Finding Your Tribes: Part IV on Emotional Infertility & Support in the ALI Community

Sometimes you want to go
where everybody knows your name,
and they’re always glad you came.
You want to be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same.
You want to be where everybody knows your name. 

       ~Theme song to “Cheers”/Lyrics by Gary Portnoy & Judy Hart Angelo

Welcome to the final installment about emotional/mental infertility and how it affects your support needs in the ALI community. If you’re new to the series or would like a recap, here are the previous three posts:

Part I: Emotional/Mental Infertility and Its Impact on the Adoption, Loss, and Infertility (ALI) Community
Part II: How Your Level of Emotional Infertility Affects Your Support Needs in the ALI Community
Part III: House Rules

To review, here are the main points of the posts, with the main point of this post included:

  1. Your level of emotional infertility and what is right for you should not dictate how and from where other people choose to receive support for where they personally are on their continuum of emotional infertility.
  2. We are not (and should not be) completely separate groups. We are smaller micro-communities of support within the larger ALI community. As our personal journeys with our physical infertility and how that affects our levels of mental/emotional infertility change, we may need to seek support from different sub-communities.
  3. Find ways to support each other that doesn’t involve walking on eggshells. Be authentic, and you will find your tribe.
  4. The power to be thought leaders rests within each of us, especially when seeking ways to create the support we need for our level of emotional/mental infertility. 

This one might roam around a bit, but there are a couple of more thoughts that I wanted to communicate, and this series can’t go on forever. Think of the other posts as strands and this one as the braid that threads them all together. When you step back and look at the whole, hopefully we’ll all have something new to look at.

About a month has passed between ALIgeddon and now. New commentary on the posts which began it all have practically ceased. People responded to the Healing Salons and the answers were summarized and shared.  It might feel like everything is back to normal merely because the heat of the moment has cooled off. It might be easy to believe that the discussion, time, and distance from the situation has completed the healing process in everyone.

I know this isn’t so. A wound can still hurt even though it’s not bleeding. Consider this comment that Orodemniades  left on the last post:

I don’t know if there is a tribe for me out there. And if there is, I don’t know how to find them.

I have to admit I am (still) hurt by ALIgeddon and no longer feel I can…trust…the community at large to have my back. I think that’s why I’ve only read a couple of the Healing Salons – I don’t feel I can be healed.

I can’t even begin to quantify the amount of sadness this made me feel. I couldn’t help but wonder: In the wake of ALIgeddon, how many other members of ALI feel the way that she does?

In all of my reading in various places about the issue, I’ve noticed two major trends:

  1. The misunderstandings that caused ALIgeddon hurt many people so deeply that they have lost the sense of comfort and trust that they one felt in the community. Because one of the major appeals of the ALI community is the general sense of belonging, knowing that others feel so deeply misunderstood that they have lost that sense of easy trust is nothing short of devastating.
  2. Though the parents after infertility and loss subgroup was at the center of attention, many other people who feel like they don’t fit exactly within the context of ALI basically came out and said, “What about us? We don’t completely feel like we fit in, either.”

Either way you go, it boils down to this: some of our people in our community don’t know where they fit in; therefore, they’re having trouble finding the right support channels. 

Is this to say that they’re not receiving any support at all? Absolutely not. I’d venture to guess that nearly all of the people on the PAIL blogroll have already built communities of support around them on their own blogs. They joined PAIL because despite the support systems that they already had, they still had a need that was somehow not being met. I think that Elphaba‘s creation of PAIL and the droves of people who rushed to join perfectly illustrates my entire series:

When how you are dealing with your physical and/or emotional infertility changes, your support needs may also change. As such, you may need to reach out beyond your usual support network (or leave it entirely) to get the support that you need. If the new support that you need can’t be easily found, you have the power to be a thought leader and create the network of support that you need. You can find or create your tribe.

Elphaba saw a need and created it. As a result, a large group of bloggers received a new system of support. Their needs were fulfilled. As members of this wider community (no matter our status with infertility or parenting), don’t we want that for each other?

We don’t need to wait for someone to open a door and invite us in. If you need something and can’t find it, then make it. Find your tribe. 

The theme song to Cheers came to mind because if we’re here in the ALI community, a place where someone is always glad we came is what we want. It’s not about popularity. It’s about being in the company of people who get it. It’s about knowing that you’re in a place where the bonds are common enough to let you know that you’re not alone. It’s about knowing that when you’re 100% authentic, you will be 100% understood.

