Groundhog Day

I started writing this post on 2/2/13, hence the title.

Trisha’s post yesterday came at the exact time I needed it, along with the comments that followed.

I received a letter from an old friend yesterday.  It was not what I wanted.  It came just as I was beginning to let go of what has lately been a rocky relationship.

That’s as far as I got.

It took me over a month and a conversation with my therapist before I responded to that letter.  Some history:

D and I were good friends in college.  We were both very involved in a Christian organization, lived together for a while, and could spend all day together doing essentially nothing but having a good time all the same.  We became even closer after her mom suddenly died in a car accident.  Then I went off to grad school, and the following things happened:

I finished a master’s degree.  She never finished her bachelor’s.

I was her maid of honor.  She never showed up for my wedding.

I moved.  She visited me twice. Ever.  I visited her once or twice a year.

I started my career.  She and her husband continued to live paycheck to paycheck, barely scraping by.

She gained weight, and her health deteriorated, made better only when she became pregnant.

She had a baby, and Hubby and I still waited.

Her child started kindergarten, and Hubby and I still waited.

When my mom passed away, she didn’t even have a phone.  I didn’t tell her about it until I’d been home from the funeral for a week or two.

Every time I talked to her about our fertility woes, she offered to be a surrogate.  So not helpful.

So I was seriously fine with our friendship naturally fading with time and long stretches of not seeing each other.  We had developed a pattern where she insisted she would come visit me or call me on a specific day, based on her son’s sleep schedule, and it wouldn’t happen.  Then she’d apologize.  Say she wished things were different.  Make more empty promises, and start the cycle all over again.  Our friendship had become like one of her all-time favorite movies, Groundhog Day.  She was Bill Murray, living the same day again and again, never quite catching on that there was a point to his getting second, third, and eleventh chances.  Which would make me Andie MacDowell, ever disappointed by his behavior.  Except we hadn’t gotten to February 3rd yet.

Then I got that stupid letter in the mail.  In which she went on and on about how god wanted me to be a mother.

And it pissed me off.

I wanted to yell at her.  I wanted to scream at her that we hadn’t really been friends for a long time, and here she was throwing god in my face, just more proof that she didn’t know me at all.

But I didn’t do that.  I wrote a well-thought-out letter that my therapist described as “brave,” telling her how I felt about her letter, our friendship, or lack thereof, and her lack of support during the time I most needed someone to lean on.  I took my share of the blame, but I told her we’d never be like we were in college.

She called while my family was here, and I texted her that I couldn’t talk but would give her a call that weekend.  That was the weekend of the negative beta, so I didn’t get around to calling then.  I eventually texted her telling her that our IVF hadn’t worked and I wasn’t in a good place to talk about it yet.  She texted back saying that she understood and wasn’t mad at me about my letter but just wanted to talk sometime.

Which ended up being today.  She called while Hubby and I were eating lunch.  When I listened to her voicemail, I was already starting to feel on edge, but decided I had to call her because one of the things she mentioned was that her husband’s mother had passed away.

She did most of the talking.  And crying.  She told me that she’d been so sick and depressed for so long that she hadn’t really talked to anyone.  Which was kind of a lie to start off with because she used to call me all the time and tell me how shitty she felt.  She once again offered to be a surrogate for us.  I told her for the hundredth time that that isn’t what we need.  That what I really needed was someone to talk to, and she hadn’t been there for me.  I told her I was willing to try to build our friendship back up if she was.  She said she’d call me again next weekend.  I told her I was sorry about her husband’s mom.

Which is when she decided to sneak in the fact that she’s pregnant.  By saying that she was sorry too because they never even got a chance to tell his mom about it.

Fuck. My. Life.

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24 thoughts on “Groundhog Day

  1. So this is going to be terrible of me, but honestly why bother with this woman? She’s clearly not doing well mentally and is screaming for help on all fronts. The thing is, you’ve done enough. You wrote her a letter telling her how you felt, but at no point did she discuss this with you. Instead, it sounds like she dumped on you.

    Look, you don’t need this. It is not your job to support someone who isn’t willing to make the necessary and difficult decisions to better their situation. Focus on yourself and your family. As hard as it is to let good friends go, sometimes it’s for the best.

  2. Christ. That’s just brutal. After all the ranting she dumped the big one on you as a parting shot. One more reason to protect yourself from her spiral of negativity Daryl. Your positive energy is precious. Let it go….

  3. Wow, that’s terrible. This person doesn’t sound like much of a friend. People are in our lives for a reason, they fulfill some purpose in our life, or we fulfill a purpose in theirs. It doesn’t seem like either one of you is serving a purpose in each others’ life, so there seems to be no reason to keep contact with this person. Trust your gut and put your energies into getting yourself healthy enough to have a baby. I just stumbled on your blog, so I’m really up on all that you’ve been through. You and all women struggling with infertility are in my prayers.
    Love, Catherine
    http://www.babystepsandtears.com

  4. What Cristy said. I had to cut off a friendship with someone too when it became obvious that there was absolutely nothing to be gained from it by me. It was a complete one way street with a person who sucked all my energy and goodwill without giving anything back. You need all that for yourself right now. Friendships are about give and take, and you’re doing all the giving. Dealing with this woman and her baggage is the last thing you need on top of everything else!

