How to Lose Friends and Alienate People

Subtitled:  What not to say to someone during a time of grief.

During this separation, I have been adamant that no one speak ill of my ex-boyfriend.  I have not maligned him, nor do I expect or want anyone else to, either.  Luckily, I have a wonderful support network that understands the complexities of this split and everyone understands that there is no “bad guy” or “villain” in this situation.  The few close friends and family I have confided to in the past two weeks just wants the best for both of us.  I have been reminded that I am surrounded by some pretty great people.

Unfortunately, two people have not been as kind and understanding, and I have since cut off contact with them.  There are things you just shouldn’t say to a woman during pregnancy loss, especially if that woman has also experienced a break up.  Last night, a friend was checking in on me.  He asked how I was doing, and I told him that things were hard with the recent losses, but I was doing my best.  He responded, “What do you mean loss, what happened?”  Puzzled, I replied, “Well, the miscarriage and the breakup.  It’s just been a lot to experience in a short period of time.”

I’m not going to get into the exact specifics of our correspondence, but to make a long conversation short, he told me that I just need to get over everything, and to stop thinking about “that breakup thing” because he “wasn’t worth it.”  My friend said that the baby wasn’t meant to be, and that I can just “have another one”.  My favorite was when he told me that “life goes on”, and that this “isn’t the Britt he met” and he doesn’t like this version of me.

I unleashed some things on him that I won’t repeat in print, involving lots of F-bombs.  If there was in insensitivity award, it would go to him.

But hey, I can just get another boyfriend and have another baby, ’cause life goes on and it’s been a whole two weeks since the miscarriage, why am I even still sad? And who even cares about whatshisname?  I’ll just get a new boyfriend.  Singles bars and Match.com, here I come.  

*facepalm*

The other insensitive comment came from someone who was once a penpal, and we had the opportunity to meet in person for the first time.  He drove to Portland from Seattle to have lunch with me, and it was a good afternoon.  We talked about life and loss, and the pain we were both experiencing.  He is going through a divorce because he cheated on his wife and she took the kids away to Texas.  I didn’t condone his behavior, but I know he is regretful and is hurting over the loss of his kids.

We ate, hung out at Powells, and for the most part I was mentally occupied away from the recent life events.  It was hard at times, because he and my ex have very similar interests and beliefs, so sometimes talking to the penpal just made me miss the ex more, but still, it was a nice change from my regular routine.

Until he started blowing up my phone with texts and drawing pictures for me and sending me job listings in Tacoma and otherwise acting like we were now BFF Forever.  Or perhaps he was just trying to slide in and take the opportunity to be my next whatshisname.  It was getting awkward.  He mentioned something about atheism, and I said something about he and my ex having similar tastes.  To which he replied, “Yeah, but I wouldn’t have left you in your time of need. :/

EXCUSE ME?! 

I told him that was rich coming from a man who cheated on his wife, and that there was no reason for him to be putting himself above my ex.  Totally uncalled for.  I told him I have never once judged him on his behavior, nor did I judge his wife for taking his kids away.  He then went into panic mode was texting me constantly.  I eventually had to tell him to back off and stop bombarding me.  He took the hint and I haven’t heard from him in two days.

I understand the concept of people wanting to make me feel better.  No one likes to see a loved one hurt.  However, I also don’t need anyone to rescue me.  I don’t need anyone telling me how I should be feeling.  And I certainly don’t need anyone rushing to villainize this situation in any way, shape, or form. I have no interest in finding a replacement for my ex.  I’m not looking to rebound.  I don’t want to think about having more babies for a long, long time.

Then again, I’m not sure what’s worse: having people say stupid, insensitive things, or not hearing from them at all.  My aunt hasn’t asked me once how I’m doing since Christmas Eve.  A few other people haven’t reached out to me, either.

But maybe I expect too much.  Maybe I’m too demanding.  Maybe I’m too difficult.  Maybe that’s why I’m single again.  Maybe I should just expect people to have Foot In Mouth Disease, so I don’t be shocked or pissed off when it happens.  Maybe I need to stop making snap judgements, snap decisions, and take a breath before I open my mouth and push people out of the way.  Maybe I need to get my own shit together and move the fuck on.

Maybe the title of the post isn’t about what other people are doing to me, but what I’m doing to other people.  Maybe I’m the one losing and alienating my loved ones.

Is it time to start yelling at the pigeons yet?

Maybe maybe maybe 

-B

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