Don’t Ask That

A woman, married for years to an emotionally and physically abusive husband is beaten nearly to death by that husband. The only thing that stops him from going too far this time is that he slips in her blood and falls while trying to kick her in the head. His fall throws him back and he bashes his head on the way down. The head injury is life threatening. The abused woman is battered and broken, but will survive.

Question.

Does she owe her abuser any kind of compassion, understanding or forgiveness now that he is also suffering and my not live? If he survives, does she owe him any effort to wish him well with compassionate understanding of the suffering he experienced because of the fall? What about when he continues to insist she was to blame or refuses to admit to any wrong doing or that his actions caused harm?

In the above fictional scenario, the majority of people would agree that the obvious answer to that would be no (or I would desperately hope the majority would, but I’m no longer surprised when I’m wrong in that hope), she has no obligation to her abuser.

Sadly, this is exactly what I keep seeing people out there asking others to do right now.

I’ve seen lots of posts in the last few days about working with the other side and trying to see things from their perspective. At first, I struggled to articulate why this stance bothered me so much until it dawned on me that it is essentially asking those that have felt the most harmed and abused by the last 4 years (and honestly a lot longer because this didn’t spring up out of thin air) to just overlook all that harm and abuse when those doing the harm and abuse are still refusing to admit to the damage they’ve done. That once again, the abused are the ones being asked to give in and compromise and do all the work in a one-sided abusive relationship, to show compassion and forgiveness and understanding to those that have not once shown the same to them.

They are being asked to overlook and excuse years of discrimination, racism, hate, violence, neglect, lies, and corruption. To accept and compromise with people that want to take away their rights or even their lives, people who view them as not worthy of being treated as an equal human being, when making any kind of compromise only gives them the power to do more harm.

To expect that is to normalize and excuse the abuse. To deny that it never happened. It puts the blame and the responsibility to repair the problems on the shoulders of the abused. Sadly, this is how abusive relationships are often viewed and treated. That the abused should “be the better person”. No. They have ALWAYS been the better person and they do not have to keep carrying that burden for others.

Anyone that has ever lived in an abusive relationship see’s how wrong that is. How unhealthy and damaging. When one side of a relationship is the only one to ever give or compromise, you eventually lose everything you are if you don’t leave that relationship.

To ask for compassion, understanding and forgiveness for those that lost and to say that the way forward is to find compromise is asking the abused to wipe the slate clean of the abuser and to give up more of themselves in the process. Especially when the other side has spent years burying themselves so deeply in their stubborn cement it would take a wrecking ball attached to an atomic bomb to get them to move even an inch all while denying that they are doing so and pointing the finger and screaming at the abused for not compromising enough.

Compromise is essential to any healthy relationship, but it must be a balanced compromise. This country has been way out of balance for a long time and we aren’t going to be healthy until that balance is allowed to shift.

When you ask the abused to give more than they have, something breaks. This vote is a Band-Aid placed in an attempt to heal what is breaking, but it won’t fix it if the people doing the abuse don’t start admitting their part in the damage and working to help the rest of us fix it.

I have to wonder if those that are asking for people to “see things from the other perspective” if they have done so themselves. If in asking for everyone to show compassion and understanding know what they are actually asking and how much a part of the problem they are.

Do You Ever Wonder?

Do you ever wonder how many bruises and cuts and lacerations, how many serrated slashes and soul deep stabs, how much abuse and trauma a single heart can withstand and still function as it is supposed to?

Or even at all?

Do you ever wonder what it takes to keep moving and functioning? To keep caring?

I wonder how much more I can take before the grief and anger and visceral rage finally diminishes enough to begin to heal in a healthy way rather than turn into something much uglier than what caused those things to begin with.

It was abundantly clear that I do not fit into the mold of what some believe “family” should be and that I do not belong to nearly all that I am blood related to. I really didn’t need the reminder. Again. That this is the general consensus and belief.

I especially didn’t need that reminder when, yet again, for the second time in less than six months, I had to find out about a loved one’s passing through a tripped over obituary.

Apparently, I do not warrant even a simple text from anyone, not even the one “family” member to claim a desire for a continued relationship. Thank you for clarifying for me that your definition of “relationship” is actually “free money tree” or “only when convenient or when I need something.”

