I don’t think I shut it out. I think more hardened because I found it. I don’t think I found it difficult to talk to people. I don’t think there is anyone I could actually talk to about. I talked to my parents and we talked to [wife]’s parents and my sisters and you know brother-in-law. So I did talk to people but 90% of the time I’m at work or with work friends. I didn’t talk about it with them. No one knew anything about what was happening until the very end of our treatment at work. And I think that’s more because I was embarrassed because you put on a persona at work don’t you? Well men do anyway.
[Laugh] So what prompted you to tell people?
Physically because I had to have time off and if I hadn’t had to have time off for which. Local government are very good. You get time off for lots of different things if it’s needed. And I looked through our handbook at work actually just on the off chance and I saw that it said for IVF treatment, you’re allowed compassionate time off for that because with IVF treatment it can take, you know, you might need to be off three or four days, individual, just to be going back for different blood tests and whatever and medication. So I thought it was going to be very awkward for me to have to take it off as leave if they asked questions. So that, that’s when I went and told my immediate superior. It was actually useless I have to say and a woman which surprised me. I’d thought I was actually, get lot of sympathy and she didn’t know how to handle it amazingly.
Yet the friend who’s the same level as me at work my friend [name] was brilliant and I still talk to him about it now. And that surprised me because I thought it would have been the opposite.
So what did she do that wasn’t what you expected? What did she say of it?
I don’t know. I expected to go to her and not to be a shoulder to cry on but I thought she’d be a lot more sympathetic and would have given the opportunity to talk about it. And she just didn’t. She didn’t. She really didn’t know how to handle it. She just said to me, ‘Ok well if you need the time that’s fine. Don’t worry.’ End of conversation. Not if you want to talk about it come and talk about it or if you, you know, if you just want someone to chat about anything to come to me which is what I would do with my staff. Maybe it’s two ways of management or maybe she just thought, well that’s a man with a man’s problem. He needs a man to talk to. I don’t know.
And your friend, how did he react?
He was brilliant yeah. It’s amazing you talk to one person and he turned around and said, ‘Oh yeah well so and so and so and so are going through the same problem. My friends are doing this and my sister’s had to adopt because they’ve been through the same problem.’ And you start realising that you’re not isolated. You’re not the only person who has this problem. But it makes you feel like it doesn’t it? Well it does yeah. He was brilliant really helped. I couldn’t have a cry with him but yeah he was really good.