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?



  • taryn29

    November 21, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    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.

  • little29

    November 21, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    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!!

  • pandoragelb

    November 21, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    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.

  • zamom

    November 21, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    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?

  • aussiekim

    November 22, 2010 at 12:29 am

    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!



  • lea2109

    November 22, 2010 at 1:52 am

    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.

  • waiting4amiracle

    November 22, 2010 at 8:28 am

    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.

  • suecreativity01

    November 22, 2010 at 9:59 am

    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!

  • hanneke001

    November 22, 2010 at 10:01 am

    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 !!

  • trishdg

    November 22, 2010 at 10:01 am

    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!

  • jonivdw

    November 22, 2010 at 10:50 am

    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!!

  • Nisey

    November 22, 2010 at 10:53 am

    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…

  • Mash

    November 22, 2010 at 10:58 am

    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 😉

  • Sharon

    November 22, 2010 at 11:51 am

    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.

  • wheresmybun

    November 22, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    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)))

  • merphin

    November 22, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    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 😀 Family, good friends and enjoying every moment!

  • coachmarcia

    November 22, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    I’m with Walter… but I see you’re off and out 🙂

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

  • orbit365

    November 22, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    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.

  • pandoragelb

    November 22, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    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!

  • ttcnot2easy

    November 23, 2010 at 6:54 am

    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.

  • nolene123

    November 23, 2010 at 11:19 am

    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.

  • mrssee2

    November 23, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    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.

  • shirl34

    November 23, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    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!

  • Hanneke C

    November 23, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    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?

  • mayflowerladybugs

    November 24, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    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.

  • antigone1022

    November 26, 2010 at 2:36 am

    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


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