Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fairweather Friends? WWYD?

I need to vent and ask your opinions please.  There is something weighing very heavy on my heart and today is the second day I've woken up at 3 AM completely upset about it and unable to sleep...

As you may know, I was pretty torn apart Friday evening, finding out I was going to lose this pregnancy. I blogged about it and posted about it on facebook. I felt like I was going to explode if I didn't get the heartache out of my system and connect with others who have gone through something similar.  I got tons of great support from you all here on my blog and on facebook, with many nice comments and private messages from women who have gone through it.

I was extremely hurt this weekend, when right after I posted my heartfelt post about miscarrying, that someone I thought was a "good friend" posted a bunch of joyous gender reveal pics on facebook, knowing I would see it and knowing exactly what we were going through. Her husband had actually texted my husband the day we found out, and we had already relayed the bad news. Not to mention, this girl posted a comment saying "We're crushed that you are going through this" on my page. Then, literally 24 hours later posted all of her wonderful announcements complete with balloons and smiles, and tons of congratulatory comments. I knew that she was finding out the sex of their baby the same day we found out we were miscarrying, so it was poor timing, but to have her post her gender reveal front and center the very same weekend of my horrible news CRUSHED ME to say the least.

Surely a true friend wouldn't do that. Why did I think she was that close of a friend anyways? Maybe because when she was first diagnosed with cancer years ago, I cried myself and made sure I took time to send her a care package of resources from LIVESTRONG, where I volunteer, to help her navigate through the health care system and help her feel she wasn't so alone and had support. Maybe because I always made sure to offer words of encouragement from the time she was diagnosed until the time she beat it. Maybe because she and her husband were the only people we mailed a Christmas package to outside of our own family last year, the ONLY ones! Maybe because my husband and I opened our home to them and they stayed with us to celebrate my husband's entire birthday weekend recently. Maybe because when she reached out to me several months ago frantic about her ability to conceive after seeing a doctor and being told her chances were slim, I spent an hour on the phone providing advice to calm her down and giving her a whole list of books to read....which she did and became pregnant right away using what she learned with no medical intervention necessary. Maybe because I squashed my own pain from the struggle I was still experiencing when I found out she was pregnant and sent her a card AND reached out to congratulate her personally via phone.

Now I don't expect people to put their lives on hold according to what Emily and Matt might be experiencing that week, and I even told her on the phone when I called to congratulate her on her pregnancy "don't feel like you need to censor yourself just because we are struggling". However, that was when there were no real changes going on for us at that time. I just feel like the game kind of changes and some extra tact should be used when someone loses a pregnancy suddenly. And to give them credit, this couple had been thoughtful enough to let us know about their pregnancy before they announced it to the world, but all of a sudden now it seemed like all regard for our feelings had gone completely out the window! I logged into facebook, saw her joyous gender reveal smack at the top of my newsfeed and I could instantly feel steam coming from my ears and rivers streaming down my cheeks. I didn't know whether to be hurt or extremely pissed off, or both. I have just never felt so worthless as a friend in all of my life.

I realize I told her "not to censor herself" previously, but my God this was so soon after such crushing news on our end! I kept asking myself if I would do the same thing if the tables were turned. What if it were me who was just trying to enjoy my pregnancy? What if I had never experienced a pregnancy loss and just couldn't really relate 100% to how that must feel? What if it were me who had gone through cancer years before and was just happy to be alive and now bearing life?

I am open and honest enough with myself enough to ask these questions, but the only answer I come up with was HELL NO I still wouldn't be so inconsiderate. I would have waited at least a few days for the dust to settle. I wouldn't have cared what I'd been through to get there or how excited I was, I still wouldn't do that in the face of someone who had just experienced a loss. It's just plain selfish. Period.

Then I asked myself if any of my other true friends would have behaved in the same manner? Would Tammy ever do such a thing? Or Michelle? Or anyone else who's close to me. Still again, the answer I came up with was NO WAY would they EVER do such a thing knowing what I must be going through at the same exact time.

