I've had a bit of writer's block for the last month or so. I think it's from exhaustion. I can barely believe how tired I got from that spring semester.
But writer's block is similar to how I'm feeling conversationally with people. I don't know what to say these days. I'm at a loss for words. I don't know how to talk about my life without giving people the impression that I'm interested in their opinions.
Basically I'm sick of the script.
You know what I'm talking about, where the conversation predictably goes from kids to treatments to adoption to foster care. If people actually knew what they were talking about, that'd be one thing. But... It always seems to be the fertile people wanting to engage me in these topics.
Them: Do you have kids?
Them: Oh, why not?
Them: Which one is yours?
Me: Oh, I don't have any kids.
Them: Well, you better get on it. You're not getting any younger.
Them: So you don't have children?
Them: Wow, what do you do with all of your free time?
Them: No kids, huh? Are you gonna try IVF?
Them: Have you thought about adoption?
Them: Well, there are a TON of kids in foster care...
Or any other variation of conversation that inevitably ensues when I'm talking to a parent and they learn I don't have any kids.
My mother is always telling me I need to "educate her" because she doesn't know what it's like and she doesn't know how and when she's being insensitive. To that I told her, "It's exhausting being in the marginalized population and always having the expectation that I will be educating others." Not only that, but I don't actually want to talk about my trauma all the time. Go figure. What may be a simple conversation for others may be an extreme act of labor on my part, one that will stay with me for several days.
So I get stuck. I don't want to talk about my infertility conversationally, but, at the same time, I don't want my reality to be completely ignored. I just wish there was a place for my reality in this world.
No, I don't have kids. No, I can't have kids. No, it's none of your business.
Yes, I know about fertility treatments. No, I'm not going to discuss what I've done or not done.
Yes, I know about adoption. Yes, I know about foster care.
No, I am not going to go into the detailed, time-consuming conversations my husband and I have had where we've discussed everything and came to our conclusions.
I mean, seriously, wtf people??
Do people really think this is an appropriate/comfortable/light conversation topic?
I'm pretty good at coming up with snarky comebacks, but I want to figure out what to say to redirect the conversation politely. For those situations where it's best if I'm not rude (like, in a future work setting). I'm trying to think of things to say ahead of time so I don't get caught off guard in the moment. The approach I'm currently in favor of is to answer a question with a question. Just do anything to make them talk, instead of me.
Some of my ideas:
Why do you ask?
What was your experience (with treatments/adoption/fostering) like?
Are you familiar with the process?
Or maybe I can stick with noncommittal murmurings:
You don't say.
Isn't that interesting.
Anyway, just thinking out loud. Writer's block. Feeling stuck in conversations. Words just haven't come easily for me over the last month or so... Just trying to be prepared for the future.
Please feel free to share any ideas you may have! :)