I knew it would happen. It has already happened. My job of coordinating marriage and family life has blended with my personal life. Sometimes it's a good thing. When I can share The Man's and my story and help others; when I can offer words of undertanding and prayers for someone else with divorce parents; and when I can share my reversion and be a witness to Truth. This week, this whole month I have the feeling, it is a hard thing. I won't say bad because it is an opportunity for growth, but growth is never easy is it?
Late last week I gave an interview to our Catholic Newspaper about Infertility Awareness week. The Editor of the paper happens to be on the other side of a long IF journey herself (her son is 6 months old), and we have talked before. I was not worried about doing the interview as I knew it would be behind a closed door with an understanding person. She even let me see the article before it was printed which is not usually done. It is exactly what I wanted. It is not personal to me at all, but it is authentically Catholic, gentle, and helpful and if only one person feels less alone as a result of reading it, it will be worth it.
Then, today is editing day for the newsletter I publish each month. One of the secretaries is our proof-reader and I've already proofread the article I wrote about IF Awareness Week and asked my boss to read it very closely (she knows our story) because this secretary and I are like oil and water - and she is sometimes very harsh with her proofreading reports. I knew I needed to be able to take the criticisms and suggestions about commas and spacing just as I would for any other article, and while again this is a general, not personal article it is so close to my heart that I was worried as to how I would respond. As this secretary finished reading this article, she came over and I admit, I cringed when she said "I was reading this article about infertility..." but then she proceeded to tell me about this couple that she prayers for every night that has been trying for a year and a half and who just last night she found out that the unmarried sister is pregnant. She of course continued with how bad she feels for the IF couple and how hard it is going to be to tell them and yada yada yada. All things that any normal person would have been able to engage in a conversation about and express the same concerns and opinions.
Instead, all I could do was say "yes, that is a difficult situation," and fight to hold the tears back. When the topic of children comes up and I have nothing to offer, I often wonder if people suspect our IF, or if they just assume I'm a career-driven woman using birth control. But now I wonder if, in this situation and others, I just come across as heartless?
Don't get me wrong, there is a piece of me that is grateful that my office is mostly unaware of our IF (my boss and one other person being the exception), but there are times it would be kind of nice if they not only knew about our IF, but also knew exactly what to say and do (or not say or not do). Ha! The hilarity of that statement - I barely know what to say to me, let alone what someone else should say to me.
The lines between my job and my life are blurred, and while there are of course some things that stay private, this blurring is usually a good thing. But at these times when life and work intersect in ways I don't anticipate are when the tears must be hidden, quickly and on the spot. When I can prepare myself, when I know what is coming, I can put the walls up, but when I'm caught off guard the only thing I can offer is silence and hollow words, even when there is a piece of me screaming out to be seen and understood.