fierce grace

hang_in_there.jpg
street graffiti and styrofoam cup, San Francisco, Canon Digital Rebel

I had a dream last night that I was yelling at men on the street and they were afraid of me. In the dream I told a friend that my anger had become “uncorked” and now I was afraid it was spilling all over the place, like when you pour ketchup and it is stuck and stuck in the bottle until it comes out in one big, messy plop.

I’m afraid that’s how my anger will come out. {I am not good with anger and avoid it as if my life depended on it} Anger isn’t delicate or pretty or endearing like tears, or sadness or melancholy. Anger is more like a wild animal. I suppose that’s why I’ve avoided it for so long (so many women do) It repels people. It’s hard to be with…

I also see there is a strength to it, a fierceness, a sense of both feet being on the ground, fists in the air, roaring away like a lion. In the dream I felt like a lion.

I found a link to an article yesterday saying that infertility causes as much depression as cancer. I don’t know how you can make such comparisons, but I do know that it is the most devastating sadness I’ve known. The despair is so deep, it has to be primal. Every once in a while, I hear myself as I sob on Matt’s shoulder and I know that I sound like a wounded animal. I am always so grateful that Matt can take this in and just hold me and say, “I know.. I know…”.

I am sharing bits of this journey and some of its depth so that you might feel comforted, or less alone (in whatever grief or anger you might find yourself in) or so that you can understand your pals who are. I also want to share that finding the anger in this experience has been a doorway to my strength.

My coach helped me discover this one day. I was crying on the phone to her, saying how hard we’ve tried, how we’ve done everything right, how I’ve drinken every potion, stood on my head, done acupuncture, chi nei tsang, and herbs, taken my basal body temperature, built an altar, thought positive, “let it go,” stopped coffee, stopped alcohol, prayed, prayed, prayed, and how it’s not fair…”

And she stopped me dead in my tracks. She didn’t come right out and call me a victim (which would have been appropriate) but said, “Okay. So there’s a lot of self-pity here. What about the anger? Where’s that? Aren’t you pissed off and frustrated? Where’s the ‘why-the-fuck-hasn’t-it-happened-by-now?’ Aren’t you mad at God or your body or somebody?!”

And that’s when I got it. As I stepped into the anger I felt my strength, my fierceness and my aliveness as well as my longing. I also saw how little power there is in the self-pity. The victim place is just that-totally helpless and impotent. As we explored the anger, I found my feet firmly planted on the ground. I practiced role playing with her. We pretended people were asking me how it was going, and instead of my usual “It’s so hard…” and crying almost immediately. I practiced saying, “It fucking sucks!!! We’re fucking frustrated!!!”

And that felt better.

I believe it was the naming it that held the power. Just calling a spade a spade. I don’t necessarily have to walk around being angry, but naming it when it comes up is so much more powerful than covering it up with self-pity.

I still get sad.
I still get hopeful.
I still feel sorry for myself.
I still feel jealous.
I still feel very afraid.

But I’ve added something else to my repertoire: a healthy dose of anger.

Because if you want to know the truth, this fertility business really bites.

62 Comments

  1. Laura
    Posted April 5, 2006 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    It is SO hard to be angry, I know! Or I should say, to ALLOW yourself to FEEL ANGRY. Because the anger is there, it’s just a poison. I know this, because years and years after a divorce, I still feel flashes of anger that I should have let fly — and let go of — all over the place, years and years ago. I wonder if we (as women) feel like if we start feeling angry, we’ll never stop, or we will do too much damage, and that’s too scarey. But I think that allowing yourself appropriate anger is like washing your soul clean of dirty, ugly feelings and is good for you.

  2. Posted April 5, 2006 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Thank you for this today. I’ve been wallowing in self-pity for several days now and I don’t like myself very much this week because of it. I have someone in my life who routinely asks me “do you feel any anger?” Honestly, I don’t always feel anger towards people when they clearly deserve it, but the worst part is I’m afraid of displaying my anger when it is present. So I allow it to eat me up inside which is quite unhealthy. I realize all of this but haven’t quite figured out how to change/fix it. I believe, in my situation anyway, that it boils down to fear. Fear of what will happen if I express my anger towards someone and fear that it will drive them away. Crazy, no?

  3. Posted April 5, 2006 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I am always so touched by your writing. Thank you for coming here to share with us.

