Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Heavy post.

I just don't know what to do.

How can you truly support someone when you don't know what exactly you are supporting? Especially when it's a story like this. I'm going to be totally anonymous here, because I don't want to point this person out. This person has not left a comment here nor do have I spoken publicly about this person, so I think it will be okay to open up this discussion.

Many people say the phrase "A loss is a loss". But what is that loss was an abortion? Would you support that loss differently than a miscarriage? What if the abortion was due to something not so horrible like just not wanting the baby, but let's say, because you felt you needed to for some mental reason (nothing wrong physically).

Would you support differently?

While I would still want to support, I would need to know ~how~ to support. Saying things like "I am so very sorry for your loss" just doesn't seem like what I would say for an abortion. Since that type of a loss wasn't necessary, I simply can't treat it the same. But that does NOT mean I don't want to support the person who had to endure such a decision!! It may be a decision I would never make, but then again, I have to realize it's a position I have never ever been in. So I can't judge.

Is it even fair of someone to ask for and/or take support with keeping these kinds of details to themselves? Think of this analogy: Someone posts all about having their car stolen and talking about how bummed they are about it. That person then thanks everyone for all the supporting comments of the "I'm so sorry your car was stolen", all the while the person had actually left the keys in the car in a known car theft location, just because they wanted to get rid of their car because they couldn't afford the payments anymore. See, I could still say "hey, I'm really sorry you had to come to the point where you couldn't afford those car payments" and support all about that kind of a situation. But I would feel duped if I talked about how sorry I was that the car was stolen, when in fact, it was really given away. See my point?

What's the best thing to do then? Ignore the fact there may be way more to the story and just stay generic? Or should I simply ~not~ support this person because I'm not comfortable with supporting something I'm not quite sure of?

See, I could support this person in two ways. I could support the loss ~or~ I could support her mindframe. Such two different things. But without knowing, personally, I don't think I support it blindly.

16 comments:

Miss Tori said...

I'm sorry for the position you are in right now and I hope you are able to see your way through it. I'm here if you ever need to talk.

How about that?

Glad to see you made it to Boston ok. For some reason when I posted on WebMD, I forgot today was Wednesday already! lol

Tori

wikkid-smaht said...

it comes down to something very basic: you are offering support to someone who needs it.

it sounds like you know enough about the situation to know this decision wasn't made cavalierly nor was it made without some sadness and difficulty. perhaps the person isn't being forthcoming with details because she fears not getting the support she really needs because she did suffer a loss--even if she decided to lose it.

it's reasonable to want to know more. and reasonable for you to want her to tell more in the interest of full disclosure; no one likes to feel duped. but, it seems like she is someone you care to support and she needs it. that really would be all i'd need.

Kaci said...

I think we can offer support to people even when we're not sure how. Something as simple as "I'm sorry for what you're going through." or "I'm here if you need me." - without details those still cover what you're trying to say. Although if you think the details make a difference in whether or not you would want to offer you support, then it is a difficult question. I don't think ~I~ could give support to the person who couldn't afford the car payments & left it to be stolen. So I guess I might want to know some details, but if they weren't comfortable giving them up, then I would think they still needed my support...

Hmmm..

KatieM said...

Hmmm, this is heavy, and I definitely think it varies from situation to situation. The only thing I can relate it to is one of the ladies I know on the boards. She and I were close when we were TTCing, she got her BFP and then disappeared....no word, no connection and no board posts. Recently I found out she reason she left the board was because when she was 16 weeks she discovered her child had a fatal genetic disorder and they opted to terminate. She said it was the hardest decision she has ever had to make...it was a selfless decision because although she loved that child with all her heart, her baby would have no life after it was born and could possibly die in utero anyways. Was this technically an abortion?....most certianly, but in my eyes her loss should be viewed as any other mother who loses a baby in the 2nd trimester. Needless to say, she grieved tremendously.

But, like I said this is a specific (and extreme) case, however in general it does make it easier to support of you have all the facts of what you are supporting. Maybe in your case the proper support is for the position and situation the actual woman/couple who made the decision had to take. Seeing as you say it isn't for something "horrible" like simply not wanting the child, there was obvious thought behind the ultimate result. As you say, maybe simply saying something like "I am so sorry you had to make that decision" or "I am sorry this situation was just too overwhelming for you" would convey your desire to support, but not actually directly support the loss itself since it may have ultimately been unnecessary.

Jenera said...

I think you CAN support someone without supporting what they have done.

My brother got arrested and while I supported HIM during that time, he was well aware that I in no way supported his actions or condoned them in any way.

I think it's easy to say that I don't like abortion and I can never support the act itself. I know several women who have had them and honestly I have lost a bit of respect for them even knowing all the circumstances around them.

I also think that how you handle it depends on your level of friendship with this person. If this is a very close friend, it is easier to support someone in this situation on a level separate from the abortion itself. If you are not very close, it could be hard to do.

I also think that this person most likely knows your views on the act itself and is only asking for support in a general 'can you be there for me' sense, they are aware of the fact that this is hard for you. And if knowing that, they STILL ask for your support, it would appear as though they really need it.

I hope this all makes sense.

nancy said...

jenera - this person is not asking for my support, I was just trying to offer support in general, I just didn't know what I was supporting. This has nothing to do with ~not~ supporting either of the two options, just that I wanted to know HOW to support her.

Anonymous said...

