Facebook and masochism

I’ve never been a particular fan of physical pain. I mean, who is really? So, why is it that when it comes to emotional suffering, I’m a glutton for punishment? Specifically I’m referring to the extra special pain that is facebook. Since joining the blog world, the impression I get is that people in the infertile ladies club are smart enough to avoid pregnancy-book (yes, I’ve renamed it). I however, seem to have absolutely no sense of self protection.

Before my miscarriages, and actually, up until #3 or 4, I rarely went on facebook. It just wasn’t my thing. It’s partially related to my social anxiety, when I see all these people having witty conversations and having so many friends, it’s a definite trigger for me. It was just easier to avoid it altogether. But in the last few months I’ve been on facebook every day. Sometimes multiple times a day. And I hate every minute of it, but I go right back for more.

Part of it is that I like to be prepared. Forewarned is forearmed, right? So I keep an eye out for anyone who’s a prime target for impregnation. That way the moment they announce, I’ll know it. I’ll know it before there’s any risk whatsoever of being surprised and caught off guard. I won’t have to risk the casual run-in at starbucks, or the mention from a mutual friend (and the subsequent covering of tears). This has happened to all of us, and I’d always rather find out in my own home, where I can scream, or cry, or run for the wine supply. But, then, why do I keep following these happy pregnant people in all their happy pregnant people glory long after anything good can come from it?

I have one friend in particular I’ve been following as she’s blogging about her idyllic pregnancy. She’s the wife of my husband’s closest friend from college, and after #4, we came out with it and told them about our issues. They knew we had been planning to try, and figured something was wrong since 2 years had passed. They were relatively compassionate, and we told them we might just end up adopting. My husband’s friend told us he really just couldn’t imagine adopting. He really wanted to have kids, but if they couldn’t be his own, it just wasn’t worth it. It was perfectly good for us though. Well that’s a great sentiment for people who probably can’t have kids of their own, thanks. They ended the conversation by telling us that they were planning to start trying any minute.

Five months later we were expecting a call from them any minute. Sure enough, they called to say they had gotten pregnant on try number three. They were only 8 weeks, but despite having heard everything we’d been through they still felt comfortable enough to tell everyone they knew. I mean, these people just have such a trust in their own perfect bodies that our problems were clearly a result of something substandard about us that could never touch them (yes, I know this is unfair, but it’s how it comes across). Since then, she’s been blogging about said perfect pregnancy. Yes, she’s had some morning sickness, but besides that the biggest problem she’s had is that she’s gained an amount of weight that is perfectly well within the recommended range. Man, life is rough.

So once a week I know she’ll be updating her blog with all the absolutely necessary information for everyone to know about her pregnancy (wedding ring on or off? Belly button in or out?), and back I go. I don’t ‘happen’ to see this, I go to facebook specifically to see it. I believe the word for this is masochism.

One of her blog posts recently was about the ‘wisdom’ she’s learned from pregnancy. I mean, what the f***?? You’ve managed to fertilize an egg and keep it implanted in your uterus for 6 months (granted it appears to be harder to accomplish that we would have thought), but wisdom??? Her wisdom, as it turns out, was to relax, trust your body and trust god. Apparently, the fact that it took her 3 months to get pregnant was shocking and upsetting to her. She was starting to get very frustrated and wonder why god was making it so hard for her. Then after 3 months, she decided to just relax and let god handle it. And low and behold, she got pregnant!!  Miracle of miracles, a young healthy fertile woman got pregnant in three months. She definitely discovered the magical solution, and now we can all learn from her awesome guidance.

Today she posted her maternity photos, looking absolutely perfect in her beautifully decorated nursery, and there I was eating it up. I have no idea what I get out of upsetting myself like this, but I’m sure I’ll be back for it next time too.

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5 thoughts on “Facebook and masochism

  1. I can totally understand your unexplained need to go onto PBook to weed out the surprises. It’s a form of protecting yourself. If you’re prepared, you’ll cope. I found myself doing that up until January when I quit it all together. My self protection started feeling like self mutilation. I wasn’t coping on PBook or off so I figured off was just simpler.

    Honestly I think these people were put on this earth to wave their perfect pregnancies in front of our faces as a reminder of everything we don’t have. Hey, I’ve got the freaking Duchess of Cambridge to contend with over here, on the tv, in the papers, every magazine cover. Specifically targeted to people like us that says, “haha see what you’re missing? See my huge smile? This is what you are unable to have!” It’s inescapable. We’ll never be carefree or relaxed like them. We’ll never have their confidence. And why? What have we done to deserve this? It is so cruel that for some unknown reason we are the ones who have to endure this crap. All I can hope is that our day will come around soon enough and our joy and relief and gratitude will be 100 times everyone else’s because we properly deserve it.

    Hang in there. Xo

  2. Why do we do it? Every time I see a pregnancy announcement on FB or hear it through the grapevine, I put that person in a group I call “Hidden” on FB (it’s a lot of people these days). They do not show up in my news feed or any other lists, so I have to actually click on that group to see any of their posts or photos. My original idea was that I would only click on that group when I was in the best possible place emotionally to deal with bump photos or pregnancy complaints or birth announcements. Instead, I find myself clicking on that damn group when I feel the most down. It’s like I’m looking to pile on the pain.

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