Monday, July 02, 2007

Family Anniversary Party Post To Group Board

First of all, I read up on all the posts this morning, and there are some really wonderful posts there. This is such a supporting group, and it's nice to have a place to hash out my feelings. I have found that blogging has helped with this as well.So the party went well. I am so glad I went. It is an hour and forty minute ride each way, and you can probably guess I was having my doubts the whole way there.

Not only were my cousins incredibly welcoming and thanking me for coming, but my aunts and uncles were very loving as well.My dad and step were there. They stayed away from us, except at one moment when I first greeted my uncle, the step couldn't get there fast enough to pull him away for a moment. She couldn't do that all evening though, and so we had many nice conversations anyway, and they are coming up to see the new house this week!! When she came up, I just excused myself and said I would find a moment to talk to him later.

Everyone is finally aware of what is going on, so it was a relief not to have to explain that dad and I weren't talking. Or that me and the step weren't talking. One uncle came by and just asked if we were talking again, and then said it was too bad that we weren't, but not in any kind of judgemental or preachy way that I was expecting. My other uncle and aunt just avoided mentioning it. And my cousin in law did talk to me at length about the generalities of it. It's hard for people who don't live on the inside to understand that this might be better for you. Perhaps they have arguments with their mother that annoy them, and they think the issues that may surround your conflict might be equally as non-hurtful to you. When you come from a loving family that is annoying but not hurtful, it's hard to understand that some families are toxic. They may not be toxic to other family members, it might be that relationship it is poisonous to or that individual.I have been finding similarities in a divorce that is happening within the family. My cousin and his wife started off amicably enough with the divorce. They were going to "nest", which basically means the children are not uprooted, the house is shared, but not necessarily with the divorcing parties in the house at the same time. That did not work out, and predictably, it has gotten angry and bitter. I love my cousin, and I am very fond of his wife too and remain in contact. His wife was actually a foreign exchange student in my aunt and uncles household. So we knew her like my other cousins well before they got married. This has caused a rift between those two families as well, as the parents were best friends for a long, long time. My cousin's wife was closer to my aunt than her own daughter, my other cousin, was!!My cousin's wife feels finally free and since she has been a mother and married since 18, does not want to "cow down" and be the obedient little girl she had been until now. I so see her point. It is sad that all this growing up, and acknowledging feelings, hurts, differences of opinion is causing this rift, that I really hope is short term.And perhaps this is what is having a supportive effect for me with my family. Because believe me, they have their dysfunction, but they also have their loveable side. In my aunt, I see my grandmother's unconditional love, but I also see the pettiness and money mongering there. It's all about finances, and whether that hurts the ones they love, it seems not that important to them. It's also about control. Seeing my dad there, I started to question: why can I love my aunt despite this, and not my father? I guess because my aunt never abused any kind of power over me, would be the answer. I also did not expect unconditional love, as I did from my parents. It's always a nice surprise, like an unexpected Christmas present, if that makes sense. And if I expect differently, if I am absent for awhile, it's not quite the same thing as being absent from your parents.Like Nancy used to not have any hope for her and her mother, I don't for me or my father. He will always make excuses for their behavior to me. I have found that behavior to be unacceptable to me now. I don't have very high standards, but I do have standards on how me and my husband are to be treated. Like respecting us when a relative is dying, and backing off from any issues they may have like wanting my step to sell our house. I would forgive that, if there was anything resembling an apology. Instead what I got was "I guess I hurt you, but I never deliberately meant to do it". How do you not deliberately crash a funeral, stomp by and ignore your daughter or step daughter, and not deliberately argue with her over who will sell her house when her mother in law was dying. It may have been an apology, but it was in no way sincere or took responsibility and ownership for his actions. Better would have been "I am sorry" with a period (.) at the end. Not additional excuses being made. There is no excuse. Anyway, I am still so very angry at them, but being seperated from them has taken a lot of inner turmoil away and angst!! I am much more peaceful now. And when I need to do things like grow my business or be there for a sick relative, I don't need to spend that time expending energy arguing with such a narcistic personality that could care less about me or what I am going through, while expecting absolute devotion from me. Normally, I would have said "hello" to them, but I did not approach them to say hello this time. I am done making that kind of effort, had they come up kindly to me, I would have done the same. What was sort of funny was my husband's face at one point. My uncle was at the same table as them, and it was time for us to leave. We had agreed to leave sort of early in the evening, and plus we had to let the dogs out. So I went up and gave a hug and goodbye to my uncle. My husband's face went white, I don't know why. It's not in my nature to go up and punch someone in the face or something . I don't know what he was thinking I was going to do. It was all fine, dad and the step just turned away when I came up. Robert didn't say goodbye to my uncle because they were sitting next to him LOL. I knew by then that the step was trying so hard to look "good" that she wasn't about to do anything to me (in the open anyway). It was all good. I was glad to have seen my family, spent some time, and made some plans for visits up here.

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