Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mel’s Show and Tell — Advice Please

For show and tell this week I bring you a dilemma. In a recent post I mentioned a comment in an email from a friend. After telling her about my failed cycle, she responded with, "I know you've tried everything and probably acupuncture too, but that's how my one friend had hers at 'our age'." Well, I didn’t respond to that and then got another email from her. Here’s the “show” part of my show and tell. The first image is a collage of screen shots to try to show the length of the email. What I’m showing is literally ONE FIFTH of the length of the actual email! (Click on it to see it better.)


Here’s the beginning, with her note to me.


Here’s an example of one screen shot to give you an idea of the content. OY!


This shit makes me crazy! My instinct is to ignore her emails and shut her out. But I feel like I’ve done too much of that. She’s not a close friend, but I don’t want to cut her off completely. I know she means well, but this stuff only makes it worse. A friend suggested I send her the link to Tertia’s classic post about How to be Good Friends with an Infertile. I would like to direct her attention to point #3. I think she might take offense. But, I’m offended by her emails. What do you think? What would the internets do?

15 comments:

Sam said...

oops! That's a heck of an email. I don't quite know what to say as I have never been in this position, but I can only think that she meant well and that is the most awful thing about it - she meant well, but doesn't realise what she did. And because she meant well, you don't know how to respond!!! uck!!

And I am not much use either!! ;-)

Michelle said...

What an email! I guess if it is not someone you are very close to I would ignore it and hopefully she would get the message but you said you have done this so I would say something. Especially since it is not someone you are to close to you can tell her politely that you understand she is trying to help but these emails are hurting rather than helping. Ask her to please stop emailing these things and that all you really need is support and NOT advice.
A lot of times when I am talking to my friends I tell them "I don't want you to "fix" it I just need you to listen". This way they know I am not looking for advice. If I want advice I will ask for it.

Good Luck!

princessoftides said...

OK, I see your point about Tertia's post. It's just that it's SO TRUE! :)

I think probably the best response is something like "Thanks for thinking of me, although just for the record I've actually done quite a bit of research and am familiar with most of the standard advice about egg quality. I know you're trying to help and I really appreciate it, but what's most helpful is actually if you can just be there and care."

Or something like that. Of course, I probably would just let it slide, but that's just chickenshit me....

Kristin said...

I think I would start out by saying...

"I know you mean well but, unfortunately, thats not how the email came across to me. Because I value your friendship, I'd like to point you to this post (link to Tertia's post)"

At that point, if she chooses to take offense...it's sayonara to her.

meandbaby said...

It does appear she means well but holy cow, I don't blame you for wanting to ignore that! The email doesn't technically ask for a response, does it? If you feel obliged to respond I might say something like "thanks so much for thinking of me. I've done my own extensive research as I'm sure you can imagine. I hope you have a nice Christmas and let's touch base after the new year." or something like that. Short and sweet. The shorter the better. The difference in length between her note and your response may help her get the picture.

Cara said...

Not close? Just ignore...

Helpful? Probably not. But I am of the (I'd rather not give energy to a situation that will drain me further) mindset lately.

battynurse said...

wow. That's a bit of overkill. I think I'd just ignore or send a short message saying something like I appreciate your wanting to help but that's not helpful.

Andrea said...

That's ridiculous. I'm sorry your dealing with that. When my mom was offerng me all types of ways to cure PCOS (that she read on MSN of all places and too bad I don't have PCOS), I just kinda casually said that I had done tons of research and if there was anything that could help me I would know about it or I'd already tried it. That shut her up. Good luck!

areyoukiddingme said...

I'd send her a link to Tertia's post and I'd direct her to it by saying: "I appreciate your wanting to help, but if you want to know how I feel right now, please read this." If she wants to be offended by honesty, tough.

Jo said...

Just what you needed, right?

Ignoring might get the point across, but I definitely understand the need to address it, too. I would say something short, dismissive, and move on. If she does something similar again then DEFINITELY send her the post. Maybe she'll get the hint this time though.

WiseGuy said...

I think you should talk to her frankly about this. I have also experienced 'advice' from people I cannot ignore. First thing, stop any updations on what you are doing next. Secondly, tell them that you are not wanting any more advice at all. Period!

bleu said...

That is a great link to Tertia's post. Here is my favorite post about the subject.

http://www.trusera.com/health/journals/joysuzanne/joysuzanne-s-journal/support-your-local-infertile

And I would send her the link or copy and paste in a heartbeat. She needs to know. Just think of it as saving some other infertile in the future from her shit.

Heavy heart said...

I guess it's time you had a chat with her! She must not be doing this just to you but to many others as well..

BTW, you have been tagged..do it when you can.

Shinejil said...

Whoa. That's kind of amazing, in a terrible sort of way.

My assvice: be kind but direct. Tell her you appreciate the spirit of the email, but that it's very painful and not the kind of support you really need. Send her Tertia's wonderful summary. I think if you let her know you've been hurt, perhaps you can help keep her off the defensive.

And keep her from forwarding entire books on Chinese medicine to you via text msg or whatever.

Another Dreamer said...

Woah. Ewww. What was she thinking? Oh, wait... she wasn't.