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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Busy is good

So, I've been off the blog wagon for a bit. Life gets a little crazy sometimes!  I have found that keeping busy... with work, home, life... helps to keeps the mind off of the pain of childlessness. But there are always the zingers. My sister made a comment the other day that I should be glad I don't have children instead of a troubled, estranged one. MY SISTER! Nice huh? Part of me want to go off on a rant about how my child wouldn't be so troubled or estranged, because I'd have been a better mother than she. But I didn't say anything. I doesn't do any good. I'd get more empathy from my cats or dog than from any of my family members when it comes to my childlessness. It would be nice to be able to open up and have a real heart to heart, but that just isn't a possibility. So those comments get no response from me. None. Instead, I suffer in silence. I hear from friends about the births of children and grandchildren. But, I try to avoid all the online posts about the milestones they reach. They only serve as a reminder of what I'm missing out on.

Busy is good. Busy is a distraction.


  1. Busy is good, indeed. More busy you are, less time you have for crap from folks, even family.

  2. I'm going to be a bit controversial here - and feel free to tell me I'm completely wrong, yell at me, or delete my comment.

    Your sister has a troubled and estranged child. She's obviously distraught about it - perhaps as distraught as you are over not having children. And so right now it sounds like she very much is only thinking about her child, and her worries over them. And she wishes those worries would go away, just for a few minutes, an hour, a day. And she looks at you and thinks, "I wish I was like her." Even if for just a minute.

    So it seems to me that she's not capable of empathy right now. It seems to me that she was looking for some empathy for her situation.

    (Of course I have no idea what support you've already given her about her child.)

    I just know that so often we take personally comments like this - and most of the time I think it is fair for us to ask for empathy. But if we ask for empathy, we have to give it too. And I know, if I try to put myself in other peoples' shoes, then I find it easier to bear those comments. This is something that has come to me in time ... and I've found it helps.

    And yes, busy is good.

  3. Oh, Mali!!! There's no need for me to tell you you're completely wrong, yell at you, or delete your comment. You're right in the sense that I am hyper-sensitive, in that I take those comments personally. And you are also right that my sister is distraught over the situation with her child and I should try to show her some sympathy... and I do. But (there's always a but, isn't there?), without getting into all the dirty history, let me just say this: every conversation I have with my sister inevitably gets twisted to be about her, I have received no sympathy from her or my mother with regard to my childlessness (or much of anything I struggle with for that matter), and it gets old. You were also correct that she's incapable of empathy... but not just now... ever. I know that it's small and selfish of me to wish for my mother and sister to, if only once, THINK before they open their wide open traps, but I do; even though I know it will never happen, because they are no more capable of being the kind of family members I would like them to be than my dog is capable of doing calculus. I just have to remind myself of that from time to time.

    But regardless of any of that, your correct about putting ourselves in someone elses shoes. I try to always remember that other people are only seeking happiness and trying to avoid suffering... and, again, you are right... it does help!

  4. My older sister is just like your sister. She lives across the country so I only have to talk to her once every week or so, but our conversations are always the same. She asks me how I am, so I start to tell her about happenings in my life, and then she interrupts me. She doesn't want to take the time to listen to me. She only wants someone to talk at, not someone to talk to. She always tells me how hard being a SAHM mom is and then jokes asking me if I would take her kids for a bit. It doesn't matter what I say, this is how she needs the relationship to be. If she wasn't my sister I wouldn't be talking to her, but I am holding out hoping that someday she might free up some emotional space to get to know me better. Maybe someday...

  5. Ah, hope. Hope, I find, is a very dangerous thing. I used to hope for a relationship that wasn't completely one sided; that my sister's narcissism would subside a bit; that one day I would be more than the scapegoat for all the wrongs she perceives have been done to her. But I know these things will never happen. I wish that they could, but I will not continue to waste my energy on hopefulness for things that are impossible.... having children of my own, having a good relationship with my sister or thinking that anyone is going to change just because I would have it be so.
    Sorry you find yourself in a similar boat!

  6. Wow 1nonmom... your words could have come from my own mouth in that last comment. Maybe it's an older sister thing to be so lacking in empathy? No, I'm sure it's just the individual. Busy is definitely a distraction - but so is peace. And I truly hope you (and all of us) can find some of it when our hearts ache like this, and we feel that our closest are actually the ones that hurt us the most. I think we (both) have to come to an acceptance that our older sisters are never going to say the right thing, and maybe the way we respond to that is the important factor - rather than forever hoping they will miraculously change, we might feel less of the sting over time if we don't expect any better from them. Harsh but true perhaps.

  7. Thanks for your post Jen. I hope so too!