Allow me to restate the point of the third post in this series, House Rules: Find ways to support each other that doesn’t involve walking on eggshells. Be authentic, and you will find your tribe. 

Sometimes we lose our authenticity without realizing it. We don’t write about how miserable we’re feeling because we don’t want to drag anyone down. We don’t write about how difficult it is to parent a colicky newborn or a willful 2-year old because we don’t want to hurt our friends who are still “in the trenches.” When we don’t write about unrest with having made the decision to live childlessly, we’re not being authentic. When we’re not being authentic with ourselves, we miss opportunities for someone to tell us, “I’m going through the same thing; you’re not alone.”  We miss chances to find our tribes.

Finding your tribes takes courage. It requires taking an honest look at your emotional needs within this community and then honestly answering whether you feel like they’re being fully met or not. If you find that you have a need that is coming up empty on support, then some type of change needs to occur for you to find that support.

Maybe the change that you need to make is internal. For example, I felt like in order to be more authentic with my writing and the support that I built around myself, I needed to end my old blog and restart in a fresh space. I needed to “rebrand.” For some of you, an internal change might mean keeping your same digs, yet branching out and bravely expanding what you choose to write about there.

The change you make might also be an external change. You might need to reach out and seek out other people who are sharing your same experience and interact with them in their spaces.

Whether internal, external, or some combination of the two, the change begins with authenticity and being honest with yourself and others about what you need.

::::::

So where do we go from here? How do we know that true healing is taking place in the ALI community? What I most hope to see is a shift in thinking. Our status with our physical infertility is not fixed and finite. How we cope with our varying levels of emotional infertility is not fixed and finite. Our support communities, therefore, will not be fixed and finite. It seems like that last one should be just as obvious as the first two were, and maybe it is. However, when a sub-group within our community pulled together to fulfill an emotional support need, it cracked such a huge divide in the greater community that we’re still trying to make heads or tails of it weeks later. So, here’s the individual thought change that think will bring a wider sense of healing, acceptance, and progress:

I need to understand that people need the freedom to move within this community in whatever way they need to have their support needs met. I might need to shift and find new tribes if I get to a place where my needs are not being met. It might hurt when people I care about go to places where I am not ready or able to go myself, but I will support them in their quest for the support that is right for them at the time. I know that I might have to change the places where I get support or move away from places where I currently receive support. I hope that the people I don’t visit as frequently are understanding and supportive of me as I leave to find my tribe. 

People change, and as hard as it might be for us, we need to give them our blessings when their support needs change in a way that takes them to a “tribe” that isn’t a right fit for us, too.

::::

While writing this entire series, I kept thinking to myself, “People need an accessible way to find and/or create tribes. A way to send out a ‘bat signal’ of sorts.” Finally, I decided to practice what I’ve been preaching, so to speak. I’m creating something to fill what I see as a need.

In case you missed it, in my navigation menu, there’s now a sub-menu called “Tribes.” I’d like to open up a corner of this blog for anyone to use as a tool to announce the development of a new Tribe, add an existing tribe to the Tribe List, and to find Tribes that you might like to be a part of. Consider it a “meeting ground” for support communities that exist within not only the ALI community, but also the blogosphere as a whole.

At first, I was shaping this to fit as a resource within the ALI community. Then it occurred to me that there are tons of other issues out there for which people need support and might not be able to find it. I knew that I wanted to create a community for anyone, no matter their struggle, to be able to find the support they need or have a platform on which to announce it to the world at large.

In House Rules, I stated:

The power to be thought leaders rests within each of us, especially when seeking ways to create the support we need for our level of emotional/mental infertility. 

Community-building and innovation is there for anyone who feels driven to act.

If you are one who feels driven, act on it. You never know else’s needs you’re going to meet with the creation of a new Tribe.

Please check out the Tribes page and sub-menu to learn more and to find out how you can help spread the word.

:::::::::

With that, I’ve finally come to the conclusion of this series. The discussion in the series’ comments has been nothing short of amazing. I’d love to hear what you have to say about this post in particular or the series as a whole.

photo credit: qthomasbower via photopin cc

35 Comments

  1. sharah on April 9, 2012 at 11:24 am

    One of my thoughts during the initial throwdown was that it would be really useful for Mel’s big list to be a searchable database. So that people could choose their parameters and get like-minded blogs. Like a match.com for bloggers 🙂 I think you see the same need, and the Tribes list is a method for making those connections that we are searching for.



