Last week Pamela wrote an article about Blind Spots. It really hit home for me because it's something I've been dealing with recently. Here is what I wrote in the comment section of her blog:
Here's an expanded version of what led me to discovering this blind spot. August was a rough month for me. A month filled with seeing other's successes (childbirth/pregnancy) and my failures (inability to conceive). In short I was feeling really sorry for myself. (Note to self: There is a whole heck of a lot more to you than your inability to procreate! Stop defining yourself this way!)
At that time, two things collided and wreaked havoc on my emotions: one of my very good friends brought her baby home from the hospital and a second friend found out she was pregnant. Right around the time we were beginning the infertility testing process the first friend called me and confided that they had been trying for (gasp) two whole months and she was very frustrated. I gave her a quick lesson in ovulation tests and wished her luck. I'll be damned if four weeks later she texted me a picture of a positive pregnancy test and a hearty "thank you" for helping her get pregnant. I had a very negative, visceral reaction. I honestly don't know if I've ever cried that hard in my life. I mean, it just wasn't fair. Everything I knew couldn't get me pregnant and it helped her to get pregnant in one shot. A few weeks later we found out that it was unlikely I would have children without some intensive and expensive fertility treatments. The second friend battled infertility to, so she understands on at least some level. Right around the time that my husband and I made the decision not to proceed with treatment, her and her husband made the decision to try treatment. We remained very close and supported so when she got a positive pregnancy test naturally I was the first one (not married to her) that she texted a picture of the test to. The first couple of tests were really light, but then they started to darken appropriately, and she started sending close up pictures of tests and of tests lined up next to each other. It was too much for me. She did it innocently and didn't realize that it would hurt me and I didn't realize that it had hurt me until it was too late. To top it off I didn't say anything. I didn't want to rain on her parade. Then she started to obsess about low beta numbers and miscarriage. The hurt me part of me lashed out at her and told her that she needed to calm herself down and enjoy it just a little bit and that she was lucky to even get to experience being pregnant, even if just for a little bit. Not surprisingly this hurt her feelings, deeply. Long story short, we made up, but I think I damaged our relationship in a way that will never be fully repaired though.
Friend one brought her baby home the same week that friend two got her positive pregnancy test. So two of my best friends had really great news and I was left out of the excitement. Again. It hurt. Really, really bad. I think I could have handled one of these two things, but to handle them together was just too much.
I needed to figure out why I reacted so intensely to these situations. I needed to know so that I could protect myself in the future and so that all of my hurt won't make me a bad friend to others. The only trigger that I could come up with was seeing the positive pregnancy test for both of my friends. And when the second friend got the positive test right as the first was bringing her baby home from the hospital, it just seemed like history was repeating itself, and it was hard on me. I started to unpack these feelings even more. I've never had a positive pregnancy test of my own. I'll never get to see a positive pregnancy test of my own. I'll miss out on telling my husband, my parents, etc. It's the start of something big and I'll never get to experience it and that makes me incredibly sad. I guess that seeing those two pink lines makes me remember everything I'm going to miss out on.
So I guess that what I can do is remember that this is going to be a blind spot for me, at least in the near future. I can recognize that it's going to trigger some negative emotions and try to protect myself the best that I can. I also need to remember that even though I might feel like other people are lucky, they may not feel the same way. Feelings are messy and don't always make sense. I'm imperfect, but I'm trying. I'm growing. I'm getting better. I'm trying to heal, but I'm also trying to not leave a path of distraction in my wake. I'm doing the best I can.