Friday, October 06, 2006

Thoughts on Anger

I think anyone who's been diagnosed with infertility has a good working relationship with anger. We're angry this happened to us. Angry that our bodies don't work the way they're supposed to. Angry that what comes so easily for completely horrible, abusive, and generally undeserving people is so hard for us. We get anger.

Back before our diagnosis, I thought I was managing my anger pretty well. Infertility made me sad, it made me frustrated, and it made me scared, but it rarely made me angry. Our assumption was that there was something chemically wrong with my body. That hormones (or a lack thereof) were causing my spotting, which was the root cause of our infertility. I was okay with that. I'd made a kind of peace with the knowledge that there was just something inherently wrong with my body. Then we found out that we were wrong. Yes, I do appear to have a luteal phase defect, but that wasn't why we weren't getting pregnant.

When I first heard what my doctor found during the lap, I wanted to cry tears of joy. If I hadn't still been coming out of anaesthesia, I probably would have. I was elated--it felt like the huge weight of "undiagnosed" had been lifted from my shoulders and that everything would be okay from here on out. What I didn't know then, and what I've been learning for the last three weeks, is that having a diagnosis comes with its own set of emotional baggage.

I found out that three years ago I had Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. I don't know if I've been that specific here before. I know that I've written "infection" but I don't think I've come out and said PID. There's a stigma associated with STDs that I wanted to avoid. I can't. It happened. Just a week after my wedding, I came down with an infection that permanantly impacted my ability to have children. Life is cruel that way.

Which brings me back to anger. Every day I struggle not to let anger take over. I'm angry that I got such a pointless, stupid disease. Angry that it happened to me of all people. Angry at the knowledge that this was preventable. That I didn't have to go through it. Angry that it was something I did.

I know that anger at this point is, well, pointless. Why waste energy being angry over something I can't change? Over something that I didn't intentionally cause? And yet, knowing and doing are very different things. The more I try to rationalize away the anger, the more it seems to bother me. It comes out in odd ways. A random comment by a (fertile) acquaintance about things she did before getting pregnant has me seething. Seeing article after article about pregnant celebrities (especially Anna Nicole Smith, who seems like the last person in the world who would be a good mother) makes my blood boil. Why me instead of them? Why did this happen to me?

So, I'm angry. I can only hope that it goes away as I come to terms with everything I've learned in the last month. We're heading to the RE. My OB/GYN wants us to wait, J would prefer to wait, but my gut is telling me that would be a mistake. Getting aggresive might not make the anger go away, but I think it's the right thing to do.


The Town Criers said...

I think this is such a great post. And something I think about a lot. Is having a diagnosis in hand a happy thing if it (1) can't be treated or (2) causes anger/regret? I think we all want answers, but once we get them, it isn't always the closure or hope we thought we would get. Well written.

Carlynn said...

I relate hugely to your post. I am so angry; so angry I can feel the vitriol bubbling up inside me. I had HPV and a conization to remove the abnormal cells which seems to have drastically reduced my chances of falling pregnant and of carrying a child to term. A year into infertility, I was diagnosed with diabetes which I think is linked to the stress of the infertility. And now I am angry; at myself, at doctors, at ex-boyfriends, but mainly at myself. And like you say, what does it help? What is the point of being angry when you cannot change it? But how do you stop?

I think your decision to go straight to a RE is a very good one. I am always an advocate for aggressive action. It does help you to feel better.

Bonvivant said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I have recently had 2 early miscarriages, and it is a very isolating feeling to be angry when very few people know or understand the event that has happened. Just acknowledging the feelings are real is validating.