I have decided to start being more honest and real with my friends about my struggle. I realized during a therapy session that in my conversations, I tend to use sarcasm to deflect or just discuss the logistics of treatment, rather than share the emotional impact this has had on me. I believe I do this in order to push my bubbling emotions back down so that I can maintain control. So I sent an email to about 15 of my friends and family members. I totally came clean about how much pain I have been in throughout this struggle. I confessed to having jealous feelings toward those friends that have children. I openly admitted that I am soooo very angry and am silently screaming about how this is monumentally unfair. I voiced my annoyance at the dumb things people have said. I felt good, or better anyway, after having done it. I felt like I was no longer hiding anything anymore.
So I was excited about the reponses I would get. I wondered who would respond and who wouldn't. Some of the responders were people I KNEW would respond. There were also a couple of surprises. One, my former roommate and also one of my closest friends, only responded after I thanked "those who responded." AND, all I got was a cursory one sentence email to the effect of, "...you know that I support you." Really? We lived together for 7 years and had probably hundreds of girl talk sessions about how we would get married and have children someday and that's all she's got for me? Another close friend...someone I have been friends for 20 years didn't respond at all. My SIL, who is slightly insane, and incredibly self-absorbed, also didn't respond. Not a big surprise there, but it's strange the way people behave when faced with such raw emotion. Perhaps they didn't know what to do with my grief, so they did nothing. I am not exactly sure what a "frenemy" is, but I do know that those who responded with pure empathy and concern for me are people who truly care about me and about how infertility has affected me. The others? I'm not so sure.
Here is one response that touched me so deeply, I would like to honor it here:
First…I didn’t get this lastnight but this morning when I got to my desk and it hasn’t ruined my day or dampened my spirits…and I’m glad you did this. Hopefully it was cleansing and maybe took some of the burden off of your beautiful heart.
Of anyone in my life that I have known, loved and really respected…you DESERVE children. All of your life you have dreamed of this, waited until you found the right guy, and I’m proud that you’ve never “let nature take it’s course.” The few times we’ve broached the subject of your infertility I’ve never felt sorry for you, thought you were anything less than perfect (which you have always been in my eyes), and even though your heart is broken…it’s still beating. After reading this a few times one thing I am so very happy for is that you and your husband have maintained the strong connection that you dreamed of all of your life. You waited so long for “the right guy” and at times I thought he would never surface and look…there he is. That man seems to have the unconditional love for you that so many of us can only dream about…
Your wit and sarcasm are coping mechanisms and they could be considered unhealthy if you weren’t crying all the time, angry at people you know that really don’t deserve the happiness a child brings…so many people that we both have known are not worthy of being a parent. Above all other women I know…you were born to be a mother. You should feel bitter and pissed…everybody at some point loses their faith in God…and if you didn’t wonder “what if…then what”…well, then you would not be being honest with yourself. I know that deep down you know that whatever people say is said with the best of intentions…I liken it to when someone loses a child or a mother…you don’t know what to say and just say nothing at all. Or…you can say it will get easier, they could have suffered more and death was a blessing…whatever. With your situation…it is the same thing and for you…this is like a death sentence.
That being said…
People are given no hope to survive an illness and somehow…they do. Your ovaries and his sperm are only in a coma and not dead by a long shot. Mind f*ck yourself into KNOWING this next cycle will work. Envision a growing little peanut growing into a healthy and loving baby that will be everything you are and more. Like you, I have worked for everything I have but take a look at your past…everything you wanted, worked for and dreamed of has ultimately happened…just not on YOUR timetable. Your future little one is no exception.
I wish I was a better friend, was able to keep in touch more and spend time with you. The time and distance will never diminish the love I have for you. Somehow, you will find strength, rekindle your faith in God and have your baby. Your Karma bank is full…you just can’t access it yet.
I love you honey…