Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Oh, I forgot. I'm not allowed to...

Have a life.
Set boundaries.
Say no.
Stand up for myself.
Get respect.
Expect common courtesy.
Receive love unless I've earned it.

What brought on this tirade you ask?

Mother's Day.

I was very excited about this coming M-Day, it being my first official one and all...a day I have waited pretty much my whole freaking life for.

BUT, it was also the first M-day for my mom and my MIL as grandmothers. Exciting right?

I thought so.
So over a month ago, I set to planning.

I thought it would be awesome for us all to celebrate together.

My mother wanted to celebrate separately.
She gave me grief about the fact that she (or my siblings) never sees us and never sees the baby.

(forget the fact that we have tried and tried to go see her, but she's always "busy", and oh, what was that other thing? Oh yeah. I DON'T DRIVE.)

But despite logic, I felt the gnawing of guilt beginning.

So I tell her that we'll come up and spend the day with her, just tell me what day.

She hems and haws for weeks--she's busy, you know.

Finally, she decides on the Saturday of M-Day weekend. Great! Okay! All systems go!

Until I realize that my best friend/college roommate is graduating with her MA, and her celebration is on Saturday. The SAME Saturday. My brain had not previously put that together.

My bad.

So I call my Mom, apologize, explain and say that we can still come up but we won't be able to make it until the (she lives an hour away) evening. She says that's just fine!

Whew! Crisis averted!

Until I get a profanity-laden call from my sister in which she questions my humanity because I waited until the last minute to plan M-Day (apparently that's my sole responsibility even though my mother has 2 other children), AND I'm not spending the DAY of M-day with mom, but the completely unloving day before (never mind that it's also M-day for my MIL too, but that's crazy talk) which is just UNACCEPTABLE.

I explain to her that I had been trying to plan M-Day for over a month, and that our mother CHOSE Saturday.

This shut her up for a couple seconds, but amazingly, I was still the uber-bitch, because I didn't call and tell her that. When I tried to explain the phenomenon known as a two-way telephone, I was immediately shut down. Didn't I know that she was busy? Didn't I know that I had to make time for her?

What an abhorrent person I am, being busy with my husband and son.

But as we all know,as she so helpfully informed me--it’s not that hard to take care of a baby, anyway.

So after she hangs up on me, I call my mom.

I ask her why she didn't tell me she was upset. She denies it until I tell her that my sister called.

Then guess what happened? You'll NEVER guess...

Hey! That's right! It was all my fault again.

I've abandoned my family. It's my attitude that has degraded our relationship.

I do nothing but judge them and think I'm better than them.

My husband is mean to them.

I don't put forth enough effort to compromise with them.

I don't make enough of an effort to call or visit.

I shouldn't speak up when I feel like I'm being disrespected, because I just take things too personally.

I shouldn't say that I disapprove of the drug and/or alcohol use around me, or mention my worry over the legal issues that have resulted as a consequence of it, because who wants to be around someone who is always judging?

I shouldn't expect people to respect my choices or acknowledge my successes, because that's just me throwing things in people's faces.

And the key to it all:

I just need to accept people for who they are and let them say what they want to say, and do what they want to do because that is my duty as their family member and the only way I will ever have a relationship with them.

Suck it up, and put aside my own feelings, because they are all I will ever have. Even my husband won't always be there, because as I should fucking know, it won't last.

Silly me, what WAS I thinking?

I went off and forgot my place again.

I'm going to keep on forgetting, so brace yourselves.

I'm tired of being the bad guy, the asshole, the one who doesn't care about anybody, the one who is selfish and judgmental, simply because:

I no longer make them the center of my universe, dropping everything to do whatever they want me to, whenever they want me to.

I will not tolerate being insulted and disrespected any time I say no or disagree or choose to go a different path.

I won't stand for my husband being treated poorly because he sticks up for me or is protective of me. Guess what? It IS his business. As his wife and father of our son, what goes on with, or is said to us, is in fact, his business.

[And yes, there was a time we broke up. He didn't cheat on me or abuse me, he just got commitment cold feet for a short time. It happens. Get over it. We did. Stop using that as an excuse to treat him like dirt. It's a lame one.]

I will not bring my son around people who are under the influence of drugs and alcohol. That is my RIGHT as his mother. If that makes me judgy and superior, then so it shall be. I don't like being around it, so why the hell would I want my baby to be?

I will not apologize for making my own life and building a family with my husband. I have worked my ass off to get where I am today, and my husband and son are my priority. That is how it should be.

I have spent YEARS making an effort to be closer, to live up to expectations, to make everyone happy, to win over love and approval, to be what I was "supposed" to be, and I'm done. D-O-N-E.

There's no reciprocity, no respect, no compassion. Nothing EVER comes honestly-without motive or agenda.

Don't worry though, I'll probably still continue to second-guess myself

{Am I mean, uncaring, selfish, and judgmental? Do I expect too much? Am I not giving enough? What more could I have done to make it better?}

as life-long habits are hard to break, but I will slowly fade it out because I REFUSE to be manipulated any longer.

I have people in my life who love and support me unconditionally. That is enough.

I agree, that at the end of the day all you really have is your family but--

Blood is not the end-all of what makes a family.

Maybe someday, things can be different, but for now, I need to be different.

This will probably never be read by those it's directed at, and even if it WAS, it would fall of deaf-ly livid  ears.

But I had to get it out, you know?

A lot of hours, therapy and soul-searching have been spent on what to do with my relationships with certain members of my family--how to have one, frankly.

The conclusion that I have come to is that I can have one, but it won't be a healthy one. It won't be reciprocal or unconditional.

It'll have its good times, but ultimately it will just be another round in generational vicious cycle.

Years ago, I would have dove right in. I wanted to be loved and recognized so badly by my family, that I would gut myself on command. Occasionally, I would rebel against that, in an attempt to stand my ground, but after being hyper-villianized, I would feel so guilty and ashamed that I would do ANYTHING to make it better.

Through therapy and education, I started to see the abuse in those relationships, but was still willing to take it because, after all, they're family, right?

Then I met my husband. It dawned of me that if I ever wanted to have a family of my own, I had to get the HELL out of my family's whirling fuck-upedness.

When I got pregnant with our son that idea really crystallized, but yet there was this renewed sense of "maybe we can work it out," because a child brings out the hope in people-mostly though, it was me, as per the usual, second-guessing myself: "What kind of person wouldn't want her family around her son?"

So I tried. And tried. Made phone calls, visited, let them in to my life, my new family, my new self.

Ever hear the phrase, "same shit, different day?"
That's basically how it is.

It's how it's always been, now featuring an extra helping of passive-aggressiveness.



I deserve better.

Even if I DIDN'T, my husband and son do.

They deserve better from me.

I know I can't cut them out completely (at least not until we flee the state), but we desperately need the emotional distance. After this, all my efforts cease.

We'll see how it goes.

It's important to clarify that I love my family very much, more than I think most people understand, but just because you love someone, doesn't always mean that you should surround yourself with them. Heredity is not a get-out-of-jail-free card for bad behavior. I don't care what anybody says.

Happy Mother's Day to all my fellow Mamas out there. Have a love-filled day.

1 comment:

kristi said...

Wow Court... sounds like you have been put through a lot of unnecessary and unwarranted stress. I'm sorry to hear that. It also sounds like you've done some soul-searching... whatever your decision or whatever comes about with your fam, I'll be here for you!