    • JW Moxie on April 9, 2012 at 6:28 pm

      A searchable database would be made up of SO MUCH awesomesauce, Sharah. If I had the technical know-how, I’d be all over that. But alas, I couldn’t even get the damned “grab button” box thingy to work right…



      • sharah on April 9, 2012 at 8:18 pm

        I too lack the technical knowhow. I know enough to know it would be a massive undertaking, which is why I never suggested it — especially since I don’t have enough time or knowledge to help implement it.



  2. Crysstal on April 9, 2012 at 11:26 am

    You know this is really inspirational for me…i have never heard about this before and I am sure a lot of people can relate too…



  3. Hope on April 9, 2012 at 11:53 am

    This whole series has made me think so much, and I really appreciated each post. But what I want to say today is specifically about this post, and about finding the right support. For me, finding the right support and being truly authentic and not having to walk on eggshells meant going almost entirely password protected. It meant limiting my readers down to a tiny handful. And for me, the intimate support of a few people who say, “I get you, I have your back, I’m holding on to hope for you,” is the most powerful and satisfying form of support I have ever experienced through my blog.

    I’m an introvert, and for me, one way that manifests is that I prefere to have a few, really deep, ongoing relationships with selected individuals over having lots of brief interactions with lots of different individuals. Right now, having my blog almost entirely password protected, and carefully screening everyone who requests the password is working for me far better than having an open blog ever did.

    I just wanted to point out that along with opening yourself up to finding support from more people, a different way to get support is to narrow your focus down to just a few intimate relationships. Each can be validating, depending on the needs of the person looking for support.



    • JW Moxie on April 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      Just wanted you to know that I replied to your post! I accidentally made it a whole new reply vs. a direct reply to you, which wouldn’t send the email to alert you that there was a reply to your comment. Thanks again, Hope!



  4. JW Moxie on April 9, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Hope — EXCELLENT point, and it’s one which in my mind I kind of implied, but it’s important to have it stated, too, which you’ve definitely done well. Sometimes, narrowing your focus and closing your walls in around a smaller, more tightly-packed environment is what you feel you need, and that is ABSOLUTELY okay. Feeling the assurance of locking down your support environment behind the gate of a password-protected blog is the one thing that might give people the true feeling of being able to be authentic. The importance is on being authentic in finding support, and not so much about HOW people choose to do it. I absolutely love that you’ve written this, because though I tried to stress the point of finding support in whatever way and FROM anywhere you need to, I didn’t exactly clarify that this concept also applies to seeking out the comfort of smaller, more private places, too.

    Thank you, Hope. xoxo



  5. StacieT on April 9, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    I will admit that initially I felt as if I was getting my hand slapped for reaching out and joining PAIL. It made me angry to think people believe that all I am supposed to be doing now that I’ve made it to the “other side” is supporting those still in the trenches–as if because I parent now, I shouldn’t NEED support for myself. I couldn’t understand why people would have a problem with support groups being available for everyone in the ALI community. (I do realize that it maybe was not the idea of “support” per say that was causing the uproar, but rather the idea of a separate “list” of people parenting making it more of an “us vs. them” kind of feel. I think? Or something?) I never did see these sub-communities (like PAIL) as anything other than a subdivision of the main community and was blown away that people considered them as such. I wrestled with those feelings for a while. It kept me from participating in both PAIL activities and SQ activities because I felt a bit like I was damned if I did either. In turn, I stopped being authentic to myself.

    It’s not a pleasant head space to be in, that’s for sure.

    I’ve since come to realize that this whole ALIgeddon probably needed to happen. And while I wish that such hurtful things had not been said on either side of the conversation, I am glad that it has become clear that there is a large population of the ALI community who felt that their needs were not being met. I’m not sure that point would have become so evident in any other way. It’s sad to say, but I do think it’s true.

    I like what you have accomplished here through this series. I especially like the thought change you created. (Makes me want to raise my three fingers and say it like the IF pledge. “On my honor, I will try…” lol) We need to understand that is OK and EXPECTED that we do what we need to do to seek support for ourselves. It’s OK and EXPECTED that others’ needs may be different from our own. Your main points are an important foundation for each of us to remember as we make this paradigm shift toward authenticity and providing support for ALL — shifts that need to happen both individually and collectively.

