“There are all types of courage,” said Dumbledore. “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies but just as much to stand up to our friends.”
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
When I was 25, I met up with a couple of friends on the corner of Chestnut and Fillmore Streets in San Francisco. As I walked across the street, in the crosswalk, legally, a red BMW 325 whipped around me and honked. A guy inside the car screamed: “Move your FAT ASS, BITCH!!”
I will never forget that moment as long as I live.
Everyone knows words hurt. Even when you are in a particularly good place, as I was in that moment (newly in love with Darcy, healthy, young and vibrant). But imagine being in a really sad state. When you are sad and vulnerable, you can be pierced to the soul by some venomous words, like these of Amy Haible of Maine. Amy Haible commented on the latest NY Times article:
Adopt, adopt and adopt. Our overpopulated world has too many beautiful children without parents. There is no small amount of ego in needing to have ‘your own’ child. Like #15 said, relax, let go, have fun. And there are worse things than not being able to conceive.
40 people recommended that comment, by the way.
I doubt Amy Haible of Maine knows or cares how much hurt she dished up in those 46 words.
No wonder so many people suffering through infertility turn to the anonymous, nurturing and incredible online community. So many of us are raw, down, hurt. Some of our babies have died. Some of us have waited years for adoptions that have fallen through. The last thing we want to do is welcome the Amy Haibles of the world onto our virtual, friendly front porch. She is our nemesis.
But the truth is many of us know Amy Haible. She’s our neighbor. She’s our cousin-in-law. She’s our former co-worker. And we are connected to her through Facebook.
When the now infamous Facebook meme happened, many of us cried when we saw the endless faux pregnancy announcements, which turned out to be a misguided at best attempt to raise awareness for breast cancer of all things.
Some really brave bloggers dared to call out the Facebook meme. Stand up to their friends and tell them why what they were doing was offensive. Write about it on their blogs.
They state quite eloquently, much better than I could, why this meme hurt.
And after bravely posting and standing up for the infertility community, Mel and Elphaba began to get comments from the Amy Haibles of the world.
Well, I stand with them.
So go ahead. Make your mean-spirited comments. Bring it. Because you are petty and cruel.
My name is Jessica Carroll Jaffe. I am infertile.
This is me and a puppy.
Nothing you can say will change my mind. Because I read this tweet today:
This is what infertility feels like.
And no words you can spew will hurt worse than feeling this way.