What is it with siblings, in-laws, family??? Why on earth is it so difficult for them to get it? Gofigure, I admire you and I hope that you will let their words slide right off your back. You have your priorities right where they should be. As far as what your in-laws think, well, there is a four letter word that I'd love to use here, along with "'em". For the life of me, I just don't get what is so difficult for others to get.
I have to admit, this posting really got me going, but it's not what got me started. My two sisters have really gotten the best of me this past week.
As most of you know, I took care of my mom for a year in my home. She has Alzheimer's. During that year, I got very little support from my sisters. There were times that all I wanted was just to be able to talk to them, just to vent, let off steam and neither of them really wanted to listen. I just couldn't get through to them and I knew that yet I continued to try because after all, they are my sisters, who else would listen and understand...this is their mom too!!
So now, for the past 8 months, mom has been living with one of my sisters (R). R is reaching the point where she needs to do something. Her husband is not handling the situation very well, but she is adamant that mom will continue to live there for now. Their relationship is suffering. I have spent hours on the phone with her, trying to help her to understand what he is feeling and just trying to support her, even though she really wasn't there for me. I told myself it didn't matter. You know, you have to be able to sleep at night and I wouldn't feel right if I turned my back on her, knowing what she is going through. In any case, she called me yesterday, wanting to vent and during the talk, she told me that she feels very bad, because while I was caring for mom, she really felt that she was pulling her load, by picking up mom two Sundays a month and one Sat nite for dinner. She said she had no idea how little support she was giving me, until now. It took everything I had not to explode; maybe I should have, but she's so fragile now I didn't want to cause her more stress. I wanted to say to her "R, weren't you listening? All those times when I called you and I was crying, telling you how alone I felt, how hard this is, how I didn't know how I was going to go on, didn't you hear anything?"
Am I being insensitive now? I mean, does it really take walking in our shoes to really understand? What ever happened to compassion and empathy? I mean, to me, it is so simple but maybe I am not being fair, having walked the walk. Is it hindsight or empathy? And why for 8 months have I been able to support her and now that she "sees the light" I feel angry and resentful? Maybe it's time for me to go back into therapy lol...
I'm asking for your input please...