Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The eldest daughter

I am sitting in a hotel lobby in Brazil reflecting on the last days, some of the hardest of my life and I feel utterly alone. I am here for work and will stay the next days which probably is a good idea given the state of my heart.

I am in no way good company to anybody.

My IF hit me like a ton of bricks and it became painfully clear that my family cannot even begin to understand what we are going through. But also other older scars added to the pain and jealousy.

I spent the last days prior to this trip at my sisters, near Cancun , where my DH and I were invited for my oldest nephews First Communion. We were ínvited by him to be his Godparents at a beautiful ceremony. In Mexico is something not so official as in the Baptism, but an opportunity by the child to chose his companions for this.

What should have been a joyus time turned into a time where I spent a great deal of it hiding my tears.

Here were were at the First Communion of an 8 year old, son of my younger sister, and here were childless. But it was not only this, but waves of sadness over many things that I am not happy about in my life.

I have been having the same feelings at the oldest son in the prodigal son. I am not proud of it, but at the same time this truly reflects that i feel abandoned by God and jealous for the plenty given to those I think less deserving (she has never been interested in God, nor religion). Horrible yes, but this is how I feel right now.

My sister has the life I would love to have (2 beautiful children, the ability to work as she pleases, a healthy body, a very good economic position, etc) and being near this for 5 days and then seeing my parents so proud of her and only talking about her success and children and so disappointed with me, took me way back to very painful times in my life.

This was not always like this, my parents were very proud of all 3 children, but I know deeply in me that they do not understand where my life is heading and are very pained by what they see.

My sister is only a year and a couple of months younger than me. For the longest time I behaved as she was my doll, my little daughter and was deeply protective of her. She was afraid of many things as a child (dogs, escalators, people, etc) and I took it as my duty to protect her. We even slept on the same bed for the longest time. My grandmother called me "la mamacita", the little mother and always said I was to be a great mother by seeing the way I treated her.

As time passed we grew apart and there were very marked differences between the both of us.

I loved to read and she did not, I was very messy and she was orderly, I never knew how to dress up and she was always in fashion, she loved sports and I books, etc.

With time she was always named by people as the beautiful one and I the intelectual one. I hated it.

Adolescence was specially difficult as I had horrible acne from the age of 11 until my late 20´s and my sister grew up to be a beauty. She even began to look like my adored grandmother after whom I am named. People always complimented her and many times did not know what to tell me so they ignored me.

She was never interested in religion and was always popular and I grew to be very introverted due to my acne and found solace in God and in reading. Later I outgrew in part my introversion by becoming an achiver in terms of studies and work, yet I have never overcome it completly and it became painfully clear this weekend.

She married at 26 and moved to this small city by the sea. She lived in a small house at the beginning right by the beach and with time her DH and her built the most amazing house.

Her father in law had moved there some years ago and helped open the doors for them and with time has become one of the most renowed businessmen in Mexico and very well known for his social commitment. He is this figure that is revered by the press and his workers and its truly well deserved.

During the next years she decided not to have children and spent the time focusing on herself and her marriage. She decided to start it 4 years later. I never found the right person until I was 33 and by that time her first born was 3.

Later she lost 2 very early pregnancies and then 1 year later my niece was born. I married 2 years later and have fought with IF and my health ever since. Something that my family has never understood and will probably never understand.

During the longest time we only spoke as necessary since we did not have anything in common and for a while I even made the concious decision not speak to her . She is always trying to fix my way of dressing or telling me what I was doing wrong or telling to get over things (she is a psychologist and had always tried to give me adivice) and one day it became too much and decided to separate myself from her.

She called me 4 months later saying she wanted to amend things and for the first time I told her how much her comments always hurt me. She asked me for forgiveness. We were again on the right path.

Then a couple of years later it started to become increasingly painful as my parents were always speaking about the grandchildren or her DH achivements and I know that my IF and my DH lack of success has worried them a lot.

Then came my pregnancy and she started calling me every week and asking me how I felt and we had some common ground. She even cried tears of joy when she found out. I have always known that she loves me deeply, yet somehow there is always something keeping us apart.

Then when my miscarriage happened I thought she would understand and she did for a few weeks, but later told me to move on as she had done and not dwell on it.

She had had 2 and had survived, but in my head I told myself she had never had IF, had gotten pregnant as she wanted, has always contracepted and had the miscarriages after having a healthy son.

So she had at least one child and wait.... she was not nearing 40. I felt like she was comparing us and that she could handle it so should I.

Then this weekend the depth of my feelings about everything caught me by surprise and it became painfully clear that I am hiding some very deep wounds, old and new.

Old ones like the fact that she is gourgeous and my mother telling her over and over again right in front of me and that I am normal and not feeling very good about myself since gaining weight again. When we were heading to the Mass she told her: wow you look amazing! and then turned to me and said nothing. It truly stung.

The fact that I barely can move in the mornings and she is preparing for a Triathlon which was the talk of most meals. I tried to wake up to go walk and could not even do that!

The fact that we are the ones helping my DH family and in her case they help them.

The fact that her DH is very successful and mine does not know what to do with his life and I hate to admit....I support.

That she can choose to work and I have to.

And then as if it were not enough and even if she has never been a believer in anything from the Church nor God she has 2 children and I have none.

I feel like this cruel joke. I feel like the one that was always near the Father is punished and the one that has never been is being rewarded in all aspects.

So I ended this weekend hiding the tears which came pouring down as my nephew had his first Communion, as I lay down in bed, as I showered and as I spent several sleepless nights asking God why things had turned out this way.

Me, the eldest daughter, asking why He has chosen to give his bounty abundantly to others and not only was I not his daughter at his side anymore sharing His love, but He has seemed to have forgotten us for the last 3 years.


  1. I am the oldest sister too! Here I am - the one who was always the mother just like you- childless! I have been wondering how you were doing & I am so sorry you are suffering so much right now.

    But maybe God is trying to heal YOU! Maybe our Lord is trying to show you how you have always felt but couldn't name until now & that He is just waiting to make all things new for you. Your pain & suffering is not in vain. Praying for healing for you.

    And I have never seen you but I consider you one of the most beautiful people I know. You are a shining star because your soul is so GORGEOUS! Go out & have a caipirhnia while you are in Brazil. I always wanted to go to Brazil. Praying for you!

  2. I can hear the pain in your words. I'm so sorry. you are in my prayers.

  3. Although I can't put myself totally in your shoes, I can relate too. You write so beautifully that it's easy to understand your pain. I think anyone who's suffered IF feels that same pain and loneliness, although to different degrees. Our families can make our pain worse, unknowingly. But I agree with Sunshine, that it's allowing us to grow whereas others may not be given that opportunity and may suffer more in the long run. But when you're in pain, all of this "advice" probably sounds like blah blah blah! Praying for you during this time and hoping you'll hang in there. You are not alone :)

  4. I'm sorry you are in pain. :( You are loved so much especially by God even when it feels like He has abandoned you. He is carrying you through this pain.
    You are in my prayers!