7. Feeling Sad vs. Being a Victim

Apr 12, 2021

This week’s topic is something I’m extremely passionate about. I remember a time when I didn’t have the tools to process the pain of infertility that I share with you here on the podcast, and I’m so grateful every single week that I get to be the instrument in shining a light on the kind of life I know is possible for you. 

Have you ever experienced someone feeling pity for you and your experience of infertility? I most definitely have, and while I know most people are coming at it from a compassionate place, it’s not the best feeling and it’s also not exactly helpful. It’s so easy for us to spiral into a mindset of thinking we shouldn’t have to experience infertility and to feel bad for ourselves, but this is simply not a valuable thought to indulge in.

Listen in this week as I show you the difference between feeling sad about your infertility and being a victim to your infertility. You may not believe me right now, but you are not a victim to things that are out of your control, and you have the power to feel happy and at peace whenever you want to. I can always find a silver lining from everything I’ve learned over the years about infertility, and I’m here to show you that you can make it through this experience too.


To celebrate the launch of the show, I’m giving away pajama and sock sets from The Slice of Sun that I have personally designed! ! They’re the most delightfully soft things you’ll ever put on your body and I’m giving away five bundles to five lucky listeners who subscribe, rate, and review the show on Apple Podcasts.

Click here to learn more about the contest and how to enter!


What You Will Discover:

  • Why feeling bad for someone or about your own experience is not helpful.
  • How to understand your power in your infertility experience.
  • What being in a victim mentality means and why it’s so disempowering to be in this place.
  • How to process your pain in a clean way to get the results you want.
  • Why you are capable of any experience you are handed in this life.


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Full Episode Transcript:

Hi friends. Welcome to Fearless Infertility a podcast for women struggling with the mental anguish that comes with infertility. My name is Jenica and after suffering in silence for too long I was able to pull myself out of the dark, take control over my mind, and create joy during my infertility experience. I’m here to help you do the same, sister. Let’s dive into today’s show.

Today's podcast episode is something I am extremely passionate about because I think as human beings it is very important to know the difference between choosing to feel sad about our infertility and being a victim to our infertility. And there is a distinct difference and in today's episode I will teach you what the difference is, how to understand your power in your infertility experience, and how to be able to process your pain in a clean way that will get you the results that you want in this life and in infertility. Let's go.

Hey y'all, welcome back to another episode of Fearless Infertility. I am so excited that you're here. Tyler and I were driving home from dinner last night. And Tyler is my husband for those of you who don't know. And I was talking to him in the car and I was just expressing to him how incredibly grateful I am to get to interact with the most incredible women on the planet.

And I love that although this isn't something we would have necessarily chosen for ourselves, experiencing infertility. I am so glad that it immediately connects us and opens up a part of our hearts that's so incredibly vulnerable. It's the thing that most of us care about the most, is our families and growing our families. And so we're immediately able to connect on such a deeper level. And I'm so grateful for you for being here.

I also get very, very giddy and excited because these are tools that I didn't have when I experienced infertility. And some of them I knew about but I didn't know how to teach them. And I've said this before, and I'll say it again and again, but I think that if I were to have spent all of this money and all of this time learning these tools just for myself it would have been absolutely worth every minute and every dime.

But I get so excited that I get to share these tools with you because if you're going through infertility, these tools will absolutely change your life. And I'm so grateful that I get to be that instrument for you in bringing this truth to your lives in such a clear and honest way that I know will be able to benefit you and I know will be able to allow you to feel joy today.

And I really strive that during every single podcast I'm able to leave you with actionable tools for you to be able to immediately take and improve your lives. And I just get so excited that you guys have access to these tools. I didn't when I experienced infertility, and there were some that I found as truth, because there's truths in the universe and I discovered some of them. But again, I could never teach them necessarily because I didn't know the structure. And now that I do, I just get so excited that I get to be here with you.

So, first I want to start out today on the podcast talking to you and sharing a little bit about the reviews on Apple Podcasts. We are still doing the giveaway where when you leave a review and subscribe to the podcast you'll be entered to win a pair of absolutely buttery soft, incredible pajamas and socks from The Slice of Sun.

I designed them; it literally took a year to design them because I wanted them to be absolutely perfect. And I wanted you to be able to really feel surrounded in love and comfort at home when you may feel alone. And I want you to put these pajamas and socks on to remember that you're not alone. You're a part of this incredible community of women who is lifting you up, supporting you, who understands your fears, and wants you to know it's going to be okay. But it's okay right now if you're not and we love you.