  4. Vivienne
    Posted April 5, 2006 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Infertility does fucking suck and I am right there with you being angry about it today.
    I hate it and wish I didn’t have to worry about such things.
    Thanks for allowing me some space to say this.
    RAR!
    V

  5. Jenn
    Posted April 5, 2006 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Andrea,
    I love this post. I love it, I love it.
    I just had something similar happen. As you know I haven’t been able to talk to my brother or his children. The grief I’ve been feeling over this issue has started taking over my life. This weekend I was crying to Connie saying I just don’t know how to get past this. I don’t know how to get over it and now the grief has started to show up in every area of my life. I started to cry really hard and kept saying I am stuck with in or with my grief. I am stuck, I am stuck, I am stuck. The more I cried and said this to her the more angry I got. It just started to happen.
    Then something shifted inside of me. I felt like finally getting angry allowed me to get to a place I’ve not been able to get to. Something inside me said I don’t have to get over it. I don’t have to pretend this isn’t happening, or pretend everything is okay and get on with my life. I can actually be sad and frustrated but still move forward with everything else in my life.
    I think I was trying to act like it wasn’t happening because I was getting upset with myself for having the same exact feeling about it. Now I feel like my feeling have changed some. Now I feel like I can say this shitty thing is happing but I am learning things about myself because of it. I am also learning to let it have it’s place but not rule me.
    It still sucks but I do feel like a big weight was taken off of me. I don’t think I would have gotten here without anger. I didn’t realize how much I avoided anger until this. Now I get it and see what an important step it is in this process.
    Thank you for sharing. I always love it. You are so comforting to me always.
    Jenn

  6. Posted April 5, 2006 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    i was in, well, a rage for about 24 hours between sunday and monday. it had been a long time since i’d let myself go there – to anger. i felt out of control but not in a bad way. maybe i just…felt. i just felt what i felt and i didn’t try to alter it or call it anything else but pissed off. but it’s so unusual for me to claim it. it takes a lot to get me there. i am grateful for this post for two reasons. one, it feels good to be reminded that anger can be useful and also, appropriate. two, i needed, so much, to open this page and read “hang in there”. and i’m also thankful for the responses to this post. thank you to everyone here.

  7. Posted April 5, 2006 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    touching post. good luck with your anger and the infertility.
    and for what it’s worth, i had an age-old pattern of burying my anger as well. in my case, it was motherhood that tripped it for me – post-partum depression, single parenting, and it turned out my son had ADHD. i had a kid that was destructive and i couldn’t control him and it infuriated me. i’m just now beginning to come to grips with my anger and i don’t find it empowering at all. it makes me feel ashamed of myself. but at least we’re all doing better, in all kinds of ways.

  8. Posted April 5, 2006 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    thank you thank you thank you for sharing this!! I have been a mass of self pity (which I try to hide)and guilt and, underneath it all, I discover a lot of anger hanging around that leaks out in all sorts of inappropriate ways. I know I grew up in a family where everyone was terrified of anger–their own and mine, and I learned to suppress those natural emotions for my own protection and theirs. Now that fear (and anger) is in me–and I’m really not sure how to release it. THANK YOU for giving permission to admit how hard it is to get there, but how important it is to acknowledge!!

  9. Meg
    Posted April 5, 2006 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Funny, because I’m so angry today, but about other (work) stuff.
    All I can say is that I went through years of a deep and debilitating chemical depression, and the key to unlocking my healing powers came YEARS in when someone finally told me that “depression is anger turned inwards.” That’s a theraputic idea. And I discoverd that while I was extremly depressed, to sad to get out of bed, felt like hurting myself, and on and on.. I was really just really pissed off at a lot of outside forces and didn’t know how to express it.
    So yes, anger is very very scary at first, but it helps so much when you stop hurting yourself. So get pissed off, get furious. It will be over the top and really scary at first, but in the end our anger is a really strong wise tough friend who gets us through and is there to help us survive. Embrace it!!!! Anger is a wonderful wonderful thing – and women are not taught to use it enough!
    Now, back to my being angry… and realizing how helpful it is! It’s a warning that you are not being treated as you should 😉 I’m thinking really good thoughts for you both!!

