[Lara here, with another blog rental post. For those who aren't familiar, this is something I started to give folks a safe space to write when needed. If it's something you can't post on your own blog, you can contact me to rent my space. For more details, read the post where I first announced the plan.
For now, please offer some kindness and advice to this reader, who is dealing with some particularly painful emotions. Thanks in advance.]
I am dealing with some hard-core jealousy right now.
My brother is the oldest of my three younger brothers, and he and my best friend got married a little over two years ago. The whole situation has been hard for a number of reasons... I am super happy for both of them, and I can't imagine either of them married to anyone else, but sometimes it's just hard to deal with. I find myself jealous of my best friend for being married so young (21) while I feel like I'm languishing away at the ripe old age of 26. I'm jealous of my brother for being the first one in our family to get married, mostly because I'm the one whose only ambition in life has always been to get married and have kids. I'm jealous of the close relationship that they have with each other and the resulting lack of closeness that has naturally occured between my brother and me and between my best friend and me. I'm jealous that she got to be pregnant and now has a beautiful baby girl, while I've never had a boyfriend or been kissed or even held hands with anyone.
(Some of you might know who I am from that last paragraph, and that's okay. I just need to vent and I don't want my brother and sister-in-law to read it and be hurt or feel weird or awkward, because it's nobody's fault, it's just the way it is. If you do know who I am, please feel free to email me with any encouraging words you might be able to offer.)
I'm here at their house, helping out, since my niece is only ten days old, and it is, emotionally, one of the hardest things I've ever done.
Don't get me wrong; I am so in love with my niece. I'm so happy that my brother is a daddy and that my best friend is a mom, and that my niece has such great parents. I just wish it were me. I know that motherhood is totally hard and I know that pregnancy sucks and birth is traumatic and that post-partum depression is crippling. And I know that it's harder than I could possibly imagine. But singleness is totally hard, and loneliness sucks and life is traumatic, too. And THAT crap comes sans loving husband and adorable baby to hold. It's just me and my hopes and dreams and fears and insecurities, drowning. I know that marriage is not all puffy hearts and unicorns, but at least in a marriage there's sort of a built-in support system to help with the hard times. I know it won't solve all (or any) of my problems, but even just a shoulder to cry on would help at this point, frankly.
I love holding my niece, and I'm really glad that I'm able to help my brother and sister-in-law, but I feel like the ache of my empty arms is only magnified by the fact that it's not MY baby I hold. I want to hold my own baby and watch him or her grow up. Right now, I'm feeling really fragile and lonely... and it's so hard not to fear that my day will never come. So hard not to let myself be swallowed in despair. So hard to find the hope.
I don't like the person that I am when I am so consumed by jealousy and longing and my own needs. I wish I knew how to put all that aside and just give for now. I think I'm doing a pretty good job on the outside, but I've cried almost every time I've been alone (washing dishes, going pee, etc.). The thing is, I don't want to make my sister-in-law feel bad for me. She's already dealing with a lot, having just had her first child and dealing with extensive tearing and post-partum depression and a breast infection, along with all the worries that being completely responsible for a little human being brings. I don't want her to worry or think it's her fault or think she should try to cheer me up; I just want her to rest and let herself heal.
It's hard for me to beg for responses, but I am begging you, nakedly (metaphorically), if you have any suggestions for me or words of encouragement (especially if you've been in a situation similar to mine), please please please share your wisdom with me.