Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I'm Messed Up

I go to a therapist weekly or every other week to help me deal with the stress, depression, frustration and overall suckiness of infertility.  E and I have been attending a support group for almost a year but the turning point when the support group wasn't enough, was my sister's pregnancy - after 1 month of "practicing to try to have a baby." Her words, not mine.

So basically, my sister drove me to therapy.  An interesting occurrence I suppose.  I have talked extensively about my feelings toward my sister's pregnancy, my parents' feelings toward the pregnancy and our family dynamic in general. And at my last session on Friday, I sort of had an epiphany - I'm a little screwed up. 

My sister is 2.5 years younger than I am - much taller and thinner than I am as well.  We were both athletic growing up - through soccer and the swim team. We both did reasonably well on sports teams.  Academically, I was always the better student. My sister's grades were good, but mine were better. I got into the better University, I have a bigger house, I make more money.  My sister is a great dancer and excelled on the dance team in college...she got married first...she had the first grandchild.  Can you see where I'm going with this?

Yes, there's some competitiveness between us...or at least I feel some competitiveness towards her. I am not sure the feeling is mutual but I would imagine that it would only be natural. I think most siblings have some level of competition between them. 

After discussing my sudden relief at the arrival of the niece, my therapist had some very interesting insight.  I no longer feel jealous or sad - I am so excited to see the little one. I wish I was there to hold her and to be her Aunti in-person. To explain the "no growing rule" - NO growing when Aunti J isn't there! I can't wait to go visit.

The explanation for this sudden change: it isn't about my sister anymore - it's about the baby.

WHOA! That's so right - I'm a little screwed up. My therapist didn't tell me I'm screwed up - that was my own adjective of course.  All of my anger, jealousy and resentment was because I felt like my sister had won something, gotten the better of me, was the better daughter. I didn't know my competitiveness towards my sister was so strong that immediately when it wasn't about my sister any more - I would feel fine.  Seriously, that was the longest 9 months of my entire life. No one can tell me it was harder for my sis.  I was equally in agony, but now I'm not - thank goodness.

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