Sunday, January 30, 2011

Infertility: 2, Me: 0

I am at the point where I can look back and name two friendships already killed by infertility.

One was with a co-worker, L. We used to hang out outside work and talk a lot during the work day. When I confided in her that I was diagnosed with PCOS and scared, she (who has a son with her boyfriend they accidentally conceived 3 weeks into their relationship) scoffed and said "I think you'll find it's much easier to get pregnant than you realize." Ouch, you clearly didn't listen to anything I have just said.

Last summer while I had just begun treatments and a dear friend of ours had a 5 year old daughter preparing for brain surgery, L seemed almost allergic to asking us how things were going for us, preferring to talk endlessly about herself and complain about her own (comparatively) trivial problems. We were both hurt by her actions. Her lack of compassion and understanding meant I really had no choice but to cut her out.

It has been since last July that I stopped considering her a friend. Knowing then that we had been TTC for six months, it still hurts sometimes that she never asks me how it's going or how I'm holding up.


The other friendship was much deeper and it's apparent ending is causing me a lot of stress. I have written about this friend before, J. Up until about September, J and I were fine. I probably would have called her my best friend. We shared everything, talked on the phone a couple of times a week and emailed daily. She was with me through the first part of my treatments. But then, she and her husband started TTC and I just couldn't take it. She started confiding in me about their (heartbreakingly normal) TTC plans and it just killed me. I tried to explain it to her but she didn't understand, and I think at that point she decided to stop trying to understand.

Then, about a month ago when things were already really tense between us, she sent me an email telling me I should start going to church. She got pretty pushy about it, and I was extremely offended. I thought she understood that I grew up Catholic and I feel really uncomfortable there. That going back to church would require a change in religion which is hard for anyone at any point in their life, let alone right now. Most of all, I think, I was hurt that she thought I hadn't even considered church and that I didn't have good reasons for avoiding it.

I waited four days to respond. In my opinion, I politely refused and explained that I don't want to hear "This is God's plan" more than I already do. She was apparently irreversibly hurt by the way I rejected her suggestion. We have barely spoken since.

I am nervous that soon she will be telling me she's pregnant. I feel bad because it was a great friendship gone awkwardly bad. I feel guilty because I'm having surgery on Wednesday and she doesn't even know. And how am I supposed to tell her when things are so awful between us?


So that's, two infertility. I don't have very many left. Please let me keep these.


Nille said...

Can I just say Thank You! I so feel your pain! I don't know how people do it. I am so frustrated beyond belief but doing everything that has been suggested by the drs. We have been struggling with infertility for 2 years. I have an endometrioid cyst on my left overy and I have too much scar tissue from a previous health condition that is in the way for them to remove the cyst. My right fallopian tube is also not looking too good due to adhesions from my appendectomy when I was a kid.
I am fine with adoption but my husband is not, I can't take one more person announcing they are pregnant and how is it that all of the people who aren't trying manage to get pregnant or those that conceive after a few months...I can't take it anymore. Now when I see a baby I am on the verge of tears. I am turning into a frump and I hate it.
I wish I could trade in this body, I feel like it has way too many issues and it's letting me down in the worst way.
Too many of my friends are pregnant and they love to give their little advice, UM DUH don't you think after 2 years we've pretty much done/tried it all?
One of my friends gave me the best advice this's ok to be sad, feel it, and let it out because bottling it up hurts so much more. What refreshing words and not oh it'll happen, just stop trying then it happens....blah, blah, blah, blah....
Hang in there and good luck on your procedure! Know you aren't alone!

Jem said...

I totally get what you are saying. I have a very close friend who we told about our doing IVF and her response was, "You don't have to tell me this." and then proceeded never to bring it up again. Clear signal that she's not into being a truly intimate friend.


Sandra said...

Wow Lulu. This just really struck home for me. I can count on one hand how many people know about our infertility journey, and the losses that we have experienced along the way. It's amazing how 'friends' withdraw, or just view trying IUI/IVF as frivalous. I've literally had a 'friend' tell me, 'well, you gotta choose where to spend your money.'. Are you f'ing serious? This from a single 42 year old women, never married, and absolutely NO IDEA what it means to not be able to concieve naturally. I have basically stopped interacting with her, because when I do, she wants to know 'all the details', but shows no support. I don't need to be the topic of gossip, especially amongst women who have no idea what it's like.
I have withdrawn from most everyone, what I call my 'emotional boundary'. I just don't have it in me to share with someone who just doesn't get it.

Drevas said...

This post really made me think a lot about some of the friendships that I have lost due to infertility. I used to go out regularly with two friends who are now pregnant - One is due in February and the other in April. I still talk to them through email but I just can't deal with anything more than that right now. Thankfully, I think that they understand... but it's still hard. I wish I were stronger and could attend their baby showers and continue to have lunch with them...but I just can't right now. It's such a difficult thing to deal with.

I wish you and I were friends in real life. :)

PS - Thank you so much for your last comment on my blog... It made me smile! Getting ready to post an update...

Browniris said...

I just wanted to thank you for the nice "secret pals" package. It made my day when I saw it in the mailbox! :)

GL with your friendships...I can totally relate. IF has definitely caused some strain with a few friends and family members; it is hard when friends just don't get it.

Still A Guest Room said...

I'm so sorry that you've had two terrible experiences. I hope that you can find people in your life to be understanding and supportive.

Roccie said...

What a big giant fucker. Both of them.

I have one of those too. She just never asks. I tell her it hurts but I guess she is just too busy. I am tired of making the effort.

I am so sorry. Just because we are right and they are wrong doesnt mean it doesnt hurt. A lot.