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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there - I've been doing ok for a while, but I just know I'm about to go into a slump. And it's all because of a friend I'm meeting on Friday. We go back years, to school days, although I haven't seen her for 5 years - and you know why? Cos she had a baby girl just a month before Grace would have been due. I couldn't face seeing her and have managed to avoid meeting up with this friend ever since. After I kept blowing her out on invites to see her at her home (with her 4 lovely kids) she has asked that we meet, just the two of us in town. This is good - as it shows some understanding of my situation, and so I agreed. But to be totally honest - I don't want to go. This is the friend who always got better grades than me, was always slimmer, and now she's the one with the blossoming family life (and a career - she's a GP!) And here I am - no hope of kids, fat and 40 (actually 42!!!) I feel like a loser - like I've done nothing. Dh says I shouldn't be competitive - but it's not really about that - it's just a feeling of being inadequate I guess. My self esteem is prettty low. I mean, I could say I've done well in not topping myself at various points these last 5 years - but that isn't really something you put on your cv, now is it?
Bernie  :(
 

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Bernie,

Hey honey!

I don't think it is about being competitive, it's about seeing someone with everything you want and don't have, so don't feel bad about not wanting to meet with her.

And you have done a lot in the last 5 years, you have been through and got through and come out the other side of some horrendously hard and awful things - but the thing is you are still here, you survived and you are finding the strength to move on with your life. I bet your 'friend' wouldn't have been strong enough to cope with half the things you have.

I also have to say that you are a fatanstic FF too, reading your posts always gives me a lift and helps me see a different perspective. You should recognise that in yourself too.

I think someone else once posted here about difficult meetings and visualising all your FF giving you a hug, protecting you, supporting you and loving you for the brave, marvellous person you are.

I will be there with you in spirit. Hold you head up high and be proud of yourself for yet again facing a situation that you are finding difficult.

Take care.

Love

VT
xx
 

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I'll be there too in spirit!  And if I might add, perhaps this meetign will help you in a 'one way or the other' sort of way - either it will be lovely and all your fears will go away and you'll be able to get on with your friend again, or she'll be unpleasant / unhelpful and you will be able to stop feeling guilty about not wanting to see her.  EIther way, you won't have that awful 'how do I get out of this invite' feeling hanging over you!

Big hug

Jx
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you VT for the reminder - I have done an awful lot these past few years. Though I have you lot at FF, I think I need to cultivate a circle of friends who are in a similar situation to me - or are at least not the stereotype I have in my mind of the 'perfect' family. (And my sensible rational brain tells me that these 'perfect families' do not exist - everyone has their troubles).
Pol - you are right, this meeting will be make or break. I have decided that too. I'm trying to keep an open mind, trying to remember why we were friends originally. Hopefully it will be a chance to catch up and have a laugh - but if it turns sour - then that really will be the end. There is always the fact that people change and so do their circumstances - I know for sure that this friend is not a bad person, but as we all know here some people can be insensitive about our issues - and I'm not going to continually put myself through that. I am clear on that.

But I will remember that I have everyone's support here - people who REALLY know what I've been through.
Bernie xxx
 

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Hi Bernie

I've not posted on this thread before though I've been "lurking" for a while.  I read your post yesterday and have been thinking about it a lot since as it really resonated with me.  I wanted to do a quick post to say I'll be thinking about you tonight.

I think everybody that's been through failed ttx and lost pregnancies over years and years must have that awful feeling that others' lives have moved on while we're still stuck. And we all need others to remind us that it's not like that. So I'll add my reminder to everybody else's. You've been through so much but you're still here, getting on with your life, being generous in your support for others and finding reasons to smile. That makes you a very special lady.

Maybe your friend is thinking "Bernie's been through a lot.  She's amazing.  I could never have coped. I really don't want to lose her friendship after all these years." But if she's insensitive and crows about her "perfect" family, you can let the friendship go in the knowledge that she has lost a strong, generous and thoughtful friend in you.   

