Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Skirting the Edge

This is a sound-off/bitch/whine ...I am trying to figure shit out I guess...
(my spell check isn't working, so excuse any errors please)

I am dizzy, dizzy from fear, and sadness and confusion and pain.
It is like my whole body has been bombarded for months with function, function function.
I am working hard on being stable and even.
I think I am feeling the snap of a relationship shifting to different paths, a bond change and my mind settle into knowledge.
I have been a friend to a woman who has become more and more difficult to talk to, she has become more and more caustic. She doesn't understand the way I communicate or my sense of humor...I am extremely aware of how and what I say around her. It is almost like I now need to prepare for a simple dinner or short conversation. She requires so much now that I am exhausted from trying. She snaps at me and often times I feel attacked for having opinions different then hers. Many years ago she told me the one thing she admired about me was that I seemed to not judge her. I was quite proud of I feel ONLY judged by her. Her body language changes around me, visibly. I am not sure what can be repaired or if it should be. I have spent a lot of time changing how I say things, how I repsond to things, and what I share with her. If anything now...

When I was finding out about my infertility she was there to listen as I shook and tried to describe what was being discovered about my body. She seemed overwhelmed and after a period of time, frustrated that she could not offer fixes for problems. I began to fall into my depression and after a while stopped accepting invitations to things with her, and her babies and friends that were pregnant. I became reclusive and started therapy for greif....she found other friends and was active with her life...I admired that and wanted to be that too. When I was finally working on my show, she was excited as I was moving and doing things again...she would invite me out and I wanted to go...oh I wanted to so badly, but I wasn't socially ready. So I would express interest but not go out. Then on the night after the show opened we had dinner, and in my glow I said thank you for coming to the opening and dinner to celebrate it and it was then that it started...she said why did you not ask for help? I looked at her trying to not cry and said " I didn't know how to"
She was by this time a mother of two healthy daughters, I had had a miscarriage by then and was about to have another two in the coming year. As time rolled on, she became much more uptight with me...she was far down on the list when I finally told her that I had another miscarriage, in fact I remember telling her and as I was expressing what had happened I was also telling myself: don't end this conversation on a sad note...she doesn't like that I am pessimistic. If I remember correctly I think she said, "well if you can think of it, at least I know you can get pregnant and I was a mom if even for a short time" I just smiled my mask smile and said
 " I don't think I can emotionally do this anymore"
she fell kind of silent.
More time has past and in this last weekend, we sat next to each other at a wedding reception and we barely spoke a word. I tried to talk to her, asking about benign topics,  I got a sidelook and a word or two repsonse. I told her I had been given a book that she was crazy about (but I had expressed not much interest in) and that I was thinking of taking a look at and she looked at me and reared back and started this crazy laugh and said  "see I tell you you'll like and you say no and then someone else tells you read this and you say ok, whatever! " I was shocked...I told her "well in my defence, it has been sitting on the table for a week, I still haven't opened it, so maybe I am still rebelling against it" she rolled her eyes and turned towards the music... and then
 I asked about another friend of hers, she snapped again.
" How's Janice? Do they have plans to go to South America this summer?"
She looked at me like I was trying to sell her rotten fish and said, "they go in the fall, why?"
and within that same breathe and with venom she asked about two other women friends of mine
"How's Molly and Sally? See them lately"  I was confused and overwhelmed. I was simply trying to make friendly talk about nothing in general and I struck some sort of cord....
*sigh* I drank a Mai Tai in silence with a smile on my face and then trying not to make it obvious, I looked at The Barren and he said we were going back to the hotel.
The following day her brother in law died.
I have seen her once since then and when I did I hugged her and and said nothing. I have been frightened to call and hear her voice so I have sent a couple text messages asking if they needed anything or if I could pick up something at the market for them.

