Old Wounds Reopened

I’ve been having a hard time lately. In the last few days, I have faced sadness, disappointment, and this pervasive feeling of worthlessness. And strangely, none of it has to do with infertility or loss.

Instead it’s because of two relatively minor things that took place last week:

  • I am a part of a mom’s group here in our suburban town, a group filled with mothers of all ages with kids of all ages (but mostly under 5). While it took everything I had as a shy, new mom to seek this group out, over the last year and a half, they have become my friends. All of them, but two in particular. They are the only local friends I have. But while at a playdate last week, I learned that many of these moms are going “cabining” together on November 17 — that is, they’ve rented a bunch of cabins in a nearby forest and will be spending the weekend away, moms, dads, kids, and all. I was never invited. Many other moms weren’t either, but I am one of them, and I’m a group regular. I can only assume this is because I declined their offer over the summer to go camping and they thought (probably rightly so) that we would say no again. Or perhaps they don’t even realize I wasn’t invited. I don’t know. All I know is that I never will know exactly why I was excluded.
  • I am in the process of planning my daughter’s 2nd birthday party. We have invited a large handful of close friends and family to our home for cake and ice cream and fun. So far, more people than not have declined. Many more. So many more, in fact, that our party is turning out to be quite, quite small. Nearly everyone who came to her party last year will not be there this year. They already have plans — a play to go to, a baby shower to throw — things that have been in the works for months. See the first bullet point for why a few of my daughter’s friends (and mine) won’t be coming either. And while Cupcake probably couldn’t care less who comes to her party, I do care. I want to celebrate the life of my girl, a child I once believed would never exist. I want everyone in my life to celebrate with me and to believe that she is worth it. I am immensely grateful to those (including my sister) who will be at her party, but it still hurts that others will not.

Now, I will be the first to admit that I am ultra-sensitive and it does not take much to hurt my feelings. If you cross your eyes at me, I will somehow convince myself that you are making fun of my (improving) acne. If you ask if I’d like a glass of water, I will believe that you are trying to usher me out of your home because, otherwise, you would have offered me a cup of coffee so I could stay and linger for a while. It’s pathetic and pitiful.

I am trying not to take these two things — the cabining and the lackluster birthday party — too personally. I am failing. While I am less broken up about it than I was over the weekend (when I cried, many times a day), I’m still crushed.  I feel discouraged and let down. I know some of you may be rolling your eyes. I know, in the big scheme of life and with infertility weighing on all of us, that these are two very insignificant things. I know I need to buck up and get over it…or thicken my skin.

But that is not me. I have been this way most of my life and, while I have matured and grown, I have not stopped feeling pain, however small it is, very deeply. And so my most recent happenings have done nothing but make old insecurities resurface. Once again, I feel “less than,” undeserving, unworthy, inadequate, and rejected. It makes me want to curl into myself and hide. To stop putting myself out there and risking my heart. To stop giving others the opportunity to hurt me.

But that is not me either. I may be timid, shy, reserved, quiet, and a wallflower, but I do not hide. I do not run away if there is a chance I should take. I don’t stop loving, or letting myself be loved. So I will go on. I will still meet with my mommy group. I will still try to build upon the friendships I have made. I will throw my daughter a fantastic party and thoroughly appreciate those who care enough to come. And next year, I will do it all over again. And hopefully, along the way, there will be other moments that build my confidence, strengthen me, and show me that others believe I am a person worth knowing, and a friend worth having. And I will hope that it’s true.

20 thoughts on “Old Wounds Reopened

  1. I’m the same way and would react just as you have. I am also very sensitive, though like you said, this gets a little better with age. I always hope that I come off as a good friend despite others not asking me to do things. I struggle with this a lot with my sister-in-laws/MIL. I feel slighted when they don’t ask me to hang out with them. This seems silly, I know, but that doesn’t make it not hurt. I hope that your days start getting better. I think IF just adds to all of these crazy feelings we have normally.

  2. Relationships are so important. No one likes to feel left out or second-rate. I hope that you can find a way to resolve things either internally or with communicating with your friends.

  3. Being a sensitive person is a double-edged sword. And though you feel less-than in situations like these, take another look at your last paragraph. You are strong. You are proud. And you love conditionally. So many women don’t have that kind of strength.

