Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The pain Olympics

If you hang around TTC boards for a while, particularly if you end up dealing with infertility, you come to know all about the pain Olympics. You know, the "my pain is bigger than your pain" kind of argument that can quickly degenerate into hurt feelings all around. The contest where we get offended at people who TTC'd for 5 months saying "finally". The prize fight where the primary infertility sufferers face off against the secondary infertility sufferers in the "who has it worst" sweepstakes. I have taken part in it myself, though largely consider myself past all that now. I think I may have moved into that weird and mythical place called "acceptance". My path in this is shit. It is what it is. Your path is also shit. Who wants to debate different degrees of shitness when having a stinking pile of green pigeon shit dripping down your forehead is not pleasant at any time?

Anyway, outside of my ovaries (what? Is there anything outside of my ovaries??) I sometimes hang around on other chat boards. And I'm finding that on some types of boards there are other pain Olympics. Immigration boards are particularly making me laugh right now. Now sure, immigration is shit, particularly post 9/11. I feel particularly shat on because I was in the US pre-9/11 but my employers pulled a fast one and didn't apply for my green card until several years later. I didn't know at the time this was going to be very very bad for me. I do now. I could be off doing interesting things by now if I'd have known and pushed for action years ago. As I said, my path in this is shit. It is what it is. I find that acceptance of the TTC shit has moved me to acceptance of a whole lot of other shit in my life so I'm not going to sit around and whine. But the similarity with TTC boards is frighteningly funny sometimes. There are a whole host of abbreviations - EAD, AOS, GC, DOL, LUD that you need to know to be in with the in-crowd. There are the excited newbies, there are the anxious types who get freaked out by every little thing, there are the laid back bitter veterans and there are the pain queens (though I should call them kings as I guess most of them are guys). The ones that post when someone says "finally got my GC after 542 days!" and say "try 2278 days before you say finally".

OK, so I'm easily amused. I probably shouldn't laugh. But you know, fellow infertiles, we are not alone. The pain Olympics go on all over the place. We all squabble and bicker and think we have it worse than others. And that makes me feel less alone, somehow. Less like I am an outlier in an otherwise healthy population but rather that we all have our own shit to deal with and we all compare and get jealous when things don't go our way. You know, like we're all just human.


Kami said...

"someone says 'finally got my GC after 542 days!' and say 'try 2278 days before you say finally'."

THAT is funny.

Secondary vs primary infertility is serious. ;)

Ok, maybe that is a bad example, because I am still in the primary camp and think one child would be better than none (I suspect most people dealing with secondary after primary would agree)

I do think the pain olympics gets out of hand esp. in chat rooms. That is what I like about blog land. You hear so much more about what lies behind the pain. It is hard not to empathize when you have a better understanding.

Big hugs for everyone in the shit.

calliope said...

wow. this was a great post. I guess for everything we compare.
man, what a bummer.