Acknowledgment

{This post was edited for reasons I’m not at liberty to divulge. I believe the content of the post still matches the sentiment of the few comments it got before I took it down so I’m re-posting it. Sorry for any confusion.}

Later we met up with more friends, including the groom-to-be, who I just adore. I told a few guy friends about our news and they we’re all very excited. But it was the groom who really blew me away with his thoughtfulness. He took the time to come over to me–which in the crowded bar was no small feat—and he hugged me so hard and told me how thrilled he was for us because he knew how long and hard we’d been trying for this, and how much we wanted it. And having him acknowledge that made all the difference in the world.

I made me think back on a question Mali raised on my “I told you so” post about how it really only matters that *I* know that the “I told you so” people are ignorant of our realities and why should it even me bother me what they think?

I’ve been thinking about that question a LOT since I read that comment, trying to formulate a response in my head so I could write it here but I haven’t quite been able to tackle it yet. Why do we care that others acknowledge our struggle? Why is it important that they understand the pain and uncertainty and loss we have suffered? Why is true validation of what we’ve been through such a powerful salve on our wounds? Sometimes I assume it’s just human nature to want to be understood. Sometimes I think it’s deeply ingrained within us, and therefore difficult to articulate with this clunky tool we call language, though I’m sure others could do a much better job than I (especially considering these very meager attempts).

The truth is, my friends’ (the ones who didn’t acknowledge our struggle) joy at our news didn’t feel any less authentic or bother me in any way. I wasn’t waiting for them to acknowledge what we’ve been through. Maybe that is because they would only know about t if they had happened across a few Facebook updates here and there, or had read my Secondary Infertility post (on my public blog) that I linked to before. I don’t assume my friends know what we’ve endured to get here, especially when I haven’t told most of them personally, so I have no expectations that they would know. And perhaps that is what made my friend’s sentiment so touching, because it shows that he DID read my updates and he DID read my post and he was listening and bearing witness to my journey and that he cared enough to just follow along, even if it felt sad or uncomfortable or was a downer to his day. He read and he cared and he ACKNOWLEDGED a part of my life that was important to me and he understood what this pregnancy means for us, in the context of all that came before.

I guess I still can’t articulate exactly why it feels so good for someone to understand my struggle, for them to reach out and SAY something about it, something meaningful. But it does. And I appreciate my friends that listen and hear and empathize. I just hope I can make sure they know how much that means.

2 responses

  1. I totally get this… Connecting with others is a primal instinct. We need it, even if we can’t explain it. I never heard from one of my “best” friends after my loss and not having the acknowledgment of that pain from that person leaves a void.

  2. I 100% agree that it is so nice to get that acknowledgement of the struggle, and I don’t know why, but it meant a lot to me. We didn’t get much but it’s been very soothing when it has happened. I’m glad you are getting that recognition that it was a struggle.

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