    I too am an ultra-sensitive person. During these last few miscarriages I’ve wanted the world to stop and to feel just a bit of my pain too. But it doesn’t work like that. I’m trying to get out of that thinking and understand that I cannot rely on what other people do or say to influence how I feel or see myself. Surround yourself with those that give the love back to you and make you feel good. Even if that is a small number, because quality over quantity is what matters most here. xo

  4. Sorry you are having such a tough time. I also get sensitive about stuff like that. If it makes you feel any better, today I held a demo/training session at work for what was supposed to be 10-12 people (mostly managers). All but one person accepted. No one showed up. 😦 I spent so much time prepping and printing out documents. Hard to not feel a little bit rejected here. You are doing such a nice thing for your daughter. I am sure regardless of who goes, that you will have a fun time celebrating with her. Hopefully things get better for you tomorrow. xoxo

  5. I have hard time feeling worthy of others’ consideration and I always expect that people will disappoint me so I hold back from asking for favors most of the time. I’m not trying to suggest anything, but some of the stuff you were talking about reminds me of an article I read for a neuropsych paper once. It was on neural mechanisms and depression and studies have found that people with depression are more likely to interpret neutral things as negative. I can definitely say that is true for me. If someone has a blank expression and they are looking in my general direction I will think that they are thinking negative thoughts about me. If J is upset, stressed, or even just tired, I assume he’s mad at me.

  6. It seems like many of us can relate to this post, me included. I’m sorry you are feeling so low. I don’t have much to offer you the way of advice other than to tell you just to keep being the you that you are and that is a special person.

  7. I feel like I could have written this post almost verbatim! I too always feel left out and forgotten about and it hurts me deep. I was always the one not invited to dinners or parties and hated it. And it wasn’t my kid’s birthday parties, but my own that no one would show up to. As a result, I pushed people away and it only made the problem worse. Ultimately I had come to two conclusions–first was that sometimes my own behavior was making me more unapproachable than I care to admit, and second, that sometimes people just don’t think of you and have no intention of hurting your feelings and have no idea they ever hurt you and that sometimes I had to be more proactive about putting myself out there. In your case, I would have said something along the lines of “Oh that sounds like fun! I would love to do that sometime!” so you have let them know you weren’t invited AND put it out there that you’d be up for a future trip. And ultimately, sometimes I still tried so hard with some people and got nowhere, and ended up deciding they weren’t worth it, and that I wasn’t going to waste my precious energy trying to win the friendship of people who weren’t equally as willing to win mine. And that was hard because I used to think some of them were pretty awesome. But then again, I’m sure you have just as much to offer, and if they can’t see it, then it’s their loss. Try not to beat yourself up.

    With all that said, what you’re experiencing SUCKS and I’m sorry. You don’t deserve it. I know it’s no fun. I have TOTALLY been there. ***HUGS!!!!****

    • Aw, thank you, Kelly. You gave some great tips and advice! How is it that I’m 29 and still trying to get a grip on this? I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through something similar, but so glad I’m not alone.

      • Oh I don’t know if I have a grip on it per se! I still pout about it at times just like you…so don’t feel bad!! I still struggle with being overly sensitive and I don’t know that you or I will ever be “cured” of that, but then again, we can’t live life like we’re fragile all the time. You and I have both experienced our own hardships and losses and are strong people. But sometimes we forget about our own strength and it’s easy to victimize yourself when your feelings get hurt. Just remember you’re not giving yourself enough credit sometimes! And no, you are definitely NOT alone 🙂 I’m with you, my sensitive chickadee!

  8. Ugh, I hear ya. I’d be bothered by that, too. (Though admittedly never realized offering coffee vs water meant I wanted you to stay longer!) And it sucks because there is no good way to go about finding out why you were excluded. 😦
    Kelly had some good advice though – maybe you can try that?

  9. I am so sorry that you are feeling sad! I too would feel similarly to how you are feeling. I think it is very natural to feel this way. Sending lots of hugs!! I admire you for not hiding though!! I think that takes a lot of courage and shows what a great person you are! Your DD is very lucky to have you as her mom! We have done very small parties the past 2 years and they have been so much fun! I know you will have fun no matter how big/small your DD’s party is! Thinking of you!

    • Thank you, and you’re so right. It’s okay if the party is small. The ones who MATTER will be there and we’ll have fun regardless. Thanks so much for your kind words.

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