Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The One Where I Fall Into a Spiral of Self-Pity

From Pinterest
I had planned to write about how exciting NYC is and how I can't wait to go back (next year, perhaps). I was looking forward to writing about how amazing and fun and beautiful Molly is (because, well, she is). I was pumped to write all of that until something happened last night which has sent me into a spiral of sadness, making me cry more than I have in months.

But to give this story a little context I have to go back to a couple of months ago when I met this friend for a sushi lunch. We were chatting about her toddler son. She had just finished telling me about how her son was being an asshole about one thing or another and I kinda made a comment about how funny it is that kids do these things and yet we still want more. All of a sudden, her face went very straight and she told me she was definitely having more. And soon. She was, in fact, 5 months pregnant.

At that moment, I kinda already felt like I had be blindsided. Here she was, sitting face to face, with no thought of how fragile I might be, telling me she was 1/2 through her second pregnancy. It took me a back a little bit, and I was able to gather my shit enough to congratulate her and her husband and son. And I was genuinely happy, if not slightly jealous (because lets be real: I'm not yet pregnant, my son has just died, and I am trying my very best to feign interest in a "normal" life). Then she announced the kicker- she had conceived the night she got the phone call from me letting her know Jack had died.

And I may as well have been smashed in the face with a shovel. Why tell me that? I am smart enough to (instantly) do the math in my head, and had already figured that out. But the exact night... And you had the desire to tell me this?

So now, I'm not only blindsided, but I'm reeling in what should have/could have been and thinking about how at the very moment Jack's life was ending, a new one was forming within her womb.


We were only partially though our SUSHI lunch and I didn't really have much of a choice but to keep sitting there, pasting on a fake smile, and asking the shit load of questions you're supposed to ask about someone when they're expecting (I suppose I could have abruptly ended our lunch, but I'm not really that kind of person. Wish I was, but I'm not)... When lunch was over, I called my husband, sobbing from the car. He told me to cut her out of my life, because who needs a friend who would do that to you.

I spent the next few days checking with mutual friends to see if they knew. And they all did. Every last one of them had known for months and no one had told me, thinking it was her place to do so. She waited until she was half way through her pregnancy to tell me about her new baby, and waited to tell me in person.

I think a heads up should have been in order, right? A hint from one of them, but mostly a quick text or email or whatever so I wasn't so shocked to find this shit out in person, right?

Anyway, that's my little gear-up to where we were facing up to last night. We've emailed a couple of times since, but haven't seen one another.

Last night she announced she had finally discovered that her new baby was a boy. And I am genuinely happy, I clearly love little boys (:: sincerely hope this sentence doesn't bring unwanted visitors to my pretty little blog...::) I send her a note on Facebook congratulating her.

Then about 15 minutes later she calls me. We chat about the news, we chat about work (we work for the same government agency), we chat about NYC, etc. Then, I ask her if she has thought of baby names...
She tells me they're getting stuck with a baby boy name. There's one they like, but they don't know whether to use it or not. I think you know where this is going...

"I really liked the name Jack as soon as you named yours Jack. And well, we wouldn't name the baby Jack because that's your son's name. And I love the name Jackson, but it's too similar.. But would it bother you if we named him Jax?"

Again, shovel to the face. I am physically feeling light-headed, and tears start forming in my eyes.

Me, "um, well, no, I mean, it's not my son". 

Her, "Oh, I'm so glad, because we just love it. My sister-in-law has dibs on the name Jack because that's her dad's name, and if we could name ours Jax, then we'd get it first".

Honestly, all sentence structure and ability to make small-talk vanished. We finished up our chat a few minutes later and I dissolved into tears. I went into the den where Scott was playing video games, and told him what had just transpired. His face hardened and he told me, again, I should cut her from my life. He told me to tell her that if this was some strange competition- she wins. She has fucking won already. We surrender- white flags and all.

Because of course, how could you?

I chatted with a few friends who could not believe this was the name she was thinking of.  Insensitive, inappropriate, out of line were all terms used to describe her.

In all honesty, I cried for a good 4 hours on-and-off last night. And finally, I couldn't take it anymore.

I sent her the following message on Facebook:

"I don't know what to say right now.

I hate that I'm even writing this right now. But I have to get it off my chest because I'm hurting, and I feel like I owe it to our friendship to be honest.

I'm really hurt. I've been crying on and off since our conversation tonight thinking about whether I'm being irrational. I don't own the name Jack, I didn't invent it, my Jack wasn't the first and won't be the last. But that you would want to use such a similar name, at this point only seven short months after my Jack was born, is something I can't comprehend.