I'll be there is spirit too! Imagine us sitting at the next table, having a drink and waiting for you to finish and tell us all about it.

xxxx   
 

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Oooh a nice latte for me, Francie!  :)
 

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Make that a rather large glass of wine for me  ;)

Bernie love, you've been through so much. Thumbs up to you for being forthright and protecting your own self preservation.

I hope everything goes well at this meet - I hope the qualities that drew you to your friend before are still there.

Its also interesting to note that a lot of my friends who have gone on to have their families end up contacting me through the grapevine eventually. I think its because littlies don't stay little forever, they go off and find their own lives - and despite everything else lots of adults with kids often crave the attention of other adult company  ;)

Hang in there Bernie, am a rootin and a tootin for you - let us know how you get on.
Much love
Emcee xxx
 

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Hi Bernie,

What wise replies you have had! I do hope that you have drawn strength from your FF here, just as you have given so much to others.

As for survival not being something you can put on your CV - well maybe not for a conventional job, but it is certianly something to be proud of and to celebrate.

I have to get my application for a counselling course in on Monday and it does ask about issues/problems faced. For once I felt my experience in surviving all this was something that could be valued. I briefly wrote of how we had spent years trying unsuccessfully to have a child and the negaive impact that failure had on my self perception of myself as in charge of my own destiny, but how I now feel I have moved on and have a geater capacity for compassion and tolerance. Even if I don' t get a place, it was pretty good to be able to look at what I have learnt from IF. That's why Francie's take on how a perceptive friend might see you (me/Francie and all other survivors of IF) makes so much sense to me. (Hi Francie, and thank-you!  ^reiki^)

I think you are right to think about valuing friendship among people whose lives do not take the stereoype routes. I do think that experiencing difference makes us more open to other people whose lives are a bit diffferent too. There is still room for old friends who have more conventional lives but are understanding that there is more to friendship than similarity.

Much love to you, Bernie, ^hugme^ you give so much here.

Jq xxx
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Francie, Emcee and Jq - you know, in the end it turned out ok. We just clicked back to where we were as if nothing had happened - and were chatting away merrily all night. My friend was the same old person that she always was - and she was very understanding of my situation - I did try to explain why I had been avoiding seeing her since her daughter was born but she totally 'got it' and we had a really good chat about everything. Turns out her life has it's own share of problems (I won't go into) - the kind I am grateful not to have. So we were back to how we used to be - supporting each other through life's ups and downs. So I guess the original difficulty was all coming from me and my 'fear' of how she would be. A while back when I was still raw after Grace I remember that she did something that really upset me - and I wrote her a letter telling her so. She wrote back an apology. Though we had talked on the phone, this was our first meeting since that time. I feel lucky with this friendship - because it has withstood this conflict and we have got past it. In fact I am amazed at our friendship really - and very thankful. DH said to me 'you've got a life-long friend there' - and I think he is right!!
Bernie xxx  ;D
P.S. Thanks for everyone's support - cos for a moment I was thinking of backing out of the meeting, but you gave me the courage to go ahead.
 

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Hi Bernie

I am so glad that your meet went well and that you were able to find your friend again, she certainly sounds like one worth keeping.

Good for you in having the courage to go and be able to talk about your situation.

VT
xx
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks VT - having your support and the 'back-up' of everyone I've met through FF helps me to face challenging situations like this. And it is good to know that sometimes they do turn out positively.
Bernie xxx
 

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I am so glad that your re-union with your friend went so well. I came over feeling all warm and glowing for you to read how it left you feeling.

Love to you, Jq xxx
 

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Bernie - how you doing?
Just wanted to echo JQ's sentiments that I'm also really pleased things went well for you...
Love
Emcee x
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks jq and Emcee. It is quite a relief that it went well as I feel I've lost so many friends along the way. This journey I've been on was not something I would have chosen, but life isn't like that is it? You have to muddle on through. THis particular friend lives too far away for regular meetings - but it is good to know that she is there - kwim? Also, that maybe I can be a support to her.
Bernie xx
 

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Ah, Bernie - that's brilliant!  I'm really pleased it went well! And my virtual latte on the next table with Francie was lovely too  ;D ;D

Jx
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Lol ;D Like I say - it was good having you there 'in spirit'.  ;)
Bernie xxx
 
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