A Forever Lost Friendship
Today is a day that always stands out in my mind – and not because of Star Wars.
Today an old friend’s child turns 4. This is a child who is presumably alive and well, but I honestly don’t know. I always thought I’d watch this child grow-up. In fact, because of the close relationship Mr. MPB and I had with this child’s parents, I always thought we’d be honorary Auntie & Uncle, just as I always thought they would have been to our child. We vacationed together – having travelled to a beach resort together one winter and camping together frequently. We went shopping together. We drank together. Really, we were just really good friends for a number of years.
But somehow our friendship was a causality of our recurrent pregnancy loss. And, honestly, I still don’t understand what happened.
Let me back-up and explain.
While she was pregnant we went through 2 losses. We made the decision not to tell anyone in our lives at this point about our losses, especially those who were pregnant because in our minds why make someone who’s pregnant worry about loss by sharing our story, we just couldn’t do that to others. And really, we just weren’t ready to share. Regardless, when their child was born, we went and visited. We held their baby, we smiled, we did all the “right” things, even though our hearts were breaking because at this point we only knew loss. But in our minds, because they were such good friends we put our emotions aside and visited them a few more times in the next few months. Honestly, we didn’t visit as much as we maybe should have, but we did visit as often as we could emotionally handle.
Then, after our third loss, our termination for medical reasons (i.e. abortion), we began telling people about our struggles. As an old and very close friend, I told her. She was actually one of the first people I told. I told her everything – about the first 2 miscarriages and the termination. I told her about how hard it was for us to see their little one, and how I hoped they could understand how we are happy for them, yet we are struggling because of what we’ve been through and the realization that we may never be able to have a child(ren). I told her we’d keep trying to be there for them and their baby to the best of our ability.
To which she responded with how hurt she was that I didn’t tell her sooner, and how selfish I was not for telling her. And how could we be trying and not tell them. She asked about a 1000 questions all about the timing of each loss. And then, she told me I now have no excuse but to visit more often. (Needless to say, from my perspective it was weird).
The conversation ended with her commitment to call me again in a few days.
It’s now been almost 4 years and she never called. And, to be fair, I never called her.
I’ve replayed that conversation in my head countless times, especially right after it happened. And yet, nearly 4 years later I still don’t understand what happened. Her response was particularly odd. The 1000 questions and complete lack of sympathy followed by never speaking to me again was nothing short of hurtful.
It was after this phone call that Mr. MPB and I made the decision not to put effort into relationships with those who were not helping us cope with our recurrent pregnancy loss/infertility. Hence, my decision not to phone her back. And more importantly, hence our decision to focus on relationships that provide a positive influence on my life and to those who also put an effort into the relationship.
I still don’t know how someone who I thought was such a good friend could respond in such a hurtful way. Was her decision to end the friendship the result of my truthfulness about having an abortion to save my life? Was it the result of hurt feelings that we never told them we were trying for kids, when they never told us? Or was it just because I never phoned her? And her husband, as a really good friend to Mr. MPB, why didn’t he ever reach out to Mr. MPB? These are questions I’ll likely never know the answer to.
But the other thing that I know, is that no-matter how many times I’ve replayed that conversation and our decisions, I don’t have any regrets. I still know we made the decisions that were best for us. Everything from not telling anyone until after our third loss, to having an abortion for medical reasons, and choosing not to call her again, was the right decision for us. And when we were living day-in and day-out with miscarriages, baby loss and a very uncertain future, doing what was best for us was basic survival. And that’s something I will never apologize for.
And, while I do miss our friendship, I have to admit, I don’t miss a friend who turned on me in my time of need. She simply isn’t the type of friend that I need in my life. I don’t have the heart for that type of relationship, really I just need more from friends then what she was willing to give. And I’m okay with acknowledging this about myself. In fact, I’m almost proud that I realize I deserve more.
And, honestly, I think it’s sad for her. Even though she had the opportunity to be a friend, she wasn’t a good friend, plain and simple. And, now, she has no idea that we found our family through open adoption and she will never know Little MPB. While supporting us through our struggle may have been hard, I will never forget the kindness and love of those who did stand by us. The ones who stood by us, those are the people that I will always cherish and they are the type of people I want to surround myself with and I aspire to be like.
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