Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The other side of her

So, I have this coworker who I USED to be very close friends with. I will call her Amy. She started working here about nine months before I became pregnant with Brooklyn. I helped her learn her job and was a friend to her when she wasn't fitting into the little clique on her floor. We went out to lunch and ran errands together a lot. We started walking around downtown together during our lunch hour to get some exercise. We hung out at work every day and talked on the phone most days too.

By the time I got pregnant with Brooklyn, Amy was one of my closest friends. She was one of the first people to find out the night I got my BFP. She was so excited with me, she screamed with happiness and talked on and on about how great it was going to be. "Oh my God," she said. "I can't wait. We're going to throw you a baby shower. We'll have so much fun shopping for baby clothes. We'll paint a big smiley face on your belly and take pictures of it. I want to hold the baby and give the baby a bottle. This is going to be so much fun!"

And it was. Amy calmed my first trimester freakout fears. She helped me decorate Brooklyn's nursery. She did co-host my baby shower. She bought us an expensive baby gift, even when I told her not to. I invited her to be one of the 10 people we could bring to my 3D sonogram.

I was there for her too. I babysat her son. My husband went to her son's "Grandfriends" day at school with him because he didn't have an adult besides Amy to be there with him. She was going through a lot of problems with her son's father and a major custody battle ensued. Her son started having behavioral problems. I was her support. She would always call me to cry and vent and yell about her ex, her son, and other things too.

Amy was at the hospital to see Brooklyn within hours of her birth. She came to see her the next day, also. We had to go to my office to fill out some paperwork when Brooklyn was a week old. Amy held her for an hour and wouldn't let anyone else take a turn. But then, my maternity leave had begun, and I stopped hearing from Amy. I think she called me two or three times for the entire twelve weeks that I was off. During those conversations, she would tell me that she was going to come over. But she never did. And I needed her. We were having such a hard time. Brooklyn had feeding and weight gain problems. Then the reflux started. Then the respiratory problems kicked in, and we didn't know what was wrong with her. I was terrified. I needed her. I couldn't understand why Amy wasn't there for me anymore.

It's true that the phone works both ways. But I was in the throes of postpartum depression. I isolated myself. I couldn't reach out to anyone. Amy is actually the only friend that I told about my PPD. But she still wasn't there.

When I came back to work, things were not the same between Amy and I. We talked, but not as often, and it was just different. We went out to lunch occasionally. We didn't see each other outside of work.

Then, at the end of July, Brooklyn became very ill and was hospitalized for several days. I talked to Amy for a few minutes after Brooklyn was admitted. She didn't come visit. She didn't call to check up on Brooklyn.

Amy came to my office the day after Brooklyn got to come home from the hospital. "So," she said, "You never called me. What's going on with the baby?" I was hurt by the fact that she hadn't even checked on us. I said, "She's home. She's getting better. I never heard from you, so...." Amy got mad and said something about the fact that I could have called. I told her that I was busy taking care of a very sick baby. She acted all taken aback and stormed out of my office. A few minutes later, I sent her a message saying that I didn't understand what she was mad about. She sent back a long reply that she wasn't mad, she was disappointed. That she had done so much for us, and she couldn't believe that I could act this way. That she was angry that I hadn't called her to babysit when she had offered to do so. That I had used her. She said that she knew what it was like to have a very sick child, but that the way I was acting was unexcusable. That I had treated her badly, she didn't appreciate it, and she damn sure wasn't going to take it.

I replied back that I had not used her, that I had been there for her too, that I didn't understand where all this was coming from. She never answered me.

Amy has not spoken to me since. In fact, she has refused to even look at me since then. Even when I have brought Brooklyn by the office to visit a couple of times. She has ignored me, turned around, and walked out of the room. I knew that Amy is a bitter person with a lot of hurt. I knew that she had a quick temper and an angry tongue and got into a lot of confrontations. A lot of people we work with don't like her because of that. But before all of this, she had never been that way to me. She had been a good friend to me.

I really don't understand what happened. And I don't know what to do. It still hurts me. I do miss her. I have thought about apologizing, but honestly, I never so much as said a cross word to her. I don't know what I could possibly have done that would warrant an apology. I have thought about going upstairs to her office and telling her I want to talk the whole thing out and make it all okay again. I've thought about asking her to lunch and telling her I want to put this all behind us. But now it's been over five months since we have spoken. And maybe that's just too long. I don't know if I should just leave things the way they are now. I wonder if all of this should tell me that Amy isn't the kind of person I should be friends with. I don't know what to do. Is it over for good? Why is it so hard for me to have and keep any true friends?


Carrie27 said...

True friends are there for you no matter what and how long it has been.

If you believe Amy is a true friend, then she will be there for you today just as she was in the past. If not, then spend your energy making the relationships you already have with others stronger.

I have realized over time who my closest friends are and my fair weather friends are.

Liz said...

I think it sounds like you've already done all you can. I'm sorry that it turned out this way. Sometimes people just don't make any sense.

Larry & I love ya, though! :)

Jennifer said...

Yep, sometimes friends turn out to be... well I have no quippy word. Sometimes they just turn out to be people you hoped they wouldn't be. I have spent so much time trying to keep up friendships, or excuse away behavior in the past because I just wanted to hold onto the friendship. Finally figured out I could hold on all I wanted but I would always be the one disappointed and let down. I'm sorry this happened at such a fragile moment in your life. I really think people just cannot understand, no matter how much they think they do, what another person is going through until they've been there. Even then they can't grasp what you are going through. If you want to give it one more shot to know you really tried then I think you should. Just be ready for whatever comes. If not, it sounds like she is not in a place to be selfless and support you while you need and you don't need to babysit anybody else right now. It will get better! So I'm told!

Emily G. said...

Its been a while since I've commented but I thought this post would be a perfect one to start at.
I understand totally what it is to lose friends during times that you have a sick baby. When Avani was sick at the hospital, and I had no idea if she would make it alive, I had friends that were really insulted with the fact that I didn't allow any visitors besides immediate family. Friends of mine actually texted and called me to ask why was I excluding them? I thought that this was sort of rude and selfish since the whole situation was about Avani and not anyone else. I wanted Avani to heal in a private and super calm environment. Avani's life was on the line and I didn't have time to worry about who's feelings were hurt and who felt excluded.
Needless to say that it was during those times that I realized who are my real friends and how few I have. When your baby is sick it is not only about who comes over to show there face, it's about who respects you and what your going through while still maintaining their love for you. Sadly, I even had to stop talking to my mother. We had a bad relationship to begin with, but when Avani was in the hospital she wanted to be the center of attention and I had to eliminate that energy.
Amanda, raising a sick baby is one of the hardest things in life. The last thing that we need is to worry about what friends are feeling left out. I know it's sad to say but I would advise you to cut your losses with Amy. With her being a mother she should of been well aware of how difficult of a time you were and still are going through. Her questions should of been: what do you need? What can I do to help? Do you need to talk?
I know that its hard to lose friends but to you Brooklyn is more important than anyone in the world, and if Amy doesn't understand that then she is not a true friend.

Beth said...

Friendships are so complicated, especially between women. I have been in very similar situations. I have just recently reconciled with a past best friend who I had a falling out with 5 years ago. It's so wonderful having her in my life again... but I still feel some hurt from the past at times, and so does out. We're trying to get past it, though. Motherhood has really put things in perspective for both of us. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I was thinking of you.

Sam said...

Some people hide in their caves when stuff goes bad wrong. I'm one of those people and it sounds like you are too. If she cannot understand that, she never will. Personally, I would write her an email telling her how you feel and leave it at that. At least it will give you closure.

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