Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Whew. Families are tough.

So, you may recall, my parents are here from Thanksgiving through New Years. So far so good, with just the usual, expected irritations.

Got a call today, though. My dad's brother passed away this morning. My father's sister passed away in April, so now my dad is alone from his original family. And to make it all worse, my dad and his brother have been estranged for many years. My uncle was kind of a jerk in a lot of ways - he's the one who estranged himself from everyone in the family. My uncle has been under hospice care, so this was not unexpected, but as my dad is saying, still upsetting. So now we're all on our computers trying to figure out how to get him to Key West for the weekend. Let's just say not easy.

Meanwhile, on the other side, my husband got an e-mail from his mother last night. I haven't seen it yet, and will post it if/when I do. My husband told me this morning it basically said goodbye. We had left her no choice but to cut herself off from us because it was too painful for her.

Kymberli at I'm a Smart One (I'm still sort of reading as much as I can, but am waaay behind) posted yesterday asking about cursing. My favorite curse is Jesus fucking Christ. Which, raised to be the good, guilt-ridden Catholic that I am, I think is blasphemous (gee, ya think?) so it's mostly my own internal curse and I think looks vulgar on the page (southern upbringing) so I also resist typing. But I digress. Jesus Fucking Christ. My mother-in-law is, I swear, the most self-centered person in the world. Except for all the other horrible family stories I've heard in solidarity in the comments, of course. Anyway, am totally rambling here. My mother in law's note also contained the gem that she told my husband 9 years ago he was choosing another family over hers (that would be mine - we were married 9 years ago).

My husband said he was hurt and angry. That of course she has a choice - she's making this choice. He has a counseling appointment tonight, so I'm sure will talk it through more.

I've lived with family estrangements. It's possible to cut yourself off from your family, have a perfectly content life, and reach the end and have some regrets, but regrets mostly that it wasn't possible to work things out. Absolutely. But I think the key is to believe, genuinely believe, that you've done everything you can do and the estrangement is because of the other person. If this was just his parents, I think it might be easier. His stupid siblings getting involved, choosing sides, makes it harder.

In baby news, my little man has his nights and days flipped. So long sleep stretches in the middle of the afternoon, but up every two hours at night. But we're getting there. With, as usual, too many other things on our plate.


Tash said...

I especially hate those family members that make your issues ABOUT THEM. I want a t-shirt: "IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU (ASSHOLE)." That is incredibly self-centered, and not just a touch passive aggressive (clearly waiting for the "Oh, Mom! No! I Miss you! I'm so sorry! I couldn't' live without you!" bullshit). UGH. Really, I'm so incredibly sorry that you're dealing with this. But, like I've said before, there's a piece of me that wonders if it wouldn't be easier that way. Maybe that's just my grass-is-greener outlook.

I'm really sorry for your father; I hope he's ok.

And I've had your last post up in my reader waiting for my brain to think of a coherent response, and, well, it can't. So I'll just say thanks for putting it out there like that.

And hey, at least he's sleeping, right?

k@lakly said...

LOVE Tash's shirt idea!!! Let's all have one shall we?

My fav swear line is "Are you fucking kidding me?", which I think fits well here, feel free to use it at your leisure. I agree with Tash too about the passive aggressive bs, which you know is what she is pulling. But I've gotta say, given our estrangement with my in-laws and the eerily similar behaviors with yours, let her go. At least for now. Give her what she says she wants. If she is ever really going to change and behave even decently, this may be the chance you have to call her out and force it on her. As for the rest of the family, it sucks but so goes the spineless masses. My husbands sisters both fell off the map when he cut the parental cords.
Take time to enjoy the new little man and not have to deal with the stress of the bs dealt by the inlaws. I'm sure they will be back when they have more things to complain about. Like how you didn't beg for them to stay when they said they were leaving. Deep sigh.
Hope the days and nights come round. But, hey, any sleep is good sleep, right?

CLC said...

I thought of you when I read this today!

I ditto Tash and Kalakly. Let her break up with you guys, and let her come crawling back in a few months or years. Enjoy your babe in the meantime!

Astarte said...

Well, at least if that really *is* goodbye, you'll have a stress-free time until she decides that her good-bye email didn't get enough attention and cooks up something else. It sucks about his siblings, but maybe they are the same crappy people as his parents, so it's better to be rid of them, too. It is totally possible to be the only normal person in a family.