Friday, November 21, 2008

Strange Week

It has been a rather strange week. I started the week sort of dreading it because I had a ton of meetings and appointments and wanted to hole up in my office instead. Plus, my parents were coming in this weekend, and I knew that I wouldn't be able to rest until Sunday. Almost immediately on Monday, meetings and plans started getting cancelled or rescheduled, leaving me with an almost free week. Then my mother announced that they couldn't come after all this weekend because my stepfather has to work, and when I emailed my friend K to tell her that our plans to attend the county library book sale had just become a lot freer, she told me that she forgot the date and scheduled her daughter's dedication for this weekend. It was like dominoes falling. Suddenly, I am free! Husband and I have the entire weekend to ourselves, and I can come and go as I please to the book sale.

Oh, two of the appointments that were scheduled were our OB appointments. F had a flat tire on Tuesday that prevented her from being able to make the nurse's appointment, and the practice requires you see the nurse before the OB, so both appointments had to be rescheduled for next Monday. Oh well. We'll be almost 13 weeks then, and at least I'll be able to go into Thanksgiving having had another u/s that week.

Honestly, while I am perfectly happy to be able to go to the book sale on my own terms, I'm a little disappointed in K. We have been going to the library book sale together for years. We make an event out of it, always going on the Saturday of the sale because paperbacks are 50 cents and having a wine lunch afterwards with Husband. Last year she couldn't go because she was pg and attended a day-long baby care class instead. We went to the sale on the Friday instead and had only about 2 hours together, and I returned by myself the next day. This year, even though we had talked about it already, she forgot the date and booked it.

I'm telling myself that things are different now that she has a baby and apparently motherhood has increased her inherent flakiness, but to me it's just another sign that maybe I should just give up and back off. I mentioned that we would have to do something in December and that Husband would love to hear from her husband G and she replied that G would love to swap work war stories with Husband. Yeah, like anything will be planned. Correction: If we plan it, it is the only way it will happen. But I want to leave it up to her and I know we won't hear from them because Husband and I always had to plan everything. I'm just trying to understand what's going on in her head; it appears that there is a blank spot where we are concerned.

I know I keep rehashing the friend situation to the point where you are all probably extremely tired of it, but I've been doing a lot of thinking about it. I mentioned my bitterness about my friends and their continuing complete lack of response to us to my therapist about 2 weeks ago, and she gave me permission to find new friends and write off the "friends" I have, accepting that maybe the friendships have run their course and that Husband and I deserve better. It was helpful of her to say that because I had begun to wonder what it was about me and Husband that friends seemed to drop us so easily. We're up to 3 sets of friends who have been able to write us off. I don't think we are awful people or unworthy of friendship, but it makes you wonder. So, I'm going to try to stop emailing K. I hope I'm not painting this picture of me as desperate and constantly emailing her. I've been updating her on our doctor appointments, but really, it's more out of loneliness than anything else. Other than family, with whom I'm not all that close, I don't have anyone else to talk to. But she's giving me nothing in return. Clearly, she's not very interested or able to be interested and involved right now. Better to accept that and move on instead of being hurt constantly. And it's not like I think she's giving me the friend version of "[S]He's Just Not That Into you"; she honestly is flaky and fairly self-involved. But I've been there for her, and she hasn't for me. Time to move on.

Who are these people who are able to have and keep lots of friends? I'm on Facebook, and that's what I wonder as I watch other people. I'm not innocent here. I have former close friends--definite kindred spirits--from whom I've drifted away, so I need to take a look at myself too. I think a big issue is that I've always been someone who has a few close friends instead of many friends. And now that's bitten me. I think a lot about this now that we are sort of ready to emerge from our shells and re-engage. Just where do you find friends? I have good candidates, but I've held back from them b/c they had kids and it was too painful to take it all the way. I'd been hesitant for a while to engage with RL IFers through Resolve because they often move on, and you never knew how long the comfort level will be there. I think that the situation will fix itself somewhat once the baby arrives and we are able to go to playgroups and such things. After Intending to Be Parents mentioned that she is member of a pregnancy after reproductive technology group, I checked and there doesn't seem to be one in my area. I don't know what I'm looking for. I miss the friends I had in high school. I miss the few close friends I made in college (of which K was one). I could try to reconnect with them, but their lives have unfolded so differently. Mostly I just wonder how I got here, alone. And what blame should I take for that?