Nancy - I've chosen not to comment at all, leaving the support up to others who are more supportive and empathetic than I'm able to be. I originally thought about offering to adopt her children, but I realized that would be inappropriate for me to post on her blog. I absolutely cannot understand the decision she made, and therefore I've had to step away from the blog for my own mental health. I am posting this anonymously on your blog and I apologize for that. I never post anonymous comments, but this is such a touchy subject and I don't want other people commenting on my blog telling me how unsupportive I was. So feel free not to even post my comment, but I wanted you to know how I've handled this same situation. - Thanks - K

nancy said...

Anon, I'm glad you felt comfortable to even reply at all. And in this case, anonymous was a great way to do it. Do need to apologize.

This post was not to point her out or make anyone judge the situation, just really to bring this subject up so I can figure out how my own heart/mind can respond.

Thank you for your comment.

MrsSpock said...

I get where you're coming from. 4 years ago, my youngest sister became pregnant after being irresponsible. She has a mental illness, and had just recently stabilized after over a decade of struggling. She had never thought of how pregnancy/parenting would affect her mental state until it happened. Although I would have adopted the child, she chose to abort rather than go nearly a year without antipsychotics. She very likely would have spent a large amount of time of the psych ward during her pregnancy.

Although I felt strongly that she should have thought about it before she became pregnant, she feels 100% the decision was the best for her, and has no regrets. She has meticulously avoided pregnancy since, deciding ultimately that parenting is not for her.

I think it was easier to support her as we did because of the severity of her illness. That said, I totally get not feeling comfortable supporting someone without knowing all the wherefore and why- or even while knowing it. I think if we had been going through IF at the time, I would have been a lot less supportive with her decision not to let me raise the child.

In the end, there's nothing wrong with remaining quiet and not commenting.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nancy--
I have a question- and I am not trying to start anything, just wondering your thoughts...
Why would you want to support someone who has an abortion due to mental reasons or whatever yet you were very opinionated in that girl that didn't follow Dr.s orders and is now having to reduce? I think I know who you are speaking of and to me, honestly, the situations are not too different from each other...
Trying to understand why you would support one situation and very clearly not the other...

BethH6703 said...

You're obviously drawn to do something, so I'd say keep it as basic as you can... a simple "I'm so sorry", or "I'm here if you want to talk", seems as tho it would be appropriate.

I struggle with the same situation - wanting to support the person while not agreeing with their decision/choices/situation/circumstances. Not a fun spot to be in, but I know you'll do what you feel is right.

nancy said...

Anon, to answer your question ....

I think you question is really my whole point. I do ~not~ want to support the abortion. See, this is what I think happened ... she did IVF but only wanted one child but couldn't reduce to just one, so instead of having two, she ended the entire pregnancy. But then again, she transferred two to begin with. If she was that serious to ~not~ have two, why transfer two?

So, I don't agree with the initial decisions. And the end result (if that's what happened) utterly appalls me. But I think everything that happened was even a surprise to her. I have to believe that because I just don’t think anyone would go into that intentionally. This is why I have a piece of my heart that goes out to her mental status (depression) because that is a pretty damned drastic ending.

And this is why I wanted to know what happened. If it was actually a true loss, as in an unwanted loss, I would want to immediately support for the loss of two little babies. But if these babies were removed because she didn’t want two – I can’t support that loss. But I could support the depression.

Does that answer your question?

Laurel said...

I think everyone's life, perception, and situations are different and we are all at different places in our lives which might make one situation more volatile than another, at that given time. I have a hard time judging people sometimes because I am not in their shoes. I have my own beliefs but that does not mean that I think, expect, or want everyone to think like me. I almost always support because I think it is much more important and productive to be positive, supportive, and kind to people than to judge and be hurtful (even if that is not the intent). I hope that you can look past what is in the forefront of this situation and consider that none of us are/were in her shoes. What a horrible decision to make and a decision she will have to struggle with for the rest of her life.
I guess my response would be "I am so sorry. I am here for you and I hope that if you need anything AT ALL you will let me know." Then check in on her often because she probably won't ask you for anything but need a lot of support at the same time.

Brianna said...

It's a horrible, horrible decision to have to make and I feel for anyone in that position, regardless of how they got there or why they're making it (although there are exceptions - I can't begin to wrap my brain around why someone would do it multiple times). Anyhow, after reading your comment that explained what possibly happened, I think the best way to support is say somethings like "I'm so sorry that it turned out this way."

"I'm sorry that you've been put in this position" wouldn't really be appropriate considering that she put herself in the position of carrying two babies when she only wanted one.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for posting anonymously but I don't want to go too near this one.

I'm pro-choice. That said, I find this particular story appalling.

Anonymous said...

I know (I think) who you're referring to and I too am quite torn on this one. As a matter of fact, I think about this person and her situation almost daily. On the one hand, I have a lot of sympathy for her, because even though I DID thoroughly follow drs. orders, I still was in a situation where I possibly (albeit a small chance) could have been faced with selective reduction. That being said, there has got to be accountability for directly going against the professional's instructions and ending up in such a horrific situation. (BTW, it was heartwrenching and disgusting reading the process of reduction; I have no words for that).
Overall, whatever the opinion of anyone else, SHE will have to live with this tragedy for the rest of her life and, unfortunately, her furture child(ren) will be constant reminders, so I do wish her peace (AND hope she listens to her doctor next time!).