Monday, November 26, 2012


Rant time, folks. I need to get this one out before I attempt commuting home.

First, though, is confession time. I'm an advice column addict. My addiction started at a young age following church services. To pass the time while my mother made her usual social rounds, my father would supply us with the Sunday paper and it wasn't long before I was hoarding the section that contained both "Dear Abby" and "Ask Ann Landers." It wasn't until my 20s that I found my current favorites, which include Savage Love, Dear Prudence and Miss Manners. Initially my excuse for my addiction was their sound advice that was helping me make better decisions about my own life. But the truth is, I'm a junky simply because it helps me feel better about my own train-wreak of a life. Reading these weekly (or biweekly) letters helps me feel better about my own problems or at least count my blessings.

Today may have cured me of my addiction.

Quick recap, for those of you who haven't heard me bitch about my abandonment issues: I haven't had any contact with my immediate or extended family in over a year. I now realize that the ground-work for this was laid before I was even born, with me fulfilling the role of the whipping boy/black-sheep for this generation of children. Through a lot of counseling, I've begun to see the generational pattern of all of this; that my parents were simply executing programing that was instilled in them from birth. The thing is, I'm still angry. I'm angry that my parents chose to sacrifice me in their feeble attempts to "save" their siblings. I'm pissed that my mother viewed me as a threat instead of celebrating any of my life achievements or milestones (be it birthdays, graduating from high school, college, getting married and even completing my PhD). I'm disgusted with the whole lot of them that living like white-trash is celebrated and that "don't judge" is deemed as a suitable reason for not addressing the fact that all of them are fucking miserable.

Reading Dear Prudence today made me physically ill. Seriously, I recommend you find a place to sit down before you follow the link, because the main letter will piss you off. Is it possible that all of this is fiction? Yes, absolutely (part of me hopes that's the case). Still, if even a part of it is true, it's tragic. And Prudie's sage advice? Telling the letter writer to hang herself would have been kinder. Instead, the advice is to suck it up and think about the child. Never mind the fact that this poor kid has a psychopathic mother and a narcissistic father. One good note out of this train-wreck: at least the comments section hasn't been the usual bash on infertiles and anyone who pursues fertility treatments showcase.

This hit too close to home. Particularly the part where the letter writer talked about seeing all the happy family photos of FB. I could have been ill with her. Granted, I don't have to deal with the pain of infidelity. That on top of infertility and RPL would suck in whole new ways. But the betrayal this letter writer is experiencing from people who are suppose to love and support her is all to real. To be exiled by loved ones simply because the offending party became knocked-up and brought a baby into the world makes my head whirl. The reality is, not all children are brought into this world to two parents who want nothing but the best for them. More often than not, they are viewed as pawns for imaginary wars played between individuals who think only of themselves. Got any sage advice for that one, Prudie?

Someone please explain to me why any of this is okay? Seriously, I'm asking for a reason why this person should torment herself in the name of family. I'm not suggesting that we revert to a society that stitches scarlet "A"s to people's clothing or that children born from these tragedies spend the rest of their lives suffering from the sins of their parents. But come on! Sacrificing someone for one's own selfish gains isn't something that should be rewarded.

What's getting to me is the fact that I don't have family. I know I haven't had any for years, with infertility being the straw that broke the camels back. That in a lot of ways I'm better off. Still, I'm at a loss. Mainly because society expects those of us who are thrown off to simply dust ourselves off and go on to live happy lives without offending kin. It's always easier said then done, especially around the holidays and other celebratory events. Do I regret the decisions I had to make? No. Part of me just wishes I never had to.


  1. I'm an advice column addict as well. I just bought the Dear Sugar book after reading an excerpt about baby loss (I posted about it on my blog if you're interested, it was a great letter) and it was great. Highly recommend for an advice column junkie.

    And I too saw that Dear Prudence letter and it broke my heart. I don't think I'd ever be able to forgive something like that and the fact that her family is asking her to is insane.

  2. OMG -- as if the story isn't bad enough, I can't believe what Prudence is suggesting. Totally sick!

  3. wow. just wow. please tell me that was completely fictional. I would absolutely disown the sister (and ex-husband-WHO?) yeah. hell to the no.

  4. True story - my husband's half-sister is also his half-cousin, for the same reason this letter states. No one knows if there was an affair or not (they don't talk about it - EVER), but both his dad and mom were married (his dad was married to his mom's sister) and each had a child with said spouses (they are only 6 days apart in age). His mom came home for a visit and next thing the family knew, she was divorcing her husband and her sister's husband was divorcing her (the sister was only 21, we believe, when this happened. My MIL is FIVE years older than her and old enough to know better). They married each other less than a year later and had a son. Seventeen months later, my husband came along.

    This situation gives me great distress and I don't see why I would EVER trust my MIL considering she stole her sister's husband AND child (they took her from her mom and raised her with sole custody). Thank God it happened because I have my husband from it - but seriously - makes me sick.

    So I read this and just get sick to my stomach. I read it to him and he was sick too. The advice given insane.

    My MIL and her sister never spent time together after that until just a few years ago. I don't blame the sister at all - no one should be expected to get over it. But the sister who is my husband's aunt has NEVER shown ill-will toward him, and I think that would be so hard to do.

    The sister and husband burned the bridge. It's not the writer's job to bebuild it. EFF THEM.

    Sorry to rant... but this got me going! TOO CLOSE TO HOME!

    (I am posting as anonymous only because my husband would DIE if I told this and it linked back to my blog.)

    1. I'm so sorry. I got pissed just thinking about the betrayal, but to be a child resulting from this type of situation?!?! I hope the silver lining of all of this is that you and your husband have many blissful years of marriage with a wonderful relationship with his aunt.

      And I totally think Emily Yoffe sees this comment. Frankly, I think she has a special hatred for infertiles and RPLers.

  5. The fact is you can't choose your family. You didn't choose yours, and the woman who wrote this letter didn't choose hers. You can, however, choose to cut ties with anyone--family or not--who is a toxic influence in your life. I think both you and this writer chose wisely.

  6. I guess I'll have to follow the link. I gave up on reading assvice columns years ago as they rarely made much sense to me with the advice they were giving for the situations at hand.

    Hoping you get some happiness soon in you life.

  7. I love advice columns too and read Dear Prudence every week, although when she comes out with gems like this, I have to ask myself why. It seems her solution for every problem that involves an "innocent child" is just to suck it up for the child's sake, whether or not, as you point out, the letter-writer's lack of sucking it up actually affects said child. Even if it does, what kind of advice is that, anyway? If one could just suck it up, why would one be needing advice?

    In this case, even if the child itself is totally innocent, what it represents is far from, and I too felt sick on the letter-writer's behalf, both at the situation and at the proposed "solution."

  8. I really hope that the letter writing was making that story up because man, what a mess. The fact that the parents forgave their SIL for cheating on their one daughter to marry their other daughter? How is this okay??? If I were the letter writer I would absolutely 100% think that my sister was favored by my parents. Simply awful.

  9. I saw that one too, and thought it was pretty incredible. What I think can be celebrated or at the very least should be acknowledged, it the strength that the writer (and you!) have shown. It seems cliche to say that we don't choose our families. But it's true. Sometimes children who were dealt a lousy hand turn into incredible, caring adults. You deserve to have people in your life who can support you and care for you in healthy ways that meet your needs. I'm sorry that you have to work harder than many to find those people, but I think you're doing a pretty great job.


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