Choking On Bitterness

What would you do?

There’s this woman who’s been following my blog and who’s blog I’ve been following for a number of years. We’ve been friends on Facebook for ages as well, I used to think of her as a blog buddy, but this past year, I’ve really started to wonder…

She has become increasingly hostile towards me ever since Ava was born. She never comments on my blog postings about my life as a mother, but is quick to comment when I write about my infertility experience and quick to criticise and pick apart every thought I share on my life as an infertile.

I’ve really tried being kind to her, I understand that it must be hard, 10 years is a long time to TTC and battle recurrent miscarriages. My heart really went out to her. But over time, the more bitter and hostile she’s been towards me, the more my heart has hardened towards her. Today was the final straw.

Today, a year ago, we’d just landed in Cape Town and our Social Worker assessment was scheduled for two days time and I’m sorry to say, but yes, I still marvel at my good fortune, I still give thanks everyday for our miracle. So this morning, I quite innocently put this up as my Facebook status:


Sharon Van Wyk

Sharon Van Wyk can’t believe that this time a year ago we had just arrived in Cape Town for our assessment with the Social Workers to start the adoption process… we could never have imagined a year later we’d have a teething, crawling, mischievous 11 month old! Counting my blessings & praising God today!

Within minutes this appeared as said person’s status update:

yes, yes your life is perfect, gush gush…..

Perhaps I’m being a little over sensitive, but I couldn’t help feeling that this was being directed at me. And really, I’m over the passive/aggressive hostile nastiness already. Of course, I have learned over the past 11 months that not everyone will be happy for me and some will only be happy for a short while before the happiness turns to bitterness and for a while I sucked it up. I tried to remember why people reacted to me the way they did. But frankly, I’ve had enough of it.

I’ve removed said person’s access to my blog and also unfriended her on Facebook. But I’m tempted to send her an email as well, explaining why I’ve taken the actions I have. Walter is against that, he says I should just boot her off my blog and remove her from Facebook and leave it at that.

What would you do?


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  • Reply taryn29

    Geez like Shaz, what a bitch. Did her mother not teach her that if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all. It sounds as if you have put up with this for long enough. I agree with Walter, I think that by unfriending her on facebook and removing her access to your blog says it all, actually it says it better than any email ever could. YOU ARE THE BETTER PERSON HERE. Never forget that! Don’t lower yourself to her levels. Hugs.

    November 21, 2010 at 7:21 pm
  • Reply little29

    I am with Walter on this one – unfriend her and remove her access and be done with it!
    Like you I am the queen of “knee jerk” reactions and often want to take it further but at times it is easier to just leave things be…….just as taryn29 said – you are the better person!! and further more you have EVERY reason to gush gush so gush away!! we love you!!

    November 21, 2010 at 8:04 pm
  • Reply pandoragelb

    Don’t waste any more of your energy on her. Your actions speak for themselves in this case. You don’t need the guilt trip this person is trying to land on you. I understand her feelings as well, but when we are unhappy, do we really need to make others unhappy to feel better about ourselves? Apparently some people do, I dealt with a particularly nasty example of this, and my life is so much better without her in it!
    You did the right thing.

    November 21, 2010 at 8:20 pm
  • Reply zamom

    The Christmas photo of the 3 of you is just absolutely the most gorgeous photo ever. When are we going to see all the photos from the shoot? About this “friend” I’d just block her and defriend her, her comments and reaction is just not even worth responding to. I always wonder what these people expect everyone to do if they do eventually succeed themselves? How can you not be happy for someone else when you have a very good idea of how tough the road is that they’ve been walking?

    November 21, 2010 at 9:59 pm
    • Reply Sharon

      I’m hoping to get the high res images from the shoot later this week and will post some then!

      November 22, 2010 at 8:50 am
  • Reply aussiekim

    Hi Sharon

    First up I LOVE your Christmas photo – it radiates happiness!

    I find people that are bitter the saddest of all. Happiness and living well is a choice regardless of the cards life deals you. I am not saying you have to be thrilled with a dud deal, but getting “stuck” and not being able to find the path to move forward , denying others and self the very best you because you refuse to do the work on self that is needed is just selfish and wrong! Hiding from the world because of a dud hand is denying oneself potential happiness that can from my experience help heal ones heart. I have one precious healthy child but had my heart set on having 3. It was not to be. Shunning or becoming bitter against friends/family/neighbours/stangers who had been dealt a different hand than me was not my style. Instead I embraced all children I came across in my daily travels. I marvel daily at their beauty, dribbly smiles, twinkling eyes – even in places as random as Drs waiting rooms/supermarket check out lines I often start a conversation with a mum and tell them how precious/gorgeous their infant is. Tis always met with a lovely warm smile from both mother and child.