    Bravo, Ms. Moxie. 🙂



    • JW Moxie on April 9, 2012 at 6:00 pm

      Stacie, I got the sense that like you, lots of people felt like they were being admonished for joining PAIL. There were daggers being thrown every which way and to and from every direction. There was far too much blaming and justification going on, and everyone got hurt in the process.

      Still, think you’re absolutely right when you said this:
      “I’ve since come to realize that this whole ALIgeddon probably needed to happen. And while I wish that such hurtful things had not been said on either side of the conversation, I am glad that it has become clear that there is a large population of the ALI community who felt that their needs were not being met. I’m not sure that point would have become so evident in any other way. It’s sad to say, but I do think it’s true.”

      I really hope that in the long run, this turns out to be a “one step back, two steps forward” situation. I have to believe that it will be. Something good and true and lasting needs to come for this, because if it doesn’t, it will all have been for nothing.

      I also want to give you mad props for using the term “paradigm shift.” The word “paradigm” is the one that I was feeling for and couldn’t bring to mind when I wrote this. To my defense, it was 3:00 a.m. and I was slapsilly with insomnia-induced-exhaustion. 🙂



  6. a on April 9, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    You know, I think one of the other things to keep in mind is that there is a whole other world out there – reading comments on any other thing on the internet shows you that the world is seemingly full of crazy/irrational people who like to spew venom on the internet. I think all of the comments in the NYT infertility stories give a smal view of that. But, within the ALI community, people are generally kind and respectful. We are very lucky that there is support and that troll activity is minimal. (I’m not saying it doesn’t exist, but it’s not as prevalent as some communities.) I think that’s been part of the problem – we all thought we had this really great community, and we do. But it’s not necessarily/always enough for everyone.



  7. JW Moxie on April 9, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Exactly, a. Last night, I wrote this post first, and then I went to write the information about Tribes. At first, when I wrote the section in Part IV about Tribes, I’d framed it to be be a tool for “only” the infertility community. Then I began thinking more globally. Because one thing that I have picked up on in what I’ve written in this series is that you can take “infertility” out of the emotional/mental aspect and plug in any other struggle and the same principles apply when you’re talking about finding support communities online (or even IRL, for that matter).

    It was when I was in the middle of writing the Tribes page that I decided to open up to a wider range of issues that people might seek support for in online communities. Support is support, no matter the reasons why you need it. This series was written in the context of the ALI community, because this was how it all started. But really, these ideas of being free to find support however you need it applies to any support community. And you are so right — sometimes ALI alone isn’t enough to help us with the things we need support for. That reason is exactly why I restructured my ideas about Finding Your Tribe to open it wide enough to allow anyone in, and not only those in the ALI community for whom this series was written.



  8. Esperanza on April 9, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    How is this the first time I’ve commented on your blog? How are you NOT in my reader? (that has been remedied, by the way). HOW DID I MISS THIS AMAZING SERIES!? I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing this. You said so eloquently that which most of us couldn’t even formulate into thoughts. I can’t thank you enough for writing this.

    I have to admit, I too was hurt by ALIgeddon as you so thoughtfully dubbed it. I don’t think I’m am really “over it” and it has definitely colored the way I think, and will think, about this community for a long time to come. Probably forever. No one can unsay what was said. No one can undo what they did, or failed, to do. What has happened has happened, there is no going back.

    Having said that, I wasn’t inspired to do anything positive to fix it. I spent a while sulking in my little space, then I moved on to other things, started a new, non-ALI focused project, tried to figure out what my future in my original space would be. I am especially impressed with your drive to actually do something productive to help people. That is incredible and our community is lucky to have you. I will your new space with curiosity and hope and maybe some day I’ll even reach out there to find my own tribe. In the meantime, it’s really comforting to know it’s there.



    • JW Moxie on April 10, 2012 at 3:04 pm

      Don’t feel bad – I didn’t realize until just now that I didn’t have you in my reader, either (problem remedied.)!

      Thanks for taking the time to read through everything and respond. One of the biggest feelings I had was that even the people who WERE saying something about, there was still a lot left unsaid. I felt like I got the vibe of what that generally was, and when I wrote this series I tried to give a voice to some of those “unspokens.”

