I wish there were a magic pill to make certain feelings go away. The closest thing I have found is this blog. I briefly thought about removing my last post in it's entirety. That act seemed akin to ripping out a page of a journal, and I can't do that. What I felt and wrote were real and honest. It is what it is, and I don't want to pretend my feelings were perfect.
Having said that, I am coming to terms with my part in this arrangement. I shoulder much of the blame. Call it a strength or a weakness, I am an independent person. I like paving my own way, doing things on my own terms, and taking care of myself and my family. I feel immense pride in making hard decisions, doing without, and doing whatever it takes to make it work with minimal impact to others. My point of view sees that as the right way to do things. If you can't find a way to get it yourself, maybe you don't really need it. Self-reliance and independence could very well be my motto. I understand not everyone has the same view of the world and how life should be lead. I shouldn't judge others for not seeing the world as I see it. I happen to see everything in black and white, wrong and right (by my own definitions of course).
I love my in-laws. In some ways I prefer their visits to my own parents. They are good conversationalists and I have enjoyed their company immensely. When they visit I realize how little adult conversation I have during the week. They are generous and kind. I know they love us and their grandchildren. If they ever were to discover my thoughts about this situation I would be embarrassed and ashamed to have felt them. As I have thought about why, the only reason I can think of is that it would destroy this image I have created for myself. How would they think of me after that?
To be fair, they have offered to help us in the past, but I have been so determined to do it on our own that we have turned down those offers. When we were getting ready to purchase our home (big mistake I often refer to) my father-in-law offered to help with our down payment. While that would have been nice I couldn't in good conscience agree to that. If we needed help maybe we shouldn't be buying a house or maybe we needed to reconsider the house we were buying. After all they had done in letting us live rent free in their second home accepting further help was out of the question. We had finished medical school it was time to start living like adults and being responsible.
They offered to help a second time when shortly after purchasing our home we needed a new roof. Again, accepting that help would have been convenient - but my prevailing thoughts were we need to do whatever it takes to make this work on our own, we can't be running every time life gets hard. I went to work part-time from home. We made the hard choices, and put on a new roof.
Perhaps my in-laws have grown weary of offering help when we have refused it in the past. Maybe they are so generous and so willing to help that they will give it to anyone, and my sister-in-law is the only one who is asking and pleading her case. I still don't agree with much about that situation, but it isn't my concern, I need to learn to let it go.
I've mentioned my tendency to take on the role of the martyr. Occasionally, it would be nice for someone to acknowledge the sacrifices we've made, the things we have done without, and offer to relieve some of our burden. To take the weight that we've been carrying for five years, and will carry for at least one more, and tell us we've done a good job, and make it go away for a while. The crux of the matter is I am not willing to ask. My pride won't let me. We have come so far. That is also part of the problem. I am growing weary of always doing without. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, it is coming to an end, but I don't know if I have the strength and discipline to endure.
Even if I could somehow swallow my pride and ask for help, I wouldn't be able to accept it without a promise of repayment. That is just who I am. So in the end I am jealous because some people are perfectly willing to ask for help, accept help, receive it as that and move on. I won't ask and they won't offer. I can't blame anyone but myself.