Sunday, October 28, 2012

Family ... what are ya gonna do?

I have not blogged in a while ... life just keeps getting more and more busy!  I mean, really. 

So I plan on posting a few things tonight, this one will be buried, and that's maybe for the best.  Here goes ....

I'm 50 ... 50, wow ... and as I aged, I really felt that the idea of "family" had more meaning.  I grew up in a very disfunctional family ... but not as bad as some that I know of.  For us, words were weapons.  And to top it off, I was always mocked for being "too sensitive".  I grew up feeling utterly worthless, I was painfully shy ... and really, really fat.

Over the years I have gained confidence although my relationship with family was on and off ... but somehow it was always my fault.  My mother thought me "disgusting" because I didn't wear make-up ... or I was a "useless sponge" because I wasn't able to get a job immediately after graduating grade 12.  When I moved to northern Ontario I didn't see her for years, and then both my brother and my sister married and both started families of their own.  I wanted to be a part of that so I managed to find a job in Mississauga and I moved south.

It wasn't always easy, but I think that we did well ... after all, we were all grown up, right?  But after 10 years I realized that I was doing all the work.  We live just over an hour away, and I headed down at least 3 times a month ... and usually more.  But I did all the driving, and I did all the calling.  When my sister became seriously ill ... I took time off work to help out.  When my mother had her knee replacement ... I took time off work to help her get back on her feet, literally!  There was no question about it, I wanted to help. 

I started dropping hints ... but it soon became a kind of joke ... listen to her, would ja?  Finally I decided to sit back and see how long it took for someone to call me ... and 6 weeks later ... nobody did.  I was forced to make the trip to see my mother on Mother's Day ... and I got an earful ... she could have been dead and I wouldn't care.  When I asked her why she didn't call me ... well, the look on her face ... that's when she told me that she found it "frustrating" that we use voice mail.  She absolutely refused to call me.  So again, we waited until July, when again, I made the drive for her birthday.  This time the atmosphere was cold, no, freezing, sub-zero.  I tried to explain that I was tired ... I wanted someone to make an effort for me ... give me something back ... for me, a phone call ... that's it.  Soooo, Christmas rolled around and still no one called.  Steve and I made the drive down and spent an uncomfortable day ... it wasn't all bad ...I was happy to see the boys!

This year, instead of driving down, I called her for Mother's Day and her birthday.  When my aunt Marj died I picked up the phone to let her know ... hey, and guess what ... she said that she felt abandoned and unloved!  I just couldn't take it ... I was dealing with the "lump" in my neck, and well, I lost my temper and told her that I was done.

That's the last time I've talked to her.  I received a card in the mail on my birthday ... signed "your Mother".  It lasted 3 minutes ... Steve snatched it away from me ... ripped it apart and stuffed into the compost!  I am SO done.

I still love them.

I hope to continue to scrap some of the PAST family get-togethers without all the emotional bagage.  It's strange ... at first I was hurt ... then angry.  But right now, I feel humiliated.  You know, that person that's always there, but never missed when absent ... well, that's me.

So this year we have made plans to spend Christmas Eve with Jean and Joe, two wonderful people we met last year... and their family.  Then we're off to Huntsville to spend Christmas and New Years in Algonquin Park!  Restful!


  1. Michele, your story could be my story. I decided 3 years ago my sister and mother were only toxic relationships to me and I have moved on without them. My family is my husband, our 2 grown sons (21 &23 yrs old)and my friends. I have never felt so happy as I have since I made the decision to be "done". I wish you all the best. Oh, by the way, I turned 50 this year as well, cheers!!!!

  2. Sounds familiar. Are all families the same? I wonder sometimes.
    Anyway Happy belated birthday and glad your C scare is over.
    Looks like you are going to have a relaxing Holiday season. Good for you.