Taboo’s Silver Lining

Taboo’s Silver Lining

Trauma and infertility, among others, are taboo subjects. You know, the ones that should only happen to other people during discussions in polite company.  If you find yourself living a taboo, it can become a preoccupation, like the cold sore your tongue cannot help but exploring. I guarantee you won’t get many opportunities to feel comfortably heard. As a result, you can thus find yourself withdrawing and/or feeling like you are on the outside looking in on the rest of the world–like you are “apples to an oranges world.” * Initially, I felt just shame and hurt and very alone.  Now I also feel compassion (along with the shame and hurt and alone-ness sometimes), both for myself and humanity in general.  We are all in this mess together and desperately trying to figure it out.

Default mode is living the life you feel you should be living because it is what everybody does.  I think we are all living from default mode, more or less.  It is just that default mode doesn’t feel that trustworthy anymore. Taking walk down Taboo Boulevard can do that to a girl; it can be a big wake-up call.  I find myself questioning almost everything.  I don’t have the luxury of taking anything at face value anymore.  I am regularly assessing what is really effective for me and what isn’t based on my own experience not based on what is the “norm.” It is like going through my closets and asking the tough questions about what I will really wear again and what I should pitch.  Embracing the taboo can be ultimately freeing. Nicole at Real Life and Thereafter recently wrote “Accept that you will die. And then decide how you want to spend your time.”, which really taps the auto focus button for me. This is it.  This precious time is mine to choose to live according to my consciously chosen unique set of value and beliefs.  Who knows?  Perhaps I will find myself gleefully skipping down Taboo Boulevard as I live my delightfully authentic life.

I am curious what silver linings you may have stumbled on while strolling down Taboo Boulevard.

*I borrowed the phrase “apples to an oranges world” from Beth Thornley’s song My Glass Eye, in her CD also entitled My Glass Eye, which is stuffed with delicious lyrics and tunes.  BTW, I also adore her CD, Wash U Clean.




  • Different Shores

    June 30, 2016 at 12:12 pm Reply

    Coming to you from your comment on my blog. Yes, I love this description of being trapped inside a taboo and what a vulnerable position it puts you in. I still feel like I can’t ever bring up my infertility with anyone in my family; they have moved on completely yet I still feel shame about it. My silver lining is that I’ve started to write about it and bit by bit the ‘repression’ is loosening up a bit. Love your writing and look forward to exploring your posts

    • Ruby

      June 30, 2016 at 8:43 pm Reply

      I so hear you about the shame. I am constantly amazed by what a powerful force shame is. I am glad to hear that the writing is helping.

  • Nicole Ciomek

    June 30, 2016 at 1:38 pm Reply

    I love the phrase “taboo boulevard”. I’ve become one who questions everything as well – questions where I want to be, my relationships with others, if people are worth my time and energy, what matters most to me, and on and on. I think it’s very valuable and I’m finding the more I’m embrace the taboos, the less I care what other people think.

    • Ruby

      June 30, 2016 at 10:50 pm Reply

      I am slowly learning to embrace the taboos, Nicole, and am looking forward to caring less about what other people think! Your words are encouraging…

  • Amel

    July 1, 2016 at 7:59 am Reply

    WELCOME BAAACCKKKK!!!! Love this post as well as your “About” page. What Nicole wrote was truly like a smack on the face (in a good way). 🙂 Even though subconsciously I know we all die, but it’s another thing to read something like that as a reminder. 🙂

    Silver linings while strolling down the Taboo Boulevard (I love that term, too!)? Hmmm…being able to be more selective in terms of whom to tell what in terms of my infertility story. Learning to be kinder to myself. Learning to set limits to myself, even if it means disappointing some people. I also questioned things in my darkest moments of infertility journey, though it has somewhat abated. Oh, one other thing. I’m now more careful in saying anything to support other people in pain/grief/dark patches of their lives because I knew how much “well-meaning words” could hurt.

    • Ruby

      July 2, 2016 at 8:15 am Reply

      Thank you so much Amel! It is great to be back! I can identify with learning to be kinder to yourself and learning to set limits. As I am kinder to myself, I am finally letting myself actually enjoy pleasant experiences instead of worrying about prolonging them or rushing onto the next one. It is a refreshing change, let me tell you! And, like you, I am also saying “no” even if it means disappointing, and I actually feel okay about it. It feels like a big burden has been lifted. Thank you for sharing your silver linings!

  • Mali

    July 4, 2016 at 1:02 am Reply

    I too love the phrase, Taboo Boulevard. I think I’ve been able to better recognise the other people who stroll down Taboo Boulevard, people we may not always think about. Whether they’re the others without children, or the people who are estranged from their parents, or who are caring for a child with a serious illness, or who are struggling mentally, physically or financially. That is a gift.

    There are many gifts though – since you’ve been gone (I think), I’ve written a “Gifts of Infertility Series” on my blog. I haven’t finished it, though it’s been a while since I added a new one, but I’m up to #22!

    • Ruby

      July 4, 2016 at 12:10 pm Reply

      I like how you mentioned that you are now better able to recognize the other folks strolling down Taboo Boulevard. I too feel it is a gift, Mali. I am excited about checking out your “Gifts of Infertility Series”–I like uncovering more and more gifts–sort of reminds me of the advent calendars my sister and I so loved as kids!

  • BnB

    July 4, 2016 at 9:08 pm Reply

    The further I get from walking away from infertility, the more comfortable I get with embracing taboos. I’m actually starting to enjoy telling people that I can’t have kids without any other explanation, and leaving them to wonder and not filling the uncomfortable silence.

    Hmmm, silver linings….. Honestly the biggest silver lining for me has been the friends that I’ve made. Some of the closest friends I’ve ever had Also, hubs got to change careers at 37 and if we had kids, this wouldn’t have been possible.

    • Ruby

      July 6, 2016 at 11:52 am Reply

      I must admit I got a gleeful grin on my face when I read that you actually enjoy telling people you can’t have kids then allowing for the uncomfortable silence that often follows.

  • Elizabeth

    July 4, 2016 at 11:29 pm Reply

    Not necessarily taboo but hubby and I have become incredibly happy because of the release of stress we have felt from not trying to have a baby anymore. I guess people expect us to be less happy because we have decided to stop treatments and that we have had to come to the realization that kids just might not be in the cards for us but instead we have really embraced our family of two and the perks that come from being childless like sleeping in!

    • Ruby

      July 6, 2016 at 11:54 am Reply

      Stepping off of the crazy trying-to-have-a-baby treadmill can be such a relief can’t it??!!!

      • loribeth

        July 8, 2016 at 9:50 pm Reply

        Silver linings? Well, here’s one: both dh & I lost our jobs over the past three years. But, in part because we don’t have kids, we were both able to take early retirement (even earlier than we had anticipated). And so far, so good. 😉 Several of my workmates lost their jobs the same day I did; most of them still have not found work, and they have families and mortgages to support. It’s tough out there. 🙁

        • Ruby

          July 9, 2016 at 10:44 am Reply

          Oh, your early retirement sounds delicious! I am glad to hear that it is working out for you. So sad about your workmates, though…

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