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Old Life Versus New Life?

Am I the only one who has done this? Who has managed to partition her life into two distinct sections, the pre-infertility veteran me and the post infertility veteran me? Because post infertility veteran me is so battered and so bruised the she can no longer be pre-infertility veteran me. She can no longer bare to even think about pre-infertility veteran me and more importantly she cannot be friends who pre-infertility veteran friends.

And let me tell you, its taken a lot of effort and work to create post infertility veteran me. The guillotine slammed down on pre infertility veteran me at the exact moment that I lost my 6th baby. I changed forever, I became to fragile, too broken to ever go back and I systematically cut myselfoff from everything and everyone that had anything to do with the pre-infertility veteran me. Self preservation was my number 1 motivating factor. And I went about systematicallydistancing myself from my old life. As a result for about a year, W and I were extremely lonely, we went no where, we did very little and we had no friends to socialize with, it was always just the two of us. It was lonely and it was depressing, but it also provided me witha safe secretive world to play out my treatment obsession without having to explain or answer stupid questions or see pity at each failure. For 8 months I did nothing but obsess about money, about my next treatment about the 2wwfrom each round of treatment. It was awful and it was no way to live and at the end of it I was so ill I was convinced I was dying. It took about 5 months to fully recover from the 8 months of fertility treatment abuse that I subjected myself to. Somehow I also slowly slowly started creating a new life, creating new friendships and we started having some balance in our lives again.

I worked hard on the transformation, all the time blocking out thoughts of my old life, of my old friends. Till today.

One of them has requested to be my friend on Facebook. I don’t know if I should accept the request, I’m too afraid to, I’m too afraid of opening Pandora’s Box and having to deal with all the pain from previously that I”vemanaged to bury so deep inside that most of the time I don’t even know its there anymore. I looked at her friends list, they’re all there, every single one of them, every single person that we were friends withbefore, all of them with pregnant bellies, smiling babies and toddlers, it brought the pain rushing back. I don’t know if I can accept this friend request, I don’t know if I havethe courage and the strength to let any of them back into my life. I don’t want to. Someof the relationships simply fizzled out when I stopped making an effort, some of the relationships ended cruelly and with so much pain on my part, especially from the two “friends” who told me to get over myself after my 6thmiscarriage when they were both pregnant. I also don’t want to accept her friend request because I don’t want them to know anything about me, I wish I could erase my memory from their mind. I don’t want them to know anything about my life, I don’t want them to pity me, poor pathetic me that still has not been able to have a baby. They will pity me, I was always the eldest out of all of us, and W and I were first to be married, we all attended each others weddings, we’re the only couple who still don’t have a child. I know its ridiculous, but I feel so ashamed of that fact.

But, I also realize that the little safe world I’ve created for myself now is not a realistic world, because people change, because our lives change, because in a few months we will be heading off to NZ or because its only a matter of time before my infertile friends start to have success with treatment and become like them. Friends who unintentionally rub their pregnant bellies or spend hours talking about their babies, friends who unintentionally hurt be because I cannot relate and because I cannot contribute.

I didn’t realize that having this friend contact me would bring up so much emotion in me. I’ve worked to hard on not being sad anymore and this just seems to have brought all the sadness rushing back at me and my first instinct is to push it back down inside me, but I know sooner or later its going to have to come out and I’m not looking forward to the mess that that will be.

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12 Comments

  • Reply eggorchicken

    Oh Shaz.
    I can really feel your pain in this post and just want to offer you big, big (((hugs))).

    Only you can decide whether or not to let these friends back into your lives but if I can just mention a few things:

    1. Friends are meant to be people you are comfortable with, people you can chat to and laugh with, people you want to spend time with. They are friends that love you and think of you and try to do what’s best for you. If these old friends of yours don’t fall into that category then maybe it’s just not worth going back there.

    2. Yes, things change – but hopefully when and if any more of your IF friends fall preggy before you hopefully they will be compassionate and understanding. Yes things will change but they know the ‘new’ you, and maybe, just maybe you’ll find a way to let those relationships continue.

    3. Lastly, accepting these old ‘friends’ (I use the term very loosely here because someone that can be harsh enough to tell you to just ‘get over’ a miscarrieage is clearly not a great friend!!) on FB doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be their new BFF. I have loads of contacts on FB – people in my past – that I don’t really have any contact with. It’s a nice way of kinda knowing they’re still out there, but it really doesn’t go beyond that.

    Most of all you have to make sure YOU are number 1 here. Make sure that whatever happens it’s in your own best interests! If your gut tells you that this is something you need to deal with, if it’s something YOU have to go through – then do it…but if you really feel it’s not worth it, or you’re worried you’ll trawl through their profiles seething at the unfairness of life etc..then just don’t go there. The power is in your hands.

    Don’t rush into any decisions, sleep on it – and then decide.

    Good luck!

    x
    Yvonne

    October 9, 2008 at 7:59 pm
  • Reply Stacey

    This post spoke to me perhaps more than any of your previous posts (and you know I’m a fan of yours). I completely agree and relate. I don’t know what happened to the old me, but she disappeared. Maybe temporarily or maybe forever. I bounced back after several miscarriages. Sometimes it took longer but I felt like I eventually returned to my former self.