    Whilst I feel sad for bitter ppl I won’t drown in their chosen misery. There is much to be thankful for in any given day and life my friend is indeed sweet! Ava is such a special gift and I would allow nobody to rain on your joyous parade!



    November 22, 2010 at 12:29 am
  • Reply lea2109

    Usually when I boot somebody off I don’t bother with explanations. I’ve blocked a number of people on Facebook and usually when I reach that point, there is no point in explaining.

    My feeling is that you have every right to be happy. We don’t always choose the battles we must fight and we don’t always choose the journey and it is not your fault that your outcome was so very different than so many others. You should not feel guilty or be made to feel guilty when you enjoy this moment because you don’t have to take responsibility for what other people are going through.

    November 22, 2010 at 1:52 am
  • Reply waiting4amiracle

    I think that you first have to ask yourself, how close were you to this person?
    If you were quite close then a short e-mail may be in order, but if not then just leave it. It would be interesting to see what her reaction is. ………And that is a bitchy comment.

    November 22, 2010 at 8:28 am
  • Reply thebsdiaries

    I would definitely just let it go. let her go. she will get the message loud and clear.

    November 22, 2010 at 9:29 am
  • Reply ninadan21

    Yikes, that is nasty Sharon! Yup, boot her off (which you have already donr) but no need to expalin to her

    November 22, 2010 at 9:36 am
  • Reply suecreativity01

    I agree with veryone else. Your actions will speak louder than words. Just dont do anything more. She is clearly in a bad space and is not deserving of any more of your energy!

    November 22, 2010 at 9:59 am
  • Reply hanneke001

    Wow how nasty can you be, i am sorry to hear that someone can be so nasty about someone elses happiness, my hubby and i have decided not to persue any treatment, but that does not make me any less happy for you or for any of my other friends when they do fall preggies or adopt of become parents in whatever means. I can undestand that it is diffucult for her etc, but then rather just ignore it, stop following your blog and dont comment. Like my mother said, if you cant say something nice, then dont say anything at all. I would not even bother to send her an email, it will just add fuel to the fire. Your xmans pics are STUNNING !!

    November 22, 2010 at 10:01 am
  • Reply trishdg

    Yup I think she went too far and even if it wasn’t directed at you, it was obviously directed at someone’s good fortune and really, do you need “friends” like that. I would block her and be done with it. Your Christmas photo is stunning – love it!

    November 22, 2010 at 10:01 am
  • Reply jonivdw

    Shame Shaz! That just sucks!! As per your advice to me last week regarding my issue, just ignore her, unfriend her, don’t take her calls etc.

    I’m sorry that some people have to be soo rude to make themselves feel better!!

    November 22, 2010 at 10:50 am
  • Reply Nisey

    I’m with Walter. I’m guessing she’ll figure it out soon enough and if she wants to know why (has the guts to ask) then by all means tell her. My opinion is that she probably isn’t worth the energy it would take to write an email…

    November 22, 2010 at 10:53 am
  • Reply Mash

    Hmmmm. I’ve been listening to a really fascinating conference by a catholic priest from the 80’s.

    Could you see it as something that is happening outside of you, totally unrelated to you? Yes, it’s in response to your joy. But it doesn’t “mean” anything about you until you let it.

    Nothing wrong with blocking her from Facebook or your blog, just a problem when it hurts you. Because it’s her drama, isn’t it? She’s trying to pull you into it, make it yours. And it’s not, and there’s nothing you can do to help her πŸ˜‰

    November 22, 2010 at 10:58 am
  • Reply vroutjie

    As you did is right – leave the e-mail. If she ever contacts you again, then explain, but otherwise, it is not worth it!!

    November 22, 2010 at 11:49 am
  • Reply Sharon

    Well she did email me asking for an explanation on why she no longer had access to my blog and had been removed from Facebook. I didn’t want to get into long explanations but just told her how about her status update and that life was too short to waste it on bitterness.
    She has since sent me a very long email with a very contrived sounding explanation but I’ve just deleted it – I’m just so not interested.

    Thanks for your opinions everyone.