      You say that ALIgeddon has probably colored the way that you think about and view the IF community. I think that like you, many others now view the ALI community in a different light. I think it should — but hopefully in a POSITIVE light, at least eventually. Nothing that was said can ever be unsaid, but hopefully with time and (most importantly) understanding, we’ll all view a positive change in the support given throughout ALI as a result of this. We can only hope, right?



    • JW Moxie on April 10, 2012 at 3:13 pm

      Whoops! I wasn’t logged in when I left the longer comment.I’m commenting now while logged in just in case my last comment didn’t send you an email to let you know that I’ve responded. 🙂



  9. Baby Smiling In Back Seat on April 9, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Thank you for being the change you wish to see.

    Moxie, I’ve always felt like you’re in my tribe — not because we both have boy-girl twins after IF, but because we are smart and badasssssss.



    • JW Moxie on April 10, 2012 at 3:14 pm

      WORD.

      *gives Babe Smilez a fistbump of ballsome solidarity*



  10. St. Elsewhere on April 10, 2012 at 3:12 am

    Just a silent muncher on your posts.

    It is true. We have already built a support system around our blogs. It is so true.

    And I want to not censor what I am saying about parenting a newborn because it will hurt someone. I am narrating a story here…my blog is my journal. Even though it is open, and others will read it, it documents what is happening to me at this point of time. I like the fact that you took into account that as well.

    I hope you read what I wrote about joining PAIL…for someone who joined PAIL ‘just like that’, where would you classify them?



    • JW Moxie on April 10, 2012 at 3:35 pm

      You’re one of the writers who I’ve noticed never seemed to feel any awkwardness writing on your blog when your status or what you were dealing with changed over time (and now I realize just how LONG I’ve had you in “my tribe”!). You and I both show how something is going to change through time, be it you and your writing, your audience in response to your writing, or where you go to find more connections. I needed a change. You didn’t. Neither way is right or wrong. It’s about what was right for us. The real lesson here is all about flexibility and change (or the lack thereof), and how that may or may not affect giving and receiving support. No one way is better than the other — it’s all about what’s right for the individual and still respecting everyone’s choices, even if those choices are different than your own.

      When I first read through ALIgeddon it was a few days after everything first went down, so the burn was still fresh. I read through each and every comment, and yours (and your blog post about it) was one which stood out to me. I liked the fact that you apologized for inadvertently causing any hurt, but you did not apologize for joining PAIL. You plainly stated in a way that it seemed other commenters before you had not that PAIL was simply another way to make connections within the infertility community and not a big effort to detach completely from ALI. I appreciated that you pointedly said that generalizations about people who joined PAIL shouldn’t be made. I think what stuck out the most is that you didn’t let the intense emotions affect your point-blank opinions, so your words couldn’t be misconstrued as “ranting.”

      I think the people who joined PAIL without a moment’s hesitation were just being authentic about their support/connection desires and saw it for exactly what it was, and nothing more – a new and welcome way to bring a new ALI subgroup together.



  11. Mel on April 10, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    I think this is the most important point: “We don’t need to wait for someone to open a door and invite us in. If you need something and can’t find it, then make it. Find your tribe.” Getting support is a proactive endeavour. Are there people who get support who aren’t doing a lot of work? Sure. But the vast majority of us need to be proactive, putting ourselves out there, stating what we need, working to get that. And to also be realistic about tribe-creation. About seeing what support you already have and enhancing it; looking to people who seem open to the idea of mutual support; having a realistic scope of that support.

    And then the other side is that it’s a responsibility thing. If you’re going to take support, you’re going to need to give it. If you’re going to start a tribe, you need to be committed to sticking around and nurturing it — even once you may not feel the need anymore.



    • JW Moxie on April 10, 2012 at 3:43 pm

      “If you’re going to start a tribe, you need to be committed to sticking around and nurturing it — even once you may not feel the need anymore.”

      Absolutely. And outgrowing your “need” for a tribe of your own creation doesn’t necessarily mean ending the tribe. If the tribe is thriving and others are still active participants, there is the responsibility to *pass* that responsibility on to someone else.

