Sunday, February 01, 2009

Coping strategies

I need to learn how to deal with things.

Like I've seen a lot of other people mention, I have a F@ceb00k profile. On this site I am finding a lot of former classmates and friends I've lost touch with. Inevitably, as I'm in my mid-thirties, I get friended, get the, "Hi Rachel! How are you? We have two kids now! Blah blah blah, we're busy but happy!" Sometimes they want to visit. Sometimes their kids play with someone else I know's kids. Sometimes they're super-important and have had high powered jobs and sometimes they took time off to take care of their multiple children.

How do I respond to all of this? Do I tell them we're waiting to adopt? Do I not? Do I just say where I work and that we have our house?

Sometimes I feel like I should just stay away from it, but I can't seem to. But seeing all of these people fruitful and multiplying makes me totally bummed and I don't know how to respond to them. I'm one of the few people that actually enjoyed high school. I mean, I didn't enjoy all of it, but my circle of friends was a good one, and if I ignored a certain section of high school people, it was a pretty good time in my life. One of the best, actually.

I'm terrified of contacting old friends now. I feel like such a constant failure at career and family. I don't like to talk to people because I see how successful they are -- financially, career-wise and with children. I just don't know what to do or say or how to react.

Should I just stop logging in to F@aceb00k? What do I do?

I wish I had more self confidence with these things.

20 comments:

Kelly said...

You are not alone in these types of thoughts. I have them, too. I tend to just say what I'm doing, where I live, etc. and if someone blatantly asks about kids I say something like, "We're working on it." If it's someone I knew well, then I tell them our story and what we're doing. Interestingly enough, I've re-connected with some people I haven't talked to in 15+ years and found a few who also struggled with infertility and have adopted. That has been a really positive connection for me. Hang in there. I feel like at some point, it has got to get better. I'm not quite sure when, though.

Eileen said...

I feel that way too about fb...particularly about the kids part. It seems everyone has kids. It can be depressing. I don't broadcast that we're adopting. If someone asks about kids, then maybe I would depending on who it is. It's surprising that when you do open up about it, how many people you find have dealt with IF or are going through it. I reconnected with a male friend from hs who has been down a similar IVF road with his wife. Just had their last failed IVF last month and are just starting to consider adoption. So, he's asked me a few questions about it.

If it bums you out, I would stay away from it. But overall, I find it's nice way to reconnect with people. I'll comment on their kids' pics (sometimes I have to force myself lol), then move on to "what else is new with you?". I find that most of the people I've reconnected with are looking for adult time and don't focus too much on talking about their kids.

My Reality said...

I kind of hate Faceb00k a whole lot. But I still log in everyday.

I have avoided people from high school by not putting my maiden name anywhere near my profile. People from my past really haven't found me. The reason I did this? So I didn't have to deal with the situation you are in now. And I kind of feel like I have failed at a lot of things in life, and I don't want to have to explain all of my failures to people I didn't really like in high school anyway.

Steph said...

Despite now having made it through to the other side of infertility, I still identify as an infertile and find facebook to be very difficult. I don't think I would have been able to be on it while still in our quest to have a family. I try to be sensitive and not ask people about kids if they don't volunteer the info. I also put it out there that we struggled a lot to have our kids. Since sharing this, several old friends have also told me about their struggles... most of whom are still struggling and having a very difficult time w/ facebook. If it's too hard, just don't go on there.

As for sharing, that depends on how you feel about it. I'm an over-sharer so I probably would mention it to people but it's totally a personal thing.

luna said...

I personally have no interest in f-book and I'm not into self-inflicted torture, but I know a lot of people love it for re-connecting. SO, I'm probably not the best person to encourage you to grin and bear it. I just don't see why, if it's so painful, you would want to go there. BUT, IF you feel comfortable sharing your news about adoption, then it's a good way to do so without getting into a full fledged conversation about your history, infertility, etc. Maybe the perfect way?

Almamay said...

I've taken a similar approach to Kelly and have had similar results. I don't say anything to people I wasn't that close with and have hinted to other people I haven't been in touch with for a while but was once close with and have found a lot of people in the same boat.

If I find some people posting baby/child photos/updates all the time too difficult to deal with I either delete them (no guilt). Or you can turn off their updates by clicking on "Options" next to their stuff and ask for less about them or none at all. I did that with a business aquaintance of DH when it would have been too rude to delete them.

