One Issue @ A Time

When I had my last miscarriage – shockingly, almost 3 years ago now – I went through something equally crushing. I learned the devastation of having my best friends turn their backs on me and walk and ignore my excruciating pain. For a very long time I festered and thought and analyzed and talked and obsessed about what was done to me. About what I could have done differently, about what I’d say to those two women if I was ever given the chance.

When one of them emailed me about a year after all was said and done, with an apology, I even posted about it on an Infertility Support Forum this is was I posted, this will give you some insight into what I’m referring to:

Girls, I’m so sorry, I’m monopolizing the forum today, but I need help, something I’ve dreamed about for a year and a half has just happened and I’m so shocked and sad all over again…………
Let me start at the beginning! Sorry for those of you who have heard this story a thousand times, but please understand, the reason I always mention it is because I’ve never made peace with it, its something that still haunts and hurts me. Its something that still makes me cry when I allow myself to think about it, anyway, here goes:

In November 2006 my one BF (lets call her I)phoned to tell me she was pregnant, I was absolutely crushed! I phoned my other BF (we’ll call her A) to talk to her, have a sounding board, just somebody to share my raw emotion with.
Anyway, the following day A phones me to tell me she’s just found out she’s pregnant as well.
You can imagine, I thought I was going to loose my mind, I didn’t want to think what lay ahead, we are always all together, the three of us girls and our DH’s are all best buds as well, so I knew that hell was lying ahead of me. But I tried to prepare myself as best as possible.
The following week I got my 6th BFP! I was ecstatic!!! We all were, three BF’s, our due dates were for I 29 June, for A 6 July and for me 8 July. We were planning our maternity leaves together, how our babies were going to be BF’s, the works. They went for there 6wk scans and all was peachy, they described the heart beats everything, I was so excited to finally finally be a part of this to be able to participate was amazing! I went for my 6wk scan – no heartbeat, foetus the size of a 5wk pregnancy. The next day I miscarried. I have never been so heartbroken in my life. I did not know how I was going to not only survive my own mc, but survive watching my BF’s have babies and know every single step of the way where I should have been, how big my baby should have been, when my baby should have been born.
I notified them via sms of my mc as I was too distraught to speak to anyone. Friend I IGNORED my sms, she never bothered to make any contact with me, other than to send an email one week later to say she was sorry to hear I’d had a bad scan!!!!!!! My baby is dead and you’re sorry about a bad scan???!!! This friend I being the very same friend who’s cat had been run over 3 months previously. This same friend who I’d rushed to her house, I’d cleaned the blood off the pavement, picked upt he cats dead body, disposedof it for her, went shopping for her and spent a weekend sleeping at her house with her to keep her company after the loss of her cat and she can’t even acknowledge the loss of my baby!!!!!!!!! I was so hurt, but little did I know that worse was still to come.
Two weeks after my mc, I was still bleeding, friend A phones me the one day to tell me and I quote “Sharon, the world does not revolve around you, get over yourself, my pregnancy is just as important and you’re putting a dampner on it”!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was stunned, I did not know what to say or how to react, I simply retreated into myself. They systematically shut me out after that. No longer were DH and I invited to join in on evenings out nothing. They just went dead quiet as if they no longer existed, as if our friendship had never been anything. This has haunted me for a year and a half, for a year and a half I have thought about this every single day of my life, I have cried too many tears to remember over this, the words still ring in my ears, the hurt still stings and burns every day of my life. I have fantasizedabout what I would say if I ever saw them again, if they ever made contact with me again. I have thought about this moment every single day for a year and a half. I’ve lain awake at night thinking about this and this is the email I received today:

Dear Sharon,

I know you must be very surprised with this e-mail and possibly upset, but I want to assure you that this mail is not meant to upset you in any way.

This e-mail is also not intended to mend our past friendship.

I have been thinking about you a lot lately and I strongly feel that it isn’t right to leave things the way I did.

For the first time in my life I have a better understanding of what I think you might be going through. I can not begin to imagine how suffocating it must be to want to be a parent so badly, but not having that dream come true. And I now understand how something like that can be the source of so many different emotions, especially when your friends don’t really understand and babies are just popping out everywhere around you. The self doubts, disappointment, resentment, envy and pure heart ache.

I am sorry I wasn’t there for you when you needed me the most and I am sorry about so many things that was said and done. I do believe we both had a share in things that was said and done, and I have fully forgiven you and I have forgiven myself and I hope you have done the same.

I really mean everything in this mail from the bottom of my heart and I would never want to cause you one minute of unhappiness.

