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