The trauma of divorce and infertility:

Carol RoachStarred Page By Carol Roach, 18th Jul 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Mind & Spirit>Mental Health

Life issues, especially family issues at the heart of everyone and affect their mental health in either a positive or negative way.

Everyone's life is different

This series will deal with the case histories of two Montreal women working for the same company in Montreal. Both of these ladies whose names have been changed to protect their privacy have different family issues, yet their pain is just as deep. One woman is deeply suffering from the inability to have a child, while the other woman has just come out of a divorce.

Montrealers, like women everywhere have different priorities

Everyone's life is different

Montrealers have different priorities on what is important in their life in regards to what would or would not make them happy. Some people ask if human nature is such that we will never be truly happy?

Of course you will argue that there are people who are truly happy and they will tell you that they have all that they want or ever will need. Needless to say these people have truly found the meaning of life.

There are they Montrealers in the middle who say, "my life is generally happy, but if only I could have a house, or new car or find the money to put the kids through college etc." Usually with these people there is always something that comes up for them to want to say that they are not completely happy.

Finally you have the shattered souls, the people that are going through a personal crisis so devastating that they just can't seem to get past it and nothing on this earth will ever make up for that which they are wanting the most. In time some of the these people are fortunate enough to get past these crises and move on with their lives.

Some never do and are forever wallowing in pain and suffering. Still others, for whatever reason call it bad luck, karma, or poor life skills; either way you slice it, there is one crisis after another throughout their lifetime.

Case History of Catherine from Montreal interviewed by this examiner – she tells her story in her own words

The very first job I had was in a factory, I was 17-years-old and I had to sit on an assembly line sticking pieces of cylinders together and I hated it. I was looking for other work and found one by word of mouth. A friend of the family had worked in an insurance company before she was married and told me to go and apply. I did and I got the job. I stayed in that insurance company from the time I was 17 to 27, my teenage years, and my marriage pretty much took place and ended while I was still at that job.

I held a few positions in the 10-year span that I worked for the company and the last department I worked for was the pre-authorized cheque department, which eventually emerged with the claims department after a restructuring. Our little department of two; Gertrude, and myself who was a level above me, now expanded to include two extra employees and more work. We had new people to work with and of course, new challenges to meet. These challenges ran parallel to the challenges I was facing at home.

By the time I transferred to the claims department I was divorced and this happened to be the first Christmas I would be alone with my son. It wasn't easy, I was young and my son was only three-years-old. He was missing a father at Christmas time and I was feeling really bad for both of us.

My First Christmas in the Claims Department

The Claims Department had people of all ages, Gertrude the girl I worked with from the pre-authorized cheque department was my age, single and happy to be that way. She was what we called "an old maid" in those days, but she claimed she liked her life just the way it was. She was studying and had no time for boyfriends and the complications a relationship brought when she worked all day and went to school five nights a week.

I couldn't understand her at that point in my life, she was alone and loving it, I was alone and hating it. Nor could she relate to me being lonely either and made comments like,

"Well you were married," and, " being alone is great, you can do whatever you want"

“Hardly," l would say, "when I have a 3-year-old to take care of."

Then she would show just have much she didn't understand my feelings by saying, "Well my mother raised three children by herself."

I got the inference she was making loud and clear.

The other people in the office were either young and had boyfriends, or older and happily married. My issues were inconsequential to them as well and they too were happy it was Christmas. The whole office was in a joyful spirit.

Christmas in the claims dept

My First Christmas in the Claims Department

Then there was Lise

Lise was a young married woman who was trying for three years to have a baby to no avail. We talked about the Christmas season and how the only thing she wanted for Christmas was a baby. She told me if she could get pregnant for Christmas she wouldn't care if there were presents under the tree or not, no present in the world that her husband could give her would ever be better than a baby.

She also knew that I was depressed spending my first Christmas without a husband or father presence for my young child. I too told her that that I wanted a man for Christmas, actually I had made a joke about it.

You see at Christmas, the department always exchanged small gifts and when the girls asked me what would I like just to give them a few ideas, I joked and said, "a man, do you think you can get me that?" They all laughed, they did not realized how much truth was really hidden behind that joke, but Lise knew.

They say be careful of what you wish for, you may just get it. In early December 1980, Lise collapsed at work; she was rushed to the hospital by ambulance. Lise was pregnant and even she, didn't know it. The problem was it was an ectopic pregnancy. Instead of the fertilized egg traveling to the uterus as it should have done, it attached itself to the fallopian tube and was getting too big for the narrow tube. They had to remove the tube. To complicate matters, Lise had only one good ovary, and now that one of the tubes were removed her doctor told her the chances of her conceiving was very slim.

She was devastated; all the joy seemed to leave this woman once she came back to work. She no longer was the same quiet but smiling woman. She did her work without even raising her head. She no longer participated in conversations, but, she did talk to me once or twice after that.

The dispair caused by infertility

My First Christmas in the Claims Department

Lise never even had the chance to feel pregnant, she mistook the bleeding she experienced from the egg in the fallopian tube for her period as it occurred at the same time as her normal period. If it wasn't for the incredible abdominal and pelvic pain she experienced that day at the office she would never have known.

She did know she was at risk for an ectopic pregnancy since she only had one good ovary, she thought she would have been better prepared to recognize the signs.

She said

" I would give up my husband whom I love with all my heart, if it came to a choice between being married and having my own child. I don't want some other woman's egg for my husband's sperm to fertilize, I don't want to adopt someone else's baby, I just want my own child, my own blood, nothing more, nothing less."

I had my baby but no husband, she had a loving husband but no baby, our situations were reversed but boy did we understand each other's pain.

Personal client.

All photos taken from the public domain

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Coping With Divorce, Divorce, Ectopic Pregnancy, Finding A Man, Finding A Partner, Pregnancy

Meet the author

author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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