Friday, November 10, 2006

Failure and Guilt

I am a failure.

Mr. Webster, I will need your help in defining the word and to explain.

fail‧ure –noun 1. an act or instance of failing or proving unsuccessful; lack of success: His effort ended in failure. The campaign was a failure. 2. nonperformance of something due, required, or expected: a failure to do what one has promised; a failure to appear. 7. a person or thing that proves unsuccessful: He is a failure in his career. The cake is a failure.

As you can see, there were many more definitions. I will focus on the ones that apply to me.

As I said before, I am a failure. It has been brought to my attention that I have failed or proved unsuccessful in trying to have a child. Due to my nonperformance of pursuing extraordinary measures of having a child, I have failed. And therefore, I have proved to be even more unsuccessful. As I have proved above, I am a failure.

Why does this bother me so? Well, because I have never truly failed at anything. I used to joke that my parents gave me the initials of the grades they did not want to see in my report card; C, D, and F. Usually, I can work hard at something. Put all of my energies and try to change a potential failure into a success.

With trying to conceive, I can’t do any more than I have. Yes, I could face facts and go to the next step with my husband and enter the world of ART. But at this point, I am not ready. Because ultimately, I know too much. I know that ART is not a guarantee. And if I am having this much trouble with my current failures (25 months fast approaching 26), wouldn't it be safe to assume that further failure may put me over the edge? After all, if I and my body failed at ART, then we would be the ultimate failure. Mentally, I cannot survive that at this point.

So, what can a failure do? Well, if you are me, you feel guilty. Yes, add that to the bag.

Mr. Webster a definition please. guilt–noun 2. a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined.

Again, it consisted of a couple more definitions. But, this is the one that makes the most sense. I feel guilty over a failure that I ultimately have no control over and fell guilty that I am not strong enough to pursue stronger measures. Guilty for my absolute failure and fear of failing more.

Before this consumes me, and it is very close to doing that, I will be visiting with a counselor who has dealt with infertility herself. Maybe she can make me understand that I am not as terrible as I feel. That I can't possible be a failure, because nature failed to give me the working hormones to accomplish this task, and therefore my feelings of failure and guilt are misplaced.

Ultimately, it is irrational that I think of myself as a failure or feel guilty. Because there was no way of succeeding. It was Nature's failure, and therefore she/he should feel guilty. Maybe.


Anonymous said...

Good post. I share a lot of these feelings right now... I think we all have at some point or another.

I am ALL ABOUT infertility counseling. I don't want to say that my IF counselor saved my life, but I do credit her with helping me preserve my sense of self.

EB said...

Who on earth told you that you were a failure? Because I obviously need to kick their ass!

It's not failure for anything - you cannot fail at something you have no control over. And clearly even in this day and age the science of fertility is still a mystery to mankind.

Maybe try to look ahead to the things that ARE in your control - how is the house hunting coming along?

When and if you are ever ready to discuss the idea of adoption please let me know - I have recently learned so much about adopting thru the state system of DCYF. Not only is it free but they offer so much support to parents during and even after the adoption! Once you get approved you could literally have a child in your home within weeks. I will not approach this topic again until you are ready but I just had to put it out there to remind you of the options still available to you. All is not lost - simply delayed......

Sending you BIG hugs!!!

Joei said...

You are soooo not a failure! A failure is someone who gives up because it is too hard. A failure is someone who whines about things, but does nothing to fix them. A failure doesn't seek out other routes to success. A failure GIVES UP! You are not giving up, and your route to parenthood is just taking different twists and turns. You are a SURVIVOR with a beautiful soul whose dream will come true.
Many, many hugs!

Somewhat Ordinary said...

I've had a very similar conversation with my husband about his feelings of failure over a possible MF diagnosis.

You have no control over what happens to you in the case of IF, but you have a choice in how you handle it and the steps you take to overcome it. It isn't our fault we are dealing with infertility-it was the hand we were dealt and we've got to figure out the best way to make it through. I've read your blog for sometime and you are handling it amazingly.

Letting it all out to a counselor has helped me-I highly recommend it!