Sunday, May 29, 2011

I'm Sorry, Life is So Unfair

I'm so sorry this is happening to you, life is so unfair.

These are the best words of support you can offer to a friend who is struggling with infertility.  Especially if...

  • you don't know what to say or how to support your infertile friend
  • you have a child of your own
  • you have never struggled with infertility
  • you have been drinking heavily ALL day!

WHAT NOT TO SAY under any of these circumstances (and many, many unnamed circumstances as well)...
  • she needs to take a break for a while and get back to the person you remember her to be (because somehow the months in-between March 2011's IVF2.0 and hopefully July's IVF3.0 is not actually a break?)
  • she should take a break and lose weight
  • tell her she doesn't have any idea how hard pregnancy is and how crazy pregnancy makes a woman (even though she's been swallowing, injecting and inserting thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of hormones over the last year)
  • you didn't know how to respond to the information she was sharing about the second opinion consult she had that morning (the appointment she waited 6 weeks to have, even though she had to take the call from the beach trip) so you kept asking questions about using Facebook during her debrief with the other girls who actually wanted to know what the doctor had just said
  • she shouldn't refer to the spare room in her house as the "one-day nursery" because SHE DOESN'T HAVE A BABY or a NURSERY, it's just a ROOM
  • she should stop trying and it will happen (hello, you know I'm single - plus this happens in 5% of the cases of infertile women... that means 95% of the time, an infertile doesn't get pregnant when you 'stop trying'.)
While you may INTEND for this conversation to be supportive and well-meaning out of concern for your infertile friend, it's not.  Instead, what you have done is...
  • broken your infertile friend's heart
  • made your infertile friend feel more alone than she's ever felt before 
  • made your infertile friend decide she will no longer talk about her infertility with you and other close friends, she will now elect to suffer in silence (other than her online & IRL infertility support groups)
  • made your infertile friend not want to spend time with you (which is difficult since you are currently sharing a room on vacation)
  • made your infertile friend need a second Xana.x in the middle of the night in order to sleep
  • made your infertile friend debate whether she can even write about this on her blog since you have access to the link, although she doesn't think you actually read it (this blog is my safe place and how I process things, especially for support of those who may understand)
  • made your infertile friend have doubts about being able to continue with our annual beach trip tradition
  • made your infertile friend FEEL GUILTY for her hurt feelings because she knows that your intention behind your comments was well-meaning even though the comments hurt her to the core
The struggle of infertility is a tremendous hardship financially, physically and emotionally.  If you have not been through this type of struggle, please keep your "well-meaning" comments to yourself.  

The best way I can describe a fleeting moment of how an infertile feels to a fertile person...
  1. Think about your children
  2. Now think about a time before you had your children
  3. Now imagine someone has told you that you will never have your children, they will not exist
  4. Think about that fleeting moment of fear and your stomach sinking... wouldn't you go to the ends of the earth to get to your children?
An infertile knows their child is meant to be... and she is doing whatever it takes to get to her child!

I'm so sorry this is happening to you, life is so unfair.

14 comments:

  1. Oh, sweetie, I'm sorry that your "friend" is so clueless. Unfortunately all too often, we do live in a world that they can not understand and that we wish we didn't understand. I'm so osrry! Life is unfair!!!!!

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  2. I am so So sorry you had to go through this. It sounds as though you had a hideous time. I can think of only one thing - Doggy bitch friend - only my friend was probably trying to be mean - and I think yours may just be completely unable to put herself in your shoes. Either way, sadly she does not have what it takes to be your friend right now. I hope she does decide to read your blog - she will learn a thing or two! Hoping that despite having to share a room with her you were able to have some good times with some of your other friends at the beach!
    If you need someone to murder her - I would be more than happy to have a go!

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  3. Yep those all suck! Sorry you are going through this and sorry you then had to experience any of that or any of those feelings. (Some) fertile people really must not have a clue. I have written a similar post about what not to say to someone who is struggling to conceive based on rude stuff people have said to me too. And I actually got the take a break and lose weight recommendation from my doctor last week. Ugh!

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  4. I think I need to come to the beach where you are and open up some yaya whup ass. What is this person thinking???? I'm pretty angry right now on your behalf. I'm so sorry you are trapped on vacation with this person who is clearly super fertile and super unsympathetic. I hope you find some time to yourself to enjoy the beach.

    You're right. Life is so unfair. I'm sorry this has happened to you.

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  5. I really do hope your friend reads this. It sounds as if she really needs to be clued into how much she's hurting you.

    So, so, so sorry you're going through this. (((hugs)))

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  6. I am just gutted that your wonderful girlie beach trip has been marred by this friend's insensitivity. Where is her brain? She sounds a little too self-preoccupied because it really isn't all that hard to support our friends.

    Reminds me of FoC when she told me that my infertility was just "too intense" for her, so if "things" were going to continue, we would have to discontinue the friendship.

    I'm a big believer in karma, and good things are due to come your way xx

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  7. Unfortunately I have had to deal with too many of those well-meaning, oh so hurtful comments myself.

    I am so sorry you are having to deal with this now...on vacation...from a friend.

    My favorite is "relax" or "stop trying"

    HELOOOOOOO how can a single girl do either!! We know what day our treatments are! We have to inject ourselves THUS we are not relaxed and definitely trying!!

    Uggghh!

    I am about to start a new cycle and I have decide not to tell ANYONE (including family) except for my blog friends.

    I wish you the best of luck and know we are here for you!

    I know in my heart this next cycle will be it!! I keep praying!!

    Oh, and I secretly wish your friend reads this too so that she can get a clue!!

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  8. wow. If I'm feeling disappointed in your friend, I can't even imagine how incredibly disappointed you must feel, BB. It sounds like she has a hard time being empathetic (or even sympathetic), which is very sad.

    Bottom line, the issues are HERS, not yours. I'm glad you still have a good core group of friends that are so supportive. Surround yourself with them. Try to ease away quickly from that toxic friend. You certainly don't need her tainting your positive energy.

    Stand tall, BB. This is your dream and NO ONE is allowed to undermine it.

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  9. Here for you and thinking of you

    The insensitive friends are a nightmare and they have no idea :-(
    The amount of times those things have been said to me too :-(

    I am so sorry your beach trips have been spoilt by her cruel, if not intentional, words.

    Lots of love xxx

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  10. I'm sorry to hear that your friend made those insensitive comments. I can relate. One of my married friends who has two kids told me that I shouldn't even try to have kids because they are difficult to handle. Then when I told her that I was pregnant, she told me that my risks for miscarriage was high because of my age. Talk about being negative... I don't even bother to tell her how I feel because she will not understand.

    You know we are here for you. We get it. Hugs.

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  11. I am SO sorry your wonderful girls weekend has been ruined by this friend and her horrible remarks. This post is a MUST read for anyone who has a friend or family member who is dealing with infertility.

    (((hugs)))

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  12. Ugh, I so know how you feel. In discussing this stuff with a couple of friends with kids on the phone, one said, "oh, a guy just looks at me and I get pregnant!", the other told me she was on her way to pick up the Plan B pill because her husband was "being an idiot last night." Clueless!!!

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  13. All I can say is, I'm sorry! I know how agonizing it can be. To save your sanity, sometimes you need to pull away from the people bringing you down.

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  14. Um, "stop trying and it will happen"? Maybe good advice for the average uptight 25-year-old who's having sex regularly. . . not such good advice for someone single and in her late 30s. Geesh.

    I'm sorry. It makes sense to me to just keep friends like this out of the loop.

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