Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Get Over vs Get Through

The other day I found this brilliant quote that I think sums up what I believe in terms of my infertility journey (don't know who wrote the words):

"You won't get over this, but you will get through it."

The phrase "getting over" makes me feel like one needs to put an end to something. Close the book and forget about it already, why bring it up over and over again? I can't believe you're still writing the book and talking/wondering about the details after all this time.

I've never had anyone tell me per se to get over infertility, but I have felt some people getting uneasy about the fact that I keep sharing/talking about infertility-related issues. Probably because it makes them feel awkward and helpless, not necessarily because they don't want to listen to me. 

Just like what Jean Vanier wrote: "As we approach people in pain, they reveal to us our pain and brokenness." - A Rebel for Peace, page 134-135 

I have read several cases where the infertile was told harshly to "get over it" by some people/friends and I know how much it hurt (it would have hurt me greatly if someone had told me such a thing, especially when I was still in so much pain and confusion inside). Being invited to enter a place of pain isn't an easy thing to do - both for the one sending the invitation and the invited guest. Remember The Ring Theory when you're invited to enter someone's place of pain.

I still think it may be possible to get over infertility (specifically childless-not-by-choice) for some rare individuals. I've read several people who wrote that their infertility didn't have any impact on them (or not anymore at the very least). OK, granted I have no idea if they were telling the truth or not because they were just comments I read online below some infertility articles/blog posts, but I'd rather be open to that possibility considering the fact that I've read a similar message more than twice. 

Out of curiosity, I checked out the meanings of "getting through" in an online dictionary and here are two descriptions that I think are suitable for my own journey:

1. Become clear or enter one's consciousness or emotions/to make someone (i.e. myself) understand something.

I have gained much more clarity about myself and I've learnt more about others as well during my infertility journey because I've had to face those jumbled feelings and thoughts and figure out which is which. I've had to stand naked in front of myself and God as well and learn that we're all connected and that we're only humans. I've had to cling to a very thin thread of faith even when my whole being is in a confused and angry state and I've been granted peace beyond understanding as a result of many people's prayers for me.

2. Succeed in reaching a real or abstract destination after overcoming problems. 

The abstract destination is to find meanings to my infertility journey, to feel some serenity in chaos - even if it means we'll never have children. I've found several meanings to my infertility journey so far.

In the beginning of my healing journey, I was frustrated and I was wondering when I could see the end of this healing journey, when I'll get over it. But that has changed. It's been a long while since I've stopped thinking about when I'll get over infertility, because I have consciously chosen not to get over it. Why should I get over it? Infertility has shaped me in many unexpected ways and it has taught me many important lessons and I don't want to forget that I'm an infertile. Besides, I think my infertility journey is beneficial for others, too. And this way I can focus more on the lessons I can/need to learn as I continue my healing journey without the additional burden of having to reach a specific end.


  1. As a man, I can't pretend to understand your position. I do know that I think I have missed my boat on having kids. I would have to find a wife that is so much younger than me now that many would label me creepy. That isn't the biggest problem, though - young women are not lined up outside my house along a velvet rope. At any rate, my situation is what it is as your is yours. There is something here for me to "get" and I can't do that if I am always thinking about something else.

    1. Jeff, keep up the conversation going, so feel free to share whatever you want to share no matter how long it is. :-)

      There's a category for men/women who want children but for some reason are still single or their spouses don't want children. It's called childless-by-circumstance as opposed to being childfree (deciding that one doesn't want any kids). I've come to get in touch with other women in this situation as well - those who, like you, have probably missed their boats on having kids.

      I hope you have found some peace and comfort concerning this matter. Ironically enough, there aren't too many men opening up about things like this or infertility, though I'd love to learn more about men's POV as well.

  2. Wise words - you won't get over this but you will get through it.
    I won't pretend to know what you're going through, I can listen and learn and sympathise and care. But I do know how it feels to hear those words and connect to them: you won't get over this but you will get through it.
    I am by no means brushing over your sensitive story here, just saying I understand that element. I've never got over loosing my brother at 17 in a car crash. It's changed me as a person. I am an optimistic person but sometimes I still have very dark moments where I feel the world is very unfair and cruel and I am completely paranoid about loosing people suddenly. People would never know this because I never tell them, except for Mark, he has to let me know he is safe when he is driving somewhere.
    So I get what you say about it's shaped you and taught you important lessons.
    I also believe in living in the moment and counting my blessings, because I know how suddenly your whole life can change and how dark things can get.
    And yes, why should you get over it? You can't shrug it off and belittle it, you have to face your demons and continue your healing journey. You will get through it, but you don't really get over it. x

    1. Thank you, Nikki, you've been really supportive towards my journey (not just my infertility journey but also my life journey).

      I remember your story about your brother and how much it has impacted you. Having dark moments is a very natural thing to experience. Understand why you are paranoid about losing people like that. Thanks for sharing these thoughts and feelings with me. I'm honored.

      Love what you say about living in the moment and counting your blessings. You're absolutely right. We'll never know what happens in the next second or minute or hour. In the dark moments, it's easy to be gripped by the fear of the unknown, but there's only so much you can control in life.

      Here's to getting through whatever we have to get through with the help of friends who understand and support us!

  3. Definitely here's to getting through whatever we have to get through with the help of friends who understand and support us.
    Thank you for saying I've supported you through your infertility journey and life journey, it makes me feel happy that you know I'm here for you and I hope I've helped in whatever way I can. It's funny isn't it, we've never met (yet!) but we know each other and understand each other pretty well!
    Thank you for listening and understanding with my brother. I seldom mention him, it's a habit of mine, but I know you would never brush over my comments when I do speak of him. I guess it encourages me to open up.
    Hey, let's live in the moment when we can and count our blessings. And do you know what, one of my blessings is reading your blog and getting to know you, and when you take the time to comment on mine.

    1. Thank you, Nikki. You've just touched me so deeply with your words. (((HUGS))) You're definitely one of those online friends I really want to meet. Someday, someday. :-) I don't remember anymore how we "met" online, but I'm thankful that we're at least blogging friends. :-) Btw, I'm going to meet Ting Ting again soon he he...

      I love reading your words and your life stories. :-) So it's my pleasure. And yes to living in the moment and counting our blessings the best that we can! :-D