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.

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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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22 Comments on “A Forever Lost Friendship

  1. Sometimes people just move on and grow apart, close friends turn strangers at any life event and this was a prime example.
    Don’t take it to your heart, am glad you realize this and know you deserve better, because hon, you really do! She really meant a lot to you, its obvious, because you remember her kid’s birthday!

    If you were to think about her view then, she just had a baby, and she was perhaps waiting for you to make the first move, so that she knew you were truly comfortable around her! Or maybe she just felt it was best to move on esp since the sight of her baby caused you both grief(would you like to meet someone who said seeing little MPB causes them pain for whatever reason? or the sight of your child made them remember their unborn children? )In the infertility world we understand what the other person means and try to be supportive, many don’t. They take offense that their sweet loving innocent child who is the apple of their eye brings grief to someone else!

    And then time comes in, we all have lives to live and we move on. I dont blame her, nor should you blame yourself. Its unfortunate you lost close friends, but when was life ever fair?

    Liked by 1 person

    • First, yes, I agree, I deserve better in a friend. I think everyone does. And when I was at such a vulnerable state I made the right decision for me, and that’s what mattered.
      Second, she also made the right decision for her. I like to believe that she would have put just as much thought into this as I did because I do think our friendship also mattered to her. And, I don’t begrudge her for her decision.
      Third, yup, time just passes by. And now 4 years later, presumably we’ve both just continued on with our lives. And, that’s also a good/normal thing. Yes, I still think about her from time to time, but I’m actively engaged in my life today and presumably she is too. And, I think that’s okay. I do wonder what will happen when we run into each other one day – we live relatively close together and frequent the same stores, so I’m expecting it to happen one day and am surprised it hasn’t already. Will it be awkward? Will one of us attempt to hide from the other one? Will we have a casual conversation? Only time will tell!

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      • true. Its sad, and I wish she thinks about the both of you just as much! I am sure it meant something to her too.

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  2. What a terrible response! I’ve lost friends as well because we didn’t respond to our infertility the way THEY wanted us too. I’m so sorry for your lost friendship, but it sounds like she came up short when you needed her most.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am sorry you also lost friends due to your infertility. In a way it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who has lost friends over this. It’s interesting how others think we should respond to our infertility without ever having been through it themselves….

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  3. I have experienced this kind of loss of friendship before. There are friends like that out there. You think that you are good friends until trauma or unexpected circumstances hit, and you truly know who is and who is not a friend. It’s a truly sad thing, but there is a beginning and an end to all friendships. We mourn. But we move forward as well. I think about the friends that I lost throughout the years and I don’t always understand why I lost them, but I do understand that there is a timing for everything including friendships.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You absolutely did the right thing, but I get how complex that feeling is. I was ghosted by one friend who, ironically, had 6 miscarriages yet said she had nothing in common with my infertility (which included miscarriage), and just stopped calling, then a year ago finally stood up to the person I’d considered my best friend after she said adoption would be better then likened it to recycling (this after hitting almost every bullet on the “what not to say to your infertile friend” list)…and when I did, and was upfront about what I needed from her, she ghosted me. That and my own mother, someone who’d lost a child herself, completely ignored me during and after my miscarriage, then texted (she’d never dare pick up the phone) that I ‘needed to accept her for who she is’ after I told her how upset I was about it, I just said goodbye to her and the others who bring that bad energy in. Not worth it – or as I say, I’m too old for this shit.

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  5. This has been one of the hardest lessons to learn for my husband and I on our journey. People we thought of as family fell away for ridiculous reasons that felt like excuses to ignore the real reasons. Most of our friends are building their tribes and it’s still just the two of us against the world. We started getting excluded from things. Slowly we started to realize that they just weren’t our people anymore. We are childless, but not without hope just yet. We are in a sort of limbo.. and there is such an uncertainty that comes with it. It’s been a lonely process but we’ve started learning who our people really are. You’re not alone friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for this post.

    It is definitely time to get rid of the relationships that do not offer positivity.

    I have sometimes wondered why I told people about struggles, because often, this has been the outcome. But I don’t regret it. It has helped me realize who are real friends and who is just dead weight undeserving of my friendship.