  10. Posted April 5, 2006 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    I am so stirred by your post. I had tears welling up as you cracked yourself open to reveal such an intimate part of your journey. Courage is contagious and your generosity with you Self helps heal us all. Thank you.
    I have been increasingly frightened by the amount of infertility issues that are arising around me. What is happening to our bodies as women? I have yet to embark on the journey of Motherhood, but at 34 for the first time in my life I am beginning to feel the stirring in my bones. That genetic/biologic drive to create. Its so integral to our body/soul existence. That isn’t to say that all women must have children, but it is to say that for the first time in my life i am feeling the inklings of a force in me that only continues to build.
    If and when I reach that peak of longing, that place where I know “its time” and find that I am unable to, I can’t and don’t want to imagine how devestated I would be. I read your post with compassion and fear. And yes, its important to share with you so that I may be of more support and compassion to my Sisters going through the same journey.
    I am angry because a deeper knowing within tells me that the difficulties in fertility we are experiencing more of these days is directly related to the poisoning of the planet and subsequently, our bodies. Centuries of Biophobia where we plasticize things, sanitize things, process foods, altar plants, dump into our waters heinous toxins… We kill our Mother everyday, and then see the parallells in our bodies.
    sigh… I am on a rant now. I didn’t intend for that, but well… it happens.
    I send you Deep warm Soul Sister love, small spaces in time where you can hold yourself quiet, and big big big places where your rage can be all that it truly is.
    Blessings to you,
    Elena

  11. Anshu
    Posted April 5, 2006 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Thank you! Thank you! After reading your post, I just spent the last hour releasing some anger. I can still feel that it’s not all gone (and that part of me doesn’t want it to be gone and is scared to feel that deeply), but it’s a start!!!

  12. Adriana
    Posted April 5, 2006 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Thank you.

  13. Posted April 5, 2006 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Andrea, you are so incredible! Thanks for helping all of us feel okay about so many things… all the time!!!

  14. Ellie
    Posted April 5, 2006 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    I want you know that it will be ok. I just had a baby last fall. And another friend (also in her thirties) had hers in January. We shared one thing in common. Letting go. It is hard. Even after years of trying. But let go. As my friend put it, “I just stopped trying to make a baby with my partner and started making love again, like we used to before we got all baby crazy.” And then it happened. For both of us this way. I think it is the first step of parenting. Understanding you are riding the wave of life. (And it has been proven that stress affects fertility.) Let go, sweetie. You are in my thoughts. I know the longing you feel and do hope you hold what you so desire in your future.

  15. Posted April 5, 2006 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for being so real.
    There is such a pull, an unseen pressure to be ladylike, delicate, pleasant as women. We hide our anger, unwilling to be seen as unpleasant or less than controlled and pleasing. And yet sometimes frustration and anger have simply got to come forth, especially upon the realization that life just simply is not fair.

  16. Posted April 5, 2006 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    A –
    This is just beautiful. I love the idea of “fierce grace” because when someone even says the word “angry,” what comes to mind is something about loss of control, a kind of clawing into the air, a ferocious grasping.
    And yet, and yet. All of us feel angry at some point, and I think most of us have been conditioned to hide it. So the more hiding we do, the more shame we feel about that angry. It’s a vicious cycle.
    I think women particularly aren’t comfortable with expressing anger. Maybe because so often we associate anger with violence. So the idea of expressing it is scary because of its implications. And I know, personally, when I am angry, it is often a physical feeling, some part of me uprooted, and so the tension in my body to try and keep everything together. It’s palpable.
    I find that wrestling helps, though that requires another person who’s willing to be included.
    Other than that, it’s about loving all of me, even the angry parts. No one can walk around in a perfect, balanced state of bliss all the time. I think of my anger as something like the weather. Sure, living in a warm, dry climate would be great, but I think I’d miss the rain, the thunderstorms, those electrifying surges of energy that shake the sky a little that give the ground the water it needs to grow things again. I know after a great burst of anger, I, too, feel as cleansed, that much more open and willing and able.
    Thanks for this.

  17. Posted April 5, 2006 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    i’m loving you.

  18. Posted April 5, 2006 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    You really don’t know just how timely this post is. Anger, sadness, frustration, infertility – things that I’ve been experiencing today just for starters.
    It’s good not to feel alone.
    x

  19. rs
    Posted April 5, 2006 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    thanks for always talking about your life so openingly. you are doing all of us and yourself a great service by doing so. good thoughts are being sent your way by so so many of us.
    rs

  20. K.
    Posted April 5, 2006 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    My troubles are the opposite of yours. I have too many kids and sometimes wish I didn’t help create so much.
    Ahhh, being human. It just never ends, does it?
    Sending you BIG LOVE & DIVINE ENERGY to travel gracefully on your Path. Heaven knows it’s tough as hell which makes me think them darn powers that be are all in cahoots to drive us all insane one way or another.
    Smile, bella. YOU.ARE.BEAUTIFUL.WITH.OR.WITHOUT.

  21. Posted April 5, 2006 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    you precious, precious, precious woman.

