NIAW 2018 STepahieP

When Stephanie found out she would never have children her world flipped upside down. She didn’t feel like she fit in anywhere and didn’t know what to do. Her head was filled with questions that whirled around in her mind. Stephanie felt like she was stuck in the middle, floating in limbo between those who were trying to be a parent and those who had already succeeded. Her future was no longer how she envisioned but was dark and foreboding. The hopeful glimmer of motherhood she’d seen had been snubbed out. Stephanie felt alone.

Things have changed over the last twelve years. Stephanie is still childless but she has seen that glimmer of hope come back. It was just a different glimmer from a different direction, one that she hadn’t envisioned; one that she didn’t know existed.

Stephanie says those twelve years were not always great and filled with fun. There were dark moments and dark days filled with sadness, anger, bitterness and denial. Black clouds didn’t just hover above her head during those first few years but swamped around her and held her tight.

So, what changed? Stephanie discovered online support groups for the childless (not by choice) filled with people who understood her. They acknowledged her feelings and validated her thoughts. They cared for her when she started to grieve and release her pain. They helped her find her childless voice and start projecting it out to the world. They stood beside her when she took her first step back towards finding the new Stephanie and discovering her worth. They were there at every stage and helped her to #flipthescript of her life from a negative to a positive.

That new glimmer was filled with acceptance of who Stephanie was and who she could be. She is not the person she was twelve years ago or even five years ago and she has no idea who she will be five years from now, but Stephanie is not afraid to embrace her new self anymore. She is looking to discover new dreams and adventures. She knows she has every right to lead a happy and fulfilling life. Over the last few years Stephanie’s childless voice has started to get louder and more people have heard her story. She is no longer ashamed to be childless because she has taken control of her life. Stephanie now has the strength and determination to #flipthescript for herself.

Stephanie’s advice to anyone who has ever felt belittled, inadequate or unworthy is to surround yourself with people who understand. They can’t tell you when the pain will start to lessen or how to heal your heart but they can listen, they can support and they can help you #flipthescript to your future. Stephanie says look out for that new glimmer of light because it is there waiting for you and she’ll happily hold out her hand and offer her support to guide you through. Stephanie says, lets #flipthescript together.

 

-Stephanie P., UK