For the past couple of days my heart has just been aching over this, because it just feels like a friendship I put effort into was one sided all along. Not like we're best friends, but more like longtime friends and were becoming even closer the past year through phonecalls and visits more regularly. I mean looking back, I guess I have probably gone out of my way for this person more than she has for me, so why should I be surprised really? I am definitely not the type of person to do things for others and expect something back in return either. I don't keep tabs or feel like people owe me, ever. I do things because I want to and because I'm a caring and good and loyal friend. However, I do expect just a little compassion and selflessness in return, even if it means a little sacrifice on the other friend's part from time to time. Believe me, I'll be overjoyed when I do get pregnant and find out the sex of my baby, but if a friend of mine reveals they are miscarrying the same exact day I find out, I'll probably use my better judgement and contain myself for just a little bit longer until the dust settles. That's just me though. Maybe I'm crazy.

I have gone ahead and removed she and her husband from my newsfeed on facebook. It just hurts too badly to see their posts now.  I figure if they are going to do a public gender reveal while they know I'm miscarrying, I shouldn't have any interest in continuing to make emotional deposits into a friendship which has left me feeling so brushed aside at this point. I'm torn in how I feel about them at all anymore, because I know that deep down they are good people, but this just caught me so off guard in a way I never imagined would happen. I thought about approaching them directly and telling them how much their actions hurt me, but what's the point really? How is my telling them going to make the experience go away? It won't, and as much as I'd like to, it's not something I'll forget very easily.

I would really love some honest feedback though. Am I overreacting? What would you do?


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  2. Oh Emily. My heart hurts for you and the pain you're going through especially dealing with this on top of it. My husband and I even talked about you this weekend and even though he's never read your blog, there are certain "friends" in this world that he knows I speak of, and you're one of them. He felt simply awful for you.

    On to the subject at hand. I completely understand your feelings and would absolutely feel the same way. I have a friend that knew about my failed pregnancies in the past and knew about my struggles. I knew she was going to start trying for her second this summer and was dreading that. Isn't that awful of me? I started sharing less with her. Basically only gave her details of what we were doing if she point blank asked. She found out a week ago that she is expecting. This week, she came up to ask me if my IUI's worked? I thought that was the rudest thing ever. Obviously, if it worked I would share, but does she really think I want to sit and talk about it not working with her who did get pregnant this cycle after only a few months of trying? I can't help but want to pull away from our friendship...it makes matters worse that we work together.

    I believe that people that don't have issues getting pregnant or keeping pregnancies, don't truly understand the sensitivity that "we" go through and how much every little facebook reminder can literally be a slap in the face. My guess is, she simply didn't give it a thought. Does that make her a good or bad friend? I don't know that answer. It certainly didn't make her a very considerate friend that thought of the pain you were going through. I sometimes think that preggo ladies should be thinking about me and how hard this is for me as much as I'm thinking about how lucky they are that it's easy for them. Unfortunately, I don't think they are on the same level with how much their actions can effect us.

    That said...I have a hard time being around pregnant friends and all of their joy. It's just too hard. Maybe that's why I'm seeking help, mentally. I wish so much for us both that our time is coming. xo

    If you ever want to email more...hope4babybump@yahoo.com (I'll share my personal email from there)

  3. Emily,

    I do not think you are over reacting. I know 5 girls that have a due date within a week or two of what mine was supposed to be. The week we found out our baby no longer had a heart beat was the week many of them found out the gender of their baby. The day I got home from my D&C I got on Facebook and two of them had done gender reveals and posted them. It devastated me. I felt like I had just gotten punched in the heart. I had to remove all of them from my newsfeed because they are constantly posting pictures of their bellies and their ultrasounds and it is a constant reminder of how far a long I should be. I had to do this and I wasn't as close to these girls as you seemed to be to your friend. You just loss a baby, a much wanted baby. You have the right to be selfish right now. You have the right to do whatever you need to do to get through the day. True friends will understand that. True friends will do whatever they can to be there and help. Over the past 8 weeks I have learned that some of the people I thought were my closest friends have not been there for me at all. I am a lot like you in the way that I am willing to do anything for anyone without expecting anything in return. However, this is our time to have others take care of us. We need to be around people who are going to carry us through this dark time, not make us feel worse. I am sending you all the prayers and love in the world. Stay strong hun!

