Friday, May 9, 2008

Just to clarify

I think my sister is in a lot of pain. I think she knows she is in a lot of pain.

I think she is trying to help me by telling to let it go. I think she didn't say any of this before because she hadn't "been there". Now she gets to say what she thinks. And this brings up a ton of family shit for me.

Part of me felt like, oh, she's in denial. I was talking with my friend S about it and she said it's possible that she purposely didn't connect with her twins because -- after what she's been through, and what I went through -- it was simply too hard to risk losing them until they were born alive and healthy. And if she didn't see them as people yet that helped her do that.

But it also goes to the idea of choice, and that we can't impose our own ideas of what a baby is or is not on others. I am definitely pro-ch.oice*, but I don't know at what point I could or could not end an earlier pregnancy than I did. Or for reasons that I did. Or in the ways that would be available to me. To me that's the point of choice: *I* get to decide.

I can respect her views and her decision, whether or not I agree with it. They may bring up feelings for me, but that is *me* not her.

I'm getting away from my point. Which is that if I tell her "No, those were babies and why aren't you sadder than you are?! Why aren't you acting sadder than you are?!" then I'm effectively undoing the point of choice. And I'm telling her that *she* is grieving her loss incorrectly.

She wept with me. Wept, when we found out there was little hope for Jacob. And yet she tells me, oh, they couldn't hear, they didn't have the brain capacity to feel, to move purposefully. (Some of this is wrong, of course. At almost 21 weeks, his development was further along than her twins' development was. )

She is sad. She is grieving. I think she knows it, too. And as some of you said, part of this may be the big sister trying to help me feel better so I can get better. Though it felt like, Hey, you're doing this all wrong.

I titled my last post Disconnect. And almost ended it with saying "I think I have to stop talking to my sister." Actually, I think I'm going to pull back more from my family for a bit because I feel like there is too much expectation there. On both sides. And I don't need the pressure. Whether or not they are judging me, I am feeling it.

PS: She has encouraged me to pursue a support group in the city. They have been helpful to her, and I might find them so also. I may do that, though I don't really trust strangers anymore. And it's driving an hour or more. I've been to good ones and not so good ones. She doesn't know that I've already got one. A good one. Thanks.

PPS: If you got the draft 1 version of my last post on reader, please disregard it. I accidentally hit the publish button. It's just a jumble of feelings and spewing. There's a reason I didn't post it.

*PLEASE no debates here. Please. We all have different opinions on this. Let's leave it at that.


c. said...

I think a lot of our past hurts with siblings, especially sisters, gets tangled up with our present grief. I think my own wall is highest when it comes to my sister; as one commenter posted in the last set of comments: no one can hurt me like my sister can. And my sister hasn't experienced this level of loss. So it's even harder for her to understand my present grief.

As an older sister, and one who feels immense competition with my sister, I can see how I might act like the bigger person, like my grief doesn't exist, just to give me the one-up on her, you know. It's so juvenile and silly, but as siblings we do it anyway. I don't know if your sister really believes she's not grieving or was attached. I can say very honestly, having experienced a stillbirth and then that maybe pregnancy last month, I was attached...maybe not to a "baby", but to the idea of one, to hope, to something.

I don't know. We all handle these things so very differently. I just know it must be so very hard for you; to have your grief judged by someone who should understand, well, that's just hard no matter who is doing the judging. Having it be a sister must make it even worse. I'm so sorry. XO.

G said...

My sister has hurt me the most in this too and I can guarantee she thinks she has no idea. It sucks S. I am sorry.

C's comment reminds me of the Indi.e Ari.e song Get it Together. The one line that reads: "No one has the power to hurt you like your kin"

Ain't that the truth.

Hang in there hun.

G said...

* I mean she has no idea, but I was thinking in the middle of that that she probably thinks she has been the most supportive. Weird error in my first comment :)

Antigone said...

About support groups, I recently tried one. I didn't like it. I prefer self-selecting on blogs. I get to pick which experiences and interpretations I read/hear that way. Plus, I came close to losing it when I had to 'tell my story' in public to a group of strangers.

Julia said...

you are right-- it's about choice, and in more ways than one. We choose how to relate to the ongoing pregnancy, or we come to recognize how we are relating, for example. And she may have chosen to guard herself, and she may even have succeeded. But the point you have every right to make is exactly this-- we each do what we can and what we have to. We each view what happened in our own way, and she has no more right to tell you what the right way is than you have a right to tell her.