FAMILY MATTERS

Oh My Gluestick Family TreeWhat’s it like having a family that loves and embraces you unconditionally?  No matter how much I try to shove that question to the back of my mind and not think about it, I find it surfacing quite a bit.  Being a mother of 3 {almost 4}, I can’t fathom turning my heart or my back on my children.  I can’t imagine being so disappointed or angry with them that I would shut down and withhold my love.  Yet, people do it.  More often than I could imagine.  I’ve experienced it over and over as a child and an adult with parents and in-laws.  I’ve watched my husband struggle with it.  And then, there are our kids.  Our own beautiful, innocent angels who didn’t ask to be forgotten or shunned and who are all too deserving of the right to a large, loving extended family have been turned down.  What is wrong with people that make them behave in such a hurtful way?  What can possibly be such a large disconnect that they can’t love or accept love?

With my own mother, it was being adopted.  Though she was adopted as a baby, my grandparents always told her that she was chosen, picked, and that they wanted and loved her so much.  This never resonated well with her and she grew up resenting being “given up”, never accepting the miracle of being selected, chosen by loving people who wanted her.  She carried her building resentment through her teens and on in to adulthood which she was thrust in all-to-quickly when she became pregnant with me at 18.  She and my father {using that term loosely} married while she was pregnant and divorced before I was two.  The abuse and infidelity were too much for my mother to handle and she moved home to her parents’ house with me in tow.  She worked and partied while they loved and cared for me creating a bond so tight, she turned her resentment towards me.  Growing up, there was always an unspoken, yet very palpable competition she sparred between the two of us.  She competed for attention, for love, and still struggled to take her stand as my mother when it was convenient for her.  In my teens, she treated me as a buddy and drug me to bars to fill her void and loneliness.  The lessons in life I learned from her were hard and cold ones.  She withdrew more and more and became so unhappy that I was literally cast out of her home with the locks changed.  Many circumstances contributed to her insecurities and self-destruction and to an extent, I can try to understand them.  As a mother of innocents and precious littles, I just can not relate to her.   Had I ended up with my father {again, term used loosely} the abuse wouldn’t have just been mental, it would have been physical.  He was a thief, an abuser, a liar, and habitual adulterer.  Life with him would have been an even more miserable existence.  I thank God for my grandparents and their consistent presence in my life.  If not for them, my life would be completely different.  However, I can’t help but thank the broken for such harsh life lessons which I am sure helped formed me in ways only a trained therapist could decipher.

My husband grew up in a completely different environment yet with similar lessons in love and its many conditions.  Unfortunately, some lessons are harder than others and as adults we have to decide if we want to continue down a road of abuse or sever the ties that bind us.  For us, it’s a no brainer.  We’ve decided that subjecting our kids to a variety of abusive and unhealthy situations would be detrimental and not worth the risk.  We want to raise children free of emotional anguish and save the hard life lessons for when they are older.  We want their childhood to be easy, innocent, free, and loving.   The way they deserve.  The way it should be.

Still, it’s sad.  Our kids {all kids} should be spoiled by grandparents, aunts, and uncles who can’t stand to be away from them from week to week.  They deserve to be a priority in the lives of people other than Mommy and Daddy because they are remarkable and delightful.  They are such caring and wonderful little people, that to simply know them is to love them.  I wish I had more to offer to my growing family by means of loving parents.  I would love to have a mother who dotes on my kids and spoils them relentlessly and a father who shows them how to build things and delights over photos of them.  That’s just not our reality.  I can only surmise that the absence of loving extended family will make them stronger and better aunts, uncles and grandparents when it’s their turn as adults the same way my husband and I learned to be better parents to our own.  We not only learn the lessons we experience first hand, but manage to learn lessons from others by seeing the examples of what we don’t want for ourselves while we grow.

Yes, I missed out on a loving mom and dad.  Yes, I am sad about it sometimes.  Yes, I struggle with my own demons, but am also so overwhelmed with thankfulness with the many blessings I was granted.  I appreciate what I have much more than anyone can fully understand.  For the longest time I didn’t think what I have was even possible for someone like me.  There are three lifetimes of stories in my back pocket that I will never be able to fully understand, but am grateful for what I’ve learned and stronger for what I’ve endured.  Unconditional love for my children isn’t a choice I have chosen.  It’s their birthright.  They were made in love and oh, how we wanted them.  They will never know any different from us.

To my own mother, it has taken me years to fully appreciate what you’ve given me.  While you were difficult and belittling, I took away something you probably never intended to share.  You unknowingly gave me the gift of perseverance.

“Dear Mom,
For your selfishness, jealousy, and years of blame for your life not working out how you thought it should, thank you.  Thank you for your belligerent rants and for always being the child in our relationship. Thank you for changing the locks, turning your back, and withholding your love from me.  If you hadn’t been the mother you were, I wouldn’t have learned how to be the one I am. Your meanness and childish ways gave me a harsh lesson in life. One that no child should ever have to learn and one that took me decades to recover from. I’m free of your criticism, being the brunt of your lifetime of  regret,  hostility, and manipulation. You’ve succeeded in making sure we never have a good relationship. You’ve robbed me of a mama and my children of a loving, doting grandma. 
 
I can not relate to you at all. In the ways you feel rejection from having been given up for adoption, you paid forward to me repeatedly growing up.  Being given up for a better life didn’t ruin you. Your lack of being able to let go did. You got a second chance at life, a good life with loving people who chose you. Lucky for me, they chose me too and from them I learned what it means to be a family. I wish you could have taken those lessons from them as well.  Perhaps things would have been different for us if you had.”

 

Comments

  1. 1

    The blog article very surprised to me! Your writing is good.

  2. 2

    lar, loose or watery stools. In order to define regular, you must look at exactly what is normal for the individual. The

  3. 3

    You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog.Keep sharing and posting articles like these.This article has helped me a lot.Keep posting this stuff

We Love to Hear From You

*

&