I guess what I'm left with is that if Jack were alive, you likely wouldn't name your child Jax, and yet because Jack died his name is up for dibs again. Out of the thousands of baby boy names, that you came up with a name nearly the same as Jack breaks my heart. 

I don't know where to go from here. If you name your child Jax, I don't know that I can ever meet him, which is horrible. I just think saying his name is too similar to what I should have.

But this will be your son, so obviously you have the final say. Obviously. I just wanted to lay it out on the line so you know where I'm coming from. It all kinda took me by surprise, and I wasn't anticipated it and in all honestly was a little shocked and possibly still am.

So that's kinda where I am."
She replied a hour or so later with this:

"Laura, I am SO sorry. The name is off the table. Thank you for being honest. There was a part of me that knew it was a horrible idea. I guess -the more we watched the stupid tv show... the more we liked it (and the character). Hope I didn't break your heart."

? The name Jax is from a cartoon? You put me through all this agony for a cartoon character's name?

So, I guess this is resolved then.

Or is it? 

Where can I possibly go from here?

The damage has been done, I still feel like a piece of me has been carved off and I have an open wound. And she rubbed the salt in, and then tried to rinse it off- with vinegar. 

Baby, it burns.


Kelly said...

Ugh, I'm so sorry. I hate that she waited so long to tell you the news. And for the love of peanut butter, why the crap did she feel the need to tell you she conceived the day Jack grew his wings???? Why was that even necessary?

I also hate that she chose that name, of all names. And you're right, if Jack was still here, she wouldn't have even considered it. That makes me the most mad. May as well have said, he doesn't exist so I'm taking his name. GRRRRR! I would be really pissed if anyone named their child Adam. Like you said, we don't own the names, but if he was here no one would ever do it.

I'm so sorry LJ. I'd be so upset and hurt and pissed also. You're not being irrational at all. Much love to you sweetie.

Dana said...

Oh that "friend" of yours infuriated me! I guess she would have felt bad not telling you she was pregnant when you were talking about her having another kid, but it is despicable that she told you that she conceived the baby on the day she found out that Jack died. Who does that!

And I caught the sushi thing as soon as you said she is pregnant. What the heck is she doing in a sushi restaurant? Guess she is one of those people who thinks the rules about what you can and can't eat are more suggestions.

I absolutely think that she should have given you a heads up that she was pregnant. It would have been easier for you to hear when you weren't with her and wouldn't have to give a fake response and carry on as if it didn't affect you.

My heart dropped when I read that she wants to name the baby Jack, but is now going with Jax. I don't know. I think I agree with your husband here. I like that she apologized but really, she should never have suggested using that name in the first place. I feel like she might keep hurting you. It will be hard to see her baby and I feel like she might just talk about him all the time in front of you and you don't need that.

I know it is hard to cut someone else, so just play it by ear. If she is bringing more pain than joy to your life, I think it's time.

Darcey said...

So sorry about all this...sometimes it seems like more crap keeps getting put on top of the already large pile we have around us. Hoping you get a break soon.

Becky said...

I am so sorry. I am not a fan of that friend of yours and you have every right to be pissed at her. I understand that she didn't want to tell you right away, although I'd have preferred to find out right away, but then to do it in the manner she did. And I can't even believe she would even think about a name even close to Jack. I don't know if I could ever talk to her again but you did the right thing letting her knw how you feel. Ugh!

Addi's mom said...

I'm with your husband...cut her out!

Oh My goodness LJ, I am reading your blog and the more I read the more angry I get! What the hell is wrong with that girl?!? Why on earth would she tell you she got pregnant on the day you lost your Jack. So much is wrong with this whole story. My heart is just broken for you...well again.

I am so happy that you sent her that message. I know it was hard, but you have enough to be sad about without having other people give you more that you just sort of have to shrug off. Glad you didn't shrug this was way to big. God, I am so mad for you. all I have to say.

I do hope you write about your NYC trip, I am sorry this one took over :( I had a sad day on Monday, it's so damn draining!

Sherri said...

Wow! I mean truly... WTF! People can be sooo insensitive! I'm sure that she never intended to hurt you with her thoughtless (because that has to be what it was) behaviour! I don't know how I would have reacted, but I applaud you for sending the email, and think it was careless of her to even think of that name, let alone telling you when her new baby was conceived!
Wish we didn't have to deal with insensitive shite like that!

Nicole Gilbert said...

I'm so sorry. I would be so upset with her and I agree with your husband, it's time to cut her out. Someone thats a good friend would never ever think to name their child the same or similar name, it's just ridiculous that she could even think it would be ok.

Thinking of you Laura & looking forward to hearing about your fun weekend!

Caroline said...

I fucking hate her.

