Saturday, 19 April 2008

Dealing with insensitive people

I had an awkward encounter at the gym today with the mother of a girl I was quite friendly with at school. We chatted about my job and hers, and the fact we're both married. Then the cringeworthiness started.

Friend's mum: "So, do you have any family yet?"
Me (chanting "argh, argh" in my head): "No, not yet."
Friend's mum: "You shouldn't wait too long. Are you planning on starting a family soon?"
Me (through gritted teeth): "Yes, hopefully soon."
Friend's mum: "I keep telling my daughter, now is the time, before you turn 30. You career girls these days, you wait so long-"
Me (teeth now having gouged chunks out of own jaw): "Actually, I've been trying for two years. We're starting fertility treatment for my polycystic ovary. I had an X-ray of my tubes last week. It's really very distressing."

Perhaps I shouldn't have bitten her head off. But perhaps people should think before they speak.

In other news, we took the cat to the vet's last night, where they drew some cells out of his lump to send off for analysis. We won't know anything till the middle of next week. I'm not going to dwell on this because I basically can't deal with the prospect of him being taken away from me as well right now.

Hubby's back is apparently "a little better" so I plan to lift his no-sex fatwa tomorrow. By force if I have to.

8 comments:

s.e. said...

I had a very similar encounter at a work party on Friday. Maybe I shared too much and definitely made the two crabby old women uncomfortable. People need to think before putting us in those situations where you are forced to tell. It did slightly wreck my night. Hope you got over it better than I did.

Anonymous said...

~ Alison ~ (from Manitoba, CA)

Hi, I don't know you but I came across this blog post when I was searching for "ways to deal with insensitive people" and PCOS and I wondered if you have any suggestions for me or if you have come across a situation like what I am about to describe...

I have this co-worker who just recently came back from maternity leave. I have been trying to become pregnant for the last two years and have PCOS myself and have also been seeing a fertility specialist (which I have been becoming very frustrated with). Right when this certain co-worker got pregnant I found out that I had PCOS and would have a hard time. At that point we had only been trying for a few months and I think the reality of the situation I was in hadn't hit me yet and I discussed my diagnosis with this co-worker a couple of times and how I was having a hard time but at the same time I was very happy for her.

Since she has been back from maternity leave since May every time I am alone in the office with her she comes over to my desk and wants to "discuss" my problems. Now, with every month that passes I feel more and more hopeless about getting pregnant and I have a harder and harder time talking about it with people (especially when they come barging into my office and so bluntly and insensitively ask me "how my appt. went" or "how my infertility is going"... I don't know how to deal with this co-worker any longer as I have tried to give her the hint that I don't want to talk about it unless I bring it up myself. Every time she does this I end up getting so worked up that I have to leave work or I'll start bawling in front of everyone...

Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with this co-worker. I want to talk to her but I feel like I am so angry that she keeps bringing it up as if she has a right to know my personal medical information that I'm scared I will just rip her face off and I don't want to do that either!

Anonymous said...

I sometimes say the wrong thing--so I don't know for sure is this is good advice. If I were in your situation I would say I had recently found an online or in person infertility support group and that I was finding it really helpful. If she hinted for more details I would say I appreciated her concern, but am feeling better about the situation thanks to the support group.

Anonymous said...

i have been TTC for 5 years, 3 failed IUIs and three failed ivfs. No money left so have to find a reason to live...I have been open and honest with friends and family about how i feel and their advice has been to move on with my life, at least i have my health (not my mental health i can tell you) and recently that a friend of theirs found out she was infertile and was annoyed that she had spent so many years using birth control (she didnt want kids) so right now my 'friends' are not helping...time to get some new ones...

Anonymous said...

there are some people that just do not listen beyond themselves, their problems and their life situations. There is absolutely nothing you can do about that and you cant begin to try to know what is motivating their thoughts. Do not spend another ounce of energy on trying to deal with it-- it is so not worth it.

buy viagra without prescription said...

I think that it is so important because the family is the most important part of the society, the phrase ""So, do you have any family yet?"" is so common in many places!!22dd

family counseling said...

Being reproductively challenged can indeed put a lot of people in a very vulnerable state. It is important to carefully interact with them and be mindful of their condition. Carefully choosing the right words to say is helpful in such situations.

lee woo said...

There are certain things I don't want to joke about. If it's about somebody else, it's fine. If it's about me, I think it's totally insensitive! See the link below for more info.

#insensitive
www.ufgop.org