  5. Oh, god. What can you even say about a friend like that, except that you deserve SO MUCH BETTER than what she’s given you? I would say screw her and don’t look back, but I’m not good at letting go of even the most painful friendships, so it would be hypocritical of me to offer that advice. But really? Screw her. Don’t look back. She’s not a friend at all.

  6. I think it may be time to let this chic fade away. If after all of your efforts and recent honesty in the letter and on the phone (which I am very impressed by), she would still do something like that in that conversation, I don’t think she is ever going to get it. Through this journey one or two of my friends have amazed me by being able to understand what I need, even though they don’t deal with IF. However, I have a few – one in particular – that no matter what I’ve tried, they just don’t understand. I’ve had to distance myself from them to save the hurt and frustration because I’ve realized they just are never going to get it without going through it themselves. I’m so sorry this has come up at an already painful time.

  7. Oh, as soon as I saw this post, I thought, “her friend is going to be pregnant.” What a terrible thing to be right about… not that her pregnancy is terrible, just that you had to hear about that NOW. The first “My IVF worked” posting in my WordPress Reader after my first failed IVF felt like a knife in my heart… I can just imagine how awful this feels.

    Try to remember: her journey is not yours. No matter how pregnant she is, she sounds unhappy. Find something, anything, in your life that makes you happy and focus on that to get through this.

  8. Pingback: Only stupid people are breeding (and I don’t even own a TV) | Play It All Night Long

  9. Oh my gosh, what a blow. You have tried to reach out and let her in, and it sounds like she is still clueless about it. Not sensitive at all and dumps the news on you like that. If it just takes energy and give you more stress and hurt, it’s not worth it. It’s hard to let go completely but sometimes that’s what you need to do to protect yourself. Hugs

  10. The only thing I can say is, her behaviour is clearly all about her – as in, her problems and issues – and she’s obviously not able or willing to be the real and steadfast friend that you need right now. You’ve really done everything you possibly could, and I think you’re both generous and strong to have given it what you did. The sad truth is, this whole experience ‘changes your address book’, as a fellow loss mom put it to me. It sucks to have to deal with that reality on top of everything else, but there are some people (lots of people, in fact), who are just never going to ‘get it’, and some who really never try. I’ve had to cut several people loose. I’m so sorry you’re facing this on top of everything else my friend. You don’t need or deserve it right now. Sending hugs.

  11. It seems like she’s not in a place in her life where she can give what a friendship demands. Maybe she hasn’t been in that place for a long time, based on what you’ve written about her. You need to do what’s best for you at this point — and if that means not trying so hard to resuscitate this friendship, I don’t see that as such a bad thing. Hopefully you can remember her as that amazing friend from college.

    But on the other hand, the last thing you need right now is something else to grieve — so I can totally see why you would want to hold on to the friendship. But regardless of what you feel is best for you, she needs to knock that surrogate shit off.

  12. She was a good friend to you once so cherish those memories, but she doesn’t seem to be in a place right now where she can be a good friend to you. She seems very focused or self-absorbed in her own problems to be there for you. It is clear she is not even listening. Wish her well. Don’t hold a grudge. That only causes you pain and unhappiness. Focus on yourself and your life. And your life does not suck. Infertility sucks!! Big Time, but that is NOT all of your life. You are a multidimensional person. You are not your infertility and all that is associated with it.

  13. This sounds like a toxic friend. I think you’d be best to distance yourself at this point. I’m sorry. I wish there was a way we could protect ourselves from people like this.

  14. She could be clinically depressed… I know that when I’ve had bouts of depression, I have slowly withdrawn from people, and eventually disappeared. But depression does not excuse selfishness and a complete lack of sensitivity- I’m not at all sure I would be able to maintain that friendship. I’m sorry you have to deal with this… As if infertility alone isn’t enough! Thinking of you…

  15. Ugh! So sorry about your “friend.” Sometimes, it’s just better to leave some people behind… it’s sad, but ultimately, probably healthier for you. Of course the least well-suited people get pregnant easily — it’s just Murphy’s Law! You’ll go nuts if you try to compare yourself/your life to anyone else’s… because you’re always going to compare your “insides” to their “outsides.” Your life is going to be incredible… just hang on a little longer…. xoxox

  16. This all sounds really, really familiar. My best friend growing up also happens to be my cousin. The older we’ve gotten, the more different our lives look. It is really hard to relate to one another and because of that, we’ve gotten really bad at investing in the relationship. More accurately, she’s become really flaky and I’ve stopped trying, especially since our time together feels really fake and weird. It is so hard to see relationships change like this. I applaud you for giving it another shot. I hope that she is able to hear you and be committed to being the type of friend you need her to be right now.

  17. Pingback: The Failure of a Friendship | Waiting to Expand

  18. A “friend” of mine, unmarried, unemployed and with her *boy*friend about a yr (mother of 2 already – different father) constantly made insensitive comments re my infertility (I know how you feel – I’ve always wanted a girl) her new boyfriend made even worse comments (I heard you’ve been trying for a while). So when she texted me to announce her 6wk pg (I’m having a baby, lol) I deleted her from social sites and my phone.

    This is the woman who helped me through heartbreak and we mourned our lost fathers together. Some friends cause far more pain and it’s better being alone.

    Persephone x

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