  4. Hey Emily -- just found your blog now (through Growing Griswolds), and clearly at such a horrible time for you! For what it's worth, I don't think there's such a thing as "over-reacting" -- you're entitled to feel whatever emotions come up at this point, especially after all you've been through. The issue, really, is how to respond to this with your friend. In my opinion, you have every right to block her on Facebook, but I think it's important to try and understand that she probably wasn't doing this maliciously. Most people who do such things are just plain ignorant and don't have a strong sense of empathy/sympathy. She was probably assuming that a one-line comment of "aw, that sucks" was sufficient to acknowledge your pain, and then felt like she had every right to indulge in the amazingness of her pregnancy, regardless of your feelings... and, technically, she does. But it's pretty damn insensitive. Anyway -- I know I'm a total stranger to you at this point, but if you can somehow turn your anger into plain old disappointment and know that she was coming from a place of idiocy rather than evil, that might help?

    Hang in there...

  5. I'm so sorry for your loss. I read your sad news on Growing Griswolds and wanted to stop by.

    I don't think you are overreacting. I also don't think your friend meant to hurt you; at the same time, I don't think she took the time to think about how you would feel if you saw her posts. And I think that is the hurt you are feeling--that she didn't stop to think about you. At the very least, she could have sent you a message after posting her news to acknowledge your feelings. But we are infertile and have suffered loss, and we are more sensitive to it than most people, especially people on facebook.

    I'm sorry.

  6. Hi Emily,
    I don't think your over-reacting because you are going through a time of hurt and have every right to feel this way. I also don't think your friends were trying to hurt you either. Their excitement might have taken over their common sense that everyone can see FB posts including you and they just didn't think. I can very much relate to being the type of person who goes out of there way for people and can easily be hurt if the people we go the extra mile for don't seem to be sensitive towards our own situations. I hope in time you can decide how you feel about your friends. I want to believe most people are good people, but just make stupid mistakes sometimes. xoxoxoxo

  7. Hello fellow Emily... so sorry you're going through such turmoil right now. You asked if you were overreacting... No, I don't think so. You have every right to your feelings and you shouldn't have to censor yourself. You are right in the middle of a very tough, emotional time. Seeing stuff like that on FB (or anywhere else) is a HUGE trigger right now... After my loss I blocked so many people on FB. So, your friend knew about your loss and found out the sex of her baby the same day, then posted it to FB. Did she at least give you a heads up - like, Hey, Emily I'm going to be posting these pictures on FB because that's how I want my family/friends to hear about it? I think that would have been nice. Was she doing it maliciously knowing that you'll see the pictures? You may never know the answer. If so, then she definitely doesn't deserve your friendship. My thoughts are that you need to talk to your friend. Let it all out. Perhaps she took your no need to censor a little too far. Don't sugar coat things... Once everything is out in the open and if she still disregards your feelings then take a break or move on from the friendship. Good luck.

  8. I'm sorry, Emily :( I don't think you are over-reacting, and I definitely don't think you're crazy. Your friend likely doesn't realize how hurtful her actions were - although you would think it would be common sense to wait a few days, or at least to give you some warning! Nonetheless, give yourself some space from her. Surround yourself with your supportive friends, and don't worry about offending her if you don't talk with her, etc. Just take a "break" from the friendship and after some time, it'll be clear to you whether it was a friendship worth trying to salvage, or if you are happier without having to deal with her.

    And in the meantime, put her on "hide" on Facebook!!! My life is so much better when I "hide" everyone :)

  9. Emily, I can only imagine how that made your feel! OMG girl, I am just so incredibly sorry. I know I felt guilty just posting in the thread about my +OPK after what you are going through. I don't know your friend, but I know you've done a lot for her. I think to decide how to proceed from here you need to examine how she behaved in the past. How has she been about your struggle? When you suffered a loss last year, was she there for you? In general is she supportive or is she the kind that leans on you and then doesn't really support you at the same level in return?

    I don't think at all that you are overreacting with regards to the situation. You are in so much pain that I'm in aww at how well you ar doing and I"m so glad you are reaching out and blogging and starting to post again. *big hugs* to you! I'm actually facing a dilemma with a "friend" I've known for over half my life, but I'm debating the friendship as well due to IF. I might blog on it later and see what people think.