And I am so grateful for those of you who have left reviews. It helps others on Apple Podcasts find our podcast. There's a lot of people who have no idea who I am, they have no idea about the podcast. And I would love for them to be able to access it and find us so they can get the support that they need. So continue to leave those reviews. I will choose a new winner every week.

The winner of this week's review is username DaniSoCal15!, the title is A nice reminder that I'm okay. And the review says, “Listening to this podcast has helped to answer some questions I've had. To confirm that my thoughts and feelings are warranted. And most of all that I am not alone. Infertility is scary and frustrating, but having a group supporting you and sharing your journey reminds me that we're all going to be okay.”

I cannot agree with you more. I absolutely love that we get to share our infertility journeys with each other. Because if we didn’t, we'd have no idea that other people were experiencing it. I had absolutely no idea how common it was until I opened up. And I was blown away. And it was like the weight was immediately lifted off from my shoulders because I felt like other people were helping me carry it.

So thank you so much, please email me at [email protected] with the size that you want and your address and we'll get that sent out to you. And everyone else, please continue to leave ratings and reviews, and subscribe to the podcast so that I can help this podcast grow to help as many women as we can with infertility. And also treat one of you with these incredible pajamas and socks each week.

The idea for this episode came last night. I was sitting at dinner with some of my absolutely favorite people. And we were enjoying such an incredible time together. And we started talking about a family who had also experienced infertility. And one person at the table said, “It's so sad they weren't able to have more kids.” With a lot of pity in their voice and in the intention of what they were saying.

And this couple is an incredible couple. They have two beautiful children, and I think that they would have liked to have more kids in their family, but it wasn't happening for them. And so they have this amazing family of four.

And another person at the table said, “No, it's not sad, they're totally happy. Like they're great. They go on a lot of fun adventures together. There's a lot of benefits to having two kids in the family. And they've really been able to make the best out of it. And although they probably would have wanted more kids years ago, it didn't happen for them. So honestly, it's not sad for them. They truly believe that they have the family that they were supposed to have.”

And I thought this conversation was so interesting, because I know that the person that said it's so sad they weren't able to have more kids truly did have good intentions, because that's what they believed. But I was kind of thinking about that and for me, as a woman who experiences infertility, that I don't want people to look at me and think, “Oh, it's so sad she only has two kids.” You know? Like that’s the last thing that I want for someone to think because I don't need anyone’s self-pity.

And I don't get offended over it because I know their intentions are good. But it got me thinking about how I want to show up for other people and how I think that empowering other people is really the most helpful thing. That thought seems super sweet and helpful. Right? It seems like it's beneficial to feel sorry for someone, to kind of wish things maybe were different for them. Right? Like it comes from a good place. It doesn't seem like something negative.

But I don't think that we, as women with infertility, want people to look at us and say, “Oh, poor her. I feel so bad for her.” Right? I just don't think that that is helpful. And I never get offended when anyone treats me like that because I know that they are coming from a genuine, kind place. And honestly, even if they weren't, I still don't get offended because I'm able to choose my thoughts that I don't get offended.

But I think that what has helped me the most, I was thinking about this, and helped me to see how I want to show up for other people is that I know that I am capable of handling this experience. I know that you as a woman experiencing infertility is capable of handling this experience 100%. I have zero doubt in my mind.

And I love it when other people see that in me because sometimes I forget. Sometimes I forget what I'm capable of. Sometimes I forget that I can handle it. So I absolutely love having people in my life that instead of feeling bad for me, are aware and think the thought that this is exactly where I should be and I am more than capable of handling this experience.

And I think that the reason why this is so important for me is that I think that feeling bad for someone, and that someone can be ourselves, right, in any experience is putting them in a victim mindset. And I do not ever, ever, ever think that being in a victim mindset is helpful.

We can be compassionate and loving to others and ourselves without putting them or us in that victim mentality. Because what that means when you're in victim mentality is that a circumstance needs to change for you to change. A circumstance needs to be different for you to feel different. That is not true. That's a lie. And you are in control.

And so I think that being compassionate is amazing. And you can do it in a helpful way. So you can say, “It's so sad that they couldn't have more kids.” And that immediately puts whoever you're talking about in that victim mindset because the only thing that would change you being a victim is having more kids. Or you could say something like, or think something like, “I know they want more kids but they are thriving with the two they have. And they were supposed to have the two that they have.”