    November 22, 2010 at 11:51 am
  • Reply wheresmybun

    I was just going to say, not to bother because I’m sure she would know exactly why you deleted her. I hate hate hate passive aggressive statements. If you don’t have the guts to say what you really want to say then I’m so not interested. Also WTF??? I wish people would use their filters. First of all I’m sure you don’t expect everyone to comment, if you’re like me, I prefer people comment only when and if they feel like it, and when they’ve got something of value to add. If she said it wasn’t directed at you then she’s lying. It’s time to separate the wheat from the chaff. You only need people in your life that have a positive impact. The rest does not matter and not worth a moments worry. And hon, I’m sorry you have to yet again experience this. (((HUGS)))

    November 22, 2010 at 2:03 pm
  • Reply merphin

    OH MY GOSH! How rude! Well done on how you have handled it, I think I would have jumped in feet first, bowled on over and most definitely made it worse :s – good on you for being the better person!!!!!!
    On a positive note tho – I LOVE the Christmas photo’s you have up, they are bright and cheerful and are definitely a reminder of what really matters at this time of the year πŸ˜€ Family, good friends and enjoying every moment!

    November 22, 2010 at 6:45 pm
  • Reply coachmarcia

    I’m with Walter… but I see you’re off and out πŸ™‚

    LOVE the Christmas pic! You are fast with these things and 11 months! When did that happen?!

    November 22, 2010 at 7:01 pm
  • Reply orbit365

    She is nasty and bitter and you did the right thing. And I’m with Walter and would only explain things to her if she asked. But I see you did this already. Life really is too short to have to put up with people like that.
    You are better off without her in your life.

    November 22, 2010 at 8:40 pm
  • Reply mozzie01

    You did the right thing…I cannot believe how nasty people can be! Love the new Christmas feel to the blog!

    November 22, 2010 at 9:21 pm
  • Reply pandoragelb

    Also love the Pics! And the new one on top, so cute. Can’t even get my head around the fact that christmas is in a month!! Had so many plans, better get moving!

    November 22, 2010 at 9:50 pm
  • Reply ttcnot2easy

    I would also have removed all her ‘priveleges’ the way you have – without explanation. Does she deserve that, after the things she’s said? I think not. That is how I would treat it. I’d wait to see if she sends a message of sorts.. I wouldn’t make the next move.

    November 23, 2010 at 6:54 am
  • Reply ineke1981

    Wow, I would be hurt. That is not fair, and I think you made the right decision.

    November 23, 2010 at 9:00 am
  • Reply nolene123

    It is a sad day when you can not share in other’s hapiness. This lady must be so broken that she can not see past her own sadness.
    Remember how you came full circle and had some appologies to do ? I think she ( god willing ) will also have a couple of appologies to do someday. Hoping she has the insight to see how wrong she was and the you are on the receiving side of the appology. What would I do ? Pity her.

    November 23, 2010 at 11:19 am
  • Reply mrssee2

    I can kind of understand how if you are having a bad day that a happy update would irritate you, but it is easy enough to hide people if you need a break from their stuff. So I think you did the right thing too

    And also looking forward to seeing more of the lovely piccies!

    I still can’t believe that it has been a year. It really has flown.

    November 23, 2010 at 12:07 pm
  • Reply shirl34

    Wow, that would hurt me no end..and I would have done the exact same as you did.
    Delete,delete,delete. Absolutely no room in your life for negativity!

    Lol Sharon, you must be looking forward to xmas…its SUCH a joy when there are little ones..exciting times!

    November 23, 2010 at 2:45 pm
  • Reply Hanneke C

    Thanks again Sharon for sharing the issues surrounding infertility. I can only image how hard it must be but there is NEVER place for bitterness!

    I LOVE the christmas pictures, would make nice presents for the grandparents? After all grandparents are only interested in grandchildren aren’t they?

    November 23, 2010 at 11:29 pm
  • Reply mayflowerladybugs

    Oh dear, I am behind the times as usual… I f I had been on time I would have given you back the advice you once gave to me: to let it go because to get into it will just exacerbate the situation! Well I followed your advice (hard as it was at the time he he) and you were right! Anyway, glad it is behind you, and sorry about the yuckiness – seems that the internet – buddy thing is just always fraught with difficulties.

    November 24, 2010 at 5:59 pm
  • Reply antigone1022

    It never ceases to amaze me that the instant communication system that facebook is, that allows us to keep in touch despite busy lives, families, work, does not open doors for us to be better women, look after each other a little, spare those who need a little tlc our time. Instead there are a few ( luckily only a few) who get transported back to the school yard and use it to be petty and childish. You are a lovely strong woman and a lovely mother. I totally understand why it hurts – I would be hurt too, but remember all the good comment days and don’t be sad

    November 26, 2010 at 2:36 am
  • Reply dee

    Honestly? That is so childish. I would have done exactly as you did, no-one needs comments like that from a “friend”.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:37 am
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