On being an ass.

February 18, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Posted in Infertility, My life | 7 Comments

I am starting to become painfully aware lately.

Of some pretty looming weaknesses within myself.

My knowledge: I am fairly good at inward focus, and not as skilled at being as empathetic to others as I should.

Sometimes I’m a complete ass.

Most importantly?

The fact that I struggled with infertility doesn’t mean shit when it comes to being supportive of my friends and family currently dealing with it.

My own personal way of dealing with IF was to navel gaze, to vent about the crappy people who said the wrong things, and to research the SHIT out of potential issues.

And debate and analyze what Dr. HIT was doing. And question him, and J, and bounce ideas off others in my situation, and read, and debate.

And over time, infertility just became sort of the NORM.

Though I hate hate HATE the idea of going back to the doctor to get pregnant again, that’s what we have to do.

And over time, the idea that people could get pregnant by having SEX seemed to me the WEIRD way to do it. The most unreal way. Pregnancies are conceived by doctors and embryologists.

But see.

Today, one of my best friends was talking about a recent doctor’s appointment. Because she’s been trying for a baby for 14 cycles now, and 4 cycles with Clomid.

And instead of listening, and finding out, you know, how SHE felt about the whole thing, I started asking questions about the PLAN. I questioned her doctor. The steps. Why did he want to take THAT step? Did that really make sense?

She stopped talking.

Good for her.

Because seriously. Am I that fucking far removed from how I felt when I first had to call and make that RE’s appointment?

Or what about when I THOUGHT I was pregnant, maybe 13 or 14 cycles in, and I just collapsed in the bathroom sobbing when I saw my usual AF spotting?

Or how about the day Dr. HIT called me PERSONALLY to tell me there was a serious issue with J’s semen analysis, where we had just been assuming the problem had been mine all along? Where I thought my LIFE was ending with that call?

Am I so far away that I can’t remember how that all FELT?

Apparently so.

And all day, after our discussion and my inevitable apologies on how I really am SHIT support and she deserves better…

Well, I’ve been playing out my conversations with my sister, too, in my head. And I could just cower in shame when I hear my voice from her perspective – callously talking about maximizing the chance of a pregnancy on a per cycle basis by seeing how she did on the last Femara and potentially postponing it if she didn’t have a great response.

Good fucking grief.

I could just kick myself for saying some of the shit I’ve said.

I have turned into one of THOSE people – the one who ALWAYS says the wrong thing.

And really what it boils down to is that I need to shut the fuck up and LISTEN. And remember that not everyone is like me.

Because it’s NOT true that just having gone through it myself makes it so that I’m the best support for someone who’s dealing with it right now.

I’m just saying.



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  1. Me too.


  2. Very well said. But you know what? You rock for even realising this. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of either a) wanting to fix things for other people and/or b) assuming what you wanted is what they will want. I do this all the time. All the time. I need some thing that serves as a reminder not to.

    You’ll do ok in the long run, I think. Keep trying!


  3. Girl, I hear you and I think the same of myself sometimes. I have one IRL friend who is newly pregnant with twins through a donated embryo cycle and I have to constantly edit my comments and TRY to support HER the way SHE needs supporting. Which given the seeming f*ed up space I’m in right now, is harder to do than it should be.
    Bravo for recognizing it and don’t beat yourself up too much. Your wisdom has value and should be shared in due time.

  4. If this person is really a friend, I would imagine giving her a call and maybe taking over some chocolate cookies, and explaining to her how you come at this situation differently than others…..a friend would welcome that honest and open discussion.

    Infertility slants so many views on “real” life. Sometimes it is really hard to climb out of that hole.

  5. I find myself doing the same things with two women in my life too. I asked a lot of questions, I say “why not try this, did he try that? , why aren’t you taking this med?” and I too get off the phone or text and feel like shit about the whole thing. You know what I do then, typical Kir..I find a card that says it better and I send it out…and hope they know I’m a complete ass and forgive me.

    either way, I think we all feel like you do, IF was a problem to solve , a place to get through , a situation…and so we approach it like that, even for other people. We have information..why not share it right? What we forget is that when we were in the midst of it, while we were looking for the solution, having the conversations in our heads, what we wanted from others was just that support, that quiet look in their eyes, that maybe they didn’t understand, but they were listening and “here” if we needed them.

    I think Bea is right, to admit it is halfway there (more like 3/4 of the way) and you as always, are so self aware that while I know it must hurt you to think of yourself doing something that would hurt. You really are a good friend, a good listener, a devoted friend/sister/fellow IFer.

    HUGS 🙂

  6. You are awesome for realizing it, and posting this, as a PP said. I have done this too, with a close friend who suffered through IF far longer than we did, but didn’t have the financial resources (and/or wishes) to go through IVF like we did. It’s hard to know *how* to support someone – but just by showing interest and that you care – hopefully that message is getting through. None of us are perfect, that’s for sure. In my mind, I know the right things to say and do, but rarely actually do them.

  7. Good post, and it’s a good reminder that I need to step back from IVF patient perspective when talking to friends and SIL #1 about their infertility suspicions and diagnoses. I’m far, far too clinical. And also too jaded, but there’s not much help for that, is there?

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