“Who am I if I don’t have children?”
Let us consider what is happening in your psyche when you say or think things like this…
Rarely will you question your purpose, your very existence, more so than when you’re trying to conceive, considering life itself is inherently in question. Therapists call this kind of life crisis an ‘existential crisis’. It comes with deep and profound impact on the psyche.
The obvious fear is that she cannot have children. Yet underlying this fear may lie a fear of death. The death of her hopes and dreams, her lineage and, therefore, herself. Who is she if she doesn’t have children? Who are any of us if we leave nothing behind that tells others that we once existed?
This can bear host to any number of irrational and intrusive thoughts:
“My partner would be better off without me”
What we’re talking about is SHAME, and it’s deep rooted and insidious.
Shame is a powerful force with infertility. Shame is a powerful emotion on our psyche.
Shame says “I’m WRONG!” At my deepest core I am not right, I am not okay. And we don’t want people to see it, or to know it. Because we feel unworthy of love and belonging.
Shame induces you to silence, secrecy and self-judgment.
It’s more than infertility, shame says YOU are wrong, YOU are failing, YOU are bad. Not infertility… YOU.
Infertility becomes the symptom of your emotional distress – because what you say is when that is “fixed” then I will be okay, and so the fix to your shame is the fix to your infertility.
The truth is that the shame feeds off of the idea of you not being whole, of something missing from you.
I’ve been there, feeling broken, lost and worthless – and the truth was it was deeper than infertility, it was that my life felt unworthy, meaningless because I was unfulfilled, and that hole was bigger than any baby could fill. And that existed all within in my deep silence.
When you bring awareness to your shame, when you stop hiding from it, when you name it, when you face it, when you speak to it, when you shower it with love – it cannot survive.
And it’s not that the infertility has changed. It’s that YOU have changed.
It’s that you recognise your worthiness is not dependant on whether you become a mother or not.
You are worthy… period.
My book, Flipping the Script on Infertility, talks more about this and I share with you how I moved through this into my wholeness and fulfilment, you can get your copy here.