Saturday, February 23, 2019

My Other Sister

I swear my family likes me. I promise you they're good people and they love me and I love them. But damn do they suck at understanding anything related to infertility.

As I make progress in my recovery, I take more risks in talking honestly about my reality. I was talking on the phone to my oldest sister last night and she asked how I was doing. I said pretty well but admitted that I had been feeling sad lately. She asked why and I said infertility and she said, "Why are you still sad about that?" And I said, "Because this is the time period when I was going through IVF. Because infertility is a lifelong loss. Because I didn't get to raise my children." She said, "Oh."

If it only could have ended there... But it didn't.

My sister started telling me about her grown son who lives nearby whom she hasn't seen in a month. She said, "You're lucky you don't have kids. Children are a blessing and a curse. Just remember that."

So of course I told her, "You are lucky you got to have a kid. Children are a blessing and a curse. Just remember that."

14 comments:

  1. Dear Phoenix,
    I can’t believe what your sister told you! Some parents seem to think that they know how their lives would have been like if they hadn’t had children. In fact, they don’t have a clue about it.
    I’m also very sorry to read that you feel sad these days. I send you hugs and kisses!
    Léa

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    1. Thank you Lea. And you are so right: parents really do seem to think they know what their life would be like without children. What they are remembering are their days before they had children, when they were usually much younger and in a completely different stage of life.

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  2. Good response. I can't believe she said, "why are you still sad about that?" Well, actually, I can believe it. But I'm sorry she said it.

    But then after that, when you'd think she'd have gained a little insight, she said "you're lucky you don't have kids?" I know she was probably trying to show that she feels sad at times too, or perhaps she was trying to make you feel better, but ... good grief.

    Hugs.

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    1. I *think* she was trying to make me feel better. But, dang, do her efforts continue to be so misguided...

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  3. Dearest Phoenix
    It's those comments like your sisters that come out of the blue that wind us, isn't it? Great response to her... however like all of this grief we have it's disenfranchised and it's a hidden grief with no sort of public outlet - there's literally no place to go with it, maybe that's why everyone else seems so confused about this set time period we're supposed to have, who knows?

    We see you, we hear you... sending love xxx

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    1. Thank you for seeing me, for hearing me, and for understanding me. <3 Disenfranchised grief is tough. I read every article I can on the topic becauseI feel better understood afterwards, even if I'm just being understood by the author that I've never met.

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  4. Oh, good for you! You're right -- she should have quit while she was ahead...!

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    1. Right?? Come on sis, quit while you're ahead! ;)

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  5. Hi Phoenix, I hope you're well. Was struck by your sister saying "Why are you still sad about that?". People see infertility as a finite event, not one with lifelong consequences. I'm currently trying to come to terms with my own sister's behavior (ignoring my attempts at contact etc). It may sound self-absorbed but I can't understand why a sibling doesn't think "My sis went through infertility and couldn't have kids, I'll make just a little bit of effort to respond to her in case she's feeling isolated. I wonder if she ever feels left out in the family, without kids?". It makes me feel sad and lonely to be ignored and I wish I could deal with it; a confrontation would finish things for good, though. I honestly think that parents will never empathize with any of the feelings we have, and they think that we don't empathize with them. Sigh. Anyway, greetings to you x

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    1. Hi Shores! It's always good to hear from you. I totally agree with you: people do see infertility as a finite event. However, we know that's not true. I also agree that parents will never empathize with any of our feelings. Letting go of the expectation that one of my sisters or parents will ever understand my situation has been very good for me. Personally, I don't think you're being self-absorbed. Quite the opposite. I think it's your sister that is stuck in her own world and cannot imagine others' worlds. Hey, maybe we should introduce our sisters to each other! ;)

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  6. "You're lucky you don't have kids"?! Wow, that was very insensitive. Guess she just couldn't put herself in your shoes to imagine what it might be like.

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    1. Agreed. It's an extremely insensitive thing to say. You'd think it would be basic knowledge to know not to ever say that to someone who wanted kids...

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  7. Oh holy jeezum. The amnesia people have is just unbelievable, even within the same conversation! It amazes me when people are like, "aren't you over that yet?" Um, NO. It's, as you said, a lifelong loss. You aren't defined by it all the time, but it is always a part of your life and it sneaks up at those anniversaries in particular. And then to be like, "oh my child isn't communicating, blessing and curse, you lucky duck" and expect you to agree? I am SO PROUD of your response. It was brilliant. Bravo, my friend!

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    1. Thank you. My sister really missed the boat on this one. This sister is in no way mean-spirited at all. Just... Careless with her words sometimes. It still stings though. Sometimes I get tired of being the bigger person... I'm thankful for the blogosphere's support! <3

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