Being (overly) sensitive?

I admit that I am feeling hurt, but I’m wondering if I am a bit overly sensitive.

I am talking about my friend who I will call Kate here.  We have been very good friends in the last nine years.  We met through another friend and somehow just clicked.  Our friendship continued to grow in the last nine years during which time she got engaged, got married, had kid number one, proceeded to have kid number two, went through job changes and moved. She experienced serious postpartum depression after she had her second baby.  She would hide in her closet and cry.  She had a difficult time bonding with her daughter.  Kate is not a believer but I offered to pray for her and over her if she would like.  I prayed for her consistently for some time.  Finally one day out of the blue she called me at around 9am on a work day and asked if I could pray for her.  She was driving to work and was crying uncontrollably.  Right then and there on the phone I prayed to God for her healing and for her to know that God loved her.  To cheer her up, I arranged with her husband to give her a surprise birthday treat; a girl day out with high tea and manicure/pedicure.  She eventually went to a psychiatrist and got better with her treatment.  We live about 40 minutes away from each other.  Bob and I would drive down to visit with them.  We attend her kids’ birthday parties every single year although we are usually the only couple who doesn’t have children and are always bombarded with inappropriate questions from her extremely fertile friends about our timeline for having children.  Her son was the ring bearer at our wedding.  All of these descriptions are just to show you that we have been very good friends for quite some time.

I am selective with the people with whom I share my fertility struggles.  Kate has been one of the selected few friends in real life to know about us trying for a baby.  I would update her on the IVF seminars that we attended, the choice between mini-IVF and conventional IVF, and my emotional ups and downs.  Looking back in the past couple of years, I have a feeling that I am the one who has been taking the initiative to update her on my life as she goes about her busy life juggling being a career woman, a caring wife, and a good mother.  I would write her Fac.ebook messages, send her texts, or call her to chat.  I didn’t mind because I knew that leading a life as a working mother takes a lot out of a person.  She even admitted at one point that she wasn’t good at keeping in touch with people.

In May, Kate’s whole family came over to our place for dinner.  It was then that I told her about our decision to go with Dr. E.  From the way she spoke to me, I just felt that it was getting more difficult to share my feelings with her about being unable to get pregnant due to the dreadful diagnosis of DOR.  When I told her how lonely I am sometimes when I see that 99% of my friends don’t seem to have any struggles with getting pregnant, she told me that I wasn’t the only person that she knew who couldn’t get pregnant and had to pursue IVF.  Although I know that it is true that I am not the only person having to go through IVF, somehow the way she said it made me feel slighted.  That I should just get with the program and just go ahead with it.  That I shouldn’t feel that everyone around me is lucky except for myself.  She didn’t say all these words… but I could sense and smell the undertone.  Maybe that was the one moment when I was overly sensitive.  I sometimes just wish that my fertile friends in real life would just listen without making a lot of comments.

Fast forward to July.  I updated her via FB about our egg retrieval on my birthday.   On the day of our failed day three transfer, she sent me a text at about dinner time and said that she was in the neighborhood with her family and asked if we wanted to meet up for ice cream.  I was thrilled that I got to see her and the kids.  So we met up at the ice cream parlor.  Bob asked if I felt up to it given the emotional craziness that we experienced earlier that day.  I did want to see her and update her so we went.  As usual, our meeting was rushed with kids running around interrupting and talking over us.  In between paying and waiting for ice cream, we stood far away from the kids and her mother-in-law and I updated her on what happened that morning.  Her first reaction was, Oh the transfer comes this soon?  I did explain to her the whole IVF process before but I was not that surprised that she didn’t really know what the process entailed.  I explained to her the process again, shared with her about the crazy roller coaster that we went through that very morning, and the unknown about the pending transfer on day five.  I shared about my fear of the embryos all dying and having nothing to transfer.  While she was tending her kids for their dripping ice cream and whining to play at the playground, she commented on what I told her with what I would consider platitude.  I don’t remember the exact wording but it made me feel slighted again.  We parted ways after the ice cream date.  That was July 13th.

Kate knew that we were supposed to attempt a transfer on July 15th.  Guess what?  I have not heard from her since the ice cream date.  That was almost a month ago.  Since I was a bit discouraged after her comments, I didn’t feel up to taking the initiative to explain a lot to her.  So I haven’t called her, written her any emails, sent her any texts, or written any FB messages.  Yesterday it just dawned on me that she has not contacted me to see how the transfer went or how I was doing.  All my real life friends who are in the know called me, texted me, asked me, prayed for me, and followed up with me about the first IVF cycle.  Some followed up and asked when I would start my next cycle.  I know some people don’t want a lot of questions from their friends during an IVF cycle but I really appreciate the thoughts.  Bob thinks that Kate just doesn’t have the emotional capacity to understand the feelings of someone going through infertility.

I guess I am just…. disappointed.  Disappointed that she hasn’t taken the time to ask.  Disappointed that she hasn’t shown more interest in finding out more about the process.  Disappointed that I am fitting my friend in a profile that many infertile people would portray their super fertile friends.  Disappointed that infertility has seemingly become a test of my friendship with Kate.  Disappointed that I am feeling hurt and disappointed when I think that I shouldn’t be.

I don’t know how I would handle my hurtful feelings yet.  I wonder if I would/should share with her about my feelings or if I would just let it go.  Maybe I’m really overly sensitive.  Maybe I’ll feel better later and things would be fine.  But I don’t want to lose a friend and I don’t want to be resentful with what she hasn’t done.  This is a tough one for me and I’ll continue to sleep on it.

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5 thoughts on “Being (overly) sensitive?

  1. I’m so sorry she’s let you down like that. I kept friends and family out of the exact details because its too much for me to update all of them. Being on the other side (and at this very minute, praying for a friend with my same diagnosis who’s having an IUI this morning), I want to know!! But I’ve also been there and as supportive as my fertile friends are, they just can’t fully understand. We have to realize that and love them anyway. If she’s a bad friend outside fertility, then I’d cut down my contact with her and focus on good friends but if she’s as good as you’ve said, keep it to non-fertility life.

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  2. Sigh. Sadly, I’ve noticed a lot of my friends are like this. They kind of want to know what’s going on and ask when they see me, but don’t really seem to be paying attention to the answer and never check in later to see how things went/are going. I guess it’s just an example of how things that are important to some people just aren’t as important to others. Or maybe we should give them the benefit of the doubt and figure that they just don’t know how to deal with all the complex emotions of infertility. I dunno.

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  3. I don’t think you’re being overly sensitive– because I would feel the same way. I’ve had a similar (lack of) response from the few friends I chose to tell about what I was going through. I’m not sure whether it’s them feeling uncomfortable asking questions about it, them assuming I don’t want to talk about it unless I bring it up, or them just not paying that much attention to my life & what I’m going through. My solution was just to feel hurt & stop talking to them about it. Probably not the most mature and healthy reaction, but I was never ready to confront it.
    This sounds like a friendship worth keeping, so I hope you’re able to find a solution that doesn’t leave you feeling bitter & hurt.

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  4. Pingback: Take three | In Quest of a Binky Moongee

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