Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Joneses

If you have curly hair, you want straight hair.  If you have straight hair (all together now) you want curly hair.  I happen to have naturally curly hair.  Sometimes I want straight hair, but mostly I am OK with my curls.

My mother is an incredibly jealous person.  She is focused on what others have that she does not have.  She is constantly questioning what people had to do to get what they have and always condemning people for getting more.  Don't they have enough?!?!?!  In ways this has jealousy ruined my mother's life.  It impacted my life as well.  Growing up, sometimes I wasn't allowed to invite friends to the house if their house was nicer than ours. 

I really try to control jealousy in my own life.  My philosophy is that everyone's life has happiness and sadness.  Some people might hide the sadness and all you see is the happiness, but it is still there. 

Infertility really tests this theory of mine, but even when a friend of mine's first IVF worked while my third IVF failed I could recognize that her life was not perfect.  She had a successful pregnancy.  She also had a husband with a lot of baggage (including troubled children) from a previous marriage.  She had a town house that was underwater and she could not sell.  She had a pink slip from her job and no prospects for a new job in this economy.  Yes, her IVF was successful, but I wasn't volunteering to trade places with her.

When I posted that I was becoming a workaholic I didn't tell the whole story.  At the time I was up for a promotion; an amazing promotion to a role for which I am unqualified, too young, too inexperienced, and for which there were many other more experienced candidates. 

I got it.

I received many heartfelt congratulations from colleagues, but I could see the jealousy in some people's eyes.  I could see the questioning.  "Why is she in that job?  Why does she get all the breaks?  Why? Why? Why?"  I understand their questioning.  I have had some amazing career opportunites.  I have been lucky to be at the right place at the right time. 

I wanted to answer the unasked questions I saw in their eyes.  I felt like saying, "Thanks for the congratulations.  I'm not as lucky as you think.  I can't have children.  If I could have children I probably wouldn't have even applied for this job.  I would give up this promotion in a second if I could go back and have a successful IVF.  Don't envy me."

I definately have my moments when I wonder why.  Why did I have to lose my father just when our relationship was starting to mature and bloom?  Why did I have to move in junior high; the worst time for a girl to move and change schools?  Why did I have to pay for my own first car, my own college education, my own wedding?  And why oh why have I been afflicted with this fucking disease called infertility???

My life has sadness.  I also have blessings.  We all do.  We just have to recognize them.


Augusta said...

It's Thanksgiving in Canada. Happy Thanksgiving, to someone who is counting her blessings.

heartincharge said...

Congrats on your promotion. And thank you for this post. It is very true. There are many mothers that I would not trade places with in a million years. While I have not yet received the blessing of a child of my own, I am truly blessed.

Anonymous said...

I was just thinking of this today. I have to continually remind myself that everyone has their own problems that others do not know about. It's hard though when you see people getting what you want. And it's easy to forget when I'm getting what others want.

Anonymous said...

I had a bit of a reminder recently that all is not as wonderful as it may appear on the outside. The person who I refer to as 'The Fertile One' in my blog who was pregnant with an oops child due the day after my due date told me something she hadn't before. While she was pregnant she was dignosed with something that meant her child had a 30% chance of having SEVERE brain damage, and even if she didn't she could develope bad symptoms up to 1 month after birth. The Fertile One didn't feel like she could tell me how worried she was when my son was dead, but she had trouble bonding with her daughter until recently. And I'd envied how healthy and trouble-free her pregnancy was. Sigh.

coll said...

Keep writing! I truly enjoy hearing your advice. Your blogs make me think! How many times can you tell a person.. I can't have sex and have a baby. The two things do not equal each other. My friend stated(who just had a baby)if you have IVF you will get twins. YEAH RIGHT... I did not even make it to transfer... URGH

Anonymous said...

Infertility definitely creates its own version of the green-eyed monster...I think all you can do is try to recognize that everybody has challenges, but acknowledge that that doesn't lessen the pain or sadness of IF.

Sending you hugs - and congratulations on your promotion!

V said...

this is so well-said. Thank you. Like your mom, I'm often "afflicted with jealousy." Remembering this will help me to have more compassion for the people I meet with unseen hurt.

Congratulations on the promotion!

areyoukiddingme said...

Congratulations on your promotion!

I have never been much for jealousy - I've had a (relatively) easy life...which others would probably consider pretty difficult. But in comparison to others, well, I thought I was the one who had it easy. I think there are two kinds of people who are envious of others: those who have had it too easy and take their blessings for granted, and those who the universe has beaten down one too many times. I'm happy to be in neither category.

S said...

So, so true.

Congratulations on your promotion.

Willow said...

I think about this a lot, that while I am envying people for their fertility, they are surely struggling with issues in their own lives that I know nothing about. Some of them may even be busy envying me right back for something else. It can be hard to remember sometimes, but it's a rally important point. Also, congrats on the promotion!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the promotion! It so true about that paradigm shift that happens when you change perspective. Great post.

MHS said...

I have to remind myself from time to time that the grass might look greener on the other side but in reality there are a ton of weeds mixed in with that grass. So glad to see you posting again. You have such a way with words and I seem to relate to what you are going through on so many levels.

Congratulations on your promotion! Enjoy the long weekend.

lastchanceivf said...

Yay for promotions!
I know many fertiles with whom I would not trade places for anything. My lack of fertility is only one part of just cannot define me anymore.
One day I realized I was complaining about my mother to a colleague who lost her mother to breast cancer at a young age. Suddenly I realized I was the equivalent of a fertile blathering on blindly about the annoyances of pregnancy or children.... and it struck a deep and meaningful chord.

I am grateful for my life, and all of its flaws :)

nurslouisa said...

CONGRADULATIONS!!!!! on your promotion! You deserve it. I hope it includes a big raise that helps you realize other dreams as well. You are right everyone has burdens and parts of their lives that are not going well, I keep that in mind when I see "the happy little families" tough sometimes but I try.

Sarah said...

I love this post. I wish I could share it with the world. The way you expressed this was just wonderful. I think it's an important message that everyone should read. Well done :)

Anonymous said...

we do all have blessings. there are also lots of very difficult things. unfortunately, IF is really hard to see and share (at least for me it was). if you haven't gone through it you really don't know.


Tiffanie said...

Congratulations on getting the job!

Great post as well.

AmyG said...

A wonderful post. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I think you're absolutely right.

And about your promotion: get BACK with your bad self! Good for you!

Lollipop Goldstein said...

A beautiful post. I think when we're feeling jealousy, we think we can have that one part of the whole, and it simply doesn't work that way. I can't think of anyone I would want to trade lives with in order to get the items they have that I'm missing.

Though I really wanted to kick someone's ass yesterday for telling me that it wasn't fair that I could attend something that she couldn't because I didn't have a baby and she did (it was a no babies allowed thing). I just looked at her and said, "I think you should really be careful at what you're pointing out in terms of 'luck'."

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your promotion!

I've come back several times to read your post - thank you for expressing this so eloquently. I am having some major struggles in the career area of my life (which I never expected to do, and I find very hard on my pride). Sometimes it's hard to keep a thankful spirit for the many things that are blessings.

WannabeMommy said...

Very insightful post. You're response to the jealousy made me teary, because it's so true.

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