Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Cutting All Ties

So for those of you who follow my blog, you might remember my friend who got pregnant during the time I was miscarrying. She had been diagnosed with PCOS back when she was a teenager and had been on BCPs ever since. I said she wasn’t a ‘true infertile’ because she had never gone through infertility with her husband but only had the possibility because of her condition. It's not true infertility when you are told you have PCOS as a teenager and then get pregnant on the first try. She never went through months of failed cycles and treatments. Just jumped in the sack on a chance that she was ovulating and *BAM* pregnant.

I had remained supportive of her even though we chose not to go to Chic.ago for NYE with them as it was too soon after our loss. But apparently she has harbored some strange issue with me and it finally came out last week.

I had planned a dinner out with her because I needed to talk to her about an issue I was having regarding a pattern with her behavior in a public setting. She is one of those people who live in an environment of conflict. Everywhere she goes she creates conflict although she is completely oblivious of it and can’t see that maybe she is actually the problem and not everyone else. There is no filter on her tongue so she says whatever she feels regardless of how it might affect another person. (Actually that is a direct quote from her lips!)

I knew that this might be a difficult discussion because she ‘fights dirty.’ I’ve learned this through her sharing about fights she has with her spouse. And this is not one-on-one conversations with me. She will talk in a large group of people about fights that they have where she will slam, lock and barricade doors or throw his cloths out of the window etc. And the thing that bothers me the most is that she says it with pride, like she is proud that she behaves this way. She is so degrading to her husband in these conversations that people have asked Hammer and I if their marriage is O.K. Which I suppose makes sense because the last fight they got into was about the “That’s what she said joke” where she balled him out in front of all of his friends for saying it and then later she told me they fought over it where she eventually exclaimed that she did not want to be married to him. All over a stupid joke. And of course she shared that story with anyone who was within earshot.

So why am I going into detail about this? Because this is the subject I had to talk to her about. The fact that she is sharing details of her marriage in a non-constructive format in a large public setting and it’s making some people uncomfortable. I totally support sharing issues with people you are seeking input, guidance or counsel from but this is different. She is almost taking pleasure in sharing her stories because I think she likes the ‘shock factor.’ I’ve called her out a couple of times in the middle of her stories to ask if she really behaved that way and caught her in blatant exaggerations which leads me to believe that she’s really just doing most of the talking for the response that she gets from others – still wrong!

So since I was approached a number of times by other people along with having our own concerns I decided that it was time to talk. I kept the conversation strictly to people being made to feel uncomfortable about her non-constructive speech in a group setting. That way I wouldn’t be overstepping my bounds. And that’s when she dropped the unforgivable bomb.

In a statement totally unrelated to what we were talking about she said the following:

“You know I thought that you and I would be on this infertility journey together but I’ve realized now that I am pregnant that we have nothing in common.”

I remember it like it just happened. I will never forget it. Hammer even questioned if maybe I misunderstood her. Oh no. Believe me. I remember ever single word; every inflection in her voice. It was the cruelest thing anyone has ever said to me.

And she said it just to be cruel. Just to cut me at my deepest most vulnerable point. She said it to get the upper hand in the conversation. But it didn’t work. I think I handled it gracefully. I simply ignored it and kept on addressing the real issue at hand. To have addressed it would have derailed the conversation and given her control but I would not let her have her victory. I could tell by the look on her face that she was floundering, her tactic hadn’t worked and she was still stuck having to face the original conversation that brought us there.

When I got into my car and was heading home I just started bawling. I have never met someone so intentionally mean but yet with no remorse for the consequences of her actions. I knew at that moment that she had cause irreparable damage. Our friendship was over. But at the same time I realized what she said was true but just not regarding the fact that she is now pregnant. We really do not have anything in common because I now see who she truly is and I don’t want someone like that in my life. She is intentionally mean, caustic, and bitter. I found out later that this is not the first time someone has talked to her about her behavior before but because she does not feel any conviction from the Lord to change, she hasn’t. That confuses me. I have had people talk to me saying that I was too blunt and it bothered them. I didn’t feel conviction over it but because it had hurt someone, out of respect for them I made an effort to be more sensitive. You don’t need conviction to change; you just need some decency and a dose of respect for other fellow human beings. Seriously, that has to be the most pathetic excuse for poor behavior.