Sharon, we miss our frienship withyou guys immensely, but I know we are not good for each other. But I want you to know that I do think back on the good times we shared and I am grateful to have known you. You are both amazing people. I truly hope all your dreams come true and wish you only the best.

Kind Regards,

And now I dont’ know what to do or what to say??????????? But I feel like I’m going to be overcome with grief and pain all over again. Please somebody tell me what to do or say because I don’t know how to do this.

This is my response:
Dear A

Surprised is an understatement; stunned is probably a better word. Although I’m not really sure why, but I always suspected this day would come. Your email has been like having a plaster ripped off a very painful oozing bleeding wound and has drudged up all the hurt, sadness, devastation and disappointments of the passed year, I cried the whole way home from work today.
I could not respond immediately for a number of reasons, firstly because I didn’t know how and because I needed sometime to think about exactly what I was going to say. I have restarted this email about 10 times already.

My initial reaction was to simply reply that I had forgiven you and moved on, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I have more to say than just that. Firstly because my initial response sounded harsh and secondly because I know I’m partly to blame for what happened because I never allowed anybody to see how truly raw my emotions over my infertility and countless miscarriages were and perhaps if I had done that my two best friends would have reacted with some level of compassion, but I couldn’t do that, I was afraid to bare my soul and let you and friend I see how deep my hurt ran.
But it’s a little over a year and a lot of water under the bridge for me. So let me start off by telling you what I’ve been through in the passed year:
1. 2 failed adoption attempts
2. 3 Failed Artificial Inseminations
3. 1 Failed Invitro Fertilization – pre genetic testing done on our embryo’s and all of them had Patua’s Syndrome (Trisomy 18)
4. 1 Failed Immune Modification IVF where I went through hell and spent weeks being injected 2 times a day and walking around covered in the most painful purple bruises on my thighs, stomach and bum
5. 1 Cancelled IVF – after going through all hell of egg retrievals and medications, my eggs didn’t fertilize and the treatment was cancelled.
6. A hysterosalpingogram – an incredibly painful X-Ray that entails local anesthesia onto my cervix and dye being injected vaginally into my uterus and fallopian tubes while fully conscious
7. An office hysteroscopy again involving an anesthesia onto my cervix
8. More blood test than most human beings will have in a life time, including DNA and Genetic testing that involve drawing BOTTLES of blood and not viles blood.
9. Additional Surgery with a partial tubal ligation
10. An inflammatory reaction to my surgery and being hospitalized
11. Witnessing the birth of my second nephew on the anniversary of my miscarriage (21 November)

I went through all of that with no best friend for comfort or support, with only my incredibly strong husband to carry me through, so I mean this with the greatest respect when I say this, but I don’t think you can have any understanding of what the passed 6 years have been like. The only people who can understand this are people who have experienced this and I would NEVER wish this on even my worst enemy. I live most women’s worst nightmare every day of my life. I live with the memory of lost babies, it has fundamentally changed who I am forever and ever. I can never go back and be the person I was 6 years ago, my heart and soul have been scarred for eternity. But its not all bad, there are many things I’m grateful for. My infertility has made me stronger, braver, kinder and more compassionate than I ever dreamed possible. I am proud of the person I am today.

But I do want to tell you this as well. What happened between you and friend I and I nearly killed me. It broke my spirit for a very long time. What you both did hurt me almost as much as loosing my babies There has not been a single day go by in the passed year where I have not thought about you and friend I and what happened. I have questioned time and again how this could happen, how when I needed my two best friends the most, they weren’t there for me. I don’t think you can ever imagine how much having you and friend I just cut me out hurt me.

But I have forgiven you both and moved on. What is done is done and in the passed.

I thank God everyday for my incredible husband and our truly strong marriage as I’m sure a lot of marriages would have crumbled under the strain of what we’ve been through in the passed few years. But instead we stand stronger together than ever before.

My greatest regret is that DH has lost his best friend in the process and I would give anything to change that for him.
But life goes on and we’ve moved and are standing at the door of a very exciting new life for ourselves.
I wish you nothing but good things and hope that you can do the same for DH and I.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to purge some hurt and emotion that I’ve kept inside for far too long! The sense of relief and freedom I feel after typing this email is immense, I feel like I’ve been set free from a very heavy burden that I’ve carried for too long.

Kind Regards

Sending this email gave me a certain amount of closure, but really the best healer is time……..

So it was a total surprise when last week out of the blue, this ex-friend SMS’d me with Birthday wishes, kind of surprising when you think that 3 years have past, but what was even more surprising is my reaction to it. Nothing! Niks! Nada! I’m so pleased that this chapter of my life is over, that I’m free of this, that I’m no longer bound by the hurt & sadness of this poisonous friendship, of what is in the past.

