Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Am I the Villain in My Own Fairy Tale?

Every fairy tale has a villain.  The nature of fairy tales is such that there needs to be opposing virtues to make the story exciting – good versus evil, beautiful versus ugly, mean versus nice.  For this reason, the hero of any good fairy tale must be opposed by a villain.  The villain generally engages in deceit and trickery, trying to harm the hero.  The villain gathers information to later be used against the hero and frequently convinces friends and family of the hero to play a role in the villain’s evil plan, thereby adding insult to injury.  The villain is the character that everyone can fear and hate, so that they are able to appreciate how wonderful the hero truly is.

I am concerned that I am the villain in my own fairy tale.  I’m the hero too, but that is sort of a given since this is my fairy tale.  I would like to believe that infertility is the villain…but infertility it not tricking or deceiving me.  Infertility is what it is.  It may be thwarting my efforts to reach my goals, but that makes it an obstacle, not a villain.  There is no person or thing that I can point to in my life that engages in the acts that you would expect from a villain, except for me.

I frequently harm myself emotionally during each round of ART, and even during the time in between cycles.  I trick myself into thinking that I can control the outcome of each cycle by engaging in certain activities or thinking in a certain way.  If I can keep my attitude positive enough, or if I can find the perfect IVF protocol to show my RE, I’ll get what I want so badly.  Only, that’s not true.  Those are lies I tell myself so that I won’t have to admit the truth…which is that I have no control over whether I am going to get pregnant.  Sure I have control over whether I try to conceive during a given month and what method I use, but at the end of the day, whether the sperm and egg take a liking to each other and decide to nestle down for awhile is totally out of my control.  Thinking otherwise is just a form of torture...an act that a villain would engage in, but not a hero.  It allows me, in fact encourages me, to kick the hero while she’s down.  It leaves me thinking, “Not only are you not pregnant, but it is your own fault that you failed.”

I also might be the villain because I use my family and friends to hurt me.  Not on a conscious level, but perhaps subconsciously.  I have told people about my infertility that I wouldn’t, in any other circumstance, tell anything important to.  I might love those people, but I know that they will use the information to hurt me and yet I give them the ammunition to break my spirit anyway.  For example (and I’m only choosing one of many here), I’ve talked to my mother about our infertility struggle multiple times, even though I barely speak to her about anything.  She has made such comments as: “Did it ever occur to you that you are barren because you just aren’t meant to be a mother,” “I really think that God has already made a child for you that is going to have parents who die or something so that you can step in and take over,” “Did you ever think that maybe your husband isn’t the man you are meant to be with for the rest of your life and that once you divorce him and find someone else you’ll get pregnant,” and, my favorite “It’s really ironic that your sister and I, two people who never wanted kids and never had a pot to piss in, can pop out more babies than we can take care of, but you can’t even have one.  Isn’t that a funny thing?”  Yeah…it’s freakin’ hilarious, Mom!  Why would I tell a woman, who I know will only hurt me, about every step of our fertility journey?  I know better and yet, there I am on the phone after every failure, bawling away to her and then getting angry when she says exactly what I would expect her to say.

I put myself down, stress myself out, sabotage my attempts at bettering myself, try repeatedly to follow the forks in the road that I know don’t lead anywhere, and put myself in harm’s way emotionally.  How can I not be the villain?  My only hope is that mine is one of those fairy tales where the villain turns out to be a sympathetic character that learns her lesson and changes her ways in time for “happily ever after.”   


Endo_Life said...

I am so sorry about your Mom. You obviously want her to be there for you as otherwise you wouldn't call her. Who doesn't want there mother to be the one to pick them up give you a hug and tell you everything will be okay.

Princess Wahna Bea Mama said...

Thank you so much for the kind comment. It's true that no matter how hard I try, I'm always hoping for my Mom's approval. It would just be nice if self-preservation would kick-in soon and override that instinct.

Lindsey said...

You're not the villain! The villain always convinces the hero to do things they wouldn't normally do, things that put them in danger. I'm so sorry that talking to your mom is one of those things. I can't wait for this DE cycle to give you your happily ever after!