Sunday, June 24, 2012

When enough is enough

What do you do when you are not a welcome part of your own family? You know, the people you grew up with? The people who were supposed to be there for you when you need them?

My son is sick, major sick. You wouldn't know it to look at him, but there are potentially life-threatening things happening inside his little body. He will have surgery as soon as the doctors have some idea what they are dealing with.

I am...freaking out. I am holding it together for the sake of my kids and husband. Thankfully, my wonderful husband and I have our breakdowns on different schedules. It is a small blessing in our chaos. Thankfully, my husband's family has been wonderful. Our friend's have been amazing. Our ward has been amazing. We feel loved and supported by more people than we could have hoped for.

With one exception.

I emailed the people I grew up with...my siblings. We are all close in age, all four of us. After first learning of this, I emailed to tell them what I know. Things have been strained for the last several years. I have been excluded from many things. Not get-togethers, but information. Important information about the family. Everyone else seemed to know for a while by the time I was told anything. They don't call me, and they never ask how things are going. I tried for a long time to bridge the gap, but it only proved to show me exactly how big the gap really is.

So I considered not telling them, but I decided that would be unfair. I thought, "It is their nephew; of course they will care." I thought I would give them a chance to show that they actually do care about my family. I thought not telling them would be selfish. Wouldn't they want to know about their nephew's life? I could hear them calling me selfish for not telling them. I could hear the yelling..."How could you not tell us about something so big with our nephew?"

So I told them.

I emailed them. I emailed everyone who does not live within 10 miles of me because I just can't talk about it without sobbing. It takes everything I have to not sob in front of my children, so there is no way I could make all the calls saying the same thing over and over again. An email was efficient. I apologized for the email and explained that I just could not re-tell it twelve different times. I told them they could call and talk to me and talk to my son. (Incidentally, I called my parents first and emailed my siblings as soon as I hung up. My parents reacted the way grandparents should. With support. With fear. Even with love---also surprising, but for another post.

But what did I get from my siblings? A one line email from each of them, saying something along the lines of "poor thing". THIS IS NOT A POOR THING MOMENT!

This is a pick-up-the-damn-phone-and-call-your-sister-and-nephew moment.

But I didn't get that. I got equivalent to nothing. Nothing at all. That was weeks ago, and still I have received nothing. Not an email. Not a text. Not a phone call. My son has received nothing. Not an email. Not a text. Not a phone call. Nothing. He wonders where they are. Other people have called. Sent cards. Added prayers to ours.

So I am walking away. I am tired of being the selfish one without reason or justification. I have lived my whole life with them telling me that I am selfish. It was never selfish. It was always self-preservation, from the abuse that I endured from my earliest memory.

This is not the first time this something like this has happened, but it will be the last. This time I am going to be selfish. I am thinking of my children. My own well being.  Being a part of the poison that is my "family" is just too much. Too much strain on my family. So, I am walking away. I don't understand why this all happened the way it did, but I do understand that I can't do this anymore. I have to take care of my son, my children, my husband, my family.

1 comment:

st said...

I know this happened almost a year ago, but...SERIOUSLY????
It's so hard when you have expectations and then you have to lower them and then lower them yet again. Not only is it hard on you to not receive a phone call or a genuine text/email, but how devistating for your son not to receive anything.
I did the walk away thing and it was hard for a while, but now? So worth it. Hope things worked out well for you...