At the same time I am trying to make new friends...any friends at this point and it is an uphill struggle now. As we age and sit in certain circles we don't meet a lot of new as easy as it might have been as a kid to meet and friend new people it is not the same as an adult.
I have been trying though...doing things and asking to meet people when the moment arises.
I was invited to join a couple gals the other night for yoga in one of their homes, a non-gym thing and I said I would love to.
They told me the day they normally do it on.
I got no further conversations or updates...I felt left out...I had been thinking about it all day and when the day came I wasn't invited, or so I appears that it didn't happen at all.
I am actually feeling jealous of witnessing friendships.
Maybe I have forgotten how to make friends?!

SO last night I sat down and wrote a love note to two of the people I have known a long time.
I felt that the world was spinning in the wrong direction and I needed to put some additional energy out that would hopefully swing that pendulum the other way.
Back to rainbows and glitter.
or at least me not wanting to cry or puke from heartbreak all the time


Mali said...

Can I swear? I just wrote a long response, and seem to have lost it.

Anyway, I want to send you a big virtual hug. And then say I wonder if she is like this because she is first, unable to put herself in your situation, and second, feeling rejected since you - out of understandable self-protection - distanced yourself from her. Because it sounds a bit to me as if you're both hurting. It's just that she reacts more aggressively to the pain.

And I wonder if you could talk to her? Or a mutual friend to try to tease out why she's so hostile? OR - just be like me with a friend I've drifted apart from, and see her occasionally, be polite or friendly, and just nurse the hurt in your heart. (Because I know it hurts - even when you've accepted the friendship has changed/is over.)

The Barreness said...

thank you so much for reading this long and rambling post...sometimes I need to get it all out to sort through it better. We have both grown, and I agree we are both hurting..for years I have said sorry for things that I didn't want to be sorry for, like crying or expressing disappointment or fear. She is a tough one, and we deal with issues very differently. I know I will continue to try and be peaceful, and not rock her boat...but sadly I fear we might never be able to be what we need or want in a friend. Until then, I will keep being the best I can be for myself and her.

Anonymous said...

I like your blog. A year ago I left the ivf conveyor belt (without a baby), and have realised slowly that infertility and depression are subjects that do not hold friends and family's interest for very long. Sympathy turns to exasperation, non-interest and sometimes anger fairly quickly. I have washed up friendless and alone, with even sibling relationships changed forever for the worse. I know I distanced myself and was weird, but I thought people would understand because the facts spoke for themselves (severe infertility, miscarriage etc).
I am currently figuring out what to do and how to make new friends. I've never felt so lonely and alienated. The whole infertility thing changed the landcape of my friendships forever. Sorry to be miserable. It's just nice to hear that someone experiences similar confusions.
Thanks for the post.

Nicole said...

Sigh. Situations like this are SO hard. I lost a good friend a couple years ago after increasing tensions.... I didn't want to lose her, but the rejection and judgment from her became too much. And I do hope you don't have to lose this friend.

It is my belief, you have to accept people as they are. You have to let them be. You have to let them have their emotions, and go through the things they need. And support them as best you can. You can't make people be positive or different than you want them be.

People are always changing and I hope you and her can perhaps change and get back on the same page. I don't know how you were able to deal w/the hostility. You are a very good friend and I think you are so smart to see this through and keep trying. I hope she can come around. I hope she can be more understanding and more patient with you.

This is such a rambling comment, but I just wanted to say I support you and you are an awesome friend and awesome person. And HUGE hugs.

Jen said...

Wow - what an encounter... I must say that you are not alone in these types of encounters. I'm seeing a rather steady trend here, where we withdraw to self-protect (to survive any way we can) and those closest do a similar thing - they withdraw to protect themselves from it (infertility). It's a difficult thing. I'm not sure how to get around it (that sort of aggression is a little too full on an selfish in my opinion... I'd question her ability to experience empathy). I too have found myself washed up almost friendless. I have a very dear friend who is also childless, and another friend who we have an 'understanding' with depending on our current circumstance (she has one child, and doesn't fully understand childlessness, but boy she makes an effort to, and that counts!!). But as for the rest of them, and family... they've turned away to protect themselves. I figure we are the stronger ones in the end - friendless or not.

It's hard making friends so late in the game! But at least we have the option to - we're not forced to befriend folks in a mother's group :)