    Emily, you are an amazing, incredible person. I am so sorry that your pain was made even worse by this situation.

  10. Hi Emily! I don't remember how I stumbled across your blog (but I am guessing in my various searches for "clomid", "pregnancy after ectopic", "infertility" etc. searches...I must have come across your blog somehow, and marked it as a favorite!From reading through many of your posts, you seem to be a very strong person! I am so sorry you are going through all of this! I myself had my very first IUI done last Wednesday. It is now a waiting game...I too had/have a bff that isn't very supportive of me right now, becasue she is going through her own family dramas (although I think her issues are nonsense and she is just creating her own drama, it is still issues for her). I have just taken her behaviour with a grain of salt. I know she doesn't mean any harm, but it is still hurtful! I don't think you are overreacting. Everyone is entitled to their feelings! On a side note, (I wanted to PM you but silly me can't figure out how to do this on blogger)I would love to pick your brain about infertility. You seem to be very knowledgable! I have never miscarried, but a little over 18 months ago I had an ectopic pregnancy and since then we have not been able to get pregnant again. I would love it, if you have the time, to chat a bit. My personal email address is lindseylu14@gmail.com. Hang in there! I will keep you and your hubby in my thoughts and prayers!! :)Lindsey

  11. Oh Emily, I am so sorry this is happening to you. It's so sad when people stop considering your feelings b/c they are so focused on their own. It sucks that we are always supposed to suck it up and hide our sadness. If I were you I would say something to her. I know that if it were me 2 things would make me confront her (besides my normal never keep my mouth shut personality). 1. This would keep eating me up inside and you have enough feelings eating you up right now. This is added stress. 2. I feel like the issues of infertility and miscarriages are not talked about enough. The pain and sadness and stress that accompanies these issues is always kept quiet and it needs a voice.

    Whatever you do it will be right for you. I am so sad and sorry that this is happening to you right now. You deserve to be happy and surrounded by supportive people who care about you. You are a good person. XOXO

  12. I'm new to your blog, but I just had to share this story. I just went through the same thing. I had a missed miscarriage and I finally talked about it on Facebook. The very next morning my friend who was five weeks ahead of me revealed to Facebook that she and her husband were so excited to be expecting another child. It stung, but I know deep down in my heart that she had no intentions of hurting me. I don't think people, especially those who can't relate to fertility issues, understand how much it kills us to see these things. Try to forgive your friend. She is going through something really exciting and probably didn't think about the timing for one second. But, you have every right to block her and feel hurt and upset. It's all part of this crappy process. Take care!

  13. Emily, I don't think you over reacted on this situation. We are only human, expecting a "friend" to be more considerate of your situation is totally normal. I agree that people who have not gone through infertility, or just trouble conceiving in general, do not have the least conscience mind that things they do or say can be extremely hurtful. DH & I have dear "friends" back in California, we have always been closed to them regardless the distance. There was never a time that we did not make the effort to show up to their events or reached out to them when there was something going on in their lifes. Ironically I was the one that kept pushing B to have another child because I couldnt bare to see their son grow up alone. Well the day came that she told me they were going to start trying after the holidays (2011). Within two months she got pregnant, I wasnt surprised but it did get to me. I tried to cover up my pain and theyre both aware that we have not been able to conceive. I appreciated that she told me before anyone else did. When she found out the gender of the baby she sent me the ultrasound picture, which again got me sad but I had to let the feeling go cause I knew she didnt have an idea of what she was putting me through. I told DH about what they were going to have and he sent a text to R saying congratulations. Only to receive a response of "I dont shoot blanks". I thought that was plain rude given our situation. DH isnt the problem but they dont know that. Like you I didnt bother to reach out and express my feelings to her. I didnt think it was worth the time bc in the end they will continue to be self centered. Its sad to say that I dont bother to reach out to her anymore or care for it at this point of time. It seems that you realize who your true friends are when u need them the most. Sending hugs your way and a cyber shoulder so you can cry on.