    Unfortunately the true friend count is lower than expected, but damn, I do have some good ones in there.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Friendship loss is so hard, especially when it has an element of being unresolved. We lost a few about our kiddo was born for reasons that are vague and, in our opinion, mostly untrue. I miss the friendships so much but also don’t miss people who would treat me the way these “friends” did.

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  8. Friendships can be some of life’s greatest blessings, but they can also turn out to be heartbreaking lessons. Year’s ago someone whose friendship meant the world to me suddenly slammed the door on a lifetime friendship. There was no conversation, no warning signs–just cold silence. I’ve reflected on that many times over the years and after a lot of sadness and regret, I came to the conclusion it was her loss. Wishing you well on your journey through this great adventure called life!

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  9. I have had a similar falling out with a close long-time friend (not infertility related, though), and it is a strange and difficult experience. Harder in some ways than a romantic break-up, I think because there is not the same feeling of closure.

    I’m sorry you had to go through that.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. That makes me sad that she decided to make your pain about herself. I understand that people don’t have the capacity to handle difficult situations… It’s just sad when good friendships end even though this was definitely for the best. Do you sometimes think about extending and olive branch and texting a happy birthday message or something? I’m not saying that you should I’m just asking. I sometimes wonder if I should extend olive branches to friends I’ve lost but most times the damage is irreparable. I’ve only had one friend who managed to find her way back to me and we’re stronger than ever now. But I think that’s an exception to the rule.
    Sorry for rambling *hugs*

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  11. Wow, what a tough experience. It’s so sad that she didn’t seem to realise that it was your situation that was so difficult, and that telling her was hard for you (and her, I’m sure. I would hate a friend to go through pregnancy loss or infertility). Really, she just needed to be there with you.
    It sounds like you’ve come out of the other side amazingly, without a hint of bitterness.

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  12. While of course I am sure this old friend had her own viewpoint, she sounds like she is lacking major ability to empathize. How unfortunate for her and those around her. But you my friend- are an amazing warrior. Her loss. Xoxo

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  13. What a very strange way for her to behave. I have to admit, I don’t get it! How do some people manage to makes someone else’s hard times about them??? I will never understand it. You dodged a bullet by having that all come out but I’m sorry you lost what you thought was a good friend. That is a sad experience.

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  14. Reading this makes me sad. I am trying to understand, or come up with, why she would respond the way she did, but I’ve truly got nothing. This is not what you deserved.

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  15. I really related to this post as I had a similar experience with a woman I became close to while teaching. I haven’t heard from her since one month after losing Oliver when she canceled on coming to visit me at home. I have contemplated contact her since but I feel like her response to the loss of my son was a true sign of who she was as a person and perhaps that’s not what I needed in my life then or ever.

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  16. Friendships going sour for no apparent reason will always be a uniquely hard thing to deal with. It’s great that you a secure about your own decisions though. Not everyone, who experiences a lack of closure like that, is able to live without continuously questioning themselves afterwards. Good for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I really love this post. I have had these situations in my life as well and it is tough. I could not imagine why your friend would turn on you but sadly, it must be for the best. Clearly she couldn’t handle something and I think she is the selfish one. The fact that you have learned so much from it and know what is best in your life is important. Sometimes it is hard to accept that.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I would like to go give this “friend” a piece of my mind. I’m so sorry she couldn’t find the grace to support you through this. She is the one that is sorely missing out on an amazing friend and little boy. I’m glad you still feel like you handled everything the way you wanted to and have no regrets about it. Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I don’t understand why you need to tell someone you were even trying for a baby. Who gets mad about that? It’s weird. I think in times of need, and not just regarding RPL, you do learn who has your back and who hasn’t. As hurtful as it might be at the time, the reality is they’re doing you a massive favour in the long run. I’m fortunate in that everyone I knew reacted in a supportive way, however there were a few that clearly didn’t know what to say, but there was still empathy there. I think there is a big difference between lacking empathy and complete selfishness in your mentioned scenario though. Bye Felicia!

    Liked by 1 person

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