  22. cheryl
    Posted April 5, 2006 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    i’m angry because i haven’t found anyone to have kids with. and i know i’d be a great partner, and i deserve a great partner, and i’d be a brilliant mother… and i’m 38 and it’s not going to happen.
    i’m really fucking angry.

  23. Mairsy
    Posted April 5, 2006 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Fierce Grace is such a wonderful expression….. I’m on the same journey as you – i think i’m in denial as well that this can’t be happening, though it has been my greatest fear all along. The hardest part is everyone i know appears to be pregnant.Best friend, 2 sister-in-laws, a cousin, and at least a dozen other friends and people i know. It really really sucks. You sound so lucky though that like me you have a partner who is holding your hand and your heart. We have to keep believing, although there are no rules in this journey and i keep thinking that i don’t have to be upbeat and positive every moment of the day. That would just be insanely impossible. The waves keep rolling in and you just never know what is going to wash up on the sand. My thoughts are with you.

  24. Kim
    Posted April 5, 2006 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    I am angry, afraid & lost….
    & yet,
    I am blessed, both big & small.
    I allow the dark moments to consume me, if only for a while, and then seek out a brighter way. It may not work out, but it will be ok.
    I am inspired by your courage, honesty and spirit.

  25. Posted April 5, 2006 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Remember in Eat Love Pray, Elizabeth’s “petition” to God? I’m signing yours.

  26. Posted April 5, 2006 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    sweet andrea, how you wrote this brings back so many memories of the phases i went through during 8 years of infertility. i don’t want this to come off sounding like advice or a formula… (i think every one’s path in this is unique and each will find their own way)… but for me, the transformation occurred when i completely surrendered to the lack of control. i asked the universe (fairly angrily) what i should be if i wasn’t supposed to be a mother. and then i just opened to what came next. i embarked on parenting the child in myself… the one that i had abandoned… i volunteered evenings after work at children’s hospital, learned a musical instrument, truly noticed, appreciated and expressed the fullness of beauty and grace in my life which i had been undervaluing. and when, out of the blue on my 13th wedding anniversary, i got pregnant through lovemaking (not babymaking)i finally got the message… i’d needed to learn that having children meant abandoning control… that control was an illusion i’d created (with the help of science) out of fear… and it was ironically what got in the way of what i was trying so hard for. ask the universe and trust you will find your way. in the meantime, i honor you and all women suffering this truly devastating phase of life.

  27. Posted April 5, 2006 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    i can hear you roar…i can hear you expell this deep wide grief and anger. i can hear you as you let it out. you are beautiful and amazing my dear. your bravery brings me to tears. this invitation to remember we are not alone. thank you. this is why we are all here. this is why we blog. this is why we create. this is why we love. this is why. to remind each other that we are not alone. i hear you. i hear you.

  28. Christine
    Posted April 5, 2006 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Andrea,
    Reading your post, I felt the goosebumps go up and down my arms. I felt the sting of tears. What you’re going through hits so close to home for me. I love children. I love them so much — they fill me up inside, make bad days seem so much better. But there’s a very bad chance that I might be infertile. I’ve never ever really admitted this aloud to anyone I know because I’m so afraid that it will be true if I say it. I’m so afraid that for my many sins, and for not putting God first in my life, I’m suffering by not getting the two things I want the most: 1.) the love of my life and 2.) children. I’ve often tried to make a deal with God, which I know is very foolish. I tell him, “Okay, if I had to choose between the two, I pick having children. They will be the love of my life, if I can’t have him. Just give me this one thing.” Andrea, I am so afraid. I’ve wanted children ever since I can remember; being a mother is the one thing I am sure I can do best, with all of me invested, and not just a part. Just the thought of never being able to scares the shit out of me. It keeps me awake at night for hours at a time. And I keep all of this pain to myself, because I am so afraid. I am so afraid.
    Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and that God wants the best for all of us. Someone once asked me, “God is your father. Would a father gives his son a snake when he is asked for bread? Of course not.” And because of this, I think that although your infertility is such a heavy weight to bear right now, there is a very good reason for it. Because you touch so many lives, maybe God has chosen you to be a light for others, to show them the right way to bear their crosses, the right way to look at challenges. I know that, today, you have certainly helped me. I’m certain that in time, He will give you the children you and your husband so long for. Just keep asking and praying. With God anything is possible.

