June 06, 2014

I Don't Want to Talk About This

I always minimize my browser when I'm reading infertility blogs or websites and someone walks by. I have NEVER brought an IF related book out in public. Phone conversations with my sister while I'm at work are intentionally as vague as possible (since we both have IF from PCOS, many of our convos are on these topics).

I want the people around me to be aware of infertility, but I don't necessarily want them to be aware of MY infertility. I'm not interested in having that conversation with most people, even people I see every day. And to that end, I want to be in control of whether or not I have that conversation and with whom. But people see a book or a website open and think it is an invitation to start asking questions. Not that I don't ask people about books they are reading, but only if it appears to be fiction or a biography or something. If I saw someone reading a title like "Your Hidden Pain" - I would not try to chat them up about it since it sounds like a pretty heavy and probably personal topic. I *will* chat them up if they are reading the Hunger Games.

The issue is, I don't trust other people to know how to be sensitive to me, to know what questions are okay and what questions cross the line into too personal. And I am not always in the mood to "educate" people. Sometimes I am feeling raw and vulnerable and that is not a good place to be in and then feeling like I am defending my life situation to someone.

I bring this up because, much like my infertility, I don't want to broadcast my ongoing family building efforts. But I don't have much of a choice except to haul my adoption books with me everywhere I go because I don't have time to read at home very often. I would love to leave a stack of books by my bed and only read at night, safe from prying eyes. I can't do that efficiently and these are library books.

I'm not ready to talk about this though. I cannot say with absolute certainty that M and I are going to adopt, not yet. I am still forming my opinions, still researching, still learning. And again, I'm not in the mood to educate people, it is *exhausting* and I'm too vulnerable right now. I don't want their opinions, their horror stories, their cringe-worthy platitudes. "Adopted kids are so lucky!" - Adoptees *hate* being told they are lucky. It's like when Fertiles tell us we are "lucky" because we don't have kids. Yes, there are benefits, but don't you dare tell me, sitting from your vantage point, that *I* am lucky.

So I'm not sure what to do. What is a socially acceptable way to shut down a conversation before it starts? "What are you reading?" "A book." - that seems rude. But as soon as I say, "A source book for multicultural families", I feel like I have opened the door to invite more questions that I don't want. I wish I could lie and say it's research for a class, but then I'd have to tell an avalanche of lies to keep *that* lie going.

What's weird is, I was reading the Divergence series on my Nook just before I started reading all these adoption books. I was glued to my Nook every time I had to walk somewhere because I was that addicted to the books. And one or two people from my office commented or asked what I was reading. Now that I'm carrying around adoption books, *everyone* is making comments and asking what I'm reading. Seriously, like 6 people in my office. One in particular makes a comment every damn time she seems me with a book, which has been everyday for over a week now. I GET IT, YOU SEE ME READING EVERY TIME I AM WALKING. WE ALL GET IT!

I'm being overly-sensitive, aren't I? I think maybe that is part of it. I can't help it. I suppose I could settle for the most innocuous answer to "What are you reading?" - "Oh, it's research" and then immediately go back to reading and hope they leave me alone. That's all I want. Just leave me alone until I am ready to talk.


  1. It's okay not to want to talk about it in "real" life. It's not like you are bottling it up completely--you talk about it here or with your sister when you NEED to. You don't have to talk to anyone about anything you don't want to. I sometimes don't tell people what I'm reading or listening to because I don't want to talk about it or be judged (I have varied taste in music and reading and don't need to be teased for listening to showtunes or for reading a silly romance novel). You aren't being overly sensitive, I don't think!

  2. This is your journey. It does not belong to anyone else. I have been barren since 1983 when I underwent an emergency hysterectomy at the age of eleven. I have grown up with infertility, and all of the baggage it comes with. Unless someone is going through it, he or she will never be able to understand - even those who love you the most. Take care of yourself, be patient with yourself, and don't try to explain anything to anyone if you don't want to! God bless you!