Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Best Friends and Deception

The guilt is starting to become overwhelming. I’m speaking of the guilt about keeping this blog a secret from my best friend, especially since she and her family are mentioned anonymously on occasion. However, as this blog seems to be gaining more readers every day (for which I’m very touched), it’s inevitable that she or someone who knows us will stumble upon it.

She and I have had many disagreements on this issue before, over perceived or actual misunderstanding, but we have both come a long way. She’s struggled to understand the things she says that make me feel small or like she doesn’t understand or support me, and I’ve given her a lot more credit than I have in the past. She comes to me for the brutal truth about potentially touchy comments to childfree friends and asks me to honestly point out anything she says that may come across as condescending or unsupportive. We’ve come to an understanding, but I still don’t feel I can share this blog with her.

There are a few reasons for this. For one, although I leave her anonymous I don’t exactly have a common name. Anyone who knows me will put 2+2 together easily and know both who I am an who she is. I am terrified that she will think she’s the reason I don’t want children (a concern she’s voiced in the past, of being afraid that any negative thing she might say about the parenting experience might convince a fence-sitter not to have children). And in this context, she might justifiably take these writings as a breach of confidence. There are still things she says – the occasional blanket statement about the childfree, the loaded (though unintentionally so) statement of how much richer, fuller, more fulfilling her life is now that she’s a mom – that still get under my skin. We’ve talked about it a bit, but I prefer this topic to be the elephant in the room than the catalyst for an argument. I have said it before: We have a fundamental difference in how we think and perceive the world around us, and that’s okay. If something bothers me enough to make it worth talking about, I’ll bring it to her. Overall I know much of it is me being overly sensitive so I prefer not to take issue with every single thing that might bug me but soon will pass.

I’m also concerned that she’ll think I don’t trust her. I’m still trying to figure this one out, quite frankly, because while I do trust her she is highly sensitive like me. I don’t want her to interpret this blog or the secrecy surrounding it as some sort of statement against her. I do trust her, but I also know that I say things in here that will hurt her feelings. There are older posts from a time when we didn’t understand each other as well as we do now that I worry will reopen wounds. I fear she’ll take things personally, because I realize I *do* have a double-standard for moms I know and care about, just as I have a double-standard for babies and kids I care about. And, lastly, I worry that she will see herself in some of my rants (whether real or perceived) and I will lose her because of it.

I don’t know what to do. I’ve been approached to write and be interviewed in articles for magazines that my friends surely read. I had an editorial for what I thought was an unknown magazine spotted by a friend. I want to take this blog to the next level, but I’m afraid. I don’t want to edit her out of my posts because she is an important window into parenting for me, but I don’t want to hurt her feelings either, and I know she’s going to find this site one of these days.


Whyme said...

This article may help you.

My best best friend is pregnant now as well. She is NOT happy and quite sick. I may live a million miles away from her, but I want to help her. I do worry that my staunch CFness will end it.

Anonymous said...

Maintaining friendships with parents has come up as a topic on our collaborative blog in our Purple part of the Blogosphere. You can search by keyword "friendships" to find them all.

Our Guest Contributor, AlphaGirl, my favorite childfree heroine, wrote a particularly moving piece about her best friend who is a mother in which she expresses similar concerns as you.

You might enjoy reading the editorial, "Howling to One's Own Moon", written by Martha Knieb, the editor of the new CF ezine Unscripted (January 2007 issue).

"No two people are alike, nor should they be. We don’t all need to be “lone wolves,” but we all need to be ourselves: parents, childless, and childfree alike. Gay and straight, citizen and immigrant, black and white. Make the best choices you can, stand up for who you truly are, and be a hero."

Feelin' heroic?

Thor said...


You might want to read my Child Free essay