A meltdown and renewed gratitude for my family

So today I am unashamedly going to use this blog to process something work/ relationship related that I really need to work through… and fast. It intersects with my experience of infertility. Some background:

I started working in a Psychology Centre as a Psychologist in 2010. In 2011, the owner, who was 40 and single, decided to have a baby through donor sperm and fell pregnant on her first go… yay for her. Anyway, because she had this real baby, her work baby started to become very neglected and things went from bad to worse until finally, in 2013, she sold the practice to myself and a colleague. My colleague has a VERY wealthy father and so bought 90% of the practice, I bought 10%. However, we operated as 50/50 partners and I was happy to do this as I felt it was important that the centre work well, efficiently, and in a way that was consistent with my values when it came to ethics and professionalism. Through a lot of work, we achieved this. When we took over, we hired a new, young, educational psychologist who was dynamic and excited and had energy that perhaps we had run out of. She was great. 

Some time passes and my partners third child was turning 2 and was less dependent than she had been in the past, and her marriage was in a very bad place. I was starting fertility treatment quite seriously….I think I had my first IUI around this time. Long story short, she and the new educational psychologist became best buddies and started partying together rather seriously, even going on holiday together.  I was in a very different place and preferred to come home to my husband…still do. About the middle of last year, coinciding with my first cancelled IVF cycle and a very dark space emotionally for me, I started realising that although I was maintaining my client load (with a LOT of effort), I was not being a very good business partner as a result of low energy levels and mental and emotional preoccupation. As a result, I suggested that we ask this youngster if she would like to buy some shares in the business and take on more responsibility in order to help my parnter, which she did. Happy days.

In November last year, in the midst of my last IVF and subsequent miscarriage, my partner found a piece of property that she fell in love with and decided this would be an amazing opportunity to open a SECOND centre. Her father offered to buy the property and we would then run another practice as an extension to our existing practice. I expressed my reservations about my own ability to ‘nurture’ another ‘baby’ at this point, but my two partners were very gung ho and so we went for it. I will be completely honest and say that I have had very little involvement in the setting up of the new practice. I have participated in the interviews of some of the new staff, but that is about it (Oh, and I have put in a large sum of money for set up costs…. no small achievement for my husband and I, who have to work for every cent we earn and who have as yet undefined costs of falling pregnant).

But, there has been building resentment from my partner and it has come to a head in the last couple of weeks. It started with me opening a new practice from my home in January. I live in a big city and am frequently stuck in terrible traffic to get home. I am not a big town girl, I grew up in a small town, and I find this soul destroying. It’s also something I do not want for my kids – I see too many children professionally who are neglected by career-oriented, high flying parents and I DO NOT want this for my children. I simply did not grow up in a value system where money, or career, was more important than people and I am so grateful for this. My ultimate dream is that I have a small practice from home and that I keep my financial interest in the Centre but do not actually practice from there, because it is too far away (and no, we cannot move closer – my husband already drives 140km in the other direction and I will not ask him to do more). I have been very transparent about this and have voiced it for over a year now.

In January, finally off IVF meds, I got the energy to actually buy the furniture, set the room up and start advertising my practice WHILST making it very clear that I would continue practicing at the Centre for at least the next year. Well, lets say that I opened up a can of worms which culminated in a meeting with my partner today.

So basically, she feels hurt. Very hurt. Very, very extremely, hurt. She feels that I have let her down, left her on her own, have neglected by responsibilities, have make excuses for neglecting my responsibilities and have shown zero interest in the business (she neglects to consider the fact that I am the highest earner and MAINTAINED this despite the fact that my soul was literally breaking).

I never wrote about it, but in April last year I totally messed up in terms of meeting up with my best friend. I went to my home town for the birth of my niece, just after my last IUI had failed and we were facing IVF…. I was supposed to meet up with my best friend but in the chaos of everything, trying to be there for my sister who was a single (and first time) mom, and all my terribly mixed up feelings and basically just trying to keep my head above water, I let her down… I totally own it…I was a shit friend. But it was the first time in about 20 years and there were extenuating circumstances. Anyway, she was offish for a couple of moths until I asked if we were OK and she said no and I explained and now we are all good. But seriously!

