Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Family Matters

Before jumping in with both feet - because I certainly plan to today - let me say that I am privileged to guest post for MIT Mommy today. I'll be posting on her site this Friday as well. Shame on her for leaving on vacation and letting me roam freely on her site. Heh. I think I'll be hiding when she returns from vacation.

Y'all know that this Sunday was Father's Day. My bad, not posting at all. It was a weird weekend. Not that that ever slows me down. But I had a lot of thinking to do.

I've written about my family here, how much I love and enjoy them. My kids, they love grandma to little bits and pieces, and they thoroughly enjoy their three girl cousins, as well as uncle Lil' Bro and his lovely wife, their aunt. As for the Evil Sister, I think they like her most of all. When she's visiting, or when we meet up with ES and the Not So Evil Uncle, the kids wig out on me. The kids think they're the coolest relatives to walk the planet. It has nothing at all to do with that horrid Annoy-A-Tron she gave them last year ...

So this weekend, it being Father's Day, there were weird vibes going on in my house. The Hunny, he doesn't do holidays well. Especially not the parental day types. I must say he's done much better in the last year or two.

I don't ever talk about his family here. We left Florida and moved half way across the country for a reason. Many reasons. The in-laws are one of the big ones. We had, the last couple of years in Florida, very strained relations with them. Moving was freedom for us. It was peace. It was the opportunity to be a family for the first time. To love each other and get to know each other, to get to know ourselves. For our children to be OUR children. It was GOOD.

It IS good. It gets better every day. But like most things in life, it had to get worse before it got better. And we still have our bad days. Holidays are worse than most bad days. Too much associated with them.

This is all disjointed, I know. My apologies. I don't have a better way to do this. Several of you write about your families from the stance of anonymity. I love that. I'm not anonymous and don't want to be. Neither do I want or need to talk about the past and the ugliness. Much. I don't especially feel the need to be anonymous, either.

See, my in-laws, a few of them, are difficult people. The parents, really. I can't speak to them or be near them anymore. It's not productive. I can't be loving in the relationship. I don't really like them, truth be told.

Because of the family dynamic, because my Hunny couldn't be free of it till he was nearly 40, the family is toxic for us. Granted, had we handled things differently as newlyweds, or as new parents, we might actually have a relationship with them now. But we thought things were normal. They weren't. They were very sick. Are very sick.

So here we are in Tulsa. Surrounded by family we love, who love us, who we're finally getting to know well. Faced with the stark difference in the life we once led and the one we lead now. It still boggles my mind. I'm so grateful for my family, for what we have now, for people who love us all unconditionally.

I don't hate my in-laws. I don't like them either. I think that they're people I'll probably never be able to be near again, for anything more than a wedding or a funeral. I'm okay with that. Really. But it hurts my heart to watch my Hunny hurt. And it does my heart good every day he steps into freedom a little bit more.

Sorry. I know I'm not being all detail oriented about the situation. I don't want to hash through the sordid details. Shoot, I don't want to remember them, period. Believe me, I have lots of stories. None of them funny, really. All just really sad. Who wants to live through that twice? I figure I'm doing enough damage with this post, since I'm not even remotely anonymous. *sigh*

But it needed to be said. For sanity's sake.

Until I write again ...



imbeingheldhostage said...

In a sick way, I am glad to read this post because with all of the love going on in bloggy land, I thought I was the only one who was not thrilled with my in-law (MIL) relationship. It also means three's more room for me to shove my way into my newfound sister's life... (insert wicked laugh here)


Warty Mammal said...

Your title said it all: family matters. "Matters" can be construed as a state of affairs (which I believe is what you had in mind) or as something of importance (which is how I'll misinterpret it).

Whether our relationships are smooth, bumpy, or downright toxic, family does matter. The love or sickness our families offer us makes ripples that go on and on.

As for having handled things different as newlyweds, that's one of those hindsight 20/20 things. Sometimes, until one has been through a situation, it is hard to know how it could have been optimally handled. Sometimes one doesn't even have the mental or emotional tools until one has been through such a situation.

Debbie in CA : ) said...

Extended families should be our refuge and our delight . . . not always so. The sins of the parents are visited on the children NOT because of a curse from God, but purely from the reality of those selfish acts. My family is toxic and has done major damage . . . but we breath free air now and healing happens. Forgiveness and reconciliation are entirely different things and mutually exclusive in the case of my family.

God has healed in my heart what my parents fail to even acknowledge. To Him be all praise as I dance and sing despite it all.

Thanks for sharing from the heart and keeping it real without hurting yourself with the details.

HUGS to you, my sweet friend. XO!

abb said...

Oh Flea...I feel for you and your most dear Hunny.

Robin said...

I hope that each new year brings more healing and more peace.


Karen said...

I'm sorry. There are some incredibly tough situations out there, and it hurts to be at outs with family. Unfortunately, sometimes it's the best for all involved.

Ellyn said...

I'm so sorry. But I am glad your family is healing.

Daryl said...

Sorry for your Hunny .. and while I dont know the details, I can offer this one piece of advice .. try to get him to see that HE is a dad and to enjoy HIS kids ... family does matter but its the husband/wife/kids first then grands, etc. Just suggesting.

zobabe said...

"Hmmm," she said, scratching her chin... "veddddy eenteresteenk."

I do hope you have a wonderful journey, and that the mower survives the ride. :)

Asthmagirl said...

This post speaks to why I do not post about my in laws EVER. TOG has told them I have a blog, and they've visited a few times when I posted about our youngest.

But they're not right although my MIL is the best of the lot. I'm grateful that my FIL in no longer alive and while that's a horrible thought, he is the author of the mess my in laws are today. Distance is good. We see them at holidays.

TOG sees his family for what they are and it's hard for him. But he's done a good job of rising above it and yet trying to maintain a good relationship with them. They think I'm the cause of his distance, but they can't see the drama they create. I help pick up the pieces every time he comes home from seeing them.