The sad thing is that it might affect Hammer’s relationship with her husband. They were friends first and ‘us wives’ were just introduced. Other than being friends for the sake of Hammer, I have no reason to continue on. Fortunately Hammer is 100% supportive of my decision to cut my ties with her. He has even defended me in a recent conversation between himself and her husband regarding the issue. It was interesting to hear it from his perspective because, not surprisingly, she left out a few things – like the evil statement! And when Hammer set the record straight and told her husband about it he was livid with his wife and totally shocked that she would say something like that to me. (Apparently infertility is a personal issue for her husband as well because his sister had to do IVF) So I don’t think this issue is over quite yet but at least for me I have no desire to reconcile with her. Do you blame me?


Shelly said...

You were brave to confront her, and that it's her loss in not caring enough for her 'friends' to WANT to be more sensitive to your infertility journey, or to her own treatment of her husband in public... It sounds like you made the right call in cutting ties with her--who needs that type of friend in their life?
Praying that you and your husband stand strong & united, and that his friendship with her husband can ultimately survive... and praying that you be blessed with a baby as well!

Jesse and Mandy Peterson said...

As the previous commenter said, you were brave to confront her. Most people coward away from it and just talk bad about the person behind their back. I'm sorry that the situation was so hurtful, but I also think that maybe it's exactly what needs to happen in order for you to break away from this unhealthy relationship.

It reminds me of my ex-SIL. She thrived on drama and would create it if it didn't already exist, and then proceed to tell everyone how horrible her life was. She made a point to criticize every waitress, gas station attendant, or nurse and cause a big scene. And, when Jesse and I were trying to be supportive during a tough time in their marriage and while she was dealing with post-partum depression, she turned on us and attacked us. She sent harassing text msgs. When we finally confronted each other, she brought up grudges that she's held for 3 years and the most hateful thing of all, she said, "You're just jealous of me because I can have kids and you can't."

That was 2 years ago. She has since divorced my BIL and I haven't talked to her since. I don't harbor bitterness anymore towards her, and have even thought of contacting her again, but the truth is that it was never a healthy friendship. And while I can still love her as God instructs us to, I don't need that kind of friend in my life. I hope you find the same peace of mind in your situation.

Allison said...

I don't blame you in the least for cutting ties with this person. She is destructive and not someone whose presence you need in your life (or in your future children's). Good for you for being strong and getting your point made.

I hope Hammer is able to maintain is friendship with her husband and that someday someone's words will sink in and she'll realize how inappropriate she behaves and how it affects those around her.

JB said...

Good for you! I think your bravery is astounding, and kudos for not letting her derail you with such a heartless and retaliatory remark. Life is too short to keep toxic people around.

kdactyl said...

Wow...what an ordeal. I totally understand your position. I have had to cut off unhealthy relationships in my life too. There is nothing wrong with doing that. Her statement to you wasn't just wrong, it was mean and that is not what you want in a friend. I agree she is not a true "infertile". Being told you might have trouble later and then not having that trouble does not even compare to the actual, stress and heartache of someone who truly is on the fertility rollercoaster. Leave the drama behind. I agree with Allison...you don't need anyone like this in your life and I would not want your future children around her either (or her kids...cuz you know she is going to make them as insensitive and mean as herself). Yay for Hammer for being supportive!


KZ said...

I think you handled the situation perfectly! I remember her in your post around the holidays. You are much better off with her not in your life. It is possible your husband still maintain a friendship with her husband. It is great your husband's supporting you. I dont know how you would give this book to her, but I she really should read 'The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands' by Laura Schlessinger.

