Group

First, thank you all for your care and concern and for double checking on me (soulshine).   It means a lot to me. 

I’ve been hanging in there but still in my own head, no progress.  If you can count progress as attending a group (infertility support) session tonight, then I’ve done that.  I started out meeting with a therapist one-on-one.  After 3 sessions, she told me she was starting a group.  We talked about how it would be and if it would be good for me.  I said that I’d only be interested if there were people my age and somewhat in my shoes.  She thought so, telling me that there were some girls my age and nearing the end of the road, considering other options, but she did say there were also some in their 30s.   I thought that sounded good, so I decided to partake.  

The majority of them are in their early to mid 30s and are doing freakin’ IUI’s or their 1st or 2nd IVF.  And the older gals, there are 3 of them, have only done 1 or 2 IVF’s.  They have high FSH and low response, something I don’t have or didn’t have as of the last testing, but they are still quite green.  There was one girl who is 28 who wasn’t sure if she should join because she can get pregnant very easily, but has had 3 miscarriages, all unexplained.    She was balling her eyes out saying that she doesn’t really think she belongs but just moved to the area about a year ago and doesn’t have many friends (none with IF issues).   The therapist said to the group that she thought she belonged and that if there are any triggers that get anyone sad/upset, to let her know.  There was one girl who was 36 and just did her first IVF and thought that she couldn’t go through it again, that it was too much.   A 29 yr old thyroid cancer survivor who still has eggs and is gearing up for IVF.  A 32 yr old doing IUI’s that didn’t know what FSH was.  A 40 yr old who is pre-menopausal who got pregnant on her own recently but m/c, who did 2 IVF’s but can’t afford egg donor or adoption.  And so on.

Why the f did my therapist think a vet like me who is on the brink of moving on with adoption while contemplating gc would fit in here!  Now I feel like I owe it to these ladies to continue….for 10 freakin sessions, almost every other week, that end in the beginning of Oct.   

I told them my pathetic, twisting, long history and where I’m heading.  I said that I have a lot of experience that I can share.  I guess I’m that person again….the helper.  I’m thinking that is my role in life.  To help other people, to give of myself but to not be on the receiving end.  This is how I am, always helping, always being the one to fix things, work hard to solve the problem (because everything is solvable, except IF), make invitations, make quilts for gifts, go to showers, go to birthdays, lend that ear, give that shirt off the back.  

I think this may be the reason the therapist thought I would be a good fit.  She was trying to round out her group….with the hopeful 28 yr old and me as the hopeless but surviving 41 yr old. 

I do think she is a great therapist, don’t get me wrong.  i enjoyed our 3 individual sessions.  I just think there may be alternative motives.  Maybe she had so many clients now and starting a group would be a way for her to streamline her sessions so she could still support people but also take some time off for the summer.  There are like 12 people in the group @ $35pp = $420.  It’s less than what she would with individual sessions, but that’s good cake for 1.5 hrs of time. 

Or maybe she is sick of hearing the same thing and wanted to minimize her exposure to the hormonal IFers.

Or maybe she really does think this will benefit everyone.  There are common threads that she keeps referring to that don’t change no matter where you are in the journey…they only change when you move on, either with adoption, through birth, or with final acceptance. 

I will sleep on this over the next few days even though I made the committment.  She wants everyone to go to all the sessions, which is good…she takes it seriously.  I know I could look at it like I will donate some of my time, experience, stories to those wet behind the ears, for their greater good.  But, I have to think it through and decide if it’s right for me.   I need to be protective of my delicate, vulnerable self right now.    I am exploring serious, specific options and don’t want to jip myself with the “lower level” type conversations….I’m hard core …unfortunately!   I guess, having gone to C. CRm and done CC.S, and with all my history, there just aren’t that many people in this world who “get it”.    It would take a lot to get a group together that would be right for someone like me.

That’s why I am thankful to have all of you!

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lost in Space
    Jun 15, 2011 @ 00:28:09

    Ugh, I’m sorry the group was a bust. If you’re only going to continue going for the sake of helping others, I think it’s okay to bail. If it could help to tell your story out loud to others over and over, then maybe it could still have some use for you. Sometimes it’s less about what others say and more about what we ourselves say that helps hit things home. It has to feel right to you though.

