Hi everyone. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.
Today l would like to focus on problems with socialising with family friends and acquaintances. Not everyone will understand your struggles with endometriosis even if they are aware. I have always maintained that the struggle of an endo sufferer is two fold- dealing with pain and infertility issues. At the beginning, my hubby and l decided to keep it to ourselves apart from our family members. However, as time went on, our close friends got to know because of our incessant cancellations of social events and of course , my operations. Still if l thought they would all be understanding and sympathetic, I was wrong. Some would get upset because we had to cancel on them. There was a couple whose wife ignored me all evening at a party because l didn’t attend her own birthday! Of course, she couldn’t know that l was howling with pain that particular evening or that l didn’t sleep a wink at all. All she noticed was l attended another friend’s party but not her’s. Eventually, l stopped going altogether; it was just too much hassle . I was trying to please people even though l was in pain and constantly stressed and tired. I found it easier to stay home and watch movies instead thereby saving all my energy for church and work .Thus l earned a reputation for being cold and unfriendly; my hubby took the brunt of it. I eventually had to tell him to attend events without me: that way , we wouldn’t risk isolating ourselves further. If it was just my decision, l would have cut these people out of my life a long time ago because l couldn’t believe how petty their actions were but they mean a lot to my husband so l had to endure and be more tolerant.
I remember going to Nigeria a couple of years ago. I had been dreading it but had to because of an important family engagement. I was immediately besieged with questions at the party about my children and why l didn’t bring them along. A particular lady- my old hairstylist- kept asking for their names! A family friend took me aside to pray for me. Another wanted me to attend their church and have an encounter with their “miracle pastor”. A friend l had not seen in years showed me pictures of her children and wondered “what l was still waiting for”. I kept my cool although inside, l was brimming with anger. My family and close friends did their best to take my mind off all these irritations- a friend whom we call Voltron(after that popular cartoon of the 80s) was about to cause a fracas with the two family friends when l pulled her away- but it still grated on my nerves. Why are people so insensitive to other people’s feelings? To be fair to them, they didn’t know what l had been going through (the friend who wondered what l was waiting for , later apologised when l told her and to date still calls and prays for me) but l still expected a bit more decorum. The problem was how many people do you tell about your struggles ? There’s even no guarantee they would understand and offer you support and encouragement. Only God can understand your pain and struggles, not man.
I thank God now that the pain has lessened a lot and l’m gradually beginning to enjoy going out again. However, l choose friends carefully and still retain almost all of my old friends. They saw my pain and limitations but still chose to have me in their lives. These are my childhood and Uni friends that l grew up with .The other close friends l mentioned earlier are mostly my husband’s i.e his friends and their wives. None of them had any issues with fertility or pain so they assumed l was being unfriendly. I bear no ill will towards them today. They were and are still ignorant of the terrible havoc this disease can inflict on someone. However, such women (who have children and no health issues) need to be careful about how they treat others going through fertility issues. The last thing we need is to be reminded of our failures. The insensitive questions and actions only make the situation much worse. May God meet us all at our point of need, Amen.
Thanks for reading.