Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Moments of Clarity

Many of you who have been following my blog for awhile know that I've been struggling with my relationship with my oldest and dearest friend, BFF, who also happens to be nine months pregnant. I've always considered her to be the sister I never had...one of the few friends I've known that transcended the term.  Over the course of the last nine months, though, I've come to realize many things about our relationship, in particular, and the dicey nature of pregnant and IF relationships, in general.

Up until this week, my realization has been that both IF and pregnancy are rather all consuming. Sometimes people can't appreciate anything outside the particular bubble that their in. That’s often the case with the friendships between those who have moved on to motherhood and those that remain left behind on the IF island.

It sort of feels like boats leaving for the mainland sometimes, as more and more IRL friends move off the island and on to "the rest" of whatever is next. I'll admit that it's a hard feeling for me to process. And, that the things I have spoken over the last nine months have not always been perfect. Likewise, I imagine it's particularly difficult for those on the boats, especially those who never had to stay a day on the IF island, to relate. I get that and it explains it all, to a point.

Looking back, though, I realize that BFF has never done a particular good job of walking in other people shoes. It's just her nature, I suppose. It's a personality flaw that she struggles with, just as we all do our own. That's not to say that she hasn't been an awesome, amazing friend over these many years. God put her in my life for other reasons (and moments) and I'm grateful for her. She will always be my oldest and dearest friend. And, when this storm passes, I'm sure we'll seek out a new "normal" and move on to make new, more friendly (and less painful) memories.

However, my moment of clarity this week has been the realization that I've been avoiding the obvious. That old saying "God puts the right people in our lives at just the right times” feels particularly poignant this week. I finally understand it thanks to the contrast of BFF and our other very dear friends A & K.

A & K spent Thanksgiving Day with us. It was amazing to me, yet again, how spending time with these friends came more effortlessly than with BFF. Perhaps it was because they had spent quite awhile on the IF island having suffered many miscarriages before E was born. Somehow they understood what we were feeling without us even saying a word. When K realized that I had recently taken to calling the room I had always called the nursery "the purple room" instead, she just nodded and said ”We've been there, too," in a quiet, reassuring way.  They've been there, found a way to the other side, and are now beginning to cotemplate a second trip to the island.  Not only that, but they're willing to do all they can to help us get off the island, too.

These are the kind of things that I could beat my head against a wall for days trying to get BFF to understand. She still wouldn't, and would likely end up just silently rolling her eyes or thinking through her own nursery plans in her head. She would likely be worried about me...that I was obsessing again. Why couldn't I just be patient and wait for it to just "all work out?" As if it were that easy...but, it didn't matter how many times I said that to BFF. Her ship had long ago sailed off the island and she had no concept of what it might be like to still be there.

Not only does God put the right people in our lives at just the right time, he puts them there for just the right moments, too. I now realize that I was probably never meant to help BFF understand even an inkling of what this IF world is like. She's not the one who God put in our life to share this particular journey. I've fought against that reality for nine months. It's a hard thing for me to accept. I don't know how to disconnect from her in bits and pieces like that. It's recently felt sort of all or nothing because I just don't know how to leave the IF part out…I guess because it’s such an all consuming part of where I am at the moment.

But, now I realize that God put other wonderful friends in our lives long ago so that they could be our beacons now. No one person can be all things to another. And, that's ok. I've struggled just as much with the idea that I couldn't be the friend BFF needed me to be as that she wasn't being the one I needed. Now I see that I'm not that person for her right now either. That's an equally difficult struggle, but I just have to trust that when Hubby and I make it to the other side it will become clearer.

In the meantime, I see both that relationship and the others in my life (A & K, supportive coworkers, iV friends, and bloggie friends) in an entirely different light. I normally have a small, tight-knit group of close friends. At this moment, however, I have an extremely large, supportive group of friends at various levels of closeness. Some of the people that I once held close, I now hold a bit further back. And, others are closer than I ever imagined. It's a bit of a departure for me, but one that I welcome and appreciate so much right now. More than that, though, I am learning (slow but sure) to trust that it's all according to plan


Brandy said...

This reminds me of the "Reason, Season, Lifetime" poem.

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meed a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been asnwered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is sadi that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Alison said...

Such a beautiful post, Lin. Not to make light, but it reminds me of the old "Make new friends,
but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold." All of our friends are precious to us, and all valuable, but some just take on different dynamics.

I'm glad you've got friends IRL in place that can relate to what you're going through.

Baby Wanted said...

I love this post! I agree, some friends will never get it but others will...we all experience different things and we can each give different things to our friends. I have a friend who is like your BFF, I want her to be here for me and understand but she will never be but when I do have kids, I know she will be the friend I can go to. I love the poem that Brandy posted. I may steal it!

Katie said...

Thanks for the very sweet comment on my blog. This post spoke to my heart. My oldest, dearest BFF, for the first 7 months I was ttc, said she wasn't sure she wanted to have kids. Of course she got pregnant 9 months into my journey, and she just delivered a little girl. Unlike your friend, she has always been super supportive of me and my struggles - as much as she could be given the situation. But you are so right, that the IF makes me an island while her ship is sailing fast and free. This will always separate us in some way. It's so sad.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting how the relationship of friendships change over time. I'm glad you have your two friends to support you through this.

One Who Understands said...

So well written. I truly believe people come in and out of our lives for a reason. Your and BFF's relationship will never be the same, but it can evolve and be even better. What a blessing to have friends who truly understand what you are going through. All any of us need is a little compassion and understanding.

Lavender Luz said...

What a beautiful post.

I especially like this: "I am learning (slow but sure) to trust that it's all according to plan."

And thanks for the bday wishes!

Priscilla said...

I love your analogy of 'the island.' I can relate so much about your BFF. So glad K is in your life. :)

Melissa G said...

I go back and forth between being grateful and feeling sad that this challenge in our lives has shown me who our true friends are...

I'm sorry BFF hasn't been very supportive, but I'm so glad you have A & K to fall back on. They sound like wonderful people, hang on tight to them.

Jendeis said...

I've loved this post and the one before. Just wonderful!

Hillary said...

Beautiful post. I love your perspective on the season of friendships...they don't have to be all or nothing. And it is amazing how God does put people in our lives for specific times and purposes!


Michele said...

I love your last sentence - it's all according to plan. That's exactly how I felt yesterday wehn I left the doctor's office. I wanted so badly to start praying for positive results for this "mock" cycle we are about to start but I took a breath and instead prayed for G-d's will. I just don't have the energy for anything more.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that was really, I don't even have the words...Deep and true. I echo what the others said-I'm glad that you do have friends who understand and that you can lean on.

Julie said...

I completely understand what you are going through. My BFF always laughed at the thought of getting pregnant and then got pregnant while she was planning her wedding earlier this year. She was NOT happy and I will never forget getting that phone call. She has been so insensitive her entire pregnancy and continues to be after having the baby. She knew I was going to find out my PG results this week and learn whether or not I needed to do IVF but hasnt acknowledged any of it. I could go on forever, but I just wanted to let you know how much I understand and how helpful your post was for me to read. I write more about how hard it is dealing with IF and this pregnant friend here
Anyway, good luck to you. Thank you for your beautiful post.

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