Seriously. I want you to take a shovel to her face.

I am getting the vibe you are like me in that you want to be confrontational, but aren't by nature and even when you do something you stew over what you should have done or said differently. I was more like this before Cale and thankfully less like this now, but still - I don't always say what I want and wish I would. But I agree with your husband in that you need to cute her out of your life. I'm glad she had the decency to at least take the name Jax off the table, but it doesn't make up for the past wrongs - what she said, what she didn't say (in failing to tell you she was pregnant), and even considering the name. I even hate her for complaining about her toddler son - saying he was being an asshole. No you dumb bitch, he was probably just being a toddler!

Ohhhh, I'm so fired up right now. And I'm so sorry you even have to deal with this. I should end now. I need to go eat some chocolate and drink some wine.

Molly said...

I stand by what I said when she "surprised" you. F HER!!!!

B. Wilson said...

Cut. Her. You know how I feel about this whole sitch.

LookItsJessica said...

Oh my God... The guts of that woman to tell you about conceiving her baby on the night Jack died is astounding. Either she is secretly trying to compete or she just doesn't understand basic human rules of what NOT to share...

I'm so sorry that you're having to feel such complicated and heartbreaking feelings. I hope tonight is a tiny bit easier on you. But I second all of the other comments-- screw that lady!

lissasue3 said...

Clearly she's an idiot. I agree with your husband. Cut her out of your life now. She'll never learn.

Natasha said...

WTF?!? People are so damn insensitive and it really makes me just want to go off. I hate that she would "surprise" you with that announcement over sushi of all things (clearly not on the preggo food list) all while she's complaining about her living child (oh poor you). What a bish! And then to have the nerve to try to use your little guy's name for her baby- again WTF?!?!

I completely agree with your hubby- drop her ass. I had to learn the hard way after we lost Aiden that many people who I considered to be my "friends" were really not. Their insensitive words and actions said it loud and clear. And I had to be done with them. I thought it would be hard at first but really I don't miss them at all. If you can't be a good friend to me at the worst time of my life then you are not my friend at all- and I don't need you. And this girl is clearly not your friend.

I hope you can ignore her being an idiot and have a little peace today. Sending lots of hugs.......xoxo

Angie said...

I'm so proud of you for telling her how she made you feel. I could only imagine how pissed off I'd be if one of my girlfriends used the name Aiden for one of their children. It really surprises me sometimes how insensitive and clueless 'outsiders' can be, especially the ones who you least expect it from.

I hope your New York City trip was wonderful and relaxing. xo

Andrea said...

So sorry you had to deal with such an inconsiderate friend. I have a hard time dealing with friends now that are insensitive. I can't believe some of the things she said. I don't understand how anyone could every think they were appropriate. It just blows my mind. Thinking of you and sending hugs.

Holly said...

Hey LJ,

I think you said and did the right things. If you're putting out more than what you're getting back from the friendship time to re-evaluate...

Friends are people who aren't insensitive biotches...ha

Keep on writing sister.

Rhiannon said...

This blows my mind!! What a bitch! I am so sorry that you had/have to deal with her and her obvious lack of a single sensitive bone in her body. I am proud of you for telling her how you feel. I agree with your hubby and everyone above--drop her and quick! She doesn't deserve your friendship.

Brooke said...

I'm so glad you confronted her, even though I understand that there's no fix for this. Not naming her baby Jax (although he might thank you later) doesn't bring back your little guy, and that's the only thing that would make this better. I'm so sorry that you're hurting and I'm sorry that your friend is so insensitive.

katie illingworth said...

Yep, cut her out. Don't even waste time worrying about it. She did a lot of wrong things to you, and when it comes down to it, she really won't ever understand how wrong it was because she has never lost a child.

You need to protect yourself, and devote your energy to people who build you up and support you. She is not in this category.

Sounds harsh, but it's all about self-protection, at least for awhile.

little vitu's mom said...

I want to write a long long comment in response to your post; but let me limit by saying that am really sorry. Your friend is insensitive, like so many other people out there. Just plain insensitive to others' grief.
On a totally different note, it makes me wonder how easy it's for some people to have kids. She has a toddler and another is on way..and here we are..spiraling in self pity ...
Am really jealous of her. Wish she had a heart to match her luck.

Tiffany said...

I can't believe I missed this post earlier this week, I was thinking about and wanting to check in, and I'm so sorry I missed all of this.