Excuse my language but what the fuck do people want? I am SOOOOOOO over friends right now. I feel like the only people I can trust are my husband and family and truthfully, I don’t give a shit right now about how these other people are feeling. I am angry, resentful and sick and tired of demanding people who claim they understand and are supportive but actually, are only interested in themselves. And that’s it. I guess this was a vent and there really is no other point. I weigh 15 kg’s more than I did when I started this journey, I don’t even look like myself anymore and I feel like so much else has changed and I don’t think it will ever go back to ‘normal’. I thank god for my beautiful family who try SO hard to understand where I am coming from, and for my amazing husband who greeted me today with a bear hug and allowed me to have a big cry with no words. But friends? I might just be done with them.

14 thoughts on “A meltdown and renewed gratitude for my family

  1. Sounds like it’s time to take a break from your friends. It can be for however long you need, and hopefully they understand, but if it’s adding to your stress, you need to control what you can, and cut them off for a while. I know it’s more difficult with your business partner. Does she know that you’re going through the stress of infertility? Do you feel comfortable sharing it with her? Sometimes people are more compassionate and less self-centred when they realize that your distance is not about them. Thank goodness for awesome partners. Sometimes I feel like it’s just us against the world, and I’m okay with it. Hugs and good luck. Oh, and, does the therapist have a therapist? That might be a good idea too- to have your mental health taken care of as well.

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    • The therapist definitely has a therapist… Every Monday morning come hell or high water! She’s been a life saver at times. My business partner has known every step of the way, which is what hurt… I really thought she understood but clearly not. Thanks for commenting… I think a break in the form of distancing emotionally is what is needed nowxx

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  2. I really think that great friends who understand and can put you first are so rare. Others float in and out of our lives and I like to believe serve a purpose. My guess is you feel a little guilty because you know your heart is not in it so that makes you defensive. I think you should totally cut yourself a break here. This IF/IVF stuff is absolute hell and anyone who is not in it can possibly understand. Just take care of yourself, nurture your marriage and know that this time will eventually pass but in the meantime you are doing the best you can. Maybe it is time to sell your 10%???

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    • You’re right, I did feel guilty… I walked away feeling like a terrible, horrible, selfish person. But then I got angry, and felt like some degree of compassion would have been appropriate. I would definitely sell my 10% if I could right now but it is a bad time so am going to have to bide my time. In the meantime I will pull my weight better work wise whilst distancing myself emotionally from the ‘friendship’!

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  3. I can really relate to this, as I’ve been let down big time by so many friends before. And it hurts. Like you, I feel so much gratitude that it’s not my husband or family that lets me down. Sometimes I think I have to think of my friends as just bonus and not rely on them too heavily for anything. It’s hard though, as I want them in my life in a less superficial way. Big hug to you. You have a lot on your plate. xo

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  4. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I will tell you when I am experiencing extreme stress, I tend to become withdrawn and only expose myself to those that I am confident will not add to the extreme stress I am already under. If that’s necessary for your own mental health…go for it. No need to feel guilt over something like that. You’re own mental health is important, specially with the work you already do. I hope you’re feeling better about things soon.

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  5. I’m so sorry. People don’t understand. I have found even people going through it deal with it differently and it’s sometimes hard to relate to friends IRL who have or are struggling, much less those who have no clue. I have a hard time forgetting some of the insensitive (and sometimes mean, IMO) comments people have made to me over the years. No one IRL besides DH and my medical team even know we are still trying. It’s lonely but I felt like it’s what I had to do to deal right now. I am glad that your husband and family are so supportive. How did you leave it with your business partner? Hugs to you 🙂

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    • It’s interesting that you say that only a handful know you are still trying… It sounds like you have become more private over the years? This resonates with me… I almost feel I have been too open and then let down when people don’t understand. My husband and I have both decided to be a lot more ‘vague’ about our future steps!

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    • Oh… We led things with me crying and apologizing so I think she probably feels we are fine. As I have processes it I have realized more and more how utterly selfish and lacking in compassion she has been. But it’s fine, I’ve also realized it is just who she is and I am not going to try and change it… But I will guard my heart more closely and whilst I have endeavored to be more involved on a business level, I have withdrawn completely on an emotional level.

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  6. I am so sorry you have gone through all of this! I think all the IF drama makes the friendship and family drama even harder to deal with, and for me has also made me less forgiving of insensitive and mean comments. I really recommend developing boundaries that you can try to implement, and if you really need to, remove some people from your life. It’s hard, but I’m told if you are successful it’s a good thing. Love to you my friend.

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