      I have a friend who is an intended mother. A few years ago, she started a private message board for other IPs. Once she completed her surrogacy journey and was four or five years into raising her twins, she grew to feel that she just didn’t have an emotional need to be so tightly connected to the group in the way that she once was. She knew that it was time for her to step down and step back a bit, even though she still cared deeply about the group in general and the 20 or so IPs there. She “gave” ownership of the group over to someone who was a strong and supportive leader instead of just closing the group down altogether. It’s good to keep in mind that there is a responsibility that comes along with being part of a tribe, especially if you’re it’s creator.



  12. SRB on April 10, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    I wanted to tell you that this series has meant so much to me to read, and re-read, and re-read. I have not commented yet as I sorely lack the courage after all that has happened, and I thank you for being brave and giving voice to what I think a lot of people are still feeling. That it is still not okay, that trust has been broken, that support (both giving and receiving) needs to be fluid and this is OKAY. But where trust has been broken, it must be earned back.

    ‘ALIgeddon’ was bad. Really bad. I am still incredibly hurt by what happened, still shocked, still angry. A quick search of the comments at SQ paints a clear picture of my ‘part’ in it. While each individual blogger ultimately owns their own behaviour, I don’t think we have all truly ‘owned’ and taken responsibility for said behaviour. In all honesty, there is so much more I would love to say, but I lack the courage. I don’t need more visits from ‘anonymous’. I don’t have faith in the ‘community’ as a whole. I don’t have trust. But what I DO feel is that I am cultivating a tribe. A tribe of the women who reached out to me that week, that I feel I am building connections with. But with much trepidation and hesitation. What I am willing to share, how safe and vulnerable I feel I can make myself in my own space is forever altered.

    But truly, thank you for the reminder to be authentic, even if I am afraid to be vulnerable.



    • JW Moxie on April 10, 2012 at 10:00 pm

      It is especially hard when authenticity has to come at the expense of vulnerability. We don’t want to risk bringing undue negativity to us. The truth is that we risk that happening no matter what we post. It’s scary, especially *knowing* in advance that you’ve already pissed some people off, whether that was your intent or not. Once you’ve been smacked around, you hesitate before sticking your face out there again.

      I hope that you can eventually come to a place where there is a sense of comfort for you again, especially within the space you create on your own blog. It’s good to know that there were people who reached out to you, and that they’re still there supporting you. Add me to the list.

      xoxo



  13. Justine on April 10, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    This is brilliant. I love what you do here: remind us that we need to take care of ourselves in this journey, and be true both to our own experiences and our own voices … and therefore, align ourselves with whatever group of people we feel best helps us to do those things. I also love what you say about being supportive of each other’s journeys, wherever they take us, even if we are not ready to go there ourselves. That’s the hardest part, though, isn’t it? Because there’s a generosity of spirit, a selflessness, that we need to cultivate, in order to do so. To put aside hurt, or envy. It’s an approach that would be useful to take in real life, too, as well as the blogosphere.

    You are a talented writer and thinker … thank you for this inspiring series.



    • JW Moxie on April 10, 2012 at 9:59 pm

      “Because there’s a generosity of spirit, a selflessness, that we need to cultivate, in order to do so. To put aside hurt, or envy. It’s an approach that would be useful to take in real life, too, as well as the blogosphere.”

      Yes. Capital YES. I love how you’ve elevated this into something that applies not only to blogging, but to life and interactions with other in general.

      Thank you so very much for your kind words, Justine.



  14. JW Moxie on April 10, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    It is especially hard when authenticity has to come at the expense of vulnerability. We don’t want to risk bringing undue negativity to us. The truth is that we risk that happening no matter what we post. It’s scary, especially *knowing* in advance that you’ve already pissed some people off, whether that was your intent or not. Once you’ve been smacked around, you hesitate before sticking your face out there again.

    I hope that you can eventually come to a place where there is a sense of comfort for you again, especially within the space you create on your own blog. It’s good to know that there were people who reached out to you, and that they’re still there supporting you. Add me to the list.

    xoxo



  15. cathy on April 11, 2012 at 9:43 am

    These post was brilliant.We should do on our own we should make a decision as our own.We should go for without the encourage of others and open our door for our self.



  16. leanne on April 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Yes — what you said about support communities not being fixed and finite, and the need for understanding and authenticity, as well as the ability to create the support one needs. A resounding YES. Such good discussion in the posts and comments — I hope you are right that something good and positive will come of ALIgeddon.