I am so, so sorry that you were dealing with this. She was totally out of line! Not handled well at all, and all seems so, so selfish. In the last month, BOTH of my sister-in-laws have told us they were pregnant within two days of themselves finding out, as in, just barely 5 weeks along. One from Ellie's grave and the other over the phone the week we moved and after a really hard week of missing Ellie. Since then, I've had to step away from them. I don't allow other families to discuss them or their pregnancies around. And it has been the best decision ever for me. It's given me the time to process my thoughts on the subject and has helped to reduce my anxiety on the subject. I hope you have cut her out. Who tries to take Jack's name?! Thinking of you and remember, I have plenty of swear words at my disposal if you ever need me to bust em out for you!

brianna said...

Ouch. That was totally thoughtless of your friend. I'm so sorry that she put you through such an obviously hurtful experience.

I've found that many friendships have changed since our son died. But I've also completely lost friendships as well; some due to my own fault and some completely out of my control. I think it comes with the territory but I just wish it wasn't so difficult. Then again, nothing about life after losing a child is easy.

JoyAndSorrow said...

I am just so incredibly sorry. I have a friend who called me in the hospital the day after my stillbirth to tell me that another friend was planning on naming her son Eli and was hoping I wouldn't be upset. Well, that was what we were going to call Elias. What kind of a person would I be to protest? She had him a month later and named him Eli. So after I got back from maternity leave I had to see birth announcements and signs plastered everywhere with that name. I think in time it won't hurt so much, but I will always think of my boy when I hear her talk about hers.
My sister-in-law was one month along at the point of our stillbirth, too, which was equally fabulous. Thank God she had a baby girl.

I am just so sorry, and I fail to understand what the hell people are (or aren't!) thinking.


hughesfamily said...

I am so pissed off.

You don't know me, but I found your blog through a friend's blog, and I follow you and have just grown to care about you so much. (Not a stalker/psycho, I promise). She sucks.

You are an amazing person to not have shoved wasabi up her nose.

I have nothing encouraging to say, because I cannot even begin to comprehend how you feel. But, do know that you have so many people on your side and rooting for you, and being pissed off with you.

gloverfamily said...

So, this is even weirder...but I am Hughesfamily's (nicole's) sister & I saw your comment on her blog, was curious, etc...

I CANNOT explain how PISSED I am at this bitch. Like I said, I literally know nobody in this story, but this woman is going to get hers when karma kicks her ass. Or, maybe all of your followers find her & do it.

Shell said...

So sorry that happened to you. She is insensitive and I think you have done the right thing. Like you hubs suggests, cut her out of your life. You don't need someone like that in your life.

I had a similar situation happen about a month ago. Ran into a woman I knew through my book club and she had asked another mutual friend not to tell me that she had a baby. I've cut her out of my life. She is gone from FB and I am done with her. I am not mad at the mutual friend but I told her I was disappointed that she felt the need to hold the information from me. So instead I ran into her(baby carriage and all) one day while I was out walking in our neighborhood with another friend. I've since seen her several times while walking but have not stopped to chat as I've always been with another person. She lives probably 3 or 4 blocks from my house. Did she really think she'd never see me again? Ugh.

Thinking of you and your Jack.

Tiffany said...

I know I'm chiming in late but I just wanted to say that I hate her too. ((hugs))
I had an insensitive "friend" ask me if I could recommend my daycare to them (Julius passed away while at daycare). When I told her how painful her ques was she was all apologetic. Then 2 weeks later she blasts all over fb that she was pg with twins. I promptly removed her from my life. She had caused me enough heartache. & I'm so sorry this girl added to yours. :(

Lori said...

this is my first time here, i followed you over from brooke's. i am so so sorry about the loss of your little jack. be careful about cutting someone out of your life - it's so tempting to cut out everyone who isn't sensitive enough, or asks a weird question, or does something totally lame and doesn't consider us... lord knows i have wanted to cut many people out, but have really done so to just a few. there are just SO fucking many of those stupid people out there, i'm afraid if i keep tossing folks overboard, i'm going to end up alone. perhaps a nice long friendship break is in order.

i can understand her waiting to tell you about being pg, i think she *was* being sensitive to your feelings, even if it was weird for you to be the last one to know. and it's her news to share when and how she wants to. just as you may or may not share that news with a million people the next time around, no?

but the name thing? wtf? seriously, dude. wtf? that was total batshit crazy on her part and she did NOT think that one through. i'm so proud of you for writing an honest email and telling her how you felt. GO YOU!

Laura Beck said...

I have to say that you conducted yourself with grace. I would have responded much more abrasively then you. It shows of what good character you are. They say "What's in a name?" Well, a lot actually. Names are full of dreams and hopes for our babies future. Especially after you baby dies. All you have is their name. Thats yours. Your son's name is Jack. Just because he isn't there to see does not mean that has changed.
Lots of love to you Laura Jane. <3

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