Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sharing my Story from A Different Emotional Place

I got a nice note about "when I am ready to share". I realized that I have been hesitant to share, because I find myself in a strange place right now:) That of peace and acceptance, rather than anger and betrayal. Nope, it's not that I have forgiven (I don't think) or forgotten what has happened. It's more that I am concentrating forward without any effort these days. This has taken a long time to get there.

I have been reluctant to go back, but I think now I can explain why I am estranged without "emotionally" going back. Let's see anyway LOL.

So, I have never considered myself to have a great relationship with either of my parents. I had a horrible relationship with one step mo-nster, and a decent relationship with one step father.My parents were very into themselves while I was growing up OR controlling me. I didn't get the normal affection that I see that my peers did or that other children that I meet do today. So there is no real "relationship" that could be cleaved onto in the first place. There was much yelling and arguing in my house, while my parents finally figured out that perhaps they shouldn't be married. I knew this at age 7, I think. You did not need to be a rocket scientist.

I am not blaming any part of my life on this. In fact, I have a very wonderful life. I found a strength in me that I don't see in a lot of people. I am not recommending this upbringing either, as a model for parenting!! I am just saying that I believe I came out okay. I was not physically or sexually abused. I was emotionally and verbally abused. With a strength of character that came with this, also did the lack of communication skills that I still struggle with to this day. So it did not ruin me by any means, but it has affected some things about me.

My father, I swear, I should have stopped talking to at age 18. It's not until today that I see how I damaged myself by my lack of self esteem in this relationship. How I totally let it take me over and damage my confidence for a long time. Everything was superficial, and my father tried to control me to be whatever it was he thought I should be. Or to marry who he thought he should marry, even though his personal and professional relationships have been anything but stellar. Even though he later had to admit that I was doing pretty good for myself.

The last straw with my father was when my mother-in-law was dying. I don't know how it was possible for my father and step monster to make this about them, but they did. I finally decided that I had no time for them as they were. If they couldn't respect the fact that we couldn't allow them to control us while a beloved family member lay dying (literally) then they had no part in my life or family. Sadly, this was only four years ago that I came to this conclusion. Life has truly been less stressful and more fulfilling since.

Twenty four years ago, when the step monster stormed into my room and slapped me, should have been when this estrangement begin. Why did she slap me? Because my father said he would do the dishes since I came home late from work, and he didn't do them. So she came in, saw they weren't done, and decided the appropriate response was to wake me up with a slap. THEN my father dropped me off at my boyfriend's parents house, and later on tried to defend her actions to me. "Oh that wasn't really her" "She has nightmares about it now" (okay I am going back emotionally now) Well, good!!! I hope she can't sleep for the rest of her life. She did learn that 18 year old girls can hit back, however.

Instead, I went an additional twenty years with these people thinking it was because they were the only parents I had. Well, you know what, so what? They only drained, took, and wanted "appearances" for fathers day, and mothers day, and Christmas. Bite me!

My mother is an 11 year old story now. Similar though, in that my husband was in the hospital have 6 inches of his colon removed. My mother is incredibly narcissistic in that the world just revolves around her. She always got presents from me, but during this time she wanted to be sure she got exactly the right presents for her birthday. We didn't estrange simply because of that though, we estranged because not only did she bring this up when I had something very important on my plate (namely my husband's health), but she just wouldn't drop it after this. It became too much, and I simply couldn't and wouldn't argue it anymore. We had agreements where we wouldn't talk about it, but she simply wouldn't let it die. She needed me to give in, and sorry I try to pick out the best presents I can, just say thank you. She even continued after we agreed perhaps exchanging presents should just stop to keep it off the table.

About four years ago, I checked in on her public postings to see if there was any hope. We corresponded back and forth, and it was still exactly the same thing. I was able to move on from that with a clean conscience.So there it is. My basic summarized story. I have a blog on the earlier and angrier years if anyone is interested, but I only write on there every once in awhile now.

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