    My last loss was almost 2 years ago. It was number 6 for me too, and I don’t know what to say except that I feel changed. I think I’ve forgotten how to go back. And I think to some degree that’s ok. We have become different people who have been shaped by our experiences. Still it makes me sad. The old me seemed so happy, carefree, and innocent.

    As for the friend, I agree that it’s ok to ignore the request if you’re not ready. If you decide to accept it, it doesn’t mean you have to go “all in” with the friendship. I know it’s a hard thing. Don’t be embarrassed by that! A GOOD friend will understand. Boy, as much as I love it, facebook has caused me much grief too. 🙁

    October 9, 2008 at 8:15 pm
  • Reply Sassy

    You have to take care of yourself first. If it’s too hard then just say no. You don’t owe them anything, but you owe yourself everything. And you’re about to begin a whole new life which I’m sure will fill with a whole new range of wonderful people.

    October 10, 2008 at 6:22 am
  • Reply Elize

    I can so relate to your post. I think all of us have changed one way or another. Even if I could go back to pre-IF me I don’t think I would.

    As for your friend, don’t be moved by guilt. Only you can decide how you want to handle this. Just remember that some friends are here for a season only, if that season is up then there’s no reason to prolong it. Also by adding her as a friend on FB doesn’t necessarily mean that you’d open Pandora’s box. It could however mean that she might have access to your blog. Just do what you feel in your heart you want to do.

    (((HUGS)))
    PS. Wednesday night was fun!!!

    October 10, 2008 at 7:45 am
  • Reply Sian

    Yes.I agree so much with Elize. Some ‘friends’ are about the past. I have many people on my profile that I never communicate with. But if you would rather her not have access to your profile….then decline the request.

    October 10, 2008 at 9:13 am
  • Reply dee

    I would decline the request, no need to give a reason. You need to put yourself first. You dont need any reminders of your “pre” past, who cares what she thinks – its clear she didnt care before so why now? Just to have 1 million contacts on FB so you “look” popular? Nope sorry but then again Im quite ruthless like that…

    PS Please never feel ashamed at not having had a baby, its not your fault and you have not just been twiddling your thumbs either.

    October 10, 2008 at 9:40 am
  • Reply Michelle

    Oh Shaz – I can so relate to your post. I am certainly not the same person I was before IF and there are lots of people out there that I choose not to have contact with becaue of this.
    FB is quite frivolous and I think lots of people add people as friends to collect people on their profiles and not necessarily because they are interested in being your best friend. I think I would decline the offer and move on. No guilt. No explanation. You are not in the same space any more and if you not ready to share “new” life with her then decline it till you are ready. Only you can decide that. Hugs my friend.xxx

    October 10, 2008 at 9:55 am
  • Reply Misty

    You make my heart ache Shaz. For all the infertiles that have gone through this and will still go through this.
    As for your friend on facebook. Look after your own heart first. You don’t owe anybody anything. Only do what you can handle.

    October 10, 2008 at 1:06 pm
  • Reply samcy

    Hey Hon, just my opinion but this girl clearly does not have the right to friend you on FB… being friends extends to further than a social networking site and if she could not be there for you during your tough times – click ignore!

    You need to put you first at all times – if just getting a friend request brings back the old infertile vet then the answer to this should be clear…

    Good luck making that decision!

    xxx

    October 10, 2008 at 1:27 pm
  • Reply samcy

    Oh and just to clarify I by no means think that bloggy friends are classified as the same as FB friends. Bloggy friends epitomise what it means to be friends beyond a social networking site…

    xxx

    October 10, 2008 at 1:30 pm
  • Reply Sandy

    I think you need to trust your instincts on this one. And you’re so right that it’s more than just inviting her in, it’s inviting all of them in, since once you’re a friend with her everyone else will chime in.

    I succumbed to peer pressure and my own feelings of guilt not too long ago and initiated contact I didn’t feel I was quite ready for. It’s come back to me in spades and the guilt was so much easier than the not guilt but pain instead. I find myself incredibly resentful that I did that to myself.

    That you’re anxious about it means you’re probably not ready for it and all of your reasons are valid. And IF and miscarriage pain runs deep. Take care of yourself first and foremost. IF is a war at times and you have to do what it takes to survive. Personally? I’m in awe at your strength and I’m honoured to have found your site.

    October 10, 2008 at 8:25 pm
  • Reply jodie38

    What a loaded subject. For whatever it’s worth, if I was in that position, I would look after myself first. If you don’t feel ready, then you don’t. Don’t beat yourself up, and you don’t owe anyone an explaination. I was thinking of re-initiating contact with an old friend (pre-infertility), we didn’t end our friendship well and I wanted to reconnect and see how she was doing. My husband said, “Oh, sure. And while you’re at it, why not cut your tongue out with scissors? That sounds like a grand idea too.” Just because you can do it, doesn’t necessarily mean you should do it. Sometimes things end for a reason, and it doesn’t have to be because of any shortcomings on your part. Maybe you could try to connect with her somewhere else besides Facebook. One thing (and person) at a time…

    October 14, 2008 at 11:04 pm
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