Another hurdle over come, another door closing and perhaps a new one opening?

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  • Reply Kristin

    Wow Sharon… I can’t imagine having that happen with a friend and I am truly impressed with the composed, thoughtful, and brutally honest email you sent back. FABULOUS!

    I am also glad you are finding some healing and distance from the pain.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:44 pm
  • Reply Rach

    All I will say is that you don’t need toxic, unsupportive friends in your life….offload them and do it as soon as possible. Surround yourself with loving, supportive, caring friends who will be there for you no matter what. I know what you’re going through because I’m in the process of offloading a “best” friendship at the moment, it’s gotten to a point where I don’t have the energy to put the 100% of effort into this friendship…

    Friendships shoul dbe 50/50, if they’re not, then they aren’t true friendships!

    Much love my friend…

    June 23, 2009 at 3:27 pm
  • Reply ^WiseGuy^

    You gave her a Slam Dunk response. It takes a lot of courage to have withstood what you have withstood, and I am glad that she got the point ultimately.

    I hope you get your rainbow! Let’s count the colours together, shall we?


    June 23, 2009 at 3:41 pm
  • Reply Jaded

    wow! it’s like the past is settling itself…you are gaining so much closure with this email and of course your visit with the ‘healer’. your future path is emerging.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:34 pm
  • Reply Ewebey

    I do have to say that being able to settle something like that can have a tremendous effect on your well being.
    Glad you were able to settle it!

    June 23, 2009 at 4:55 pm
  • Reply samcy

    Yeah so many closures for you of late my friend. But important ones cos now you are no longer bound by the past.

    Here’s to the future!


    June 23, 2009 at 5:35 pm
  • Reply skrambled

    Here’s to the future and to new friends! Ones that understand a little more.

    June 23, 2009 at 6:25 pm
  • Reply jan

    well done, you are doing what you need to do to move forward. I cannot believe that these people were your best friends, with so little compassion? you really deserve only good!!

    June 23, 2009 at 7:19 pm
  • Reply MeAndBaby

    I don’t think you could have handled that any better. Bravo for closing that door and opening another.


    June 23, 2009 at 8:20 pm
  • Reply Kirsty

    That “Nothing, niks, nada” feeling is totally telling you that you’re over it! Well done! You have moved on to much greener pastures! x

    June 23, 2009 at 8:48 pm
  • Reply Lea White

    I agree, you don’t need toxic friends in your life. Somebody once told me that you should always surround yourself with others who can hold you up, stay positive and not drag you down with their negativity and toxic behaviour.

    It is good that you have closed the door on that part of your life. You owe it to yourself to focus on this part of your life. You deserve to be happy and supported every step of the way!

    I once had a friend who was extremely negative and said an extremely insensitive thing to me and effectively cursed Bianca before she was born (little did she know and does she know that her curse eventually came true), but anyway, it was at that moment as she lashed out at me that I cut her out of my life completely. No further contact. I really think that decision to cut her out of my life was the right one.

    Sharon, you are such a great person, I learn so much from you and I wish you so much happiness and most of all a friendship of people who can laugh with you and cry with you and sometimes just do silly things with you. After all, that is what real and true friendships are meant to be like.

    June 23, 2009 at 9:28 pm
  • Reply becomingwhole

    What an amazing feeling that “nothing,” that sense of pure detachment. What a gift. How wonderful.

    June 23, 2009 at 10:47 pm
  • Reply Abbey

    Geez Sharon, that must have been so painful for you to go through. This journey is hard enough without those who you are closest to turning thier backs on you in your darkest hour of need. As the saying goes “forgive everyone everything because life is too short to waste time hating anyone” Luckily for us there are many wonderful woman out there who DO understand and who would be willing to be there for each other no matter what the future holds. Maybe our past friendships ended for a reason, to make way for newer, deeper, more genuine friendships that will see us through the years ahead. Big hugs filled with special love for you my friend! (())

    June 24, 2009 at 8:06 am
  • Reply Elize

    Your reply was excellent. I am so glad you have closed that door completely. Here’s to many new doors opening!

    June 24, 2009 at 12:19 pm
  • Reply Adi

    It is amazing how my infertility journey has make some friendships stronger and created new ones. It is sad to see some friends not being able to be there during the bad (or the crap or the horrifying or the unbelievably heartbreakingly devastatingly sad) times but an email like yours plants a seed in that person’s mind so that they can perhaps next time round think twice before they judge or ignore. I’m so sorry this happened to you. All of it, all those bullets, plus the missing friends while it happened. I only wish you one more bullet: your returning J.

    June 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm
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