Get over it.

Written by Gail Miller

 There are different ways that can be said.  One way it’s said is “get over it already” with annoyance and anger.  Clearly that’s not ok.

Then there’s the “kind” tone – said with good intentions.  Sounds innocent and caring.  Right?  Umm…not so fast.

What I’m referring to specifically is being told to “get over it” when you’re feeling all the feelings that have resulted from being childless not by choice (CNBC).  Whether it’s because there’s a specific trigger or your feelings are just there – they just popped up and you have no idea what triggered them this time. 

For me the first time I heard it was from someone who I love dearly and who I know loves me.  I was having a bad day – I had been triggered by something – I don’t even remember what it was now because what happened after had such an impact on me.  

In all honesty the person who told me to “get over it” when I was struggling with the pain I was feeling, thought they were helping because, to them, this was the answer – be happy by just moving on and forget about it.  But it crushed me.  I didn’t have the words to explain why this hurt or why it was so wrong.

In fact, I didn’t even realize what was said to me was wrong – I had been so convinced that I was in the wrong for feeling what I was, that I was being weak, that there was something wrong with me because I wasn’t getting over it and moving on.

And that’s the point.  Even though it can be said with good intentions it doesn’t help…it makes it worse.  Telling someone to “get over it” is telling someone to ignore their feelings. 

The reason I was feeling like I was weak when I was first told to “get over it” is because telling someone that truly is saying that you’re not in control of your feelings, that you’re weak…that your feelings aren’t valid.  

You’re being told “get control of your feelings already”. 

Being told to “get over it” in reality (no matter how well intentioned) is condescending and disrespectful.  

When you’re being told this when you’re CNBC it’s another layer of hurt.  Because of the lack of understanding of the grief.  Often it’s because people don’t view being CNBC as something to grieve since there isn’t a “real person” lost.  

 

Telling someone to get over it doesn’t work.  Here’s why:

  • Suppressing emotions and pain isn’t healthy.  The quote “what you resist persists” is true.  If you resist feelings they don’t go away, instead they worsen and multiply, it leads to physical stress and sickness and it inevitably shows up somewhere else.
  • What one person thinks is no big deal is significant to someone else – everyone’s experience in life is different.  So, while this is a deep issue and pain for you, to someone else it seems like nothing and, with that, comes this superficial advice advice to “get over it”

So what can you do???

Here are 3 things to do:

  1.  Breathe.  That may seem trite, simple or obvious. But it sends a message to your brain to calm down and encourages your body to relax.  Taking a deep breath is the best way to cut down on stress in your body.   
  2. Examine your feelings.  Name the emotion you’re feeling.  Are you angry?  Sad?  Frustrated?  Numb?  It will give you a chance to reflect and choose what you want to do with those emotions.  Do you want to walk away?  Do you want to try to educate the person?  Do you simply want to tell them that it’s not ok to say that?  Or do you want to ignore it and move on?  Make the choice and your next step from a place of calm and understanding your own emotions.  
  3. Remind yourself that whatever emotions you’re feeling are valid.  You do not need outside validation.  Your feelings matter.  It is ok to grieve the loss of the future you had planned with children.  It’s ok to feel your feelings – they are valid.


Get over it?  No.  But, you can move on with it. 

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