Friday, November 7, 2014

Being a Friend to an Infertile

I really liked this post from The Runaway Stork about advising newbie infertiles navigating this treacherous territory.  I posted that the thing that surprised me the most was my friends' shitty responses.  I have great friends (I thought) and they love me (I thought) so they will support me!  It will be great!

Last night I was crying my eyes out to someone I thought was a dear friend, and she made a joke about me borrowing her kids.  She was holding my hand after my surgery recovery.  How could she not get it?

I know it's crappy to be a friend to an infertile, especially as a friend with kids.  It's not their fault their bodies worked correctly.  It's not their fault IVF is so painful and stressful and time consuming and expensive.  And what are they supposed to say exactly?  It's hard.  There's no good answer for anyone.

Looking back, I wish I had educated more of my (close) friends.  I wish I had texted that I was having a hard time. I wish I texted that I just screamed for fifteen minutes in my car in the parking lot of an infertility clinic.  I wish I had told them when I needed them and no one was around.  I wish I had said that I just needed someone to cry with me after another loss.  Another failure.  There were a lot of times I was not OK, and I felt like no one could hear me.  It's why I started this blog.  So I could scream into the silence of cyberspace instead of my car.  And maybe pretend like someone can hear me.

Looking back, I would have told less people.  I feel like so many have used this information to hurt me, even if it isn't what they intended to do.  Those that did know and should have cared didn't.  I wish I were less exposed.  I wish my friend I cried my eyes out just sent a text and said "hope everything goes well at the doctor" or something.  I wish someone gave a shit.  I wish the friends I confided in actually cared about this precious, precarious situation.  I wish it weren't a fucking joke or no big deal to them.

And maybe I could have been a better friend too.  Maybe I could have been there more when someone lost her mom or got fired instead of stuck in the pit of my own hurt and resentment.  Maybe I could have at least stopped by the 1 year old's birthday party.  Or maybe I could have sent an email about why I couldn't.  I didn't because I didn't understand.  And it made me a crappy friend.  I didn't educate them because I didn't understand.  I'll never know if it was them or me, but I know it will never be the same.

Tonight I'm going to dinner with Leah, who is opposed to IVF and doesn't know I'm doing it.  I get exactly one drink tonight, so that should be a dead giveaway something is off at a nine course wine pairing dinner.  Maybe she'll think I'm pregnant.  I know there's no way I'm telling her.  I can't take any more exposure, especially to someone I know will be hostile.  This will also be the first time I get to shoot myself up in the bathroom of a public place because of the timing, so that should be fun.

Funny thing is I never expected my husband to get it because men, but I did expect my female friends to get it.  Maybe that isn't fair.  Maybe it's a journey you just have to walk alone.  No one can be strong for me, and at the end of the day no one gets it.  Maybe expecting too much from people so removed from the process will only lead to disappointment.

1 comment:

  1. I totally hear you. I have very few friends left, I have mostly dumped them because I don't want to tell them I'm having a hard time, and I don't want to have to communicate with them and hear all about their kids etc. So I've thrown myself into other things, including my blog. In the beginning I'd get texts saying We must catch up, but I didn't want to catch up, when they had news I didn't want to hear and I had none. So I went silent on them. Not the most mature thing to do I know, but hey I'm struggling here! Not one has text or called to say, Haven't heard from you in a while, is everything ok? It's been interesting, and sad. I'm sorry you haven't had a different reaction.