Gaining a Life, Losing a Friend?

17 Nov

It’s been awhile since my last post. My life has been fairly uneventful these past few months, honestly. Until a couple of weeks ago, my life was just moving along as usual. Then I found out that my best friend is pregnant. And things are changing.

I suppose I should back up and explain a few things about myself before I start the story. I am in my 20s and I am unable to have children. There. I said it. I trust that God will provide me with a family if and when He wishes for me to have one. I learned to accept my infertility as a fact of life at a young age. I spent years telling myself that I didn’t want kids, didn’t like kids and had no plans on ever seeking a relationship, getting married or having a family. Some might say that is a bitter and angry way of dealing with the hand that I was dealt. You are entitled to your opinions there, I suppose.

I met the woman who would become my best friend at age 20, right after I found out about my infertility. We were both party girls who liked to drink and we had many common interests. We lived together for two years before she left to go live with a guy. We stayed in touch and hung out frequently. Then I became a Christian. Well, she is not a Christian and could not accept my conversion, plus I found her presence to be too tempting as I was trying for sobriety at the time. So we spent a year with very minimal contact. Time goes on.

Fast forward two years. We were close, but there were some things that I didn’t share with her. Like my faith. I knew how she felt about my faith and so I didn’t press the issue with her. Or my infertility. It was a topic that I never discussed in depth (although I did mention certain things on a need to know basis.) It is a difficult thing for me to confront and not something that I feel needs to be front and center in our friendship. Those two areas non-withstanding, we had what I thought was a strong bond.

Three weeks ago, she was late. She asked me to take her to a local women’s clinic to get a pregnancy test. She didn’t think she was pregnant. Her only real symptom was a rash on her chest and she thought that it was hives. The pregnancy test was a just-in-case measure. Two hours later, she walks out of the office holding a bag with some baby stuff in it. She was pregnant, a little over a month along.

Now her and her serious boyfriend (who has since become her fiance) are navigating the waters of impending parenthood for the first time. Myself and my mother offered to help her, go to doctors appointments and such because her boyfriend works long hours at a job that requires a lot of travel and isn’t around much. Her mother hasn’t been in the picture for a long time. So we were doing what we thought was the right thing. And I still think it is the right thing to help someone in need.

A few nights ago, I was giving her a ride home from somewhere and she said something to me that I will never forget. I’ve asked God to help me forgive her because I don’t want to be eaten up by the emotions associated with her comment. She said that she wished it was me who was pregnant instead of her because I’d be a good parent. Seems like a compliment, right? Well, it wasn’t. She went on to say that it would be easier for me because I don’t drink and wouldn’t have to change my life or make sacrifices because I live a quiet life. To top it all off, she said that being pregnant would be that big of a deal for me because I’m already overweight. “So it’s not like getting fat would be a huge thing for you like it is for me.”

I’ve always been frank with her about struggles with my weight. My medical conditions (PCOS and diabetes) make it difficult for me to lose weight. I never really thought much of sharing those struggles with her, really. Even though she herself is thin (but has steadily packed on pounds over the years due to a misguided and ill-informed version of vegetarianism that she follows).

Words are powerful things, as many of you know. Once you say something, you can’t un-say it. Her comments cut me like jagged razor blades. The past two years I’ve begun to reconsider my stance towards children. I spent most of 2011 caring for my cousin’s two young sons and I came understand why children are a blessing and to enjoy having children in my life. I know that God may never give me children of my own and while that is a bitter pill to swallow, I have swallowed it and came to terms with that knowledge. Nothing in life is guaranteed anyway.

However, for my best friend to say such a thing to me…it made me see things differently. It made me see this ugliness that I have been blind to all along. I’d love to have children someday, but alas, I will most likely never receive that particular blessing. I know that my friend’s circumstances are not exactly ideal, but they aren’t horrid either. I also understand that finding out that you are pregnant is a huge deal and that it can rattle some people. But there is NEVER an excuse for hurting someone close to you by lobbing careless insults around like it’s nothing.

I’d like to think that I am a good friend. I’m reliable and I’ve been there for her as much as I can. I wrote her a short letter the day after she found out she was pregnant telling her that I love her, I would be there for her if she needed me and that I was looking forward to being a god-mom, not-aunt, whatever role her and the baby’s dad wanted me to play in the child’s life. I took her to her first doctors appointment. I planned on being there for her and the baby.

I’m not a shitty, selfish friend who is lamenting about the loss of my bestie. I’m a person who is hurting due to the realization that my best friend isn’t really who I thought she was. And honestly, if this is who she really is or who she plans on becoming, I don’t have much interest in being friends with that person. I don’t have a place in my heart for those who can judge so easily. Or those that think making a baby makes them someone special, someone who should be given a license to say whatever they want and to treat people like crap just because their current circumstances are beyond their control.




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