I never mention IF on FB but I might "come out" if things go well this year. I have a few IF Internets as friends on FB and none of us mention IF.

Is it 19 sleeps till your vacation?

Mountain Girl said...

I'm on fb too and so far haven't had too many issues with seeing my friends' kids - some of which I used to take care of so it's fun to see them grown up, but oddly enough painful to see the kids that I used to babysit for, having kids. The best thing about fb for me is I found one of my "best" friends from many years ago and had lost touch with. That is the part that is fun. I think the daily status reports are sort of stupid when people write: So and so is sore throat and bbq, etc. In addition, I would only share what I wanted others to know - depending on how close you are with them. And you can always not accept someone as a friend!

Sue said...

It's entirely possible that some of these people with kids struggled with infertility or adopted their children too. It's impossible to know from just looking at their profiles on Facebook. The feelings you're having are completely understandable, so if Facebook is too much for you right now, maybe you should just stay away until you're in a better place.

Natalie said...

Yeah, a lot of times I dread peeking at my fb because I know there's going to be someone's happy news posted there and it just makes me angry. I'm right up-front with our situation, but that doesn't make it any easier. "Yeah, hey how are you? Yeah, we've gone through IVF 3 times and had a son who died. You?" Not really a great conversation starter....

Michelle said...

I recently joined facebook, and it's really messing with my mind. I seem to compare myself to these people from high school all day long. I haven't thought about any of them until facebook, and suddenly, BANG! "Here's a picture of my husband and three kids"

Shoot me now!

It also seems to be kind of addicting. I'm thinking of maybe going cold turkey and just cancelling all together, but I'm not sure.

Hope you figure it out.

craptastic_mail said...

for a long time I ignored it or just said "we're working on it" but then I decided to just say it like it is....
I told everyone that asked that we were in the process to adopt. You wouldn't BELIEVE how many people opened up with their own stories! Lots of friends that I was jealous of and assumed they got pregnant easily had multiple miscarriages and had to do IVF. So you never know.....you might connect more with old friends!

One of my best friends in High School and I are now talking a lot on FB. We lost touch for years. The first few FB exchanges were the regular chit chat. Then I mentioned that we were adopting and it all came out about her IF and how she's now looking to adopt too and we have really connected again.

DrSpouse said...

I am doing OK on Facebook but it is other occasions that seem to get me at the moment - I really don't have an answer, except that Mr Spouse is pretty good about taking the hint when I need to leave quickly...

Lollipop Goldstein said...

You know how people with stage fright are told to picture everyone in the audience in their underwear, perhaps you should take the same approach to FB. I guess the point is that it reminds you that everyone out there is just as human, unsure, and feeling naked. Maybe they are fearful of the same thing--that you will not find what they've done since you last spoke exciting.

sacredandscarred said...

I would stay away from FB. I am on there, but not with my original surname so if anyone from school was looking for me they wouldn't be able to find me. Plus I am not interested in having anything to do with people I've not seen in decades.

Jessica at Bwlchyrhyd said...

This may seem surprising coming from me, but I'd recommend a book that Tim loaned me called "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle. It can help you look at things from a completely different perspective.

april said...

Dear Rachel-
I think you are cool. I think you are successful. Just because you can squeeze out a couple kids dosen't mean you are anything special. Farm animals give birth afterall. You are cool because you are livin it. You are out their fighting and scraping to get your kids. That takes moxie. And girl you got it.

littlezen said...

I have a FB page too and I struggled with my decision becaue everyone else has kids. Then one day I comment on getting or home studay done and a girl I went to HS commented and told me if I ever needed to talk and discuss her experience she would gladly. Maybe there are more out there than we realize.

Michelle said...

Since your are adopting domestically you should tell them you are in the process of adopting and would appreciate them keeping you and your DH in mind should they hear of someone considering placing a child. You never know where that connection might be made.
I do understand your feelings but this is the way to to use the networking to directly address your unhappiness. And it is no time to be shy. It is a little strange at first to be talking about such personal stuff -- but the possible upside is so great it is worth getting used to. Good luck!

Almamay said...

How about this as a twist on FB. I just saw baby photos of a high school friend. Not of her baby but her GRANDCHILD. Oh save me!

Me said...

No advice. But sincerest commiseration and empathy.