    And I like what you are doing with the Tribes. Your four main points can easily be extrapolated to so many different journeys and experiences. And while the variables of those journeys and experiences may differ, the need for support, the need for a Tribe, however large or small, remains constant.



    • JW Moxie on April 11, 2012 at 7:53 pm

      I hope that the Tribes page doesn’t sit there like a lame duck.

      Thank you for the thoughts that you’ve shared throughout this series. I especially adore this one: “And while the variables of those journeys and experiences may differ, the need for support, the need for a Tribe, however large or small, remains constant.” xoxo



  17. luna on April 11, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    you are not just smart. you are brilliant. and insightful. and wise. and thoughtful. and respectful. and patient — all qualities that make you not just an excellent mama and teacher, but an inspiring thought leader and facilitator.

    thank you for taking the time to sit and think about these issues, to ponder and articulate what many could not.

    to say you are ballsome sauce doesn’t quite capture your gangsta. seriously though, I heart you and I’m grateful you are among my tribes. xo



    • JW Moxie on April 11, 2012 at 7:55 pm

      I think you’re gangsteration too, luna. You’ve been in my tribe since the very beginning. I’m lucky to have you still at my side. <3



  18. Elizabeth on April 12, 2012 at 8:07 am

    This in particular calls out to me, because it is something I believe in wholeheartedly: “The power to be thought leaders rests within each of us.”

    To go all social theory on you, Antonio Gramsci put it this way: (paraphrasing from Prison Notebooks): 1) ALL people are intellectuals, with the capacity to think, to theorize their own lives and to make judgments about the nature of society 2) The organic intellectual is that person who articulates the beliefs, values, and direction of his or her own social class, thus creating social cohesion for that class. (Substitute in “community” for “class” and it might make a little more sense.)

    I’ve seen some brilliant examples of leadership in this online community – with its fluid, ever-evolving boundaries – Mel’s mad organizing skills, your amazing series here on emotional infertility and now the creation of the Tribes hub, Jjirraffe’s Face of ALI series, even light-hearted stuff like Lori’s Limerick contest has a significant role to play in creating a sense of community, and in a way telling us who we are and who we want to be as a community – creating that social cohesion.

    Part of me wishes I was writing my dissertation on IF blogging – but that may be a project for another lifetime (or person). (Maybe you!) Anyway, mostly I wanted to say that your series here is fantastic and I love it.



  19. Elizabeth on April 12, 2012 at 8:12 am

    I had a question about the Tribes – there are topics that are interesting to me that I write about some on my blog, but hold back a little bit not because I think it would hurt someone’s feelings but because I think people won’t be interested. Like right now I’m kind of obsessed with issues of global poverty and social justice, but I wonder if I’ll alienate readers by posting too much of my thoughts about that. Is that an example of a “tribe” to set up? It’s less about getting support, and more about a topical theme.

    In contrast, I’d be interested in connecting with bloggers who have concerns or diagnoses of children with autism-spectrum issues. That’s something I could envision as a tribe here. Although I know there are other forums for parents dealing with these issues. (We’ve never had our daughter evaluated, but I have some concerns and things I’m kind of keeping an eye on.)



    • JW Moxie on April 12, 2012 at 8:56 am

      Thank you for your thoughts and vies on what I’ve been sharing, Elizabeth! in the first comment, you mention how the series and community projects through the community build social cohesion. You’re absolutely right about that. I tend to think of Tribes as being another avenue that can build social cohesion along lines which may not be readily apparent or available. We don’t know what’s out there unless we can find it or create it. I hope that Tribes can be a “bulletin board” in that respect.

      I definitely think that groups/focused discussion which centers on topical themes can and should be posted to Tribes. A gathering of like-minded individuals builds just as much community. For all we know, there could be many others who’ve refrained from discussing particular topics for fear of alienating readers. We could be surprised and find that it might *attract* people who share a similar passion and would love to engage in the discussion.

      Both of your ideas — global poverty/social justice and autism-spectrum issues — make for perfect Tribe Announcements.



  20. Orodemniades on April 15, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    I think I am very tired of always searching and never finding.



  21. […] poster” that I created. Others simply thanked me, because through that post they found my Emotional Infertility series, and it helped give them some clarity and understanding about their infertility affects them at an […]