Struggling

I am having a hard time right now. I don’t know how to resolve my conflicting feelings. My inner turmoil has been going on for over 20 years, some days I feel like I can’t be freed.   I realize everyone has their struggles with their own families and I am not dealing with anything extraordinary. But nonetheless I still struggle.

My parents are extremely self centered even to the detriment of everyone around them. I have one sister, she is about six years younger. She is a product of the type of upbringing that I experienced. But for some reason I wanted something better and I couldn’t live a life that was accepted by them. I have had a hard time understanding why I am so different.  I can’t seem to find any peace with the fact that I am different. You see, as I started to see the holes in some of theories about life that I had been taught, I changed.

When my mother was upset one of us, she would favor the other.  So, in response, my sister learned to find ways to make my mother upset with me.  She would bask and revel in the attention focused on her.  Nothing has changed.  In fact, most of our family discussions turn into a lynch mob after my head.  I have managed to survive, but leaving this situation was the only escape.  Unfortunately this has left me alone, an orphan.  Maybe I chose this, but I am not so sure it was under my control.  I could have stayed in the fold of the family and remained miserable, but I chose to be happy even if it meant being alone.

I became a big disappointment to my family and eventually an outcast. During my life I have struggled to find some common ground so that I could have a relationship with them. I didn’t want to be the outcast, it was (is) very painful. Now that I have a daughter, I don’t know what I need to do for her. I want her to have grandparents, but I am not sure how to work this out.

How do I let my family in enough to have a relationship with my daughter, when they think so badly of me?  I don’t want my daughter to see what they think of me.  My friends all find me caring, loving, unselfish, and willing to do anything to help others.  My parents think I am selfish, angry, uncaring etc..  No one in my life thinks as badly of me as my family.  They aren’t going to budge on this.  I can understand why, they would have to face themselves in the mirror.  It is much easier to blame me and focus all their anger on hating me.

Some things from my past I can’t forget –

  • My father said he couldn’t imagine how any man would want to marry me.  It is a wonder I have any self confidence at all.
  • I was 7 months pregnant, my mother expressed her concern for my being a good mom.  She told me that I needed to reassure my father that I would be a good mother.  What the hell!?  Who says something like that to a pregnant woman?  What mother isn’t worried about being a good mother, and to hear their parents are concerned too is so devastating.
  • The stigma from my family that I have carried with me all of my life – my mothers said I had never fit in the family and I never would.  Can’t imagine why I felt so alone.
  • I was going through a divorce and my ex husband was taking the house.  I had no place to live.  Since I was self employed it was difficult for me to get a loan for house or a place to rent.  I asked my father to co-sign on a loan for a house with a small apartment.  I had worked out a renter for the house and I was going to live in the garage apartment, so that I could cover the mortgage easily.  Perfect set up for me – My father refused.  The best part is that he didn’t want to, in his words, be stuck with a house in Virginia.  As if, I would have left him with a mortgage.  Not to mention a few months later he bought a house on 138 acres in Virginia.  I was faced with being homeless and he couldn’t help me.

Why would anyone want to spend time with people who think these things? Or even have the nerve to say these things?  I had found some sort of solace with these situations, I chose to forgive them (of course I can’t ever forget).  But the latest series of events I just can’t seem to find any forgiveness.  When I had my daughter, I decided to make peace with my family so she could have grandparents.  I learned one lesson, I can’t give her grandparents – they have to want to spend time with her.

Nothing has really changed, so I haven’t been able to find a resolution.  I have been forgiving.  Each time we have one of these type of discussions I beg for their forgiveness and give in so that I can have a family.  I just don’t have that in me anymore.  We haven’t talked in a month and the last part was left with me asking for more time to spend with their granddaughter.  I only asked that they make it a priority, just as they have made their vacations a priority.  They have not been able to visit with my daughter, because –

  • it is turkey hunting season
  • my sister needs them to take care of her children
  • they have a vacation planned
  • they need to rush back from Florida to Virginia – right through the very state I live – so that my dad can show off her mountain house to his sister
  • mom is sick
  • dad has to work (he is retired) at a campground he owns – which is fine to take time off when he goes on vacation
  • they need to check on their second house

Need I say more!  This has been going on since my daughter was born.  I am just glad she doesn’t know anything about what is going on.  I dread the day I have to explain to her that her grandparents have something more important to do than visit with her or back out of coming to visit.  What do you do!?

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2 responses to “Struggling

  1. I’m so sorry to hear of this. We’re fortunate enough that the kids have two sets of grandparents that have been present throughout the years the kids have been around. They’ve been present and the stereo-typical grandparents that put a smile upon one’s face when they think of them. But, to my way of thinking… While one wishes to have grandparents for one’s children… It’s all about quality and a genuine desire to be present.

    One thing I’ve learned over the years is one cannot always choose family, but one can choose one’s friends. My kids have grandparents, but they also have friends that are like family. As a military family… that is, sometimes, the only “thing” we have at times. Friends.

    BIG Hugs to you!

  2. Again, a mirror.
    My parents LOVE my niece. They will drop everything just to spend a whole weekend with her. But do they even call to hang out with their grandson? No. He’s 1. She’s 4. He takes less entertaining, give him something spin and he is good.

    I’ve expressed concern to them about this and they tell me that they love him, but their actions say otherwise. Why they can’t watch both of them sometime is beyond me. They love each other, and its actually easier to watch both of them together because they entertain each other!

    But because I have been seen as independent and not needing as much help as my sister (who ALWAYS has something going on) They just don’t even think about offering.

    Same thing with the favoring growing up – but my sister needed the help (she was a trouble maker) so she got all the attention that way while I was basically ignored, and learned to take care of myself.

    Bleah.

    So you, my friend, are NOT alone in this too. =)

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