To cut the story short, my main problem (blown up by PMS) has been the fact that I'm the only one in my group of closest friends who relies on writing as the best/most fave kind of communication. Not writing SMS or short texts like in Twitter, mind you...but writing emails and blog posts. I just LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE writing in details about what I've been through and what I've been thinking about and I love finding out why I feel a certain way and in return I LOVE LOVE LOVE reading in details about other people's lives.
In the past, I noticed that I had a high expectation on this type of communication and when I found out that my friends couldn't cope with it, I tried to lower my expectations and I tried my best to shorten my emails (and leave the details to my blog posts). However, despite my best efforts, I still had too high an expectation it seems. My PMS brought it forth this time because one of us is pregnant and I FELT that she had received more responses (yep, jealousy attack being blown up by PMS!).
After pondering on what the problem was, though, I realized that it was foolish of me to expect that people whose main form of communication wasn't writing to respond to me the way that I had tried to respond to them. It's like asking them to keep on watching horror movies with me and comment on those horror movies. As much as they love me and as much as they want to meet me halfway, the best thing I can expect from them is to watch a few of those movies and comment on a few of them, but I can't expect them to do more than that. Why? Because if the situation were reversed, I wouldn't be able to do the same.
Most of them prefer live chats or face-to-face interaction or phone calls. And I have been blindly thinking that because we all live in different cities and countries, emailing is the most preferable method of communication. How wrong I was! Lately they have preferred talking in WhatsApp or live chats because their lives are much busier than I am and I'm the one who can't cope with WhatsApp chats because they exhaust me so much (because I'm more of a detailed person and when- due to time difference - I'm left with hundreds of live chat messages, I'm overwhelmed and I don't know what to do because I tend to want to reply to every single one of them - or at least the important ones and it takes a LONG time to read through all the messages and figure out which ones need replying). This is why I prefer emailing, but for them, emailing takes more time and effort to reply, whereas during live chat when some of them are online at the same time, they can get responses ASAP.
Anyway, the second problem was infertility thrown in the mixture of all that. In my PMS-loaded brain which was already full of confusion because of my own expectation, I thought of the not-so-distant future when my pregnant friend's baby would be born and how there would be so many more bonding moments between the mothers in our group and this freaked me out because I could just imagine how many times in the future would I be reminded of my own losses (the birth story, the baby room, the first smile, the first word, etc.) when many of them would naturally be ooh-aahing all the lovely moments and sharing their own kids' moments. I know, I know, my overworked PMS-loaded brain couldn't stop thinking way too far ahead!
So all those feelings made me reach out to them, asking if it was too much to ask if I asked for a little bit more response (honestly, I felt like a cranky little child begging for attention when I wrote the email), but in the end the emails between us back and forth made me realize that the only possible way to sort this mess is for me to step back and let go of my expectation (all of it, not just a part of it). I need to remember that for them, emailing is tough to follow and that they've given all they can. I know that they'll be there for me when the going gets tough (they've always been there), but it's unhealthy for me to expect them to respond the way I have responded to them. You see, for years I've always tried to respond to as many little details of their emails as possible and I've just realized that they don't even expect me to do so!!! Talk about a shocking moment for me! In my mind, I was respecting their time in their busy lives by responding to as many points in their emails as possible, but it wasn't even necessary! Yep, major doh moment!
For all it's worth, though, I'm just glad that I've sorted through all the mess. Phew! Now I just hope that I haven't damaged this friendship too much by making them worried about what to write (esp. when it's about their kids), because I DO want to know about their kids, though I have told them that I can't deny that on bad days (PMS days), the stories remind me of my own losses, but on good days, I'm very happy to read about their kids. But anyway, after the stormy mess, here's what I feel now: