Time Warp Tuesday: To Publish or Not to Publish?

I wanted to quickly mention SPOILER ALERT! that the “How I Met Your Mother” episode tonight (which I broke my rule of never watching a show out of sequence for) absolutely broke my heart. I already loved that show, because I feel it portrays so well the allure of the white picket fence and Frank Capra way of life and contrasts it with the road less traveled. But this episode depicted a brilliant, sad, bleak but true tale of infertility. I think someone on the writing staff must be in the know.

OK: on to this week’s Time Warp Tuesday post! I actually suggested the topic this week and am THRILLED that our brilliant and thoughtful hostess Kathy chose it. From Kathy’s description:

As Bloggers we often share openly and candidly about our lives, experiences, hopes and fears. As a result, sometimes we may have second thoughts about publishing some of our blog entries. Choose a post from your archives that you were most afraid to publish. Then write a new post on your blog about why you chose the post that you did and what has happened in your life since.

I had one post in mind when I proposed this topic. It’s this one, where I revealed my real identity to show support for the courageous bloggers who opposed a ridiculous and hurtful Facebook meme. The incident is worth revisiting, because the negative reactions they received are at the heart of what we fight in our battle for public awareness of infertility.

It’s a pretty ballsy post, I must say, as I reread it. I call someone out for a mean comment and put my face and name out there. I don’t think I would have done this if:

A) I hadn’t reread “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” the night before. JK Rowling is a hero to me, mainly because she instills in her readers a good sense of what courage is and why we should stand up for those who are being bullied and worse. I think she teaches us that we need to fight for the good and the kind and those in need. And that is NEVER easy, but if you look at history, those who ignore or appease or join in evil are everywhere. That’s a simplistic explanation of course. But that doesn’t make it untrue.

The mean things people say to our faces and in comments online about infertility are acts of aggression. Amy Haible’s comments are ignorant (clearly she knows NOTHING about the adoption process!) and are meant to injure those who read them. To put such thoughts out there to the world at large is something Lord Voldemort would do. And, to AGREE with such statements is ALSO terrible. Is it as evil as committing genocide? No, obviously not. But infertility silences its victims. So many are unable to stand up for themselves, because of depression (which infertility causes: yes, causes), because of shame, guilt, taboos in society. I was afraid to speak up, too. No one wants to be told “Just adopt. It’s because of you orphans are starving.” Or “Natural Selection is why you’re infertile.” Or myriad other pitiless things that are untrue and painful.

But I’ve crossed the finish line. I have children. I am LUCKY. So I thought, bring it on. I can probably handle it better than those who are in the middle of the battle. When I was in the middle of the battle, I was often unable to socialize at all, let alone defend myself from “bon mots” about how God meant for me to be barren.

I was lucky, again. I received 41 comments on that post and they were all supportive. But I know one day I’ll get a nasty response.

But dammit if I’m not going to fight the mean comments for all those who can’t.

B) I thought the wonderful bloggers who took a stand against the BS to begin with needed to be told that their efforts mattered, that solidarity needed to be shown. Putting my face out there seemed to be the best way to do that. Elphaba, Mel and Keiko deserve many, many kudos for their eloquent, brave posts.

Looking back on the post now I feel a little wary, still, that I can be googled so easily. Future employers can read all about my infertility advocacy: that may limit me in some way at some time. I was pretty open about my infertility to friends and family, but my twins may suffer some fallout. Kids are the biggest bullies of all, as we all know. There were some BIG considerations at play when I revealed my identity.

But in the end, life is short. I believe that infertility awareness is where breast cancer awareness was twenty years ago. I think that hearts and minds, maybe, can be changed. Not in people who have poisonous marrow and bitterness growing in their souls and feel the need to lash out at others. But I don’t think most people are like that. I guess I believe in the good of most people.

I’ll conclude with another Dumbledore quote.

It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

And so, I’m glad I chose to publish this post.

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9 Comments

Filed under Time Warp Tuesdays, writing

9 responses to “Time Warp Tuesday: To Publish or Not to Publish?

  1. Great post thanks. I really enjoyed it very much. You have excellent content on your blog.

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  2. There are haters out there, just gotta ignore them, because more of the time, they dont know what they are saying.

  3. I’m glad you did too… hugs.

  4. Thank you for doing the Time Warp again with us this week and for suggesting such an important topic! This was the hardest week of Time Warp for me, since I started this blog hop/writing exercise, as it was painful for me to revisit the posts that I was most fearful of sharing.

    But I echo what Esperanza said in the conclusion to her post this week: “I never realized until writing thing post that my most nerve-wracking publishing experience turned out to be the most rewarding. I’ll have to remember that next time my pointer is hovering above the publish button.”

    I feel the same way. When I came out about my blog earlier this year and also (in a separate post, the one I chose to reflect on for this topic) when I shared about our decision to donate our remaining frozen embryos for stem cell research, I was afraid of the wrath I might get from people for various reasons. When I came out there was pain that followed and though it was hard to work through, I don’t regret my choice and think it was worth it. As for the post about our frozen embryos, like your coming out post, so far no one has attacked me publicly for our choice, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future. I did receive a lot of validating comments on that post, which meant a lot to me.

    I am as proud of you today as I was the day I first read your post in September. I am sorry that I didn’t comment on it prior to today to share that with you. xoxo

    I love the quote that you ended with here and can’t wait to read the Harry Potter books with my son in the new year (he is getting all 7 books and all 8 DVDs from my parents for Christmas)!

    Thanks again for doing the Time Warp with us this week and for suggesting this awesome topic!

    Lastly, thank you also for the heads up about the “How I Met Your Mother” episode. I don’t watch that show regularly, but have enjoyed it in the past. I started watching the episode online this morning and intend to finish it later. I appreciate when television shows tackle IF and loss and do it in an accurate, sensitive and respectable way and look forward to seeing what moved you to share about it here.

  5. Esperanza

    What a great post. That was a ballsy move. I remember thinking so then and I still think so now. I wish very much I could put my own name out there but with middle school students interested in cyber stalking I just can’t risk it. I SOOOOOO appreciate all of you who can, and do, stand up for those who can’t using your own names and IRL identities. Because we all know that even our friends can be insensitive, sometimes to the point of being cruel, either out of ignorance or some other strange and twisted emotion.

    Also, I had no idea you got so many comments on that. That is AWESOME.

    You rock lady! YOU SERIOUSLY ROCK!

  6. Pingback: Time Warp Tuesday: Post Publishing Fear « Where Do We Go From Here?

  7. Thank you so much for writing this and for suggesting the topic!

  8. Just had to come back and tell you that it took me longer than it should have (because our internet service sucks and is too slow), but I finally finished watching the How I Met Your Mother episode and it was really well done. Thanks for the heads up. I agree that someone writing for or closely connected to the show has likely been touched by ALI. I wish more shows would address our community’s experiences more often and do it like this.

  9. I remember that Facebook thing. That was long before I started blogging. I remember being so upset about it. Almost everyone I knew did it. My best friend didn’t though because she knew about our situation. That was a great post. Thank you.

    I just love How I Met Your Mother! I haven’t seen that episode yet (on DVR) It is probably going to be a little difficult to watch, but I will probably be happy that the show is bringing up the topic.

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