  29. Charmaine
    Posted April 5, 2006 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    Take life one day at a time – ….and look to the Italians I think – those angry explosions they’re
    so renowned for and all those bambinos! Allow life some lee-way to take it’s own course.
    South African Love and Good wishes.x

  30. Posted April 6, 2006 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    Just stopped back in to read the rest of the comments, and wanted to add, that I too, sign yours.

  31. Posted April 6, 2006 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    Thank you somuch for sharing about the impact of infertility on your life. I have four older sisters, all 4 to 10 years older than me, and as a 19 year old just beginning college, I’m still the little sister. All three of my married sisters haven’t been able to have children yet. And the age difference is such that I don’t really ever talk to them about their married, adult problems. It wasn’t until I found chezmiscarriage, and then when you began writing about infertility, that I had any grasp on what that does to you emotionally. I cannot fathom your pain and anger, but you’ve given me a glimpse into how my sisters feel. Thank you so much for your courage in sharing. Without women like you I would still have no real empathy for my sisters.

  32. Posted April 6, 2006 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    Thank you somuch for sharing about the impact of infertility on your life. I have four older sisters, all 4 to 10 years older than me, and as a 19 year old just beginning college, I’m still the little sister. All three of my married sisters haven’t been able to have children yet. And the age difference is such that I don’t really ever talk to them about their married, adult problems. It wasn’t until I found chezmiscarriage, and then when you began writing about infertility, that I had any grasp on what that does to you emotionally. I cannot fathom your pain and anger, but you’ve given me a glimpse into how my sisters feel. Thank you so much for your courage in sharing. Without women like you I would still have no real empathy for my sisters.

  33. Shelley Noble
    Posted April 6, 2006 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    Man, What a killer post!! Fantasic insights!! My favorite part was the big shift you made from whimper into truth. You are the regal Queen of the Kingdom of What Is. Much love going out to you and Matt.

  34. Posted April 6, 2006 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    as you know there aren’t “bad” feelings. Anger is not bad, it is strong and powerful and can jump start a dead car if only it could be directed such a way.
    I think anger is like that…allow this powerful source to be plugged in a direction that can help create rather than destory.
    Let the anger in you take voice, but also let its power create.
    On the other note infertility isn’t fair, the randomness of it all…you who are such a bearer of life’s good energy, who share it richly graciously with others…the question why is beyond me! I hope your dream comes true.
    Self pity what is wrong with that, you are sad, you care, your person is disappointed..if we cannot be our own best friend who can? Self pity doesn’t mean selfish. It says you are sad and have pity for that part of yourself.
    Andrea if I could i would change this reality with a blink of an eye. I wish my wishes for your dream to come true!

  35. Posted April 6, 2006 at 3:51 am | Permalink

    stumbled on this blog…took her 9 years, but she did it. there is hope.
    http://tertia.typepad.com/so_close/

  36. Posted April 6, 2006 at 5:02 am | Permalink

    All these beautiful comments. You (and they) say it all so well. And it’s only fitting that you who send so much fierce grace out into the world should get some fierce support back. I’m rooting for you, too, as always.
    It’s funny how after years of feeling bad I start getting more and more angry (on a very small scale, fortunately!). The anger is coming out of the closet, so to speak. For someone who never used to get angry about anything it feels quite good… So I’m with you on that one.

  37. turquoisecro
    Posted April 6, 2006 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Andrea!Prayers for you are going UP! UP! UP! thru the hills and mountains of West Virginia today!!!Also, I will light a candle for you today!!! God Bless You and Yours!!!xo, Cinda

  38. Caroline
    Posted April 6, 2006 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    I’m angry with you sweet girl…. you do not deserve this pain. With tears in my eyes, I SCREEEAAAAM with you!

  39. Posted April 6, 2006 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    I wish I knew what to say but I don’t.
    Love to you.

  40. Jennife
    Posted April 6, 2006 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    I’ve always sort of grown up thinking that women (well, actually just me) aren’t “allowed” to be angry. Isn’t that awful? I love it that not only do you express what you do, validate it, but you validate it for me too….

  41. Posted April 6, 2006 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    My dear…I am holding a safe place in my heart for you roar as loudly as you need to. I love you. 🙂

  42. Posted April 6, 2006 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    it’s Interesting how many ways We ourselves as well as We as a Culture try to Avoid/Silence AnGER. “Nice” it away.
    I have been dealing with an Illness for about 14 years.
    It hurts/it’s depressing/it’s lonely…………. and a wide variety of other things. But, ABSOLUTEly; it is Rage~making.
    I express this Rage when I feel SAFe. In my home. With my counsellor. Amongst Women Friends who *get it*/have it too.
    Soooo often though, it has been suggested that ^^^INSTEAD OF BEING ANGRY^^^, why don’t I just :
    =learn to ACCEPT this
    =not take it so seriously
    =be angry somewhere ELSE
    =keep it in
    =change my thinking and my Anger will dissapear……
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I am still trying to really KNOW this: that it is OKAY/UNDERSTANDABLE / HEALTHY / UNLOCKING / EMPOWERING / NECESSARY that I get Angry.
    p.s. I’m not a fan of the term “self-pity” or being a “Victim” when we express warranted Feelings.