These are all things I’ve known and attempted to come to terms with for years, so it really isn’t a surprise. I already know I’m not family. That I do not belong. That I am not enough for them in any way. I’ve accept this. I shouldn’t be hurt, but, sad sack that I am, I am hurt, because my heart has yet to quit functioning, apparently determined to go on no matter the damage it has suffered.

I’m also extremely angry.

And not just for myself. I can see the excuse that because I walked away and chose to no longer speak to anyone (no matter the effort to still try at that supposed desire to maintain a relationship with at least one of them), I didn’t deserve that notification (I do not agree, but I can still see the reasoning).

I’m volcanically angry because this has also made it blindingly clear that three other blood relatives I have are also not considered a worthy part of that “family” and were not notified. Not a single one of them chose where they stand or the attitude they have received over the years. They didn’t deserve to hear this news from a tiny cluster of digital words on an impersonal website rather than communication from a human.

Words that were only tripped over while one of those discarded family members was on a hunt for contact information with the hope of connecting to our lost family member.

Sadly, these three have also dealt with this attitude and feeling their entire lives, for no apparent reason. Two of these I didn’t even know existed until I was an adult myself. People who’s only crime so to speak was to be innocent children when everyone else first deemed them unworthy of that elite membership.

How do you even manage to process the grief of the loss when it is so tangled with all the rest?

I’ve avoided posting here about a lot of things in the last couple of years out of an abundance of caution and an unwillingness to spark a lot of unwanted drama. I have attempted to seek peace instead.

I no longer care.

This is my space and if unwanted eyes manage to invade this space, they are welcome to view the completeness of the disgust I have for the horrible example of humanity and basic decency from those I have genetic ties to.

I lost someone that I grew up admiring. Someone that laid the foundations for my artistic abilities and my love for anything that allowed for expressing creativity. Someone who was willing to actually admit when they did something that hurt, even if it was unintentional, and made a huge effort to correct that hurt. And in doing so helped to teach me that it is okay to be human and make mistakes if you own up to them and try to do better next time.

I’m heartbroken for this loss and the exceptionally complicated relationship I had with her because of the toxic nature of the rest of my family. And for the loss of the opportunity to take her lesson to heart and make my own effort to do better in an attempt to correct the damage created by that toxicity.

A toxicity that I am forever learning how poisonous it was to so many other relationships. Relationships that are now beyond repair. Relationships that aren’t even mine. It breaks my heart to fully understand how much my cousins lost out on because of that toxicity and the damage it has done to them over the years.

How many times can a person not only be told, but shown in 4k HD clarity how much they are not wanted, valued, important, or worthy before they fully accept it from those doing the telling and showing and are no longer harmed by that reality?

All I can do now is grieve and attempt to let go of that rage, to try and seek out my peace again. It is so hard to do when those fires keep getting stoked. No matter how far away I walk or try to distance myself, that poisonous smoke still manages to reach me.

And I wonder how many more times I will have to put those fires out or if they will finally manage to snuff out my peace permanently, leaving nothing but a bitter, ugly lump behind. Because there is only so much damage a heart can sustain, right?

 

Holiday Perspective

Is it just me or do other people’s view and attitude about the holidays change depending on those they are around? Specifically family.

Sorry if the following does not match the cheeriness of the photo.

When it is just Hubby, the kids, and me, I’m generally excited about the holidays and the traditions we have established over the years. I look forward to all those moments I know we all love.

Throw in pretty much any other person and all of that gets tainted and I start to lose some of that joy. People that cannot manage to do anything but bring negativity with them. I do my damnedest to choose beauty and joy every day because there is so much that isn’t, but it is hard to do that when all that negativity jumps in your face.

It is worse when those people bring hope of change and a promise of healing, all out of the blue, only to have all that hope get smacked back down under the weight of the reality that things are still exactly as they were before you chose to walk away.

I’ve seen others talk about how much they dread doing some family event because of how negative it can be. How do you maintain the joy around the holidays when you are forced to deal with people that feel the need to drag everyone down?

