax?”
And I hear you say, infertility is not treated with enough sensitivity.
I think people who have not gone trough it do not understand how heartbreaking it can be. Even psychiatrists who treat infertility patients but who have not gone trough themselves this nightmare, do not get it.
So what I wanted to share is that expecting others to see things from my perspective and be sensitive enough is hopeless. They only will share their advice from their perspective and background. My only choice is to accept it or get angry. I choose not to be angry.
If somebody tells me “Just relax, and you will get pregnant” I can honestly say “I wish it would be so easy for us as well, but for some reason it isn’t.” In that way I stay true to myself and connect with the other person at a deeper level. I do not make them wrong, I do not create a separation, I just show them honesty, kindness, sensitivity and vulnerability.
And one final thought. It might be that those women who gave the unsolicited advice, which we classify “Just relax” pop out babies without any effort. But we on this bumpy road of TTC become a more sensitive and better persons. Isn’t it that for what we came on this Earth to become better persons?