Writing my story
I read the invitation for contributions. I began to write my story. It is a defining point in my life and my grief in wanting to move on. I read the story over and over again as if it was someone else's and cried until one day I read it and didn't try. The whole experience has been very cathartic. Without the project and Berenice's vision, who knows how long it would have taken me to read my own story. I will forever be grateful.
Walk in Our Shoes continues to help me and many others. It gives us the opportunity to share our unique journey around being childless which helps us to connect to the parts of ourselves that we may find too difficult to do sometimes, to ' bare' ourselves in a safe and in encouraging space, to feel less isolated and to re-connect. This in itself is so powerful and can have such a positive impact on our mental health.
It also helps because it is a cathartic space and one that can be creative too. What WIOS also does so well, is to raise awareness of the 'invisibility' that comes with being childless and the grief, depression, anxiety and trauma that it can bring with it.
I had validation through just having the space because it's so different from an online forum here often debate can be triggering and suddenly becomes an unsafe place.
A safe place
This site gives me a safe place to vent the emotions that come with infertility, those feeling which are socially unacceptable and misunderstood by my family. These are feelings or bitterness and this site is space to speak, free of trolls and being judged.
I found the site from The Dovecote. A friend from there encouraged me to write. I have be brave enough to share my story with my family who didn't know how difficult life was for me. They have a new appreciation of the bravery of women and men who wanted children. I love the new design and the blog is wonderful. I have never met you (I hope we will) but I feel I have a new friend. Thank you.
My family noticed
I haven't written my words yet but I shall. I found Walk In Our Shoes after it was mentioned in a Guardian comment and what a relief. I was so miserable reading the comments about 'just adopt' and then this person said try Gateway Women or Walk In Our Shoes. I'm a bloke so the former wasn't really right! But this is great. I have spent hours reading the gallery, getting a bit tearful if I'm honest and feeling a lot better. I've also found the Facebook page and its' nice to know your husband is involved too. Men are neglected and anything that any site does to be there for us is worth so much. Sharing this site everywhere.
Made a bloke cry
Love the new design. I am a mum and I follow this site avidly. My sister wasn't able to have children - we all thought IVF worked. I know from your amazing contributors that this isn't always the case and I am trying to be a better sister to her. We both love the site, and thanks for the links.
Being a better sister
I saw you present this in Cambridge last year and I sent in my feet photos and my words because of that. Thank you for publishing them here and for giving me a safe space. It mean the world to me to explain why I struggled and know that I could trust you to take care of my words and protect them for the world to see. It was a bit triggering to write them but I saw everyone else had done it and the person who said she 'cried until one day she (or he?) didn't' and that made me a bit braver. Thank you Berenice, you really inspired me and the blog continues to do that every day.
Saw your talk
I am on the gallery talking about my family. I read it now and I was so angry about it. Not much has changed but I'm seeing a counsellor and have found some great twitter accounts and website from the Walk In Our Shoes Twitter account. My wife is in touch with support groups from the links page. When I wrote my piece I just kept ranting and pressed send, I even forgot the photo so I'm pleased that Berenice found one. I was so cross. The replies on the Facebook page helped me to keep going. Just letting it out and not yelling at my wife was cathartic so thank you. We love the blog too, keep writing.