  14. I wish I had something constructive to say. I've lost friends over the past few years for similar actions. I never told them why. One was a very close friend for years. She eventually figured out I had defriended her on facebook (it took me about a year to get there) and called my work number. Which I have no idea how she got. I felt absolutely no desire to renew the friendship at that point. I felt like she fit the title of this post -- she was a fairweather friend that didn't seem to care about all the pain my husband and I had gone through. Too much had happened, and I was way too bitter about everything to relay the entire story to someone who didn't find it worthwhile to even call in the months after the first miscarriage. She also announced a pregnancy (her second) right after. She gave me a five minute email head's up before she posted it on facebook. I was done right at that moment.

    I guess I just wanted to let you know you're not alone, and you're not overreacting. I'm not sure if it would do any good to explain it to your friend, because people usually just don't get it and it leads to more heartache for you. Right now you need to protect yourself.

  15. First of all, I would like to say that I'm sorry for your loss. Secondly, you have every right to feel hurt about your 'friend.' I would hope that she didn't mean to be insensitive and that it was just a case of everyone else in her life was waiting for the results (if they knew she was going in that day to find out) and she posted without thinking. Maybe she realized afterward and is too ashamed or embarresed to call you at this moment to make amends. There is definately nothing wrong with putting a little distance between the two of you though....at least for the time being.


  16. Emily, as others have said, you are not overreacting! You are going through a very emotional and difficult time and you are entitled to feel...well, however you feel! There are no right or wrong feeling right now. Just raw emotion.

    I am pretty sure that your friend did not mean to be insensitive and hurt you, at least I hope not. I truly believe that people who have never found themselves on this road of IF, really have no idea how truly heartwrenching and tough it is every.single.day. I am sure that her joy for the day and the news of the gender overshadowed any thought she may have had or the feelings she may have felt for anyone else in that moment. Or maybe she didn't even think anything of it. Maybe she still doesn't think anything of it. There are many people out there who truly lack a compassionate heart, and often even basic social cues and skills. Maybe she is one of those? I know that I was definitely as not as compassinate of a woman a few years ago as I am today. Heartbreak and loss has taught me so much. More than I ever thought possible. Maybe she hasn't ever had to truly learn or practice compassion...or maybe she's just a selfish individual and friend.

    If I were you, I would talk to her and let her know how that situation made you feel and how hurtful it was/is. I think it's important for us who are battling infertility, to make others aware of the struggle and teach them how to be more sensitive to the situation. I've often found in my own life that I have to almost coach friends and family at times on how to act or what to say/not say around me. It is quite frustrating because I find myself thinking that they should just "know" what to say or "how" to comfort and react. But the sad truth is, that's rarely the case. And although I know how I would act in this situation now, I can never say for sure how I would be or act of I was never forced to walk this road. This journey has forever changed me. And if noone has ever had a journey such as this...they really have no idea. I feel like it's our job to educate them to a point so that they don't continue to hurt others in their path. I'm sure it would be a tough conversation, but man, I'm sure it'd feel so good to get it off your chest so you can really start to heal.

    So sorry that this happened and that you were the one who got hurt! Like you aren't dealing with enough heartbreak and thoughts/things to keep you up at night.

    Thinking of you.

  17. Emily, I am so sorry about your miscarriage. I just learned about your blog from the Growing Griswalds. Do I think you're overreacting? No. You very much have the right to be hurt at this time and to feel all of the feeling this has brought on. I do, however, think she probably didn't think this would hurt you. Prior to going through infertility, I would have never known the pain FB pregnancy announcements and gender reveals and the like caused. People are always so wrapped up in themselves, which isn't a bad thing, it just is. But it still hurts. Even people who I know care for me very deeply and felt awful for what was going on still said and did the dumbest, most insensitive things to me. Except that they never realized they were.

    It seems that this woman and her husband do care about you and feel awful for what you are going through. I would give them the benefit of the doubt on that post. You can definitely mention to her that it hurt you and give her the chance to apologize. Fertiles really don't get it. One of the few things I am thankful for in relation to IF is that I have become so much more empathetic of those around me.

    You are in my thoughts. Amanda

  18. You've been given a lot of good advice! I just want to say big hugs. Facebook is the worst for infertiles and I have so many pregnant people or those with recent newborns hidden.