Letter to friends

This is a letter I wish I had the courage to send but the truth is it will never go anywhere but here. It should be distributed to about 95% of my social circle. (Not you guys obviously, you’re already more supportive than I ever could have imagined.) It’s for everyone else who pretends they are my friend when it couldn’t feel further from the truth.

Dear friends,

You may have noticed in the past year that I have started pulling away. Started removing myself from social get-togethers. Stopped calling, emailing, visiting, quit Facebook. Many of you know the reason why, some of you know part of the reason why. But I don’t think any of you didn’t realise I was going through a difficult time.

Truth is I’m in a great deal of pain. I struggle to get up in the morning. I struggle to sleep and eat properly and all I think about is how empty I feel. I want nothing more than to stay in bed day after day. I don’t want to work or to hang out or to talk. I want this pain to go away.

And although I initiated this self-exile, no one has reached out to me to see if I am coping, to see how I am doing. Every one of you has been silent.

At first I was expected to carry on with normal life. To attend the birthday gatherings, carry on with laughing, small talk, gossip. Then slowly over time, after further losses, the cards stopped coming and the contact just stopped altogether.

It’s to be expected. I wouldn’t know how to deal with me if I was you. Because you are happy. You have a full life and family or you’re blissfully expecting or you don’t get what all the fuss is about. Some of you even know what it’s like to struggle to achieve a family but you got there in the end. And you are the ones, strangely, I’ve heard absolutely nothing from.

And although I’ve gone to great pains to avoid becoming the elephant in the room, or the one silently whispered about, that’s exactly what I seem to have become. And to no fault of your own. I realise how horrific my scenario might seem. By avoiding me you are avoiding pain. No one likes pain. It’s easier to look the other way.

And I know some of you wish I would stop dramatising and just pull my finger out. Snap out of it. Relax. I truly wish I could snap my fingers and change what’s happened, or to take the pain away. But I can’t. There is no going back. I have lost a part of myself and I won’t be the same person again. I don’t know if you could understand that if you haven’t been through it.

But I know one thing, and I don’t think it’s the experience with IF and RPL talking, but I never would have allowed a friend to endure this silently. I would have continued to try to connect, whatever response I got. Because people retreat when they’re in pain, like when animals retreat to lick their wounds. Support couldn’t be more important at a time like this.

There are one or two people who have been there for me. Checking in even if they know I’m at my lowest point. Insisting to see me so they can put their shoulder under my head. But this letter is not addressed to them.

What is now clear is who I can count on. Seriously count on. It’s a lot fewer people than I thought.

I’m not saying all this to get a response from you. Because I think we are past that now. I just want to get this off my chest because I feel it needs to be said. And I’m not saying it’s too late for us. I’m not saying I won’t bounce back one day or pick up the phone to start over.

That day feels like a long way away. After five losses none of it matters anymore. I’m not sure how long I will feel this way. But I would hope, as my friend, as a human being, that even if you don’t understand how I feel that you could empathise. And if you were to even encounter another friend going through a similar situation that you might take a different approach next time. At this point, this letter is more for them than it is for me.

Your friend,

22 thoughts on “Letter to friends

  1. Oh, so sad but certainly for me… So very true. I have a couple of friends who have remained normal through everything, but the longer it goes on the more (I get the impression) it makes the others feel too awkward. I want to tell them… Suck it up man, I THINK IT IS WORSE FOR ME! If I can manage to come to their babies birthday parties and send their newborns presents, I think they should be able to power through the awkwardness/IFdowner and be my friend. I’m sorry you are having a hard time xxx

    • So true, it IS so much harder for us. Why don’t they see that!? It’s useless to explain it too huh, it’s like I’m talking to a brick wall. I’m sorry for you and anyone else who can relate to this crap too. So unfair xx

  2. Such a sad, honest, and powerful letter. The truth is, I doubt people would understand after reading it either. At least the people in my life– I picture them reading it, saying “Oh, I’m so sorry,” then going back to being exactly the way they were before. Maybe it’s something you really have to live to understand. I’m glad you have at least a couple of good friends who have been there for you.

    • You’re right, I think they’d all go back to being the way they were, none the wiser. No one will really get it without having gone through it and I guess we can’t blame them for that. It’s good to at least have a few mates to rely on. And there’s always my blog buds, without you guys I’d be a goner.

  3. I’m so sorry your friends have let you down. It’s a horrible feeling, tacked onto an already horrible situation. I hope you are able to find the support you need to get you through the challenging times. XO!

  4. I have actually had this conversation with someone and nothing changed. Overall, most people don’t know how to walk their loved ones through grief. It’s too uncomfortable and they don’t know what to say, so they do nothing. As if it were about them!! I’ve realized, although it feels like it, it doesn’t mean they don’t care. I would like to think because of our experiences, we would be much better to our friends during their times of need.

  5. I’m so sorry, Lisette. Sucks that people are so uncomfortable around those who are hurting (or too selfish) that they don’t push pass the awkwardness to reach out. I truly hope some of your ‘friends’ will have a change of heart. What goes around, comes around (not that we’d wish it on them)…just a fact of life. Hugs, friend. Hope some positive people make their way into your life!

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