Monday, December 1, 2008

Is it worth it...

Is it worth trying to save or salvage a relationship with a fertile friend? A friendship lost in an effort to protect myself from feeling let down in front of my friend’s lack of emotion. A lost friendship that I miss dearly.

I’m torn. On the one hand, I feel incensed that she doesn’t get it. And I have tried to explain, not once or twice, but several times. On the other hand, I miss the friendship.

So what should I do? Pretend I’m fine, and be “friends” with her? Or accept the fact that things aren’t fine, and if she doesn’t get it and doesn’t feel any emotion for my situation, and me then I should be willing to move on?

Why must an infertile always end up making the effort to pretend things are great, just to “fit in” in the world of fertiles? Why can they not see things from our perspective?

Is it that hard for a friend to say: “I’m sorry” ? And I am not one to expect it again and again. But is it wrong for me to expect a “I’m sorry” one time over the course of a year and 3 pregnancy losses?

I’ve told her in these words “The last year has been the most difficult one for us so far. (DH) is busy with (work) and I’m busy trying to keep myself sane.” (This was part of an email exchange last week). And it’s not like she does not know of my struggles or losses. She does. But doesn’t say anything because she says “I don’t know what to say”. Her response to this last email was “Whatever it takes to keep one happy – that should be our goal.”

This is a friend who decided to “go for baby no. 2” when I told her I was finally pregnant last year. This is the friend who had that second baby 3 months ago and has not even sent us a birth announcement.

After this email exchange she sent me a link with pictures – full of her 2 kids. I had to scroll through 60 pictures to even get the name of the new baby.

What am I expected to do? Say “Ooooh what a cute baby – congratulations?” Maybe I should also keep quiet and if asked, say “I don’t know what to say.”

What would you do? Why am I letting this get under my skin and make me so mad? Why is it so hard to just close this chapter and move on?

PS: Have I totally lost it? I recently had a dream that I took a very fertile friend to the pharmacy and bought her birth control pills. I haven’t seen this friend in over 4 years. Go figure…. ☺


Heavy heart said...

It is a difficult question. It is obvious that she is hurt too. Knowing what little I know of you, I think you are smart enough to recognise a meanie from a mile,so this one obviously isn't. She is only struggling to deal with her close friend's infertility and not succeeding in being sensitive.It is her failing but not her fault. We are always expected to fit in with the infertiles because we are the ones 'in the know'. They just don't know how much this hurts.

I comment not to say what you should do but, to ensure that you don't feel too let down by her. Take care.

Lisa said...

Such a difficult situation. I've been there many times with my fertile friends. the truth is they just don't, and won't ever get it. They can't possibly. Not unless they've actually been through it. I too, wish my friends could at least try to be more sensitive, wish they could at least try harder to relate and listen and be a shoulder for me to at least let me know that they care. But I think they honestly just don't relize. Maybe she didn't send you the birth announcemnt because she didn't want to hurt you. I don't know. But I do know this: Infertility is isolating enough without losing your closet friendships. I have lost many over it, and I wish I hadn't. I have also tried hard, and been the one to fit in, just so I won't lose them. I think, if the friendship is important to you, you should try to keep it. I think you need to be honest with her. Have a heart to heart, tell her exactly how you feel, but mostly, tell her that you miss her friendship and even though you can't relate to eachothers lives right now, that you want to try.
i'm sure she loves and misses you too, and hopefully you can find a way to get past all the hurt and be friends again. I don't know if it's even possible, but I think if it was me, it would be worth it.

I Believe in Miracles said...

I'm in a similar boat. Remember that girls weekend? Well I still haven't responded. A month later, I don't know what to do. So my friend sends me a gift, knowing I'll respond, and also mentions "what about the girls weekend?"

I don't really know what to say. She has no idea what I'm going through. And I'm not about to get into it over the phone. But I don't want to give too much detail about reasons why or why not. I'm seeing if I can pawn it off on another friend - as in let's try, but not sure if everyone elses schedule will align?

I miss her friendship, but she lives in another state with 2 kiddos. It's hard to have her be apart of my life right now. But I don't really want to lose her friendship either.

You can't really pawn this off on someone else. I don't really know what to say.


Anonymous said...

I totally understand how you feel. My friends try very hard to be supportive, but none of them will ever understand what I've been through because they haven't experienced it themselves. So sometimes they are insensitive even though they're trying not to be. So I think all you can do is be honest with your friend. Hopefully she is just ignorant and once you explain to her how you feel and what you really need from your friends, you'll come to a place of understanding and it'll be easier for both of you. And if not, then I guess you have your answer.

IF affects 1 in 6 couples, and yet most people are completely clueless about how devestating it is. Fortunately or unfortunately, we are the ones that are forced to spread the word.

I hope it works out.

Shelby said...

I too have seen friendships be pushed away because they just don't 'get it'. But, on the one hand, as someone said before, IF has already taken so much from us, why should we allow it to rob us of friendship as well? However, on the other hand, I believe going through IF helps us separate the keepers from the others. We see who comes through for us, whether they 'get it' or not, and who doesn't.

It's up to you to decide who to keep and who to let go. Because I know I am far too quick to dismiss friendships (mostly to avoid getting hurt any further), I am not one to give advice, but I will say that your decision is not an easy one. I'm sure that if it's worth salvaging, then you'll find a way back to your friend.

April said...

this is so hard. i think that many of us have been there. i also hate the "i don't know what to say" retort. say *something*'s not hard. even if you just say you care about me and want me to be happy. it's better than having no feelings. or maybe she doesn't know what to say b/c she can't express her feelings. maybe she's socially retarded. do you think that you could be friends with her without any additional pain and heartbreak to you? that is what i was most recently struggling with: the one who broke up with me...i wanted our friendship back so bad, but when we spent any time together i got more and more upset. although it was very hard, i think that it is better to not be around her. she SO doesn't get it that it was more painful to be friends with her. funny thing is, i honestly think that things will be totally fine when/if i have a kid.

if totally f's with your brain, your relationships, your body. :(



Sarang said...

This really resonates with me right now. I know that torn feeling. I'm thinking of letting a friendship -- with my oldest friend that I've known since we were 12 years old -- quietly lapse. I've always known she was not the "sympathetic one", but I dismissed that because nothing had ever really come along that knocked me flat on my ass like this before. And now, I really need her to "get it". And since she's not, I'm experiencing something close to rage at her insensitivity. She well knows my pain and disappointments, but continues to prattle on and on about her 9-month old. My DH said something that opened my eyes the other day. Maybe she does not want to hear about my IF as much as I do not want to hear about her baby. But, mine is from a sad place, hers a happy one, so she should listen, right?! His point was how do I know she is in a happy place. Motherhood does not mean instant happiness. Some women find it a daily struggle. I can buy that. But until she complains about something more profound than lack of sleep, I'm not cutting any slack. So...I'm doing the avoidance thing for now and will re-evaluate in a few months time. I feel like a true friendship can take a pause and resume as it was when ready.

Good luck in finding what works best for you~~~ sorry it's not easier.

margelina said...

Frirndships can be hard, especially when people are in different stages of their lives dealing with vastly different things. Sometimes time can heal things, sometimes space helps. It soundslike both of you are dealing with life-changing situations, and perspective on both sides can be lost, we tend to become self-involved and it's so hard to see the other side. You will figure out in time if keeping this friendship is worth it. True friends can pick up where they left off, no matter how much time has passed. For now, just take care of yourself, and the rest will work out. ((hugs))

Linda said...

I have no advice for you, as I have lost most of my IRL friends over the many years of ttc. I'm sorry...