Monday, September 22, 2014

Ignoring the sad stuff is not supportive.

You know how when something sad happens, we all are divided between two types of people: people who rush in to say how sorry they are and really, if there is anything I can do.... or the people who say nothing because they don't know what to say or do and just feel awkward and don't want to make the other person feel worse so it's best to just do and say nothing. 

It doesn't matter what the tragedy is, we will always fall into those two categories. 

But once you have firmly placed yourself in a category, it's what you do once you are there that counts. It's lovely to say that you'll help out with whatever, and then conveniently never come back around or worse, are too busy or not available to help when called upon. That's really the worst kind of person to be, really. You may as well put yourself with the do nothing group from the start because then there isn't any disappointment. 

Admittedly, I never really understood what any of this was like until Matt and I had marriage issues, but at the time, I was so young. Our friends were young. And a lot of "friends" weren't really friends at all. I had spent years cultivating good friendships after that, ones that I thought would be really pillars of support for me should anything awful happen again. Because we all need that. We all need a solid support system, be it family or friends. Life is just so much easier knowing you have people ready to rally behind you and hold you up. 

After my miscarriage, I don't think I ever fully verbalized what that did to me on the inside. Sure, I have two great kids already. Sure, I wasn't really sure if I wanted a third and it was sprung on me and I was terrified and worried. But having all of it taken away is really quite cruel. I have had enough time to really think about it, do some research on my own and I really feel like I should have waited another two weeks. I think maybe my pregnancy wasn't as far as they thought and I blindly believed whatever they told me because I hadn't really processed being pregnant in the first place, and now they tell me it's not viable and here is a prescription, you can handle it there and you'll be fine. I really wish I had waited just to see. So then cue the guilt, you know? 

But what I wasn't prepared for was how  unavailable people were. Don't get me wrong, I have friends who were great. I got care packages in the mail, I had people running my kiddos to their activities for a few days, I had friends texting or messaging me to see if I needed anything, how I was holding up. 

There was a large majority however, that did nothing. I got the obligatory "I'm so sorry" and that was it. Each month my period came and I would get a little more upset. I'd cry in the baby section of Target. I'd seize up when I saw a pregnant woman walk by me, happily rubbing her belly no doubt feeling tiny kicks from inside. So many times this summer I reached out to people to ask to go for a walk, go for lunch, just hang out in any way because I needed to feel normal, I needed to talk my emotions out to women who would get it because there are things Matt, as a man, would not understand at all. Mostly, I just wanted to cry and have someone tell me I'm not a terrible mother and it's OK. 

Not once did any of these people follow through. 

And I get it. Life is busy. I'm busy. We're all busy. But I tell you what- if someone called me and said they needed to get out of the house and just let it out? You bet your ass I'm putting whatever I have aside to be that person. Because I know first hand what it takes to be in that place mentally and emotionally, and those are the people who need you the most. 

So again, we learn who is there when we need them. And it's disappointing. It feels like so much time was wasted investing in friendships and it was never two sided, it appears. 

But to EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU who emailed me, sent me a card, texted me, messaged me on Facebook, sent me a care package, who constantly think of me and ask how I'm doing- THANK YOU. You have absolutely no idea what this summer was like for me emotionally, how hard I tried to pull it together and I just couldn't. It was these things that would come when I needed them the most and they kept me from going totally down the hole of depression doom. 

At this point, I'm better. I'm not great, I'm still scared for another pregnancy and I don't think that will fully go away until a baby is born, but I'm trying so hard every day to just push through and be positive. My heart aches for the women that deal with this repeatedly, I honest to god don't know how you do it because once is more than enough heartbreak in my life. 


thotlady said...

Sadly this is too common. You do find out who your true friends are during a crisis or terribly sad time.

Hang in there.

thotlady said...

Sadly this is too common. You do find out who your true friends are during a crisis or terribly sad time.

Hang in there.

jn said...

one thing I will say for you my dear.....good or bad, you lay it out there. I love your honesty. I will say from my end of things (and they are different from yours) people are afraid. They are afraid of what we want of them. Many don't realize you just need to vent, that life sucks right now and you need to say it. You're not looking for them to fix it. just show some empathy.At leaset that's what I found in my case. So I hope those friends stick by you. They are rare.

Ruth said...

I've never been a person with many friends. Pretty much stick to myself. I have always had trouble bonding with people. But, my husband was the opposite until last year. He just snapped and got tired of all the people that he thought were friends that weren't really.He was always there and most of them weren't there for him.
I think it is so horrible to have such a busy life that you can't be there for someone that you claim to care about so much. People's priorities are fucked.

Steff said...

You're right that the uncertainty doesn't go away until birth (and potentially even after…I'm not that far). Even though I'm sitting here at 17 1/2 weeks and have many ultrasounds and know my baby is good and healthy, I still think I may have another miscarriage or still birth because I KNOW that bad things can go wrong. A miscarriage really takes the innocence away.

I'm sorry no one was there for you in the real way you needed it! I'm an introvert and just really wanted to be alone so I was happy about that, but know it would be upsetting if I actually wanted someone around.

Why Girls Are Weird said...

Welcome to my world. When I was going through my divorce I felt like a lot of people backed up. Now, I did a good job of pushing away too. But it showed me who the people were that pushed back.

trish said...

Yeah, things like this really show you who you can count on and who you can't, and oftentimes is rather surprising. :/

Julie H said...

With my husband being in a car accident one year and then in the hospital for a week the next I was amazed at how many people didn't do anything to help us out. The friend that helps EVERYONE didn't do anything to help me out. Makes me wonder if they just think I'm strong enough to do it all myself or something.