Speaking of people who steal our joy... One of my sisters really hurt my feelings last week. I hate that I'm still thinking about it, but, well, I am.
She's not known for being sensitive. In fact, she's been quite mean over the last decade. Ok, if I'm being honest, she hasn't really been nice for the past couple of decades. It breaks my heart because she was so important to me for the first fifteen years of my life.
She's pretty demanding. If she calls, she expects me to answer. She still sounds bitter that I would put my phone on "Do Not Disturb" while I was studying in grad school FOUR years ago.
(At the time, I told her that grad school was hard and I needed to concentrate. She actually said that grad school wasn't hard for me, that grad school was hard for her because she was also raising a kid at the same time. !!! I honestly ripped into her and said that I wouldn't even be in grad school if I had gotten to have my children. We didn't talk for several months after that.)
Last week, I was napping. After my second vaccine dose. So, obviously, I didn't answer her call. She sent me a text: "I just got your voicemail... So I don't know if it's a connection problem with your phone or you just didn't want to answer."
I promise I try not to read too much into text messages. But still. That tone.
I texted her back when I woke up. No response.
I texted her the next day. No response.
She wrote back on the third day saying she couldn't send me photos to my phone. She also said she knew "it was infertility day the other day... And I thought of you." (I think she was thinking of National Infertility Awareness Week.) I texted back and said that it was a bummer I wasn't receiving the pictures she sent. I also wrote, "And thank you for thinking of me. Never thought I'd have to live through my worst nightmare but I did." She wrote back, "We all do."
It just hit me wrong.
I didn't like reading that.
I think if you're going to try to extend empathy to someone, especially regarding such an emotionally-charged subject, you should refrain from making it about yourself.
I probably should have just let it go but I wrote back, "Well I didn't want to live through it but I did." And she wrote back, "Me neither."
So, in an effort to quit dragging out what was starting to feel like a competition I wrote, "Yeah... We are so strong. Even if we don't want to be. We just can't help it."
So, that's her effort when she's thinking of me I guess. From now on, I will just say "thank you" and not engage in conversation about infertility with her. I hate to say I'm being too sensitive because our feelings are our feelings but... If you felt similarly when you read her comments, any validation is appreciated. If you have a different perspective, sharing that is appreciated too!
Again, I know it's important not to read too much into anything sent over text. I'm a big believer that important conversation topics should not be addressed in this format anyway. But dang, it just really hurt my feelings.
She'll never get it.