A friend of mine needs some helpful advice. I, on my trusty white blogging steed, have come to the rescue because as I told Friend, "The women who read my blog are full of good answers". You are. You're brilliant, and full of wisdom that I am far too drunk, high or stupid to come up with myself.
Friend has a friend who is one of (some) of us - a big old infertile. Unfortunately, this woman is becoming a complete barren nightmare. You know the type - bitter to the point of unsociability, melodramatic, hypersensitive. We've seen it all before, we've maybe even been there ourselves. When I was going through all the IF shit, I tried not to be the stereotypical infertile woman. I have my share of lesser moments in which I glared at pregnant women, climbed atop my large soapbox with polycystic ovaries painted on the sides, but I convinced myself that that anger was fleeting. Though I wanted to vent about the latest drive-by and fume about women for whom pregnancy didn't involve shots, catheters or miscarriages, I didn't want that jealousy and rage to consume me.
I'm not trying to be sanctimonious, because of course I understand how easily one can drown in anger and bitterness. I think I only managed to avoid the bulk of it myself because I wasn't a woman with an overwhelming maternal instinct. I wanted a child, but I think it eventually became more about wanting what I might not be able to have rather than specifically wanting to be a mother, fucked up as that may be for an alleged (ex)infertile blogger to say.
Putting aside one's own thoughts and feelings for a moment, what does this attitude do to our family and friends who are trying to help, like Friend? I'm excluding the dumbasses here, so forget about the people who tell you to "just adopt". Friend has a background in medicine and also knows a lot of women who have had trouble conceiving, so she has been particularly sympathetic to this woman's needs. However, this woman has ended up pushing Friend away because she's so high maintenance. Friend has asked me, Patron Saint of Fucked Up Parts, to advise her as to how she should deal with her friend. I suggested the usual - let the friend know you are there for her whenever she needs to talk, refrain from asshattery, don't regale her with endless tales of your children's brilliance, and so on. Friend does all these things, but to no avail. The negativity and melodrama have become too much for her, and Friend just finds herself wanting space, a very big space, between herself and her friend.
Friend tells me that this woman's infertility has been recently diagnosed via that exercise in fallopian torture, the HSG. She and her husband have been trying for a year or so, but have not yet begun treatment. I think this is part of the problem, as getting used to the idea of what all of this means is quite an adjustment. When my doctor first told me that I would probably not have children naturally, I took to my bed for a day and failed to submit a term paper. I think the initial diagnosis yields the highest period of drama because you only see the process in negatives. You may have gone through life up to this point assuming you would have children naturally with no complications along the way. To be told that you have been deluding yourself all this time and that in fact you are facing a very long journey is sometimes too much to face up to rationally. Obviously one's first instinct is to be angry, and sometimes that anger takes years to ebb.
What would you tell Friend to do? Stick it out and just suffer through? Is there any advice or support she should be giving her friend which she may not be doing already? Should Friend practice tough love and tell her friend that in fact, the world does not revolve around her and her uterus? I believe that Friend has pointed the woman to IF blogs and suggested she started her own, which I think is invaluable advice. Can you imagine where we would be today without each other, lovely, lovely ladies? I would no doubt have given up on treatment all together, left The Dude, and lived in a pink house with the ex-boyfriend who had a threesome with some skanks behind my back. You saved me from this path!
In the very clearly enunciated words of P, "Pwees hep".