Today as I was perusing my Instagram feed, an ad popped up for a local fertility center. The ad had a picture of a woman sitting by herself, smiling, holding what looks to be an alcoholic beverage, enjoying her life. The caption promises “Egg freezing allows women to create options for the future.” I know I was sent this ad because I am a woman in my 30s. But since I have Type I BPES, I stopped getting my period years ago and don’t have any eggs left to freeze.
As I have discussed before, I am okay with this. An ad like this does not upset me, but it does remind me that I am not “normal.” I usually forget that I have BPES, until something like this comes up, and it forces me to think, “oh yeah, for most women my age, it would be no big deal to see this ad.” But I can’t help thinking, “well this doesn’t apply to me.”
I usually just don’t think about the fact that it is a societal norm that woman are assumed to want children and to be capable of having them. I have encountered this at work. When coworkers say, “when you have kids someday” I kind of freeze and it can be awkward. I usually just try to smile and nod, because that is a lot easier and less personal than having to explain my situation. I am really torn about whether I should open up and let them know the real me. I do with most other aspects of my life. I see myself as a genuine person.
But I have always been a private person, and don’t think everyone needs to know everything about me. When I hear someone assume that I’m going to have kids, and I don’t say anything, I can’t help but feel torn. On the one hand, I don’t want to get into my private life, but on the other hand, I don’t want to lie and be fake. So far I have only discussed my condition with close friends and family, and I have never told coworkers at any job that I have had.
I find it a lot easier to write about it than to talk about it face to face. But sometimes I wonder if the next time someone assumes, I should just be like, “actually…” and educate them about my condition.