The biggest thing that set me off when I read my BIL's e-mails was his accusation that I preferred to seek the counsel of "strangers on the internet" rather than my family members (namely him and my father-in-law). In light of the awesome article on the Catholic IF blogging community, I am absolutely agog at his opinion.
I have been so lucky to have met so many friends in real life and on the internet because of the blogs. If it wasn't for my blog I would not found Napro (or at least it would've taken me a much longer time). I remember the utter solitude that I felt before I started my little piece of the internet. I also remember the tears of joy when I found All You Who Hope's blog, and thus meeting so many other faithful Catholic women who are walking the same path that I am.
I am also very lucky to have found a support group of women very close by, but they are all (or have) pursued ART. Although I appreciate the love and support that they give me, I am in a very different situation because of my faith. I do look forward to our meetings and I always feel so much lighter afterwards, but it is my Catholic sisterhood that keeps me grounded through this unbearably long journey.
I felt so protective of all of you when my BIL dismissed the importance of your friendship. I know that there has been many a time when one little comment on a blog post has brought me back from the edge -- and there have been many of those times, and I'm sure that there will be instances in the future. Just knowing that I can text TCIE or Sew in a panic, is a balm to my broken soul.
I know that anything less than an apology from my BIL is going to change our relationship forever. I don't know if he is prepared for that. I have been lucky, up to this point, to have a good relationship with my in-laws. During our post-dinner walk I talked to Mr. JB about what may happen if he doesn't apologize. I would like to hope that my honesty last night is going to provoke some more contemplation and less accusation on his part, but I don't know. Just because is he is a Jesuit priest doesn't mean that he is the most objective (obviously!).
It is plain for me to see is that he just doesn't get me. For example he called my love of shopping a crutch. Umm, I'm a WOMAN that loves to shop. Is that so odd? Btw, their mother was a champion shopper when she was alive and my mother is an expert shopper as well. Really the only person that I know that doesn't like to shop is my fertile bf, but that's because she doesn't have the time with all her kids!
Speaking of my fertile bf, I spoke to her about the situation and she was flabbergasted at his accusation of the "cone of silence." I know that she's my best friend (which means that she is automatically on my side), but she also knows that I am (and most women) not going to walk into a room and immediately strike up a conversation about my barren uterus. Like come on!
Her take on the situation is that the my FIL, BIL and even to some point Mr. JB, were bachelors for so long and my appearance on the scene has upset the balance. My BIL lost his mother when he was only 14 and he has not had a woman in his father's house (or even his brother's life, I'm the longest relationship that Mr. JB has ever had) and I've brought a different perspective into the family. I admit that I may be a little "out there", but it's nothing so crazy that I can't be related to.
The one thing that I am is not a "yes man." If I'm bothered by something I want to fix it, that's how Mr. JB and I conduct our marriage. My BIL said that Mr. JB gives into me and just agrees to appease me (which is totally not the truth), we have plenty of disagreements that we hash out in private. Regardless, it's none of his business if my husband wants to agree with me!
I ask all of you to pray for some sort of happy resolution to this situation. I would like to believe that we will all be okay after this, but part of me isn't so optimistic. I don't want to have to make Mr. JB choose between his brother and myself, but it seems like this is what he's pushing him to do. Like I said in my message last night, I have tried to be the best wife possible for my husband (and my fertile bf said that he's the happiest guy that she knows, "Most men would love to have Mr. JB's life!" she exclaimed on the phone). It seems like my BIL wants to stir something up in order to mask something that he doesn't want to deal with in his own life. I would love to know what that issue is because I would love to help him with it.
Yes, JellyBelly is a fixer. I would like so badly to be angry, but the bleeding heart in me wants to fix him too.