Saturday, January 12, 2013

Forgiving and forgetting: Easier said than done

I have a pretty tight knit group of girlfriends but I am by far the youngest of them (I'm 31, they range from late 30's to late 40's) and I am also the only one who is married and TTC, so even though we're close we are in different places in our lives.  They know that I'm TTC and when I finally do get pregnant I know that most of them will be happy for me.  Sadly I say most will be happy because something happened about a year ago that I just cannot forget:  

One of my girlfriends just turned 40 and told the group of us that she was well aware that time was running out for her if ever wanted to have a child. During one of our get-togethers she announced to the group that she and her long-term boyfriend had discussed it and decided that they will not be having children.  Now I am not exaggerating when I say that the immediate reaction of one of my other (single) friends to this news can only be described as sheer joy. She literally jumped up and down repeatedly while clapping her hands and exclaiming "oh goody!".  I remember feeling my face flush in that moment and I can only imagine the expression my face held.  I was dumbfounded. I could feel everyone's eyes on me (whether that was actually the case or  just how I remember it is up for debate) and I didn't know how to react. Mid-jump I think she must have realized how insensitive that reaction would seem to me since I'm trying to have a child so she abruptly stopped and didn't say anything else.  There was silence for a beat and then the rest of my friends addressed the one with the announcement saying that that was good if that's what they wanted, etc. etc. I'm pretty sure I just silently nodded along with them feeling shell-shocked and then took an opportunity to slip away to the bathroom once someone changed the subject. Afterwards, no one said anything about what happened and my friend never addressed it with me or apologized.

Honestly, I'm not even sure that that's something that warrents an apology! Because I get why she's happy that our friend is not going to have children since she herself is single and is never going to have children.  She doesn't want to "lose" her friends to marriage and babies and have things change. I get that.  But I also know that at that time I truly felt like she had punched me right in the stomach and I just haven't been able to forget that it happened. I've tried to analyze my feelings since normally I am a naturally forgiving person and it really bothers me that a year later it still hurts and I still don't think of her in the same way as I used to. I also wonder if it's possible I just over-reacted and it's not so much that her action was insensitive but that I am overly sensitive to this subject. I just don't know.   

I think maybe the reason it hurts so much is because her joy about that announcement was her natural gut reaction. That is how she truly feels and I can't fault her for her true and honest feelings even though they make me feel like crap! The problem is that now I know it and I can't un-know it.  When I have a baby I now know that no matter how happy for me she acts, she is not actually happy. She will resent the fact that my life has changed and we will never be the way we were. But in my mind things have changed between us anyway.  I am ready and excited for this next step in my life and I really want my close friends to be behind me and to truly be happy for me and I don't trust that she is/will be.  It's a hard and sad realization and I just don't know how to move on from it.

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