I pride myself on being quite self-aware. I do my best to reflect on my actions and my words before going forward; a practice not demonstrated by many, it seems.
Since the rise of the Internet, many individuals have been handed a platform to wave their flags of idiocy, bigotry, racism, intolerance and ignorance proudly. A place for people to hide behind a screen and a keyboard while they type said opinions with a perception of anonymity; uncaring of whomever they may offend. A place where children and teens are bullied mercilessly because it seems that the fear of being punched in the face as a repercussion for the words that come out of their mouth no longer exists behind the safety of a screen. A place where people air out dirty laundry, know no boundaries and share every injustice they perceive to have encountered (yes, I see the irony here).
Lately I have struggled more and more with those individuals and their actions. I have taken to not reading comments following articles or on social media (unless directly related to someone I know). I have chosen to remove people from my life should they prove to not exercise restraint or show the ability to be compassionate towards others’ situations.
I made the mistake a few days ago to read comments following an article about IVF funding in Ontario. In October, it was announced that approx. 5,000 people will receive funding for one round of IVF, not including medications. The day I heard this news, I couldn’t stop smiling, crying, shaking and smiling some more. The timing just seemed to be right for us as we have been meeting with Doctors and completing our screenings. This to me was a sign. The provincial government gave themselves two months to figure out the details; stating that funding would start to roll out in December 2015. I called our clinic immediately to be placed on the waiting list as we were hoping that by the time they called us, our donor would be done breastfeeding her child and we would be able to move forward with the process.
A couple of days before Christmas, it was announced that details still hadn’t been confirmed but it seemed as though individuals looking for IVF would either be entered into a lottery or triaged. This didn’t sit well with me… our lottery luck (or significant lack-there-of) has proven itself repeatedly over the years and my condition isn’t technically deteriorating (can it even get worse when you’re completely lacking the required eggs?). So again that leaves us stressing about the financial aspects of this process. As previously stated, I scrolled down through the comments of the article and couldn’t have regretted the decision more. Everyone commenting was making statements about how IVF shouldn’t be funded, how if people can’t naturally conceive they should be adopting, how we don’t deserve funding because being infertile is not life threatening or threatening our well being. What a joke. Tell me to my face that I don’t deserve to experience the joy of having a family of my own. Tell me to my face that my infertility doesn’t affect my personal wellbeing. Tell me to my face how you can look at yourself while spewing your ignorance and hate to virtually anyone who will listen.
I was FURIOUS but I was at work and had our employee Christmas party immediately following so I plastered a smile on my face and made it through the night. The following day, I was an emotional wreck, the state in which I remained for a solid 24 hours before I got off the couch, brushed myself off and focused on the holiday season that was upon us. On Christmas Eve, those feelings returned when I saw a post on Facebook from someone in the ‘Mom Club’.
I call it the ‘Mom Club’ as my generation of moms on Facebook have managed to present as a united front, an exclusive club where they post things that clearly only other mothers will understand with the required accompanying caption “To all of the mommas <3”
These posts have been getting to me lately as I read it as “But not for you…. you’re still not a momma” and that hurts a little bit more every time. However, on this particular evening, one of the ‘Mommas’ posted this:
And I almost quit the internet.