Sunday, April 29, 2007

Family Dysfunction

Hey, my egg donor is again posting to her blog. Thankfully, she is staying off the topic that is in any direct way related to me or her "skewed" stories to garner sympathy. That is refreshing.

Interestingly enough, she talks about my Grand Uncle (think that's the word, my grandmother's brother who is still alive). He has a sense of humor. He used to run around and play with us, and tickle us. Apparently he did this with her when she was little as well. And just as apparently, this really ticked her off. She had gone so far, some years ago (way after the tickling incidents), to write him a letter calling it (the tickling) molestation. Really, she wasn't saying any actual molestation had occurred. Now, if she felt that the tickling was inappropriate as tickling, and she wanted to get that out of her system for some reason twenty years later, well that's fine. But to specifically say that tickling is molestation? My mother was never about fun or a sense of humor. She was always hyper sensitive, and only she could be critical. God help anyone who might have a problem with her. That's exactly what ended our relationship oh so many years ago, I just couldn't take it. When she decided finally to be independent because everyone was "controlling" her? I was as the unplanned pregnancy. The man that she married and never loved, was in that he didn't turn out to be a prince after all, but the same man she never loved when she married him. What happened was we all needed to pay!! Dad needed to live with her having an affair for two years. None of us could enjoy family time enjoying any events that were not what THE MOM enjoyed (God forbid). Her music was the only music she wanted to hear in the house. She couldn't afford stuff for the family, but she could afford single items of clothes that cost hundreds of dollars. She didn't want to be questioned where she went. When my grandmother commented on the red nail polish, my mom went livid because she thought she was saying she thought my mom was loose. And ironically, the affair had been going on for some time!! Oh, good times at our house, you betcha!! No wonder I was charging out the door at 18, "uh, yeah, catch you guys later......"

It's interesting that she also picks up on the Alec Baldwin situation. She found an article that basically said "so what he called her a name". Now for the record, I don't find the phone voice mail unforgivable. I think, you know, both parents in this situation should be acting much better. That a child should not be receiving the brunt of ill feelings against each (the adults). If it is her mother keeping her from being available, it's really not the kids fault. I don't know that is the situation. My point is, I am not for calling a kid derogatory names nor do I think Alec has reached Satan status by any means, and was probably venting some human stress at the problem. However, that does not make it the right thing to do either. I believe he has said that he has apologized to Ireland.

My mother likes the article that basically thinks it's no big deal to be derogatory to your kid on an ongoing basis. See here's the thing, if you need to pick on a helpless child to make YOU feel better, than there is a real problem there. Especially a child you are supposed to be loving and nurturing into adulthood. With Alec, hopefully, this was a situational deal and not how he relates to his kid 90% of the time. Mostly, if you apologize sincerely and right away, most people and children will forgive you. If you feel "entitled" to treat this "property" in a derogatory way, well then you risk the fact that your kid may not so much like you when they grow up. They may not know how to express their disappointment in you now, but they will later. Even then, most parents would know, a simple apology would suffice. Keyword=most parents and not my parents, even when they are horribly obviously in the wrong.

Here is the other deal, and one my mother found out the hard way (as did my dad). You can continue to treat your child like that in adulthood. And the article is correct that this kind of "parenting" can make a strong independent adult. Hmmmm, now think about that for a moment. Now you got this strong independent adult, and what is it that a parent like this would think they are bringing to their life? Lack of love, lack of support, lack of interest in anything but themselves, sucking the joy and energy out of their life while in contact with you!! Someday, as I did, they may just figure out, life is better without you. Uh oh. But if like my husband, your mother supported, loved, nurtured, was your best friend, was interested in your interests too, and made a space in her life for others that you loved..... Well, that person ends up being their adult child's best friend until death do they part, as is what unfortunately happened two years ago. We both terribly miss her. She was a very special woman and mother.

My mother also likes the author of Dilbert's current article about testerone levels creating the need to make others miserable. My mother exclaims "thank God I escaped this family curse"!!! What the F is she talking about? As far as I can see, she enjoys making strangers lives miserable, never mind what she has done in her own family. She shares this quality with the monster. They are the type of people that want to do ALL the family gatherings, bully others not to, and then when the day comes......all they do is let everyone know what a pain in the ass it was for them to do!!!! Everyone has to pay from then on. It's really a vehicle for them to guilt and bully people into unreasonable expectations. Plus they get to do it for everyone all at once, and not have to be there for anyone individually on a human type basis or anything.

Enjoy the more and more rare rant on family dysfunction and estrangement. 10 years since talking to my mother, and 1 and a half full year since talking to my father. May I say this last year and a half (and that includes the monster too of course) has been such a peaceful and lovely year. It has been really eye opening to know how negatively that relationship affected me.

The thing is though, my father never called me "names". He just in every other way he could, let me know that I was useless. Nothing was right or good enough for him. Heaven Fing forbid if I should have my own ideas about anything. When I finally stood up to him a year and a half ago, I could tell he just never expected that I would call him out on all of this. He thought he had gotten away with it, and for the rest of my life I would quietly try to retain peace in the family and please him to do this. NOT. By the way, all that was asked of him was to stay out of the sale of our house (not even an apology was asked, and I had to explain to him that past events up until this point, and his not backing the F off were going to result in an estrangement. He was fine with that.) And because there was no foundation of a relationship there, ever, it was relatively very simple for me to do. I mean WHAT IS IT THAT I AM MISSING? Four awkward 15 minute conversations a year during holidays, where my father dains to speak to me? Yeah, wow, those were meaningful, but I am thinking I will live.

Oh so boring all of this stuff. I have been over it like a million times. Good thing is though, I am definitely on my way to healed and at peace with all of this.

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