Mel's post today about PETA brought out feelings that I've been reflecting on throughout this controversy:
I'm tired of fighting.
I'm not tired of fighting the disease, per se, though the thought of no more hot flashes and no longer having to spread my legs on an exam table more than once a year does make me smile.
No. I'm tired of fighting FOR the disease. I'm sick and tired of fighting against the ignorance of others. It is largest piece of baggage I carry on this journey. It is what weighs me down. As I commented on Mel's post, every time it seems as though our community makes headway in trying to educate the public about infertility, there's someone waiting to knock us back down again. Why must we always be the ones who end up with the bloodied, scraped knees?
Will there ever be a time on this road when we are the ones without the skinned knees and tears that follow?
I never defended myself as a kid. Ever. I firmly glued my ass in a corner, and I watched. I watched as other kids fought and stood up for themselves and what they believed in. And when people would say nasty things to me or push my buttons, I never pushed back. I took it like a champ in the moment; after the moment, I cried loud, large, painful tears into my pillow at night.
Infertility changed everything for me, and I've been wracking my brain this entire week to try and figure it WHY. WHY did one diagnosis change my entire attitude toward these situations? Why did I feel as though it was suddenly time to stand up and insert my freckled nose into every situation that offended me or hurt my feelings?
Sticks and stones never hurt my bones. Words did, a little. But taking away my womanhood ruined me.
No, I couldn't just sit there and take it anymore. I had to fight. I had to fight to explain to people why I was hurting. Why they hurt me. Why society hurt me. Why my body failed me. Why infertility should be considered a disease. Why I deserved to be a mom. And the list goes on.
If it wasn't about deserving the same treatment, it was about deserving special treatment. It was about wanting respect, sympathy, understanding, and courtesy. It was about wanting everything that infertility took away from me, and it was about wanting it back tenfold. It was about taking all of this anger and this hatred that I felt toward myself and my situation and spinning it into something better.
But is it better? Is it better if we are the only ones who fight for ourselves? Is it better if we constantly have to relive the heartbreak of our diagnosis or our loss? Is it better if we are the only ones in a crowded room who are screaming our heads off, and no one even turns around to look? Is it better if we are the only ones who are lying on the gravel, bruised and broken?
As I write this, I'm listening to Green Day's 21 Guns and thinking about how utterly fucking appropriate this song is for this situation.
Do you know what's worth fighting for?
When it's not worth dying for?
Does it take your breath away
And you feel yourself suffocating?
Does the pain weigh out the pride?
And you look for a place to hide?
Did someone break your heart inside?
You're in ruins
Someone did break my heart. It was infertility. I've been fighting it ever since.
And I'm exhausted.
It's time that others fight for us, with us.