  43. Posted April 6, 2006 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{ANDREA}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
    We watch this at my house to remind ourselves it’s okay to be angry (and it’s fun to sing) – not trying to take away from the power of your post, but it might make you smile.


  44. Posted April 6, 2006 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    I agree anger is powerful and it has incredible strength behind it. You are so brave sharing these stories. Pain should be shared and talked about. So often if is hidden behind thick doors and never let out.
    Jung was a brillant man. He said that anything you leave in the darkness will seep into the light. Anger left in the darkness, seeps into our lives and can run rampant, like a wild beast. If we allow ourselves our rage then it has less destructive power and more doing power.
    For so long women’s rage has been kept in the dark but more and more it is being brought to the light by brave souls who are willing to be themselves.
    Thanks Andrea
    Mia

  45. Julia
    Posted April 6, 2006 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Dearest Andrea, Being pissed off may not be “pretty” but sometimes it can make a “sucky” situation feel a bit less “sucky” when you allow yourself the right to vent, rant or say “what the fuck!!” As for anger repelling others?….Those who can’t or won’t realize and allow the righteous anger of friends and loved ones, to be expressed on occasion…might not be the people you think they are. Anger is such a basic human feeling. I am glad you aren’t denying yours. My prayers and positive vibes are with you.

  46. Posted April 6, 2006 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    I like you. I like your honesty and your courage.
    You are brave Andrea and I deeply appreciate your rawness in sharing the truth.
    I am still going to throw out positive thoughts for you and Matt — because science isn’t always exact and life is full of the stuff that makes miracles.
    Holding you up high today ~
    Amy K.

  47. tempestdelfuego
    Posted April 6, 2006 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    I feel your sadness. I am 41, and earlier this year, my boyfriend, who is 27, became infertile because of his second cancer operation. Once we found that he had cancer again, we tried like bunnies to get pregnant, but we just didn’t have enough time, and now we have to go the IVF route. Doctors tell me that I should get on this right away because of my age, that time might be slipping by. I firmly believe that we will get pregnant if we are meant to. We might have if we were given a bit more time. I feel angry and pissed off some days, and others I realise that we have each other and that’s all that matters.
    Sometimes a good cry and a bit of pissed-off anger feels good. It usually leads to the drying of tears and some smiles and hugs, then we carry on.
    Always hope for the best, and things will work out just fine.
    Thanks for sharing your story.

  48. Posted April 6, 2006 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Andrea,
    I have never commented on your site but I always find inspiration in your writing. Thank you for that. I am pissed off FOR you. I can’t even imagine what you are going through but it pisses me off that there are women who have to deal with this.
    I hope that you will find happiness after the anger. It may be just what you need to make things happen.

  49. Spade girl
    Posted April 7, 2006 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Calling a spade a spade is good. But sometimes we need to call it a bloody shovel! 🙂

  50. Posted April 7, 2006 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Right fucking on! I struggle with my own anger over other things and while I can’t speak to the struggles that you’re going through, I am very thankful to you for your insight on anger.

  51. teresa
    Posted April 7, 2006 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    being a survivor of miscarriage, infertility, and cancer, i am fully versed in almost every emotion you can imagine. pity, anger, don’t give a shit, what the fuck, joy, fear, pain. fierce grace is where you arrive after all of it. after 2 miscarriages and then years of trying – we were gifted with molly. and she is one of my most precious treasures. followed by an accidental abby who is also most precious to us.
    then i was diagnosed – breast cancer – at 31. i am now a 10 years survivor of that too.
    the cancer caused all the same emotions – only different. i didn’t want that – i didn’t deserve that.
    you and matt will find your way through this. whatever the outcome. what ever you need for your self and your love – you will find.
    yes the infertility sucks. its something to be angry about. it is the main focus in your life. it has taken over. but you are a strong couple – holding each other up through this. partners on this journey, partners in this life. my best wishes to you both.

