Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Pausing a Friendship

We all know that relationships can take a beating when you are IF. I've been surprised at support received from people from whom I didn't expect it and just as surprised at the lack of support received from those from whom I did expect it. I think that Husband and I are going to have to press "pause" or even "stop" on our friendship with a couple of our best friends. These friends have a lot of history with us, so it surprises me that it's come to this. The wife even suffered with a little IF herself before getting pg via Clomid.

Our friendship has been on the rocks for a while. I would have said the rockiness started when I told her we couldn't see her baby after our IVF cycle failed last spring. However, I have learned that apparently the rockiness started when she was pg and felt that she had to bend over backwards for me and be overly sensitive to my needs instead of my being sensitive to hers as well as not being able to share her life-changing event with me. That's not exactly how I remember things but oh well. I guess it's easy to write off as insufficient the numerous daily emails we exchanged during her pg. And we discussed her pg often. We just couldn't see their baby. It was too raw. It hurt too much. But it was never personal, something I tried to explain over and over.

Anyway, this friend and I had started to reconnect (all the effort on my end since apparently I was the "sinner") this summer. Things were tentative, but I thought we were making progress. I even received 1 email from her that I didn't have to initiate (it's the little things that mean the most you know). I hoped that soon we would even be able to meet her baby b/c Husband and I had decided that we needed to live life and not let IF live us as well as accepting that some people are able to have babies much easier than others. It's a fact of life. We decided we needed to "deal with it" a bit more than we had been. I had a bit of a relapse in the "dealing with it" department after our FET cycle failed and I had to accept that we were unlikely to have a biological child and had possibly reached the end of our treatment path.

I emailed my friend last week (initiated by me of course) and during the course of our conversation, I asked her if she thought whether our friendship would ever be the same. She replied and told me that she didn't think the friendship would be able to start to heal until we were able to see her baby. Ouch.

The more I started to think about it, the angrier I got. First of all, I am so tired of people trying to control how Husband and I respond to and deal with our's pretty implicit in a lot of what people say that they think we should just get over it or at least wish we would because our IF makes THEM uncomfortable. Secondly, I have been over backwards for this friend. I have groveled and apologized for not being able to be there for her during her pg, not being able to attend her baby shower, not being able to see her baby. I've felt guilty about everything. However, I don't see much support being thrown our way. Our phone doesn't ring. We aren't getting many emails from them asking how we are doing. Where's our support? I've tried to explain to her that just as her new baby is her life, so is our IF. It's our reality and couldn't be more diametrically opposed to hers. She said she's not taking it personally and is trying to understand, but is she really? If she were, I wouldn't think she would hold this over our head like she is. Why is her child more important than our pain?

So, after that email, I've decided that I'm not emailing her anymore. If she values the friendship at all, she can email me. Her husband can call mine. At this point, even if someone handed me a baby or I got miraculously pg, I don't think our friendship could recover. Maybe one day but not now. I will not have my responses dictated to me!

And I'm ok with putting the friendship on hold. It sort of surprises me because I'm usually the kind of person who needs to have the last word. I'm not saying I'm right. Maybe we should have seen the baby. We probably should have sent a card (Husband passed on our congratulations to them in a phone call). However, rightly or wrongly, our response to the situation we are in - be it not being around babies or doing something that might cause us pain - has been the ONLY thing we can control throughout this entire process. Everyone else is trying to minimize our situation. Yes, things could be worse. But we have dealt with a lot of crap and pain. And it hurts knowing that your dream of a biological child is gone. We have pictures of 5 embryos that didn't make it, and they are real to us. And when people try to minimize our pain, it makes me want to make more of it b/c if we don't acknowledge it, who will?

I always read that your friends will not necessarily be your friends at every stage of your life. Maybe that's true. I never would have thought that with this couple, but life has a way of surprising you.


Schatzi said...

Welcome to the IF blogosphere! I just found you through Lost and Found. I understand your frustration, and I am sorry to hear of the toll IF has taken on your friendships.

Wishing you the best!

Sunny said...

Welcome to the blog world. IF totally screws ALL areas of your life. HUGS!

K77 said...

Hey, another UU! I think the biggest thing is that people suck. And those people might be your friends and/or your family and you just might have to take them out of your life for a while. IF sucks, and you've just gotta protect yourself.

infertility just sucks said...

It's the rare person who can change and grow with you throughout your life and always be there to empathize and understand.

I've dropped and picked up friends at all of my life stages. Sometimes it's sad and other times it's like "YEAH! I don't have to spend so much time thinking about how she's going to flip out about X today!"

So - I hear ya. :)