I think that's two completely different things because the circumstance doesn't need to change. The circumstance is what it is, many times despite trying to change it, right? Like our infertility, we're doing all that we can and it's not changing. And if we're in a victim mindset our infertility has to change in order for us to feel better. And that's not true.

I'm going to give an example here of how we can relate this to ourselves. I can say to myself, “I'm so proud of continuing to show up in my life and moving forward.” And that thought makes me feel very empowered. So I'll do things in my life to help myself, to help my situation. I can research doctors; I can ask my friends who they recommend seeing or learning from to help me make decisions on my infertility.

I'll do things when I'm feeling empowered like live a good life by doing things I love, like reading good books. And the result is I enjoy my life now, and I show up right now, in the middle of infertility. The infertility has not changed, but my thought about it enables me to feel, act, and get the results that I want.

Another example that I think is common is, “I shouldn't have to experience infertility.” And you feel like a victim, because the only thing that's going to change you in that thought from feeling like a victim is your infertility. So as long as you are infertile and as long as you haven't grown your family yet you are going to feel like a victim. And when you feel like a victim, you do not feel empowered, you don't feel capable of controlling any part of your actions. And the result is that you're stuck in life and you're waiting on the future for happiness. And I just don't think that that's true.

Now, either can be true and you can decide for yourself. And I would never judge you for thinking one or the other is true. I just know that we each get to decide for ourselves and we can see very clearly what results we're getting based on those thoughts. And you're just not going to benefit by thinking, “I shouldn't have to experience infertility.” Because your circumstance hasn't changed.

And in fact, if you think something like, “I'm so proud of myself for continuing to show up in my life and in infertility.” And move forward you're going to feel empowered to actually make the changes that might get you the results that you want.

I don't think that it's ever helpful to be a victim because it's a lie. It's a flat out lie. You're not a victim. You are absolutely in control of many things in your life. And we know it's not helpful, because we know our thoughts are what cause us to feel a certain way. That means we are not a victim because we have the power to choose the thought despite our circumstance.

Now, this isn't saying that there's anything wrong with you when you're having a hard day. I don't want to be happy about my infertility all of the time. I want to think that it is awful sometimes. I want to think it's hard sometimes. Now the difference is that I realize that I can change that thought whenever I want. My infertility does not have to change for me to be able to change how I feel about it because I know that the thought is causing me to feel sad about it.

And I love that because it gives me back all of the power. I don't have to have a baby to feel better. I don't have to get pregnant to feel better. I don't have to adopt to feel better. My external circumstances do not have to change for me to feel however I want.

And as human beings, absolutely I think that it's important for us to allow ourselves both sides of it. Right? I will say this again and again, there's opposition in all things. There is light and there is dark. There is day and there is a night. There is happiness and there is sadness. And I don't truly believe as human beings that we are living our full human experience if we only expect ourselves to feel happy all of the time.

My point is that we aren't a victim to things that are out of our control to feel happy when we want to feel happy. I can always find a silver lining and millions of good things I have learned from my infertility. But I also want to acknowledge that it's really hard for me. It's something that I wouldn't have chosen for myself necessarily. And I love that I get to be in control of either feeling.

It's always based on our thoughts that we are choosing about our circumstances. I love that I know at any time I can feel better about it based on the thought that I allow in my brain. I'm not a victim. You're not a victim. And I don't think it's helpful to be seen as a victim by other people. So, in turn when I'm reacting with other people, I really try to use empowering words, right? I really try to point out how strong and capable they are.

I think that as human beings we are oftentimes our own worst critics. And it's hard for us to see from an outsider's perspective how well we are actually doing. I can't physically see you right now, but I know that you have that power within you to choose thoughts that benefit you. I am here to remind you of it when you can't see it in yourself.

I wanted to give you an example of some middle school drama. First of all, I know you're capable and strong because if you're older than middle school, and you made it through middle school or junior high, girl, it's all downhill from there. It is a rough scene. I literally tell people if someone said, “You know what, Jenica? I'm going to give you $5 million to relive middle school.” I'd be like, “Girl, there's a lot easier ways to make $5 million.”

That is a rough scene and people are very rude, shall we say? We'll just go there. I mean, it's honestly sad, right? I think a lot of us are very insecure in middle school. And I mean, the fact that I made it out alive, I really just got to give myself a hand for that, good slap on the back.

