It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today we hear from “Hurt By Parents’ Generosity,” whose parents bought her sister a house but gave her nothing. Keep reading to see what’s new and how she’s doing today.
To clarify a few things: my family has always been the type where affection and approval are only consistently expressed with money. And, as part of that, my parents make a big show of how “equal” they are between me and my sister… Except that they aren’t. After a lot of thinking and some soul-searching, I think the thing that really bothered me was that my parents were constantly saying that they were equal with us, but it was and is abundantly clear that that is not in line with reality. If my parents had never gone out of their way to emphasize how “fair” they were being when giving out financial assistance and drawing up their estate planning, I think it wouldn’t have bothered me nearly as much. Especially since, for most of 2013, I felt like the only thing standing in the way of my husband and me starting a family was paying off debts and other things affected by our own financial situation. It turns out I actually have some infertility issues, so all the money in the world won’t make one whit of difference as to when I can become a mother.
As far as my relationship with my parents goes, I decided to focus on enjoying the time that I spend with them but limiting the time we spend together. I was able to take a short trip with my dad earlier this year, which I felt really benefited our relationship and helped us reconnect. I have a finite amount of time and energy every day, and I’ve decided to dedicate it toward moving forward with my own life and family, rather than dwelling on my parents/birth family. I’ve also been seeing a therapist who specializes in women’s health/fertility issues, which I think is starting to help a bit in coping with the infertility situation. It’s a crappy situation, whatever way you look at it, but at least I can focus on spending time with friends/family who will actually provide real emotional support to me and my husband, instead of ruminating on the complete lack of support – both emotional and otherwise – that comes from my parents.
Thanks again for your advice, and thanks for fostering such a great community!
I’m so sorry to hear about your fertility problems and wish you tons of luck on the journey to becoming a mom. I’m glad you’re finding therapy helpful in dealing with what is a crappy situation, and I’m equally glad you’ve created some healthy boundaries with your family but can still reconnect with them when the opportunity arises. Good luck, and thanks for the update!
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.