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Sh*t That Makes the Invisible Visible, AKA Sh*t That Breeders Say.

Posted by S. Fenella Das Gupta, Ph.D., Neuroscience on with 3 Comments

By Fenella Das Gupta, Ph.D., Neuroscience

 

 

You HAVE to see this!” was the comment posted with a link on my Facebook wall. Now armed with a good excuse to avoid doing laundry, I clicked and the You Tube video viral “Sh*t White Girls Say To Black Girls” started playing. I laughed til I cried and that was my introduction to all kinds of Sh*t that people say.

Creatively pushing the envelope, these videos are now flooding the internet. ‘The Sh*t that ..’ formula is delicious mixture of  mimicry, controversy and thought provoking material. In a heart beat, we instantly get it.  

In fact when you watch these clips, lengthy explanations aren’t needed as they provide an exquisite mirror to our experience. It’s as if the volume is suddenly turned up and a bright light shone on our foibles and ignorance. Yes, these videos work because they aren’t original one liners, but mindless repeated statements made by even the most evolved folk. In fact, if you watch enough of these videos, you recognize yourself as both the Sh*t sayer  and the Sh*t recipient.

For those with infertility, these kinds of micro insults form part of daily life. How many times in a day do you have to explain to others that you don’t want to adopt or that it’s actually not a cure for infertility?

The cumulative impact of the cloddish remarks takes its toll on those trying to conceive. Mild irritation quickly turns to outrage as judgment is passed on one’s fertility status; “you’re defective” or “doing something wrong” being the damming verdict.  

Irrefutably for those in the know, the lack of understanding fast becomes a bore and it’s no wonder that those struggling to conceive have little tolerance or patience for their fertile counterparts.

However as I watched my own video start playing (‘Sh*t That Breeders Say’), I was able to put my anger aside and ponder an important question. Isn’t it strange that what seems incredulous and appalling to me -the  Sh*t recipient, is actually thought to be helpful by the Sh*t sayer?  

Of course if these kinds of comments go unchecked, tensions rise as does the resentment. But going into long explanations to help the Sh*t sayer understand why her comments are inappropriate, quickly starts to feel like an energy drain.

So what can be done?  Learn to disarm from their harm.

The last thing you want is for your body to feel tenser than it already is during this time, so learning to disarm from their harm will feel empowering. This is easier said than done, but partly your internal dialogue about the situation can change if you can ask yourself the question: is it possible that if I didn’t know better, or if I was fertile, I too might fall into the trap of asking stupid questions?

For myself, if the truth be told, I know I suffer from foot- in mouth- disease more often than I care to admit.

In more ways than one, the line between ‘them’ and ‘us’ is thin and ‘Sh*t That Breeders Say’ is really about the struggle that exists- for both sides.

Fenella Das Gupta is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist ( #47275) working in Northern California,specializing in fertility counseling. She works with individuals and couples as they make their way through the fertility maze. The other part of her work includes making fertility issues a newsworthy item, as she writes for the Petaluma Patch-a subsidiary of the Huffington Post. To read more about fertility issues in the news go to http://petaluma.patch.com/users/fenella-das-gupta-phd-neuroscience-mft/blog_posts

Comments

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Galina Nesterova May 24, 2012 8:40pm

I want to thank you Dr.Das Gupta profoundly for raising such important issue of psychological drama that women experienced infertility has to go through on the top of grieving infertility. society needs to recognize the burden of the fear of the possible loss of the most important love of motherhood that all of us women going through infertility treatment undergo and uncertainty of the future. The amount of stress and even psychological "postraumatic" stress disorder in those who never can conceive even with medical help is huge.
I believe it is a beginning of such movement and AFA may be should create services and means to do further research and even advocate for civil rights of these women in society.
Thank you Fenella, again, you are great human being!

Dr. Galina Nesterova

Fenella Dasgupta1 May 25, 2012 8:59am

Dear Dr Nesterova,

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments here.

You bring up an important point that my post doesn't go into- namely, the legacy of infertility and these kinds of comments. The fear and the stress of being in a culture where "most people have kids" cannot be underestimated. The PTSD can be huge and bleed into many areas of life, which is then reinforced by our cultural setup and norms.

Those who take the time to support/comment on these kinds of postings about these issues are increasing awareness, supporting women's civil rights IN ACTION..... thank you .

Fenella Dasgupta1 May 25, 2012 9:08am

Dear Dr Nesterova

Thank you for taking the time to comment

You bring up a very important point that my post didn't go into. Namely the legacy of living with infertility in a culture where the dominant society has no struggle with the issue. The fear and stress is enormous and cannot be underestimated. PTSD like symptoms are experienced for the first time and stress the patient, adding salt to the wound.

Those who take the time to comment on these kinds of issues are supporting the civil rights of women, adding to their voices so that one day this issue will ring out loud and true and action taken. Thank you