So one time I had switched middle schools, and we moved around a lot when I was younger. I'd switched middle schools; I was trying to find some good friends and kind of switching around from friend group to friend group because I didn't really feel like I was wanted in any group that I was in. And I started going out with this guy, right? And going out basically means that you say like, “Yeah, we're going out.” But you basically don't talk to each other.

And I was going out with this popular guy, right? I used air quotes there, this popular guy. And there were some people who weren't happy about that. And so I can't remember all the details, honestly, but so I wasn't sitting with him or them, and his group of friends. But the whole table sat up on the other side of the lunchroom. And it was like this whole scene from a movie that's like, “Is this actually happening? Oh, yeah, it is. This is my real life.” Like it was like in one of those high school movies that you're like, “Things don't actually happen like this.” Yeah, they did.

So this girl Kaylee, I can't remember her last name. If I did, I'd have one of you like hunt her down if you live where she's at and like toilet paper her house or something. Just kidding. But anyway, she comes up, she walks over to me all the way across the lunchroom. Their whole table is standing up staring at me. And she tells me that if I continue to go out with Anthony, she's going to beat me up. And it was mortifying. I'm like, “What is actually happening? Is this girl actually going to beat me up?”

So she didn't punch me, like thank goodness. And after that I'm like completely mortified. So I go back to class, I had to excuse myself and go in the bathroom and I'm just like bawling, sobbing. And I ended up calling my mom and getting picked up early and my mom was slightly annoyed.

And my mom is hilarious because there are certain things about her that I didn't appreciate at the time. And looking back on it, I'm like, “Good for you. Like you knew I could handle it. Right?” But this experience was like actually mortifying for me. And I'm like, “Mom, you don't understand. The entire lunchroom stood up, everybody was looking at me. She said she was going to beat me up.” And mom was like, “Okay, okay, it's fine.” She's like, genuinely annoyed she had to pick me up, right?

And everything ended up fine. Like I'm here today with like, only a few scars from middle school. Wouldn't relive it, but I'm here today. And I love the way that my mom approached this looking back on it because she's not like, coddling me like, “Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry you had this awful experience. I’m so sorry.” She's kind of like, “Yeah, like that's life. You got this girl. Like, you know, you're fine.”

And I was bugged at the time because I'm like I need someone to just be like, “Yes, like you poor girl. That was absolutely horrible. You shouldn't have had to experience that.” But she wasn't like that at all. And honestly, looking back on it I'm glad she wasn't. Because it allowed me to be like, “Yeah, stuff happens. People happen. Hard trials happen. People aren't always going to be nice, and I can handle it.”

And I'll do a whole other podcast episode on this but essentially, the worst thing that can happen to us is feeling awful. And that was at the top of the awful list. But I handled it and I made it through and I'm alive, right?

Another example with me and my mom is probably about two years ago. My twins were two and a half and I was drowning. I was barely making it through the day. It's a really rough scene. If you ever have twins I'll just warn you in advance it's very challenging, right? Obviously, I'm incredibly grateful for them, but that age is really hard with having two and I honestly felt like I was really drowning a little bit.

And I went to this party that one of my friends hosted and I was talking to another mom of twins and she had six kids, two of them being a set of twins. And she was thriving. She is the nicest person; I absolutely love her.

But I was having an exceptionally vulnerable day. And I called my mom after and I was like almost in tears like, “Oh my gosh, this girl has, you know, three times the amount of kids that I have. She seems like she's totally fine, she's got it under control. And here I am, with a third of the amount of kids that she has, and I can barely make it through the day.” And I felt super judgy of myself, I was looking down on myself, I was thinking I was a horrible mom and thinking I was half the person this other girl was. And my mom kind of listened for a while and we hung up.

And the next morning my mom calls me and she's like, “Jenica, pull yourself together. This is not the Jenica that I know. You do not compare yourself to other people. You do not, you know, point out all of your faults. You are an incredible person; you need to remember that.” And she was kind of like a little scolding like, “Jenica, what on earth are you thinking? You don't compare yourself to other people.” And I'm like, “Oh my gosh.” I kind of just like stopped feeling sorry for myself. And I'm like, “You're right, absolutely.”

That was another example of her showing me how strong I was. We can handle any experience we're given. Sometimes we need a little reminder from other people that we've got this. I want to let you know that whatever you're experiencing right now, you've got this. I absolutely know that that is true. Sometimes we need to borrow other people's confidence occasionally and be able to see that any experience we have is something that we can absolutely handle.

Another example is I had someone come up to me and my mom was watching. And she was feeling so sorry for me when I was experiencing infertility. You know, the way she was saying it, “I am so sorry that you are going through this. Oh my gosh.” You know, she's just like, she was just devastated for me. And I think I responded back like, “Oh, it’s okay. I'm totally fine. Like, yeah, it's hard but everyone has trials, if it wasn't this trial it would be something else. And, you know, I'm doing fine.” And the next day my mom was like, “You are so cool.”

So I just loved it that my mom has been such a great example of not coddling me and really genuinely knowing, when I didn't know myself, that I could do it. And I think that sometimes we just need that reminder.

So if you don't have that mom in your life, and you don't have that friend in your life, let me be that friend and that coach for you, that shows you absolutely you can do this. If you couldn't, it wouldn't be an obstacle in your life. But you will make it through this. And you will thrive in this and because of this. And yes, you're going to have days that are hard. We all have days that are hard. There's nothing wrong with you, and you haven't done something wrong if you are having a hard day. But you are absolutely capable of making it through this infertility experience.

When you are a mom, and some of you are already moms and you're experiencing secondary infertility, some of you are at the beginning and you don't have kids yet. But you will learn if you don't, that when you're a mom fear can be a big thing. And I think a lot of you also, right now, maybe you're pregnant when you have experienced infertility. Or maybe you have all these fears that when you do have children, and you're not pregnant yet, that something will happen to take it away from you. Or all these fears, right?

And fear can be a big thing. And for a while there I was very nervous for my children because I didn't want them to be harmed. I wanted to wrap them up in a bubble. And all of a sudden it kind of hit me one day. I'm like, “Oh my gosh, how is that helping them? I need to remind them constantly that they are absolutely capable of any experience that they have in this life.”

And my job as a mother is to remind them of that strength. No one benefits from being coddled because essentially what that’s saying is you can't handle it. You know, I don't believe in you, you can't handle it. So I'm like the biggest thing that I can do as a mother and as a coach is to remind you that 1,000,000% you will make it through this.

I think that when looking at how other people react to us with infertility, people's intentions are good most of the time when they are saying they're sorry for our infertility experience, and they care about us, and they love us. And I never think that it's beneficial to take something that someone else says and get offended over it. I'm just like, you're literally the only person that is suffering from that.

 t honestly doesn't matter what other people think or say about our infertility. Right? And I honestly think it's more helpful for me to feel more peace and not waste energy to genuinely believe that no matter what someone says to me about my infertility, that they're just coming at it from their life experience, and they probably have good intentions. And honestly, if they don't, that's okay, right?

But this podcast episode isn't to talk down on people that feel bad for us or sorry for us. It's just to say that I genuinely think that they're coming from a good place but we don't have to agree with them. We don't have to believe those thoughts that are disempowering and that put us in that victim mindset.

We can choose to be sad about our infertility while also knowing we are not victims to it. We can process our negative emotions in a healthy way and choose to be sad some days. And then realize that when we want to choose to be happy we are fully capable of choosing thoughts that allow us to see our infertility in ways that will get us the results that we want to in our lives today.

I want you to know as a takeaway for this episode, that you are not a victim. I want you to remind yourself that it's true, because we know based on the model that I've taught you that our thoughts determine how we feel. And we are the only people that get to choose what thoughts come and stay in our own brains.

Again, you may want to feel sad sometimes. And that's amazing, but you also know how to feel happy. And you don't need to wait for your infertility circumstance to change to feel how you want to today. I love you guys so much. I will see you next week.

To celebrate the launch of the show I'm going to be giving away pajama and sock sets from The Slice of Sun that I have personally designed. They are the most buttery, soft, delightful things you'll ever put on your body. And I'm going to be giving away five bundles to five lucky listeners who subscribe, rate, and review the show on Apple Podcasts. It doesn't have to be a five-star review, although I sure hope you love the show. I genuinely want your honest feedback so I can create an awesome show that provides tons of value to you who are experiencing infertility.

Visit thesliceofsun.com/podcastlaunch to learn more about the contest and how to enter. And I'll be announcing the winners on the show in an upcoming episode.

Thank you for listening to Fearless Infertility. If you want more tools and resources to help you during your infertility experience visit thesliceofsun.com. See you next week.



I'll send you info about new podcast episodes, infertility stories from women in our community, free classes and resources available to you, and the Fearless Infertility program when doors open. Can't wait!

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