    FWIW, the first and only support group meeting I went to turned out to be the first meeting after a long hiatus because the group leader had been out on maternity leave. The pre-group talk included questions about the baby and requests to see baby pictures…by infertiles! And wouldn’t you know it that on that same night that same group leader also shared her pregnancy announcement. The group has since ended, but I never went back for another meeting. I get enough of that kind of torture from my fertile friends.

    Sending hugs…

    Reply

  2. LisainSK
    Jun 15, 2011 @ 06:45:26

    Hey Daisy…so nice to hear from you. Thats how I felt about my local IF support group. With my specific and complicated diagnosis I felt like I was miles ahead of everybody and felt like the helper too. Thus I stopped attending…I got nothing out of it. So guage what’s right for you as you need all the energy you can spare for you as you contemplate adoption and gc. Take care.

    Reply

  3. R
    Jun 15, 2011 @ 09:35:50

    Hey Daisy,
    Its good to hear from you… I totally get what you mean about not fitting in with those groups. My IF therapist also runs groups sessiosn, but I don’t go because I always feel like an outsider. That noone can know what its like to be told you need DE and/or GC at 30 on top of my other stuff.

    But, I have also spent a lot of time with newer IFers and sharing my experiences has helped me in many ways too. I guess if you could continue you private sessions AND stay in the group I think you might gain the best of both worlds.

    I feel I’m rambling and I’m sorry about that. Jusy know that you are on my mind and I so hope soon that the decision for which way to go. None of this is easy. I’m here supporting you.

    Reply

  4. soulshine
    Jun 16, 2011 @ 22:29:52

    also glad you checked in with an update- always thinking of you and hoping things are alright with you…

    first, i agree that it is good you have an online community with which to share this stuff- you are a true vet and finding irl people to relate to is like finding a needle in a haystack. and you need support, to be listened to and to be understood!

    i wish there were more people in that irl group who could ‘get you’, but it sounds like they are in a different time zone in terms of their journeys. personally, i couldn’t do it- you are paying big bucks to get support- not to be a helper or a listener for other people- there is probably not a lot of support for you there. i would either stick to individual sessions, or maybe seek out a different group if there was one to be found. i agree that it could be beneficial in some ways… i guess you will know what feels right once you give it more thought.

    i am remembering when i was first ttc, not getting pregnant, the IF was dawning on me, and meeting a woman who was miles ahead of me in the IF department- i couldn’t relate at all to the feelings she was having- she seemed so bitter (ha, little did i know…). i was useless to her, and i guess i just feel that its like dating a teenager when you are in your 30’s… it doesn’t really mesh well because of the 2 completely different places you are in. iui’s, first time ivf’s, they don’t mesh with what you are facing and have already been through- which unfortunately is a lot. i really wish you had a better mix of women who would be able relate better to your reality.

    while i do not and can not understand exactly how you are feeling now, i do understand how it feels to be an odd man out, to have to live with ‘unexplained’, and questions that have no real answers. foe me, it was such an alienating experience. and while i wish i could say with confidence or some kind of internal-knowing that you will find exactly what you are hoping and longing for, i know that is not helpful- we all want you to get that! what i really want for you is to be able to find that spark to illuminate the right path going on into you future- something that will help fuel your journey in a positive, sustaining way, to lift you out of the doldrums. i hope that didn’t sound wrong… it just seems like you are ready to move forward in some direction, but certain things need to meld and fall into just the right spaces, and maybe listening to iui-stories is not what you need to help have that happen.

    again, i think of you so often and hope you are well.

    Reply

  5. Pearl
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 00:34:56

    I don’t think you owe any of those ladies anything. If you keep going, do it for yourself, if you feel it helps you. If it does not, find something else to do, something that really makes you feel better.

    Reply

  6. fate0fthecookie
    Sep 04, 2011 @ 19:20:08

    I think I can understand how you felt about the level of ‘diversity’ in some of these support groups. I felt more depressed than uplifted after having attended one of them a few months ago. I met some really great women along the way and even gave out my contact number to one of them but they didn’t call back. Some women also didn’t understand what FSH was, some women were just beginning to do infertility testing, and some women were onto their fourth and (maybe) last attempt at IVF with donor eggs. My heart went out to everyone of them. Never wanted anyone to go through this.

    Reply

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