4 January 2011


So friends, I decided to take the bull by the horns and I wrote to my BIL this evening. Mr. JB let me read some of the e-mails that my BIL wrote and when I was finished I was crying angry tears (I hate that, I wish that I could just be angry, but I'm wired to cry when I'm upset).

Below is my response, please let me know what you think.

Btw, he made quite the dig at my blog friends. He said something to the effect that I prefer to talk to strangers on the internet than family about our IF. He obviously doesn't get what the IF community is like! 

p.s. If you missed what started all of this hullabaloo go back to this post



Although Mr. JB and I decided early in our relationship that we would deal with our respective families, I cannot but get involved in the current discussion that you two are having.

Firstly, I am sorry that we didn't send you a Christmas card. It was an oversight on my part as well. I was trying feverishly to get everything prepared for Christmas before my laser eye surgery that I just plain forgot. Not a great excuse, but the truth nonetheless.

As for the current discussion that you are having with Mr. JB I cannot help but feel attacked. From the very first message that you sent to Mr. JB before the new year, I can see that I am at the root of many of the criticisms that you have. I realize that Mr. JB has defended me in all the ways that he can, but I feel like I need to take up my own cause.

I know that Mr. JB has said that there is nothing to worry about in regards to our marriage which is the God's honest truth. Your concerns about the "cone of silence" that I have placed around my infertility is something that I find quite upsetting.

For an infertile woman I live, breathe, dream and write about it on a constant basis. I have a wonderful support structure that I have found -- in person and on the internet -- that has gotten me through the past five years of my life. What it boils down to is that I don't talk about it with a lot of people because I don't want to. Sometimes I would like to pretend that my life is normal -- I know that may not be the healthiest way to lead my life, but after years of therapy, I know how to navigate through my sadness and this is the way that I choose to do it. I am sorry that it offends you that I cannot strike up a conversation about it or even mention in conversation how difficult it is, but I do not want my infertility to be the ONLY THING that people talk about. I don't want pity, that is the last thing that I want, but I don't want to be the topic of conversation either. I do belong to a support group in Toronto that meets on a regular basis and I have thought about seeing a therapist again, but I don't feel like I am in that sort of need. I have been depressed, I have been on anti-depressants. I can identify whether or not I need to seek professional help and I will not hesitate to do so if need be.

I don't believe that I have ever stopped you from asking me questions or bringing up the topic, but I know that I don't bring it up in regular conversation. I would never walk into a room and introduce myself as "infertile JellyBelly" nor would anyone expect me to. This may make me a weak person on the inside, but this is who I am. I have never pretended to be anyone else besides the person that I present myself to be. I am definitely not that good of an actress.

I wish that if you had these concerns BIL that you would have brought them up when you were home. I know that I had a ridiculously busy summer, but so many of these issues should have been dealt with before you left for Rome. The last thing I thought I would ever be is angry with you, which I am at this point.

I have tried my best to be the best wife possible for your brother and it hurts me to my very core that you would think otherwise. Unfortunately, this is who I am and how I choose to lead my existence and despite the hardships that we have faced as a couple, we lead a very happy life.

I don't want to open up a long debate with you, but I think that you need look at what is going on in your life before you assume what is going on in ours.



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  2. You go girl!! I would have responded also because he was directly attacking you! That man needs lots of prayers because it appears he's making something out of nothing and causing (too much) drama!

  3. FANTASTIC!!! Nice work, JB! :) I am so very very impressed!

  4. Wow, I think you handled that very tactfully and yet head-on. I think you showed great courage!

  5. Excellent!!! Good for you, my dear!!! That was just what needed to be said!!

    I wish he could see the Our Sunday Visitor article that TCIE, AYWH and Sew just were profiled in, about the wonderful IF Catholic community!!!!

  6. HOpe he will back off from now on. Gosh, honestly i don't understand some people. I like where you told him to look at his life before he starts looking into yours. A good one at that. Hope you both can get some rest from all of this unecessary stress that he has put onto you both. As if you don't have anymore to deal with. He does not understand IF ...just like anything else no one does unless he/she has to walk in our shoes. He is a priest so luckily he will never have to experience that. no offence to him but he really upsets me how he attacked you for no good reason.
    The letter is clear and concise and to the point so he should by now understand to "back off".
    I think the both of you need to go out for a nice dinner or do something nice together.

  7. I hope after this things calm down a bit for you. :)

    Here a link to the article Leila mentioned above: http://www.osv.com/tabid/7621/itemid/7337/Catholic-women-struggling-with-infertility-form-on.aspx

  8. I have have the same anger-to tear reaction. I hate that!

    I'm glad you have the courage to take this issue up with you BIL. I'm not sure I would (but I am a big sissy lala). I cannot believe how hurtful he has been.

    Hopefully he will see how insensitive he's been.

  9. So proud of you! And still peeved at him. Ye know until he has lived the life of a MARRIED INFERTILE WOMAN he should BUTT OUT.

    Seriously, I would love to fly to rome and kick him.

  10. Fabulous reply! Great job laying it out there. Hugs.

  11. GREAT reply. Firm but not mean, honest but not rude. I think at this point, you've done all you can do! I hope he listens and takes it to heart.

  12. I go to tears instantly too. Can't help it :).

    Great letter! Hope this resolves a little of your anger. And hopefully will give your BIL a little kick in the pants to realize it's none of his business...

  13. BOOOOOMMMM! Perfect!!! Dang woman!! Remind me to get in touch with you when I need to confront an issue with someone. I think this was great and by no means did you attack, which is what you could have done. Instead you explained yourself perfectly. NOW, you have to let us know his response...

  14. Wow, JB, I am so so sorry I haven't been around to support you through all this drama. Ack, what is going on??!!

    I know how much that correspondence must have hurt you, and from someone who has MET both you and Mr JB, I can honestly say it is completely erroneous. Your marriage is one of the strongest I've had the pleasure of seeing :) I wonder if BIL is going through some personal crises right now and is projecting onto his brother and you? A possibility.

    I'll be praying for you. And him.

  15. Wow you didn't waste any time, and I'm glad you decided to write the letter. You will start to feel better soon and be glad you stood up for yourself.

  16. I hope he takes that last line to heart. All this is about him, not about you. And given what sort of thing it is, whatever the problem with him is, it must be rather unpleasant. It will probably require a great deal of his attention to work through - as long as he is distracting himself doing vicarious discernment for you from across the ocean, his own life isn't going to be improving.

    I hope he finds himself in a happier place soon and acts like less of a PIA.