Day 19 – Challenges – What did you wrestle with in 2014? What did you learn? What challenges do you foresee in 2015?
Many of you already know the saga of my unfortunate parents. And for those of you who are following along for the first time with me during this #reverb14 project, you can get a really brief peek into the insanity here.
I believe this to be one of my life’s greatest enduring challenges. And will continue to be. No matter how much I say I’m Done. I am Resolved. I’m putting it Behind Me.
Seeing as how I’ve been dealing with this challenge for many years now, this is nothing new to me. But this year, I am so sad to divulge that not just one (me) but both of my parents’ children are banished from their lives. I think the pain of this is still quite fresh for my brother.
What the hell happened?
Without getting into too much detail – I will share the whole story at some point when the time is right – I spoke to my brother frankly about a topic my mother felt was taboo but is actually not at all (it’s not anything to do with same sex relationships in case you were wondering), and my brother decided to speak openly with her to clear the air. Before he could even put her at ease about what was mentally plaguing her, she lashed out at him about how he and I were talking behind her back, and that we had no right to speak to each other. What’s ironic is that this taboo topic is actually none of her business at all, it’s HIS business. And I have the right to speak with anyone I like about anything I like. Especially my brother. That’s what our entire purpose is for each other. To speak. Especially about our stupid ass parents!
Instead of just listening to him clear the air, which would have just been too easy and drama free, she shut their conversation down, told him that I was dead to her… what’s new?… and that he should never call them again. And accused him of holding her grandchildren hostage from them. But, as he pointed out to her, She was the one telling Him not to call. Irrational.
And, true to form, my mother, once scorned, allows her pride to stop her from ever reaching back. And he has never heard from them since. My brother sends birthday cards and holiday cards. I’m pretty sure he’s sent one or two pleading emails to both and to my dad only with updates about the grandchildren and has been met with silence.
Unlike the other tales of disownership I told in my other blog post linked above, this one would be boiled down to: My mother disowned my brother because she was mad he talked to me about something she felt we should not have talked about. The end. That’s just freakin absurd!
I fight the feeling that I am responsible for the end of their relationship. It all started with my conversation with him. Should I have known that she would use my contact with him to sabotage their relationship? But, if she is capable of something this hideous, wouldn’t this have happened eventually anyways? I just want to be Effing Done with the guilt. How can I break free?
My brother, sister-in-law, and their two kids are now living in the UK – in the loving embrace of her family’s arms. Just like I am in the loving embrace of my wife’s family’s arms. We are lucky kids to have such wonderful family to step up and fill in the empty space. To try to turn off the vacuum of this guilt.
Christmas Circa 2007, when everything On The Surface was kumbaya: