depression

Episode 108–Childless not by Choice ‘For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn’

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Childless not by Choice, where my mission is to recognize and speak to childless not by choice women and men around the world. Civilla Morgan here. I am spreading the great news that we can live a joyful, relevant, and fulfilled life, although we did not have the children we so wanted. I would also like to thank everyone who recognizes that we are not all living the same type of life.

Welcome to episode 108

  • Questions or comments? Contact me at:

Email: Info@civillamorgan.com

                                              Or

Visit the website at https://www.childlessnotbychoice.net, look to the left on the home screen and click on the link below the telephone to leave me an up to 90-second voicemail.

Let’s jump right in!

‘For sale: baby shoes, never worn.’–Ernest Hemingway.

Some say this was a short story Ernest Hemingway was asked to write. Some say this story pre-dates him. To me, regardless of the origin, it sounds like a story prompt. You know the prompts your English or history teacher probably gave you, and then you had to come up with the rest of the story.

What is the rest of the story, your story? Why not use this story prompt to write your story. Write the story you would like to see play out for the rest of your life, not the life you wish you had. Your life. Be realistic, be positive, be truthful, be kind.

If you feel like sharing, send your letter in and I will read it on a future episode.    

Before we move on, I would like to thank my Patreon contributors for their monthly financial contribution to the platform.

And becoming a Patron just got easier. The link https://www.patreon.com/Childlessnotbychoice is now on the https://www.childlessnotbychoice.net website. Just go to the home screen, look to the left below the telephone, and you will see the Patreon link.

Clicking the link takes you to the Patreon site where you can choose whichever level of contribution fits your monthly budget. It’s that easy! Your contributions are appreciated!

And by the way, that telephone on the website, there is a link below it that allows you to leave me a 90-second message. Give me a shout out. I may play your message on a future episode!

Thank you to:

https://www.patreon.com/Childlessnotbychoice

  • Jordan Morgan
  • Ivy Calhoun
  • Sandra Carzado
  • Your Name Here

In this episode, I want to talk about depression for a moment.  

According to Google, the definition of depression is 1.) ‘feelings of severe despondency and dejection.’

We’ve all been there. I remember feeling the most depressed during my 30’s.  Probably because that was when everyone I knew was getting married and having kids. I kept asking God what was wrong with me. What was it about me that other people seemed to see that I did not? I questioned everything about myself. How tiresome that was!

If you are going through the same thing now, I totally get it but try turning the conversation around in your head.

Start telling yourself good things. It may seem forced at first but keep at it. There are some great affirmations on the Home page of the website, https://www.childlessnotbychoice.net. Check them out.  

You see, if you don’t like you, no one else will. And if you don’t speak positive things to yourself, all of the negativity from the negative people around you will seep through with no filter. Be your own filter. Create healthy boundaries. Smile as you protect yourself from the ugliness of the world. You are here. Make the best of it.

Because the alternative, I’ve been there. It is not something many of us want to admit. It has taken me 108 episodes to finally admit to depression. It’s not an easy thing to talk about even to a trusted friend. I have been depressed over my childlessness. Depressed over the fact that my life did not turn out as expected–having a family, like normal people. I have wondered why I am on this planet. I mean really, what’s the point? What do I do now?

What do I do with that innate need that 99.99% of women and men have, to want children? We see children as a way to carry our essence into the future. I wanted to pour all of my knowledge into a little vessel that had my features. I wanted to teach that little person how to get along with everyone, how to use a knife and fork, how to make it in the big city or in the wide open country. I did not get to do that. Now my branch of the family tree has come to an abrupt end. How depressing is that?

Well, here are five things you can do to look that tree branch in the face and overcome the depression that can come with an abrupt ending you did not see coming.

  1. Give to your local community: time/practical items/finances/life experiences/knowledge.
  2. Ask for help from a health and wellness professional, i.e. a therapist for the mental and emotional issues. Get an exercise coach for your physical well being. When you feel good, or at least better about yourself, depression is less likely to hang around, at least not as long as it would have otherwise.
  3. Plan for your future.  Put away as much as you can for your retirement, get rest and exercise, as mentioned above, and be aware of programs in your community that are there to help you as you age, and based on your age.
  4. Fight for your mental and emotional wellbeing. This means creating healthy boundaries between you and your family and friends. I created an entire course on how to create kind but firm boundaries. .  Remember, even during those times when you ask yourself why you are here unless they are trusted confidants who understand your struggle, your family and friends do not need to know. That is what your therapist is for. It’s not that you are pretending to be OK. Pretending to be OK would be opting not to admit you are depressed or opting not to see a therapist.  You just can’t tell everyone everything. You may have not had the horrible opportunity, but there are people who exist that like to kick a person when they are down. Protect your heart. And remember, even if you are all by yourself, you are a family unit. Do not allow anyone to speak negatively into your spirit and your soul about that.
  5. Carry on. Yes,  push through no matter what. Feelings come and go. Do not allow a temporary feeling to prompt you to make a permanent decision. I am not sure who said that, but it is so true. Get the help you need, take care of yourself, and carry on. All will be well as long as you do not stop along the way, to dwell on what was not to be. It was not to be. If it were, it would have happened–naturally or by your doing what was needed to be done to make it happen, i.e. adoption. Don’t beat yourself up if the adoption fell through, or the engagement broke off. Trust me when I tell you I am thankful for the day I broke off what I later realized would have been a nightmare!  Anywhoo!

Recently I was interviewed on a podcast where the host asked if I had ever considered suicide.  Well, here is my answer. I did not consider it, but if you have, I get it. But don’t do it. I sometimes wondered what it would be like just not to be here. Would I be missed? Yes, the answer is yes. We would be missed. Not by the children we did not have. In some cases probably not by family members. Which is very sad but it’s the world we live in.

You would be missed by the impression you would have made on this planet. The impression you are making now. The impression you are working on making now. Don’t give up. Man or woman, do not give up. You are the contribution to this world! Your talent is the contribution. Your existence is the contribution. Hang in there. Push through those valley moments.

Take that sad story prompt I mentioned at the beginning of the episode, and make a beautiful story out of it. That’s the wonderful thing about us as human beings, we can turn the ugliest, saddest prompts, into the most beautiful stories.                 

Do you have suggestions for pushing through depression? Let me know so that I can share it with your fellow listeners.

Thank you for tuning in to episode 108. I posted some great links in the show notes for you on mental health, depression, and counseling for those of us who become depressed over our childlessness.   

The show notes are always chock full of great content created just for you.

Be sure to check them out!

Remember to leave me a message from right there on the website, or become a patron by clicking the Patreon link from the website.https://www.childlessnotbychoice.net.   

Until next time, bye!

Articles used for this episode:

https://www.womenshealth.gov/mental-health/mental-health-conditions/depression

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/what-is-depression

https://www.harleytherapy.co.uk/counselling/involuntary-childlessness-depression.htm

My contact information:

Website: https://www.childlessnotbychoice.net and http://www.civillamorgan.com
Facebook: booksbycivillamorgan
Twitter: @civilla1
Instagram: @joyandrelevance
Pinterest: Civilla M. Morgan, MSM
LinkedIn: Civilla Morgan, MSM
https://www.teepublic.com/stores/childless-not-by-choice


If you would like to become a one time or ongoing sponsor, or if you would like to advertise your business or an upcoming event, contact me at info@civillamorgan.com for details.

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Well, thank you for listening to this episode of Childless not by Choice! Until next time! Bye!

‘To recognize and speak to the broken hearts of childless not by choice women, and men, around the world.’

‘Spreading the great news that we can live a joyful, relevant, and fulfilled life’.

Episode 105–My interview with Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Childless not by Choice, where my mission is to recognize and speak to the broken hearts of childless not by choice women, and men, around the world.  Civilla Morgan here. I am spreading the great news that we can live a joyful, relevant, and fulfilled life, although we could not, did not, have the children we so wanted.

Welcome to episode 105!

•Patreon Contributors: (Patreon contributors are those who have taken an interest in my platform whether they fit the childless not by choice demographic or not. They have decided to contribute a certain dollar amount on a regular basis to help fund my dream of creating awareness and conversation for the childless not by choice community globally. Click the Patreon link for details and to become a Patron!)

https://www.patreon.com/Childlessnotbychoice


Jordan Morgan

Ivy Calhoun

Questions or comments? Contact me at:

Email: Info@civillamorgan.com

                                              Or

Visit the website at https://www.childlessnotbychoice.net, look to the left on the home screen and click on the link below the telephone to leave me an up to 90-second voicemail.

Bio/Intro:

Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos (Sig- DIN – us) is an author, blogger and women’s health advocate. She emerged as a reluctant spokeswoman in 2008 after a health reporter from The New York Times asked if she’d be willing to openly discuss her infertility experience. Pamela discussed the stubborn persistence of the infertility condition and the lack of a cultural framework to process the losses associated with being childless not by choice. The New York Times feature story that resulted produced astonishment and relief that someone candidly addressed the trauma of failed IVF and legacy of infertility.

Soon thereafter she wrote what became an award-winning book called Silent Sorority. It became the first memoir on infertility not authored by a mother, Pamela’s writing explores the complicated, disenfranchised grief and identity issues that accompany involuntary childlessness. Now more than a decade outside of the grief she once felt so viscerally, she educates and writes about the false promises and limitations of reproductive medicine and the personal and social impacts that accompany failed IVF.

She is the co-founder of the grassroots initiative ReproTechTruths.org.  When she’s not researching and writing she enjoys discussing history, Indie films, documentaries, politics, current events and literature with extended family and friends.

Questions:

  1. In one of your articles, I read that childless not by choice women quote ‘have more time to confront our feelings than the mother who is busy raising or trying to have kids.’ That statement made me a little nervous as I’ve always believed that when we have too much time to think we can go to some dark or negative places, and sometimes that is good, as going to those places can help a healthier mind process and bring thoughts back to a good place resulting hopefully in a positive outcome of our processing. But what do you say to the woman who is still grieving and maybe not quite dealing with negative thoughts properly?      

2)  ‘It is quite striking to see that women who do have children but still wish for more children report poorer mental health than those who have no children but have come to accept it.’  This is a quote from your blog ‘Fess Up. What Are Your Blind Spots?’

In that article you made two great points: 1) if you or probably most childless not by choice women had had the child, they, we, wouldn’t grumble about the fact that these women should be happy they got the one. And 2) human nature tends to maintain a level of loss if we don’t get everything we wanted, i.e. the number of children we really wanted. I will be honest, one of my biggest pet peeves is to hear a woman murmur about not being able to have more children. I always want to say ‘are you kidding me right now?’   


3) The rest of us — we didn’t even make the cut as outliers — no graphics on the number of women who came away empty-handed after extensive (and expensive) fertility treatments and no graphics on the number of failed adoptions. That would be a great project for those of us running childless not by choice platforms, groups, etc, to gather that information from our readers, listeners, and followers?  

4) There is no ‘welcome to the club kit’ for childless not by choice women. We see the rites of passage, but we don’t get to partake.  What should we do instead? What is our rite of passage, and passage to where?

5) As I read the article your blog ‘Prince Harry and I Agree: Bury Grief at Your Peril’, your new neighbor upon hearing that you and your husband were never able to have children and she says ‘you can have one of mine’, I found myself thinking how far we have come as a society to be able to talk about childlessness, but how far we still have to go when people are still using that old, tired line. How far along are we, do you think? Do you think we’ve only just scratched the surface in 2019?  

6) In regards to Erik Erickson’s ‘Generativity versus stagnation’ stage–stage seven of his eight stages of the theory of psychosocial development’, (This stage takes place during middle adulthood (ages 40 to 65 yrs).  What can we do as we become older, to help alleviate that helpless feeling that we will leave the planet leaving nothing of consequence behind? Asking for a friend.

 

 Books, Articles, Blogs, by Pamela Tsigdinos:

https://blog.silentsorority.com/pope-prejudice-reinforce-negative-views/

https://blog.silentsorority.com/placing-motherhood-on-pedastel/

https://blog.silentsorority.com/grief/

 

https://blog.silentsorority.com/how-about-a-time-cover-story-on-women-who-arent-moms-or-childfree/

 

https://blog.silentsorority.com/blindspots/

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003PJ7D3U/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Silent Sorority is an award-winning book. It reveals with candor, humor, and poignancy the intense and at times absurd experience of adjusting to a life as a “non-mom” when nature and science don’t cooperate in the family building department. Outside of the physical reckoning there lies the challenge of moving forward in a society that doesn’t know how to handle the awkwardness of infertility. With no Emily Post-like guidelines for supporting couples who can’t conceive, most well-intentioned “fertile” people miss the mark.

https://www.seleni.org/advice-support/2018/3/6/accepting-childlessness-after-infertility

https://www.coming2terms.com/2007/02/03/just-the-beginning/

https://www.coming2terms.com/2009/11/01/the-ultimate-test/

https://www.simplypsychology.org/Erik-Erikson.html

Generativity versus stagnation is the seventh of eight stages of Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development. This stage takes place during middle adulthood (ages 40 to 65 yrs).
Generativity refers to “making your mark” on the world through creating or nurturing things that will outlast an individual.

People experience a need to create or nurture things that will outlast them, often having mentees or creating positive changes that will benefit other people.

We give back to society through raising our children, being productive at work, and becoming involved in community activities and organizations. Through generativity, we develop a sense of being a part of the bigger picture.

Success leads to feelings of usefulness and accomplishment, while failure results in shallow involvement in the world.

By failing to find a way to contribute, we become stagnant and feel unproductive. These individuals may feel disconnected or uninvolved with their community and with society as a whole. Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of care.

 

Pamela’s Contact information:

Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos
Award-Winning Author & Top Health Blogger
Connect: ptsigdinos@yahoo.com
@PamelaJeanne

Check out ReproTechTruths and the #UnmaskingIVF campaign

My contact information:

Website: https://www.childlessnotbychoice.net and http://www.civillamorgan.com
Facebook: booksbycivillamorgan
Twitter: @civilla1
Instagram: @joyandrelevance
Pinterest: Civilla M. Morgan, MSM
LinkedIn: Civilla Morgan, MSM

Thank you for listening to this episode of Childless not by Choice. I appreciate it!

Until next time! Bye!

‘To recognize and speak to the broken hearts of childless not by choice women, and men, around the world.’

 

‘Spreading the great news that we can live a joyful, relevant, and fulfilled life’.

Is Childlessness a Crisis?

What does crisis mode mean to you? I believe it means something bad has happened or is about to happen to an individual or group of people.

I Googled the word Crisis, and this is what I found:

  • a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger.
  • “a crisis point of history”a time when a difficult or important decision must be made.
  • The turning point of a disease when an important change takes place, indicating either recovery or death.

That last point is intense.  ‘…indicating either recovery or death.’ Death is not always literal. Do you think a woman who finds out she will never have a child could go into crisis mode? Do you think she could die without dying, just checking out of the rest of her life?

I asked that question on Reddit, ‘could finding out you will not be able to have children send you into crisis mode?’ I got one response: ‘humbly, no.’

I respect that opinion. But I believe we are all guilty of the fact that we do not think deeply enough about most issues or most questions we are asked.  To be fair, I did not ask this on Reddit, but what if the woman’s marriage, livelihood, even her safety, depends on whether she had a child or not? Could it be a crisis then? 

Consider this: A landslide in a faraway land killing hundreds of people is sad. We feel bad for the survivors who lost loved ones and now must rebuild. But unless we were in the middle of that landslide, feeling bad about the situation is about all we can do. Jumping on a plane and going to help any way we could, might be a bit much and most likely unaffordable for most of us.  Besides, isn’t that what organizations like The Red Cross is for?

If we think about all the very sad and scary situations going on in the world right now, we could become overwhelmed, maybe even immobilized or depressed, right? Don’t we have enough to deal with in our own lives?

By now you are probably asking ‘what does she want me to do about any of the world’s situations, or about the woman who cannot have children? Good question, because really, what can you do. It is her problem. We can feel sorry for her, but that would be about all we could do. And besides, how is a woman in danger because she cannot have children, why would she be in danger just from being childless?

Most of us do not realize that in 2017, it could be dangerous for a woman to not be able to bear a child.  Living in the Western world, a childless woman can, for the most part, go through life unscathed by the shame, fear, and stigma of being childless.  She would most likely not be beaten by her husband, divorced, or shamed by her husband’s family.  

Sometimes we miss what is going on in the rest of the world because we are just too busy with our own lives. And to be fair, that is a worldwide phenomenon.  We think the rest of the world operates like our world, our country.  And honestly, most times we just cannot be concerned with an issue that does not resonate with us.  That may be viewed as selfish, but I do not think that is the case. Life is short, and we just cannot pick up the sword for every cause.

But may I suggest that though we cannot pay attention to every issue, every cause, that we can at least be aware. We can put ourselves in that person’s shoes even as we go about our day and about our lives.  We could at least empathize. I believe awareness and empathy make us more human.  And being more human makes us less mean, less hateful, and even less scornful.

Scorn. Not a word we hear very often. But it tends to happen when we look down on someone who does not could not have the thing or things we have, with contempt.  The thing about contempt is that life has a way of taking turns.  We could end up in the very situation for which we had contempt.

May I suggest that as we make our way through life, let us remember to be kind, empathetic, and aware.

Childless not by Choice? Conversations

Hello everyone! Thanks for stopping by! In this episode, I talk about the conversations I have had with various people about their journey through the world of childlessness. In particular I discuss, in general terms, a recent conversation I had.

I also thank my sponsors and supporters in this episode. This will be the first episode where their logos/links will appear at the footer of my website, https://childlessnotbychoice.net. I am so excited to be able to promote them on my website, and thankful that they trust and believe in my platform, my dream.

I also discuss the fact that it is important to seek assistance when we have been through trauma. And childlessness not by choice is trauma.  Trauma is anything bad that was unexpected and unwanted. Bottom line.  Speak to someone you trust, do not keep your thoughts and feelings bottled up. It will hurt you from the inside out.

Contact information:

Email: civilla@civillamorgan.com

Website: childlessnotbychoice.net

Facebook: booksbycivillamorgan

Twitter: @civilla1

Instagram: @civilla1

Childless not by Choice , Radio Station Second show

This is my second broadcast for my radio show 21st Century Hannah! 21st Century Hannah is a radio show, a series of books, my platform.  In 21st Century Hannah, I speak to and encourage women like myself, who wanted but could not have children. Yes, I did try adoption, no, it did not work out. I believe the subject of childlessness not by choice is typically misunderstood and avoided in society. I believe God has prompted me to start the conversation. 

 

I wrote a 31-day devotional geared toward the woman childless not by choice. And I am working on a 365-day devotional of similar subject-matter, but more interactive. I am also working on a novel about my journey through and in the world of childlessness. If you have a similar story, or you know someone who does, this show is for you! 

Contact information:

civilla@civillamorgan.com

https://childlessnotbychoice.net

Twitter @civilla1

Instagram @civilla1

Facebook BooksbyCivillaMorgan

Pinterest Civilla Morgan

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Thanks for listening!