In mid-December, 2005, I was told that I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I know people get diagnoses for things like cancer and AIDS and real diseases which can kill you, maim you or leave you totally devoid of a normal life.  But this, being told that I would probably never get pregnant and have babies

it was devastating.

     I spent the next three years fighting that diagnosis, the stigmas that went along with it, the loss of faith, hope and direction.  I was meant to be a mother.  I didn't know why it wasn't going to happen the way I'd always imagined it.  I was ashamed.  I was alone.

     It wasn't until the finalization of our child's adoption that I began to find others like me.  Good women.  Awesome women.  Righteous women.  Women who had absolutely no reason to feel the shame I felt so engulfed in.  If they had no reason to feel shame, why should I?

     So a few months later when we decided to do fertility treatments, I decided to write about it.  Because I couldn't be the only one who cried when a friend announced a pregnancy, couldn't even venture to the side of the mall Motherhood Maternity was on and avoided baby showers like the plague.  

      I wasn't.  And I'm not still.

     I read a quote once that said that the problem with women is that we tend to compare the worst in ourselves with the best we see in others.  

      I feel like perhaps a woman's life is like an elaborate tapestry.  On the outside, the part that everyone sees, is a beautifully woven piece of artwork lovingly crafted and expertly woven.  Perfect.  Flawless.  Intricate and delicate.  A thing of beauty.

      This is the part of everyone else's lives we see.  The front part.  The part that makes them look like they're perfect, without strife and without ugliness.  It's easy, it's flowing and it's beautiful.

       The reality is the backside.  Ever flipped over a tapestry or needlepoint?  There is this vague idea of what may or may not be on the front.  Thread knotted everywhere, colors you really don't remember seeing on the front, loose ends, criss-crossing every which way.  

      Everyone's life is like this.  Everybody's.  No matter how perfect their life seems, no matter how much we try to pretend we live in this beautiful charmed flawless fairy tale, the reality is that nobody does.  People pretend or put up only their tapestry front, but nobody can make a beautiful life without some stumbles, knots and mistakes.

     Where we fail is not in having the knotted backing, but in thinking we are the only ones who do.  We feel like ALL we are is that knotted ugly mess.  

      This is why I write.  To show, proudly show, my knotted backings.  I like everyone to see the beautiful tapestry too, but I feel like the knotted part makes the front all the more interesting and beautiful.  

      Despite my infertility and struggles, I have a beautiful tapestry of a life.  I'm blessed.  I know it.  But the background is what makes it that much better.

     Don't be ashamed of your knots.

      They're what really holds everything together.


Just Me. . . . . . Nora said...

Today this hit really close to home. I appreciate all that you write ash, it's reality at its most raw moments.

Kristy said...

I just found you from a post on Lindsey Redferns facebook page. I have only read a little bit but I love you already :)