Wednesday, February 4, 2009

If someone else says it best....

..then by all means steal it!

My buddy Orange wrote a post that really resonated with me and I wanted to share it with whomever might stop by these parts. As I wrote in my comment to him, it's freaky how much we apparently have in common. It seems that I've taken my family issues to a higher level than he has but I guess that just shows what a horrible person I am. Or, it just shows that I got tired of disappointment and he's got more compassion than I have.

Either way, it still hurts every day.

***Update - in an email conversation with said friend, he said to me: "I wouldn't wish estrangement on anybody. ... I am really sorry that it had to come to that with you."

This got me thinking more about these last few months and what my trouble with part of my family really means to me.

My response to him:
"Yeah, it does suck thinking that I'm at fault in all of this but when I really think about it I just don't see this as one person holding all the cards. It has gotten to a point of me being told to grow up and get over "it", them defining it as being everything that I've been holding onto inside of me for two decades. But the funny thing is that I didn't start all of this off as being angry about all of that. I had totally gotten used to the past and become very good at repressing anything negative that was thrown my way. The genesis of the current anger was the way I perceived my kids were being treated, or actually, the way they weren't being treated. I was tired of my kids not having the family that they deserved. We grew up not having grandparents. We grew up having aunts and uncles in name only. I made a promise to myself not to let that continue with my family. Although I never imagined that promise would turn out like this, I'm keeping that promise to myself, and to my kids. I don't want them to grow up with family they know is there but just out of sight - wondering what's wrong with them, why they aren't included in things. These are wonderful kids, deserving of the most love and respect anyone can give them and when I see that not happening my daddy-hackles get raised.

So, when you tell your mother that you are deeply hurting about something, and she tells you that your feelings don't really matter and that you should just grow up and move on, it really doesn't leave you with a happy familial feeling you know? I could have gone on pretending, like she did and my brother still does (complain to me for years about being treated a certain way and then poof! - all of a sudden that's gone when I finally raise a stink about it), but that just ain't my style. My family's way was to get angry about something, talk behind people's backs, and then pretend nothing was wrong because it was easier that way. No one wanted to call anyone else out on anything and everyone was convinced theirs was the only opinion that was really right. So, when I broke that mold the rest of them circled the wagons, called me the pariah, and made themselves all feel better at my expense. Well, at least I know that my opinions, feelings and welfare aren't really all that important to them. And knowing that now is better than pretending for another 20 years while my kids are subjected to second-class treatment."

Yeah, and you thought your family had problems huh? I think about this every single day. When I wake up, when I'm eating dinner, when my kids do something amazing that I'd like to share, when I'm driving, when I'm sitting in meetings, when Wifey and I really wish we had someone to call on to help us lighten the load for a night, when I think how wonderful it would be to share x,y or z with my brother, etc., etc. This won't ever go away, but it does feel better knowing that I don't have to pretend that these people love me for who I am and my family for who they are. Pretenders don't belong around here.


Trillian42 said...

It always amazes me that three of the best fathers I know came from rather crappy homes growing up - you, Hugeness, and my dad. I think that shows how much making a *choice* not to follow in your parents' footsteps can do.

morninglight mama said...

It makes so much sense that his post would resonate with you-- I do wish they lived closer!!

Hyon said...

Well, you know what I say to that.

Many hugs.