Thanks for stopping in. There isn't really a rhyme or reason to this blog. It's just what comes to my head as I go through each day. If something I say resonates with you (positively or not), please leave a comment. It helps to know that people care. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Accepting Blame

This is my third post of the day...yup, one of those nights.

I want to refer back to someone I'd written about a month ago HERE.  A person I had considered a close friend never said a word to me after I told her of Charlotte's death.  Three months later she still has said nothing.  No "I'm sorry."  No "How are you?" No "I remember that you're alive and going through a traumatic experience and I'm supposed to be your friend and maybe, possibly give a damn about that."

So I saw another trivial post from her on facebook today.  Every time I see a silly trivial post from her it makes me angry...she has the time and energy to post about her husband liking a radio station that she doesn't, but she doesn't have time or energy to talk to me about my daughter's death.  Really?  I decided I didn't need this anger in my life, so I decided to unfriend her.

The problem is, I've never unfriended someone before, so I felt the need to preempt my unfriending with a message explaining the reasoning behind it.  This was my message:

I've gone back and forth on sending this message for a while...

I had thought that you and I were fairly good friends. I know we didn't talk nearly as much after I transferred schools, but still...

When I sent you a message, about Charlotte's death, I was really surprised that you didn't say anything. I know that I requested people not say the stupid things, things like, "You can always have another" or "It was just not meant to be", but every other person at least acknowledged that they had received it. They all sent brief, marginally acceptable sympathy messages. 

I thought maybe you were just looking for the right words. I excused it for a long while. The thing is, it's been over three months now, and I truly believe that, if you really did care about me, you would have acknowledged my daughter's death. Really, that seems like a decent, human thing to do, even if you weren't my friend. I know you and Thomas were trying to have a baby, and it's a sore subject for you...but my daughter died. She died. A friend would care.

I don't expect you to say anything. I don't need anything from you. I just wanted to unload the burden that's been on my heart, because I feel like I have enough of a burden to bear, and this one shouldn't be mine to carry.

Instead of an apology, or an explanation, what I got was basically a defensive rant about the way in which I told her.  She was offended that I hadn't "bothered" to tell her I was pregnant in the first place, and then I told her of Charlotte's death though a group message which she felt was "Inappropriate, impersonal, and awkward."

OK, I will grant you that it's a jarring message to get, but you don't get to judge the form of the message when the content of the message is that my daughter died.  Sorry.  It's not about you at that point.  It's not about what you wanted, expected, or thought.  When you hear that your friend's daughter died, your job is to offer support and sympathy.  Period.  I mean, really, most people would do that if they heard a stranger on the bus had lost their daughter. (as a side note, I hate that euphemism)

It made me realize something about myself.  In any other circumstance, I would have accepted the blame.  It happens a lot: I call someone on something they did wrong.  They deflect the blame back on me and I end up feeling bad about myself when I didn't do anything wrong.  Not this time, though.  I refuse to accept blame for the stupid crap other people did in this situation.  It's not my job to make it easier for you to support me.  Sorry, dude, it's just not.  My daughter died, and I can grieve any damn way I want.

The problem is, as I went to put all of this into words, she blocked me on facebook....and I am left holding the bag of blame.  Damn it.  So, here was my thought out and heartfelt response, which she won't ever read:

Don't you DARE tell me that sharing the news of my daughter's death with you, however I chose to do it, was inappropriate. Just don't. 

I had told, besides family, a grand total of five people I was having a baby. I had a miscarriage at thirteen weeks before having Mia, and I am thus (now more so) incredibly hesitant to share pregnancy news. Charlotte was stillborn at five months. I went through complete and total hell, during which time I debated sharing her with anyone. I decided to tell the people I thought were my close friends, but I did not have the strength, mentally, physically, or emotionally, to do so multiple times. I can understand not wanting to say things offensive and honor my wishes, but in the three months since I told you my daughter died, you never said one word to me. Nothing.

I'm not coping with a situation, I'm grieving...and please don't use that to disqualify what I'm saying, because I am entirely lucid on this point.  The thing is, you go through your entire life believing that, when and if you truly needed it, the loved ones in your life would be there to support you. It's an incredibly lonely and painful experience to realize that many of them wouldn't be.

I don't want to tread repeatedly on these points, but I want to make clear that I don't accept blame in this. This isn't my fault. However awkward you felt, however hard it was for you, it was many, many times harder for me. The thing is, by deflecting the blame in that way you're making it about you, and this one thing was really, truly about me, about my family.  

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