Each time my treatment failed or my period came, I became hardened to that pain and became deaf to my loved ones soothing words.
Their sympathetic repetitive phrases used to drive me mad and the helpless look on their faces as they struggled to find anything to say to help me was almost as painful as the despair itself.
I did feel sorry for them. I did long for them not to feel any pain and often, once the realisation that we had been unsuccessful yet again had sunk in, I’d start to dread telling friends and family, knowing that they too would be hurt once more.
Recently, I was supporting someone I have known for years through her fertility treatment. This time, her fourth cycle, she seemed to be passing every hurdle brilliantly and she got further than she had ever got before. And then she shared her tragic news. It was not to be.
Whilst I have supported a number of girls through negative tests, miscarriages and failed cycles, this one hit me harder than any before. I was convinced it was their time. I had no words. I literally did not know what to say to her and for the very first time I wanted to get on the phone to my Mum, brother, sister in law, big sister, friends and wider family and say how utterly sorry I was for everything I put them through. For all the times I growled as they tried to find something to say. For all the grunts when they said they were sorry for us. For all the times I left the silence between us as they struggled to make me feel a little bit better.
It was horrid. I felt useless. I realised just how hard it had been for those around us.
In the end, after expressing my sorrow of course, I used the words with her that I found to be the only words that helped me. “It’s shit”
I found in saying these words to friends and family, it let them off the hook in trying to find clever words to fix the situation. There are no words, there is no fix, the situation is just shit. I knew it, they knew it and actually, bluntly acknowledging the fact always made me and them feel better.
They say swearing demonstrates a poor vocabulary, but when all else fails – who gives a shit?!