Mrs. Hammer said...

Thank you ladies for all your supportive comments!!!! Shelly and kdactyl, I wish you had blogs I could post comments on :) You have been very supportive in following my blog - thanks!

Waiting said...

Wow. That person does not deserve to be your friend. I think you made the right choice! That lady needs some prayer!

Paige said...

Shame on that girl for being so (to say it nicely) ignorant. You were very brave to confront her over this issue and I don't think that very many people in your situation would have. Cutting ties with her is just the thing to do. I am glad that your Husband is 100 % supportive of this, and that her husband also is livid over her words. It seems like this so called "friend" has a TON of growing up to do.

Keeping your family in my thoughts & prayers!

Anonymous said...

It's best to cut ties with people like that. I'm just sorry for her husband and baby. I hope she sees the error of her ways soon.

Mrz. Hannah Myhre said...

Wow!! You are Right to Cut all ties with this person NO Matter What!!

She acts immature & selfish. And that comment she made is Uncalled for, and just wrong!!

While some people with PCOS have More problems getting pregnant for whatever reason(they are many).

She didn't and should be Thankful for it! Not throwing around mean and hurtful things out her BIG Mouth!!

Sorry for going on about this.. I just don't like this for you. I wish you didn't have to ever deal with it.

Glad to her your Husband is so supportive. That means Alot:)

Take care, I hope you are doing well. Praying that you get your miracle baby Very Soon!!!


Sarah said...

One of the hardest things to do in life is ridding your life of people who are toxic. And this girl is definitely toxic. It is especially difficult ridding of people in your life who you know are going to verbally attack you.
But, you know what? In the midst of the hurt she has caused, I would feel mostly sad for this child she is bringing into this world...to a mother who is immature and does not have a good relationship with her husband.
You are smart to do this now...because when you do have a child (and you will, I am sure of it!!!) you wouldn't want to be having mommy play dates with this girl anyway.
Everything worthwhile in this life is always hard. Know that you are smart to guard your heart from a toxic "friend" and feel peace in knowing that she cannot hurt you anymore.

Hillary said...

Wow, I cannot (CANNOT!) believe she said that. I am so sorry :(

It sounds like you and your husband are really seeking to do the right thing in all of this and loving her as God would want us to - which often means speaking truth into somebody's life. I agree that at some point you have to wipe your hands of it if the person is not receptive. I would encourage you in that if you do ever have to interact with her in group settings, etc. that you treat her with love...but outside of that I think it is wise to cut ties.

I'm sorry you have had to go through this.


Hope said...

You totally did the right thing. It took me years to realize it was OK to not socialize with people who are just downright poisonous.I always act kind and nice when I see them, but I don't have to surround myself with them or be best buds. You have enough to deal with going through this without the extra burden of someone who never grows up.

Brittney said...

Ugh, I'm so sorry, Mrs. Hammer. What an awful situation! I think you absolutely made the right decision though, as difficult as it might have been. Life is just too short to spend time with people who make us feel bad. I sincerely hope this week's going better for you!

Also, I have an award for you on my blog:)

Adventures in Baby Waiting said...

Hi there. Great post. I feel for you and this person...not a friend. The best quote I learned years ago was "you can't pick your family but you can pick your friends". I don't keep a lot of friends around because I truly believe we are influenced by those we call friends and there for I look for people I want to look to as an example. You were so kind to address this with her in the way you did and to ignore her very low low statement. I think you handled it beautifully. I noticed you have Dr. Ahlering's blog on the side of your screen. Are you in St. Louis? I just had a canceled cycle with him and moved to Wash U where I am starting IVF #2. Best to you!

Amber said...

I'm new to the blog world and stumbled across yours today. I think that having IF issues is hard enough with people who support you much less with people who have no clue and are careless with their words. You are completely right to cut ties and move forward. Good Luck with everything.