  52. jolene
    Posted April 7, 2006 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    sounds like it’s time to go boxing, andrea!
    i’m in your corner!
    🙂

  53. Posted April 7, 2006 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    PRACTICE some RECKLESS ABANDON
    1.wipe the word INFERTILITY out of your life-your mind-your heart!
    2. gain 10 pounds and enjoy every moment of it!-if you are under the ‘normal weight for your height, make it 15 or 20.- eat whatever and whenever you feel like it
    3. lay down for an hour every afternoon and just veg,snuggling in the cuddliest blanket you can find. Read children’s books- color with crayons for at least 10 minutes everyday
    4 .Start a book where you and your partner can leave love comments, notes, letters, to each other whenever you feel like it.
    5. use your NON DOMINANT HAND as often as is
    possible
    6. your already learning to free the anger, so express it and let it go
    7 .Slooow down, breathe, and -most of all have fun =)
    I am going to mail ya the candles I sent my life long best friend 3 yrs ago from a quirky shop here in the Joshua Tree Park.She swears they worked for her at 39 yrs old =) She is now 43 and has 2 babies….who knows?
    Namaste,
    MB

  54. Posted April 7, 2006 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    So much validation above, that I feel a tad redundant. But I want to address the despair and the primal scream that you sort of allude to.
    As you know, I, too experienced this about a decade ago. We tried it all, too. It was so unfathomable for me to be so committed to this endeavor, and so unable to control it! I recall how despondent I grew as all my “last hold-out” friends finally had their first, treasured child.
    It made no sense to me–infertility. I came from a fertile family, people I knew with such reckless histories had no troubles whatever. I was healthy, fit, following all traditional and non-traditional plans I could find. Ultimatley, the doctors could really tell us nothing except, if you don’t want to try IVF, just “keep trying.”
    One day I got a phone call from a couple we were very close to. They were ecstatic, told us they got pregnant on their first try, both were older than we were, we thought they had many more obstacles. There was no faking it, I weakly congratulated them, and my husband (who was listening on the other end) simply hung up the phone. It was so awful not to have the heart to celebrate with them, but it was too much–we had tried too hard, hoped too desperately.
    It only took a few moments before the cry from the depths of my being emerged. It was enraged, furious, and as you mention, primal. It was anger for betrayal from my gendered being. It was despair on par with the death of someone I love, it WAS like cancer, it felt like a malignancy that separated me from every vibrant, earthy mother I knew. I craved, and still crave the unconditional love of my own young one, but I have had to move on (I’m much older than you), and I have found–if not peace–many other things in my life to celebrate. My life truly is very full.
    I do think of you with deep compassion and hope. I hope for you a different outcome than I had, but also the strength and ANGER that it takes to allow yourself the DIGNITY of rage. It IS unfair. You deserve better! It’s unfair that children suffer abuse when we have so much love to give. You will get your baby, Andrea, I know it! It just might manifest itself in unexpected ways and times.

  55. Posted April 7, 2006 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Andrea, have you heard of Dr. Wayne Dyer? Anyway, on his radio show through Hay House online radio he said something so powerful, which I, also childless (and married for 10 years), transcribed in my notebook and which I would like to share with you. This is what he said to someone who called in asking how she can deal with the unhappiness of another miscarriage.
    “First of all,” said Dr. Dyer, “Stop labelling yourself as infertile. Secondly, every being that comes into this world, every mosquito, every plant, every thing, particularly every human being that shows up in this world doesn’t show up because of our egos. It shows up because God wants it to show up. And if it doesn’t show up, it’s because it’s not supposed to. And if you can get that, if you can really get at peace with the Tao, at peace with God, at peace with this knowing…If they’re supposed to come through you, they will. These people that are pregnant, they’re all a part of the perfection of the Universe. And if you have them, or if you don’t have them; those of you out there who don’t have children and you think you chose not to have them, it’s not because you chose not to have them. It’s because this lifetime of yours was designed to be the way that it is. It’s all perfect. It’s ALL perfect. And once you’re really at peace with that, you’re going to be surprised at what the results are. Really surprised.”
    Feel the rage, I say. But also feel the peace afterwards. There’s nothing lacking in your life. There never was.
    I love you and your website and always remain a huge fan.
    – Theresa (aka NY shy girl)

  56. celisa
    Posted April 8, 2006 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    you are woman, hear you ROAR!!

  57. Posted April 10, 2006 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing. I have always loved your site, but I appreciate it more now than ever knowing there is someone out there going through what I am going through. It gives me strength, though I wish you weren’t going through it at all.