I apologize for the length of this post. I'm just feeling a little alone and lost with the holidays approaching. I expected to feel different this year. I do, but some of the same hurts are still there. It's like throwing a party to which no one comes. But I have to remember that I have changed. The last few years have changed me...think cocoons and chrysalis and butterflies and that sort of metaphor. Only I don't feel as much like a butterfly as Kafka's cockroach.

My therapist also suggested I resume my anxiety medication. After this LONG, rambling, inchoate post, think that's a good idea? :-)


Samantha said...

I wish I still lived in NC, because I would love to get together with you again, given our similar professions and situation. As it is, I'll have to settle on some long distance support. I'm also a few close friends kind of person, so I know it can be hard when your drift apart from those friends, whether it be by interest or geography.

I don't know what to tell you about the medication. If you think it would be helpful for you to go back on, I'd say give it a try.

Sue said...

I don't think anyone is to blame. People change and drift apart. Some friends make the transition with you and others don't - it's completely normal. I also have just a few close friends, so it's easy to feel lonely at times. Those friends have children and although that doesn't bother me, it's definitely cut into the free time they have to spend with me.

I think you're in a transition phase right now too. If you think going back on your meds would be helpful, don't hesitate to do it. The holidays are hard for many of us, so don't beat yourself up about it.

Niki said...

I have noticed a similar evolution of friendships through my IF struggles. I'm somewhat of a social butterfly and have a wide circle of friends. However, I've noticed that after my son died I don't talk to many of them. I stick with my close circle. I think a lot of it has to do with me, but some of it has to do with my friends. Our lives are in such different places and quite frankly in some cases I'm glad we've lost touch. The true, strong friendships still exist and will last. I've found that people, especially women, who are already self-involved can't seem to do much of anything after they have kids. It's not you and your husband. It's them.

I have found a couple of good friends through IF and infant loss support groups. I think it's easy to make friendships with people who have similar battle wounds and can understand where I come from and why I think, feel, and act the way I do.

I'm sorry that you are feeling lonely. I think the holidays contribute to those feelings, especially for veteran IFers like us. The holidays aren't what we've envisioned and dreamed of for so long.

I say take the medication. The holidays are stressful, which will only add to your anxiety.

kate said...

Oh, I so SO hear you. I've been going through this a lot myself in the past few years. I have good friends that I have so much shared history with, but circumstances change and suddenly, I don't exist in their world anymore.

I know how much harder it is to make friends outside of the college sphere. Shoot, I have tons of acquaintances now that I'm back in college, but none that I would want to turn in to lifelong friends- it's just something about being that age that makes us so open to new experiences, including friends that may not have the same worldview that we have, and ultimately, that comes to cause problems when we grow up and become different people. (Is that the longest sentence in the world? It should at least be in the running...) But yes- as an adult, how do you make new friends? I certainly don't know. Since we've moved here, we've met one couple that we liked, and in the end, I decided that I really didn't like the "her" half of that couple, and then they moved away anyhow.

If we lived closer, I'd totally insist that we get together... Maybe we'll have to formulate another NC get-together, especially since there are new babies on the way for you and JJ (and Samantha, too , if she were still here!).

N said...

I think that over time good friends can easily drift apart due to life circumstances, distance, changing interests, etc. It's usually no one's "fault". Most people don't think twice about it because they just make new friends. But when you are going through IF and you are of the age where everyone else is having kids, it can be much harder to become close friends with "new" people. I'm like you, I tend to have a small group of really close friends rather than a large group less close friends. That makes it even worse sometimes because it takes more involvement to become close with someone and when you are struggling through IF, it's hard to relate to anyone NOT going through IF! I ended up making a couple of close friends who went through IF too and wouldn't have met them otherwise. I think you are in the weird transition phase as others mentioned and that soon there will be a whole new interest to bond with others over - babies. :) Hang in there. The IF hangover will get better.

TABI said...

I totally understand the friend thing! I just wrote about this too and it's very challenging since I am still in my struggle. But I hope to reconnect someday with the friends I still can't bare to share my life with right now, but I'll just have to see where life brings me. So I hope you find the right kind of transition with old friends and new friends as you start to reconnect and emerge from this journey.

Duck said...

some friends come and go. I have friends that i consider to be close with but, that I don't get to see very often, once a year maybe, and we don't chat often, but, life is like that.
I think things do change when there is a baby..

sara said...

I think it's great that you say all that's on your mind and I don't think you rambled at all. In fact I always enjoy reading your posts! I think it's so hard to maintain certain friendships over time, and I consider myself a very outward outgoing person. Since our infertility and IVF journey I find that I just don't have as much in common with some of them anymore and I've definitely drifted. I hope you have a great thanksgiving and a great next appointment!