Crazy Teen Dating Drama

Sorry! No photo today. I have been offline lately because EVERYONE is off and home for the holidays. Hubby AND the kids. But, I had fully intended to post the other day asking for advice on a teen dating issue with BG. Before I could, the whole situation snowballed and I’m left with a giant what-the-ever-loving-fuck! situation.

Continue reading “Crazy Teen Dating Drama”

Resonance

I obviously enjoy a wide range of books across many genres, but the ones that tend to stick with me the most are the ones that can give me a story about the imperfections of humanity and do so with a strong emotional impact, be it through humor, joy, anger, love, tears or grief. As long as the story fully engages my emotions, I’m probably going to really enjoy it, but even more so if it has a central focus on family.

Continue reading “Resonance”

Need Something Beautiful

I needed something beautiful after the absolute roller coaster of emotional shit that today has been. I have felt pulled apart and stomped on, picked up and dusted off, rearranged and put back in a different order. In the end, some things have been said that needed said and new boundaries put in place. We will see if anything changes, but I’ve kind of given up any expectations of that. One more thing to let go and it is hanging by a spider’s thread.

Out of Sorts

Last week was hard. Hubby and I made the decision to drop OC from our insurance. It feels like I’m failing as a parent or that I’m a bad parent because I’ve taken that last safety net away. Knowing he doesn’t want it doesn’t change how I feel about it. We decided that we could not give him another opportunity to carelessly or thoughtlessly harm us or the other kids and he could very easily do so as long as he was covered under our plan. Continue reading “Out of Sorts”

Need This To Stop

Another piece of mail has upended me. Well, it wasn’t the piece of mail itself, but what it has led to. Another forced discussion of OC and where our boundaries lie. I could go on and on with the details, but they aren’t what really matter. In the end, we have gotten a definitive “I want nothing to do with you” from OC. Continue reading “Need This To Stop”

Hindsight

One of the many projects that has been sitting on my to do list has been to dig through all of my old photos to find my favorites to print and hang on the walls. I’ve been terrible over the years of just moving them from my camera to my computer and not ever really doing anything with them beyond posting them on FB or adding them to my background or screensaver. Continue reading “Hindsight”

Pretty Little Lies… Ideals

Perfect. Unconditional. Selfless. Black and White/Right and Wrong.

I’m going to apologize upfront as this is going to be kind of long and rambling, but these are things that have, yet again, been running through my head on an infinity loop. Continue reading “Pretty Little Lies… Ideals”

Nearly A Year

It was slightly less than a year ago that OC decided that he wanted a life unhindered by parents and rules. It is past the one year mark since I cut ties with the majority of my family. I have learned a lot in that time. About me. About my kids. About what is important.

Continue reading “Nearly A Year”

Coping and Cleaning Out

The last couple of weekends have been really hard and really busy.  After OC decided to not be here anymore, Hubby and I needed to clean the toxic waste dump that was his room.  It smelled horrid as he never did laundry or cleaned up even slightly.  When I say didn’t do laundry, I mean he hadn’t done it since he got back from my parents the first of July.  Not once.  I’m sure there were even some things buried in his closet that had been there for much longer.  There was trash and junk and pretty much everything you could imagine shoved in every nook and cranny. Continue reading “Coping and Cleaning Out”

Still Processing and Moving Forward

It has been over two weeks since years of frustration blew up all over the place.  I’ve spent a lot of that time combing through memories of various events and their impact on my life, talking with Hubby about everything and discussing where we go from here.  I’ve also been sorting through my feelings about the fact that not a single member of my family has yet to make the effort to contact me. Continue reading “Still Processing and Moving Forward”

Reflections on Family and Relationships

The importance put on family is something I have spent a lot of time thinking on, not just lately, but for a very long time.  With some of the issues with OC and also with regards to my own parents, siblings and in-laws, it has been something that has kind of always sat in the back of my mind.  Why do we put different standards around family relationships versus all other relationships?  There are times where you are forced to put up with or tolerate behavior and treatment from family members that would never, ever be considered even remotely okay with any other person in your life.  Why does blood grant that privilege?  Recently, I’ve been forced to face this question head on and come up with some real answers for myself and my immediate family. Continue reading “Reflections on Family and Relationships”