I feel like I'm about to tell the teacher that the dog ate my homework.
I had really wanted to write a full review of Silent Sorority by Pamela Tsidginos today, but I'm unable to finish the book right now.
I'm about halfway through; it's wonderfully written and brutally candid in describing the emotions of her journey. Emotionally, however, I'm just not in the right head space to continue reading it. This isn't a preemptive bad review or anything - far from it in fact. I'm very drawn to Tsidignos' writing style and narrative.
Emotionally, it's just too hard to read right now knowing what the "end" of her journey is. Spoiler alert: her memoir recounts not only her long and difficult journey with infertility, but their decision to live childfree.
I'm totally aware that this is an even smaller, quieter voice in the ALI community and that it's important to raise awareness about those folks who do choose to move on. That's why I think it was amazing that RESOLVE recognized this population within the ALI community by selecting Silent Sorority for the Hope Award for Best Book last year. It was an honor to meet Pamela in person, too.
Her book is far from hopeless - it's just her descriptions of failed treatments are so vivid and intense that I'm finding myself emotionally overwhelmed. I know that the rest of her book focuses on their decision to move beyond treatments and her journey to regain her confidence and sense of purpose. I know full well how the book ends.
It's just plowing through the book to get there that I'm struggling with so much right now. Folks, I have to be totally candid here: I've never experienced anything like this before. I have forced myself to read books I can't stand (I'm looking at you, The Great Gatsby and The Scarlet Letter and just about every other required reading book from high school) and produce reviews and term papers before. But this time, I just can't do it right now.
As I tried to finish the book this morning, I had to put it down. It triggered a full-blown emotional panic attack. As much as I want to separate myself emotionally from the book to deliver you a full review - I just can't. I think it's because of the fact that we haven't yet begun treatment that it's too hard for me to read through a book that describes failure after failure, at least in this much intensity.
I think it's the reason that I do know the ending that makes my reception to this different than say, Good Eggs. Even though Potts' story was ultimately unresolved as Tsidignos' is, there's still that hope that Potts will parent. I know that Tsigdinos will not. And where we are right now, it's a thought I just can't entertain in my mind.
I have immense respect for the author's journey, her blog, and what I've read of her book so far.
I just can't finish her book right now. It's just too painful for me to read.
That said, I both encourage and challenge others to pick up this book and finish it. If you have read Silent Sorority, please do share your thoughts of the book in the comments.
You can also check out my other infertility book reviews from the summer:
- Conquering Infertility, by Dr. Ali Domar
- Inconceivable, by Carolyn and Sean Savage
- Good Eggs, by Phoebe Potts
And with that, I need to go calm myself down and get out of this emotionally overwhelmed headspace right now. Maybe go make myself a cup of tea and watch mindless funny cat videos on YouTube or something. I promise to come back at some point with a full review of Silent Sorority. Right now I just need a little non-IF related self-care right now.
See y'all Monday at my brand-spankin' new WordPress digs.