Okay, so I have to relay something unpleasant, and I am going to try to keep identifying information out so that it's not entirely possible to figure out who the person is, but someone close to us hurt us deeply in the past week. I'm not sure how to deal with it.
I came home late last week in a tizzy because Bryce was super upset. He said it was work related, but mostly personal, and I shouldn't worry. Always comforting, that "don't worry" -- I feel like that causes INSTANT anxiety.
He was beside himself. Apparently, there was a brou-ha-ha with a friend's wife.
It all started with stupid, stupid faceb.ook.
The wife's mom had posted a meme that was some anti-immigration thing, along the lines of "I lock my doors at night to keep my family safe, the country is just locking their doors from certain countries to keep everyone's family safe." I'm sure that's not exactly what it said, but it was the gist.
Bryce hated the logic of it, and felt like it was faulty, and that these countries have REFUGEES that have been fighting for years to enter the U.S. so that they could keep THEIR families safe, and so it bothered him. A lot. So he wanted to comment on it.
Please note. If you know Bryce at all, even just through my ramblings, you know that whatever he would have commented would have been respectful and disagreeing in a very temperate manner. It would have been, "I disagree with this statement, you lock your doors against anyone who is trying to hurt you but not people who ring your doorbell or would need to come in because they need your help," or maybe even just "I respectfully disagree with the logic here," and then maybe a statement about REFUGEES who flee the very terror that certain presidents are so wanting to prevent (read: cause fear in the masses so that we associate all people of a certain religion with killers). It would have been very civil.
Because Bryce likes to make sure he's not offending anyone, he felt the need to text his friend's wife to give her a heads up that he was planning to comment on her mom's MEME. Literally, a heads up that he disagreed with something circulated on the internet.
I am not doing a good job of presenting the facts in an unbiased way, but I think you will see why in a moment.
He said, "Just so you know, your mom posted something that I find offensive. I am going to comment on it. I know faceb.ook isn't the place for political disagreements [interjection: what ELSE has it been for lately, honestly? I guess he meant that no one's mind would be changed...], but I feel I need to say something."
Okay, in retrospect it sounds a little weird, a little like "I'm going to blow this thing wide open." Except it's BRYCE. He's the politest person ever.
This person, this friend's wife, took that as an instant threat against her family. She immediately assumed, from what I can tell, that Bryce was about to attack the shit out of her mom, and she had to defend her. She called her husband, yelled at him about what a jerk Bryce was, and then crafted this gem of a text to Bryce:
"For the past seven years, I have been tiptoeing around you and your wife, feeling like I have to apologize for being a mother and a [excellent job involving pregnant people and babies]. If you see something on fac.ebook that bothers you, scroll past it and say nothing. FAMILY WILL ALWAYS COME FIRST."
Wow. So, he was understandably hurt, because this is someone who has supposedly been there for us through our seven years of trying to have a family and seemed to be understanding and even helpful. And now apparently all we've done is make her feel like shit for her life and her job and she has had to tiptoe around us, and she basically equated scrolling past an offensive political post to SCROLLING PAST OUR PERSONAL TRAGEDY.
It was pretty awful. First, Bryce didn't ACTUALLY write anything. No comment, no nothing, he never actually said anything to this person's family. Second, she brought ME into it. I had absolutely nothing to do with this pretend interwebs conflict about a meme, and so to first call me "your wife" instead of "Jess" and then to even say that we have made things difficult on her, wow. Just wow.
I was pissed. Because Bryce never actually said anything to her family, and then she went and attacked our family because there was some weird threat that Bryce may have gone rogue and called her mom a xenophobic psycho or something. Which he didn't.
So, help me here.
I am trying to see different sides of this situation. She felt her family was being attacked, so she went on the offensive. HOWEVER, that offensive is a very sore spot for us and calls into question whether she's ever supported us at all or has just been tiptoeing, feeling like she is very much inconvenienced by our situation. Which makes me want to scream, "I'm so sorry that our infertility and adoption journey has been SO DIFFICULT for YOU."
When asked by her husband, she apparently said that she wanted to use it as an example. That she wanted to MAKE A POINT.
Well, in my mind, that's the wrong thing to make a point about.
I can see how that text would have been off-putting. I mean, I was confused as hell -- why wouldn't you just comment? Or ignore it? I mean, I get finding a post that really sinks its teeth into you and you want to don the educator hat and explain why it's so very faulty. I have broken my rule of commenting on others' political posts a few times myself. But, I felt like, either comment or don't, but don't send a note about it. Maybe after the fact, if you want to be somewhat apologetic.
I think a rational response would have been, "What are you talking about?" or even "What the FUCK are you talking about?" or maybe even "please don't comment on my mom's post, I'd rather you didn't."
But to make it so intensely PERSONAL was a bit of a shock. To include me in something that I had nothing to do with threw me for a loop. To hit us below the belt, literally, seemed over the top. For a meme.
It sort of seemed like this had been stewing for a while, like it bubbled to the surface so quickly it must have been there, all along.
I really take issue with "feeling like I have to apologize for [my life]." Because I can't make someone else feel guilty. You do that all on your own. I actually am very open about our journey and how it makes me feel, and while this has caused some people to not believe me when I congratulate them on pregnancies, or to say they didn't know how to be my friend while pregnant...that's THEIR PROBLEM. My best friend is a stay-at-home mom of three. Clearly that's not a problem for me (or for her). Because she's a good friend, in part, but also because I DON'T HATE MOMS. I don't ask anyone to change their behavior. I do ask that you understand if I don't go to a baby shower but send a gift instead, if I don't want to go to a child's birthday party filled with people with kids, if I don't invite children to my own baby shower or 40th birthday party because we're adopting and so there's booze at both. That's not me asking you to apologize, that's just me setting parameters. I don't ask you not to have a party with kids. I just don't have to go, and I don't have to have kids at my parties. I fail to see how I have caused tiptoeing or guilt for existing as a mother and a person whose job involves babies and pregnancies.
I mean, my teacher friends largely have children. All but a small handful of my friends have children. I actually asked them, "Do I make you feel like you have to apologize for being a mother?" and they looked at me like I was totally insane. BECAUSE THAT IS A CRAZY STATEMENT.
So, what are your thoughts? This is a person who feels she is justified in her statement. I have not contacted her as I was included by proxy, and Bryce asked me not to, at first. I don't know what good it would do, other than to try to explain how the words you choose have consequences and can be quite hurtful. Am I being too sensitive? Or is it really as hurtful as it seems, for someone who was there for us through our losses and even used her expertise to help us on occasion?
Why do people so cavalierly say such stupid, harmful things?
I would love to know what you think about this morass of words gone wrong. One consequence is that Bryce took fac.ebook totally off his phone. Too much trouble on that stupid thing. I wonder what it would take for this to be forgivable. Should we ask for an apology? Do we just let it go and wither since if words like that can be so casually used the friendship was shallow? Or do we recognize that a fit of rage caused someone to use words that could negate years of friendship and support as a result? Maybe it was a bad day. Although I have had some pretty bad fucking days, and I don't think I have ever hit someone where it hurts like that, and then not apologized or seen the error of my ways. What happens if we don't receive an apology?