Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Happy and Sad at the Same Time

Infertility robbed me of my own little family. I didn't get to have kids. And my marriage didn't last. After realizing we weren't going to be raising children, my (now ex-) husband and I didn't want the same things out of life and went our separate ways. Yes, I have a boyfriend. Yes, we live together, and I love him and his family. But... Things are still up in the air. Changes that need to be made haven't happened yet. He is not my husband, and I treat the relationship differently than I did my marriage. Just being honest.

So, it's just me.

I have a lot in life. My home, my health, my jobs, my hobbies. Food to eat. Books to read. Shows to watch. Friends to text. My parents are alive. And I can always call one sister in particular knowing she'll be there for me.

But I don't have my own little family.

I'm not the first person anyone is going to call with news, be it good or bad.

When I get together with my parents, sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins, I am the odd man out. I don't have a spouse. I don't have a child. Everyone else is part of a little unit, and I am by myself.

It's far from being the worst thing in the world. I like myself. I couldn't always say that. In high school and college I didn't understand all of my feelings and often got on my own nerves. But now I give myself grace and enjoy my own company.

But still... I'm not even on social media and Thanksgiving provided some stinging reminders. I got a couple of promotional emails from companies I like, but they included big family photos of everyone's spouses, children, and grandchildren. As resolved as I am about my CNBC situation and as happy as I am in the awesome life I've created for myself, it still hurt to see proclamations of gratitude for what I will never have: a family of my own.

Infertility sucks.


  1. I feel the same in many ways. This time of year is bittersweet in many ways. I have a hubby and have been proclaiming more than ever before that we are a family of two. Family gatherings are times of joy, but also solitude. There is always an internal struggle with being happy about my freedoms and fighting my desire to be the cool Aunt or good in-law. Be gentle with yourself...you are AMAZING. I am sorry this time of year highlights all the loss...

    1. Family gatherings ARE a time of joy and also solitude. That makes sense to me.

      What I've lost is almost always on my mind, but I try and remind myself of all that I have too to maintain perspective.

      Thank you for your comment. <3

  2. Dear Phoenix,
    I know that this is a poor consolation... but vast majority of your readers (including me) don't have a family of our own.
    But this is our life. Here and now. And we have to make the most of it.
    But how cool is that: you have wonderful pen-friends from literally all around the world. How cool is that!

    Yes, I agree. Infertility sucks.

    Sending much love from sLOVEnia.


    1. You are right. So many people do not have the families they wanted. Even the people who have their own families didn't necessarily get what they dreamed about. It's complicated and not easy for anyone.

      You are also right in that this is our life. And it is a good one! And it is sooo super cool to have friends around the world. After I graduate, I'll be able to work more so I'll be able to save some and then I'm planning trips to visit EVERYONE. :)))

    2. Travelling... how cool will this be! I am looking forward to meeting you one day <3

    3. I am very excited to visit Slovenia several years from now. And I am very thankful I have things in life to look forward to! <3

  3. I wish the expectations of family-ness weren't so high during this time of year. I wish that we could just enjoy being where we are ... that would be gratitude. This year was complicated because my mom has stage three cancer and my brother's kids have been sick and my mother in law STILL isn't vaccinated and my husband tested positive for COVID ... so we couldn't do the crazy family thing. But I was grateful for some quiet time, and I wish that Hallmark (and everyone else) would lay off the Norman Rockwell. <3

    1. Yes!! The expectations of family-ness are so high in November and December. I completely agree with you in wishing we could all just enjoy where we are.

      I'm glad you got some quiet time this holiday, but I hope everyone in your family is feeling better/well.

      "Lay off the Norman Rockwell." Lol!

  4. I wish I could give you an actual, real-life hug. This time of year sucks when you feel like an outlet from the onslaught of FAMILY FAMILY FAMILY, and probably even more so when you feel like an outlier within an outlier. I was talking with some people (parents) before Thanksgiving while volunteering for a robotics competition, and they were like, I'm not ready for Thanksgiving, are you? And I said nope. They talked about their tables of 11, 14... And then I said, "2" and they looked at me like I was nuts. I didn't elaborate. Ha. But, I also am seeing my friends who have no children or spouse posting pictures of festive guinea pigs, or their dog and Santa, and I love that they are also like, it's me, and me.

    💜💜💜 Big hugs for the duration, it's terrible when it feels like those family moments that will never be as depicted are everywhere, rubbing lemon juice in a wound that's healing but never quite closed.

    1. I don't remember it affecting me like this previously. But, I was married for nine years. I got a lot of comfort and security from being married. I loved my husband so much. But this is my fifth holiday season without him and he was never into the holidays anyway, so I'm not quite sure why I'm feeling the lack of family so much. Probably because wherever I go, it's just me. Like with my family. Or my boyfriend's family. His sister has little ones and even he got to raise kids that are now grown. Of course, more stability in my current relationship would be welcome... Maybe that is it. Oh, but now here I am rambling about very personal stuff on a very public forum... Just another day in the blogosphere I guess, haha.

      Thank you, Jess. <3

  5. Oh dear, I really thought I'd responded here already. Oops. Sorry!

    Yes, it sucks when we are constantly reminded we didn't get what we wanted. It hurts less for me now but it can still leap up and bite me when I least expect it.