  58. tali
    Posted April 13, 2006 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I have a very difficult time being angry too, but this post really turned on the lightbulb for me. Thank you for sharing. *hugS*

  59. Tammy
    Posted April 16, 2006 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Andrea,
    I have never posted a comment before but would like to share my story. I married at 20 and by 22 I was ready for children. I could not get pregnant and went through everything you’re going through. I had 2 laparoscopies for endometriosis although I really didn’t have much of it. Tried clomid 3 times to no avail. Three horrific/obsessed years later clomid finally worked and I bacame pregnant with twins. All was fine until they were born 3 months premature.
    They’ve had nothing but problems and one of them is now autistic, which to me has been way worse than what I experienced with the infertility. You don’t know how much I wish I had never messed with mother nature. I truly believe that if it is not meant to be that it shouldn’t be pushed. And I pushed it hard! Now my life consists of therapies for them, special education, a strict diet that I have to cook all of their food for, endless medicines and supplements, doctors visits…basically a total nightmare- not what I ever envisioned for myself.
    Now after 11 years of marriage my husband and I are calling it quits. This has all taken its toll on our marriage and all we do is fight over everything.
    I’ve always turned to your blog for inspiration and because I enjoy it. I’ve been following your infertility for a while hoping you’d get what you wished for and I’ve never posted anything because I really don’t have anything positive to say right now. Just be glad that you are not going through what I’ve had to deal with and you have peace in your life and freedom from such a bad situation. I struggle daily with the fact that I caused this situation in my once carefree artistic life.
    Sorry to be so negative, I hope I don’t get flamed for this post. At least you can say, “Man, I’m glad that’s not me and I have peace and freedom in my life- I’m doin all right!”
    I still hope you get what you wish for because of course not all fertility stories end like mine!

  60. k
    Posted April 17, 2006 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Hi there- I just came to your site through a link and came upon this entry…
    I’ve read some of the comments, but not all, and I will share my own perspective.
    Pardon my French in advance.
    Fertility fucking sucks. Hard. It’s not your fault. It’s not your husband’s fault. It’s just life. And that sucks.
    As I start my 2nd IVF, I realize that as much as we can relate to each other in this infertility mess, no one walks in your shoes, or in mine. We each deal how we need to. But…get fuckin mad. Get ugly shit kicking life sucks fuck off mad.
    All that advice people give you about letting go, maybe if you relax, stop “trying” and you’ll get pregnant? Fuck that. Crack whores on the street get pregnant. Rape victims get pregnant. “Relaxing” isn’t required. I know this sounds rough, and I apologize, but it does put in perspective that floating on a cloud and not watching the news and being super positive isn’t a requirement for getting pregnant. And when people make these “helpful” suggestions, they are basically saying it’s your fault you are not pregnant. Sure, they are trying to be useful, but it’s insensitive. (I had a friend get pregnant and say “I wasn’t even trying”…well thanks). Why do you hear about people stopping trying and getting pregnant? Why do you hear about people adopting and then getting pregnant? Because it’s uplifting and noteworthy…and nobody wants to talk about all the couples that don’t get pregnant over and over. That’s depressing.
    What’s worse on fertility than stress? A woman who is anxious and depressed because people keep telling her her stress is harmful to her fertility. If you weren’t stressed, you’d be in denial. Infertility is stressful. Period.
    And one last thing…the “at least your life isn’t as bad as mine” posting…not helpful. Everyone has their story in this life. That doesn’t minimize your pain.
    I went to a one day seminar with Dr Alice Domar…I don’t usually go in for this sort of thing, but check her books out on Amazon…she was really amazing. My husband and I, both stoic types, really learned a lot.
    Hugs.

  61. k
    Posted April 17, 2006 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    And Tammy, I wasn’t flaming you, please know that. I just feel that when we use the “your life could be worse, it could be like mine” point of view, it makes the other person feel like they don’t have the right to feel bad about their own situation, because other people’s stories are worse. There are always other people in this world with a worse life than ours. Always. What is “meant to be” is for none of us to discern…maybe it’s “meant” for some of us to have to struggle our asses off to get pregnant. Who knows. Maybe none of it “means” anything…we don’t know that either. We are all just doing the best with what we’ve been dealt.

  62. Posted April 18, 2006 at 4:14 am | Permalink

    Andrea, it appears I can’t leave comments on your archived posts, but I just read the one about you becoming a life coach. Would love to talk with you more about that if you’re willing. My email is willie@groupbaronet.com which might be easier. 🙂 Didn’t see contact info for your coaching practice on your site. Thanks again for being you!