Is There a Ghost?

 Have you ever read another post that you felt you could have written yourself?  Have the words ever rang so true that you said aloud, “That is exactly what I am going through.  How did she know?”  Recently, I found two such posts.

Each post talks about how we feel a certain “otherness.”  Ask any infertile and she will tell you she feels “other” when every woman around her conceives and births babies with relative ease.  But, there is another type of otherness that runs on such a deep psychological level that I can scarcely put it into words.

 Mel writes:

“It would be as if Alice went into Wonderland, found another Wonderland, and then found a third Wonderland in that, and then had to go back to the real world and interact with people who don’t know what she has seen, how deeply she went into the otherness.”             

Most people don’t realize the impact infertility has on you socially.  Before infertility, I was never a social butterfly, but I was a “people person”, at least on the inside.   I was part of things.  I had a connection to those around me.   I was a team player and one of the best.

But then I fell down a hole and went to Wonderland and haven’t been the same since.   I have known uncertainty, despair, numbness, transvaginal ultrasounds, RE’s, injectable drugs, and an empty bank account.  How am I supposed to waltz back to the cheery land of fertiles where conceiving a baby is as easy as laying on your back?  Where a fertile’s biggest problem is whether she’ll paint her nursery blue or pink?

MissConception compares the feeling of “otherness” to being a ghost.  She writes:

“The ghost isn’t able to communicate or interact with living people and is also unable to crossover to a place of peace. Ghosts are stuck in limbo, somewhere they don’t belong or want to be.”

As infertiles, we are stuck in limbo land.  We don’t fit in with our friends who have been blessed with babies and babies galore, yet we don’t fit in with our carefree, single buddies either.  We may be lucky enough to know another childless couple, but as we all know, it is just a matter of time before they drop the P-bomb on us.

Until I read this post, I didn’t realize it, but I am also a ghost.  I am not a ghost because I separate myself from others.   I am a ghost because I have been separated from myself.  Like Alice, I fell down a hole and went to some type of Wonderland.  Unlike Alice, I must have had my eyes shut the entire time, because I can’t tell you what the hell happened to me on the inside while I was there.

Every day, I see people.  I hear them.  I think they think they see me too, but they don’t.  What they don’t understand is that it hurts for me to be around them.  They may know uncertainty, but they don’t know my uncertainty.  They may experience despair, but they don’t know my despair.   They have not felt what I have felt; they have not seen what I have seen.

Like a ghost, I am trying to find my way–to somewhere.  I don’t choose to be in the place where I am.  I want to be part of the lives of others but my “otherness” puts a river between us.  I wish I could open myself up, say to others:  “I used to be someone.  I used to be me.  This is not me and this is what happened to me, “–but I cannot.    

All of this ghost talk reminds me of a song that came out a couple of years ago by Band of Horses.  The words are:

I could sleep when I lived alone
Is there a ghost in my house?

Literally.  It kinda just repeats over and over.

The song lacks a complex literary structure and has a completely moronic video where someone goes around stealing people’s pillows, but the song rocks.  It may have been a promo for one of those crime shows at one time.  Here’s the video, just to give you an idea of how the song sounds.

Is there a ghost in your house?



14 responses to this post.

  1. I completely 100% agree with you. I felt for a long time that I was always looking down on myself from above. I was making all the right motions but it was as if a piece of me was missing – perhaps a piece of my soul was missing.

    I can feel a little of the old me coming I do feel more joyous and happy and I hate that I had to technically beat infertility to get there. I was so determined not to let infertility define me, but it did. It still does now when people who fall pregnant easily complain about silly things. There is one girl on my birth board that is always crying. I don’t understand why? Since I have fallen pregnant it is like my crying has stopped. Sure it isn’t always a bed of roses but why are you crying?


  2. thankyouthankyouthankyou for this post. TODAY! I was having a hard day because I was feeling like a spoiled child for not wanting to socialize with anyone- because I just don’t know how to anymore. I have always been that social butterfly you talked about, but there are only about two people I want to be around. Ever. The Hubster and my coworker who is dealing with infertility as well. We share a cubicle wall (we have half cubes) and are constantly popping up and whispering all day, but I ignore everyone else. I felt like the biggest witch ever today so thanks for letting me know I’m not alone. I like to think I have this little secret club inside my little secret world and that makes me feel like I can face the world with a smile.


    • You are welcome. I know you know what I mean about being in a different place. It is something that you have to experience to really understand. One of the bloggers compared it to a soldier who was returning home from a war. The soldier has seen things no one else has and has no way to communicate this to anyone. I feel like that a lot of the time.


  3. Yes, I don’t feel anyone I know understands. Even my partner, who is totally supportive does not understand the feeling of betrayal by my body 😦


  4. This post really hit home for me…THANK YOU for it! And strange enough, I LOVE that Band of Horses song. I randomly came across it a few years ago before any of the TTC nonsense, but it spoke to me then, and it definitely speaks to me now.


  5. Posted by katery on April 22, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    hi, it’s katery from infertile myrtle. you left a comment on my blog earlier asking about endo symptoms, and the answer is yes, i did have a couple of symptoms. first, i’ve always had horrible cramps, but i didn’t know any different so they didn’t seem that unusual to me. second, when i was in my 20’s i had an ectopic pregnancy which required a laparoscopy, why they didn’t look around to see if i had endo then i’ll never know. although i had symptoms, it is entirely possible to have endo with zero symptoms, i have blogger friends who this has happened to. unfortunately, as i’m sure you know, the only way to truly diagnose is with surgery.
    i can definitely relate to becoming non-social when i was dealing with infertility, it consumed my life and i didn’t know anyone in real life who was going through it, that’s why i started my blog, it helped me tremendously, i hope yours helps you too 🙂


  6. Posted by katery on April 22, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    p.s. i love band of horses 🙂


  7. This post was beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Whenever I feel alone, I always find posts that remind me we all feel alone. Thanks for sharing


  8. […] possible way. It makes you rethink your friendships/relationships with other people, changes you socially, tries to rip apart your relationship with your partner and takes you on a  constant nighttime […]


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