- 10 years ago
- Wedding: May 2016
I’m sorry for posting this here – I need to talk and this site had been helpful over the last week about my SO relationship issues, but today I’m dealing with a different one, my father’s parents. I do not feel close to them, but I am getting messages from an aunt telling me that basically they are on death’s door and I feel horrible for many reason snad just need to “talk”. Sorry this is prolly gonna be pretty long, and it deals with some of my “Waiting” problems, too.
I grew up in several states far away from where I currently live, and ahve had pretty much little to no interaction with my father’s parents – no phone calls, letters, few cards, few birthday remembrances or Christmas… even though for them, money was no problem.
I understood most of my life they did not like my mother, the fact my dad had divorcd his HS sweetheart (not for my mom, didn’t meet her till divorce was final) because of their religion, meaning they didn’t really like me. I burned with jealousy when the kids at school got to do things with extended family, as I had none – my mom’s family was also in another state, poor, and couldn’t travel. They did send cards, and remember birthdays & other holidays, but I wanted the whole “baking cookies with grandma” fantasy, and when my mom’s mother, whom I never met because she’d been put into long-term care soon after I was born for her advancing Alzhiemer’s, died when I was 5.
Fast-forward 10 years, my parents’ marriage dissolves spectaculalry, with me stopping my dad from strangling my mom on father’s day 1992, and then after several months of both of them fighting, violence, threatening suicide, and goading each other into ever escalating fights, I get in a car with him, though I’m terrified of him, and we leave mom and go to Texas to stay with his parents, the grandparent’s I’ve never known in 15 years, so he can divorce my mother. I figured it might force Mom to stop her drug abuse and her lying (didn’t know she was bi-polar then), and I “though” Dad was more stable.
Move in with the grandparents for 6 months – I find they are strange by my standards, and the Grandma likes to pretend to be sick for attention, likes to pit her children against each other, and tells me supportive things like, “don’t drink milk, you’ll only get FATTER,” “you like chocolate, no wonder you ahve zits,” and my all time favorite when cmparing me to her favorite granddaughter, she insults us both, “‘Isilme’, at least you’re the smart one,” meaning my cousin was the pretty one but dumb as a brick. Everything a scoially akward, displaced 15 year old girl with no mother needs to hear. Yay. Grandpa coped by taking long drives, like to Wisconsin, and sleeping in a seperate room.
I tried to make them like me by doing any and every chore I could around the house, by being an honor student, and by being active in church. With the temper my father had, and the painful fact that HE was the ONLY person I had left whom I’d known my whoe life, I did not run around, drink, smoke, have sex, or rebel in pretty much any way. I needed to know that he would allow me to stay with him, and after he remarried pretty soon following the official divorce, I tried hard to please my step-mother, in all the same ways I tried to please Grandma, with the added responsibility of caring for 3-6 of my step-nieces and nephews 3-7 days out of the week from dawn to dusk (their parents were not the most responsible), while still trying to keep my GPA up to get a scholarship to college.
Yay – get into college with a full schollarship. It’s a local school, but being an Army brat I liked the idea of not moving far away, and still being able to know some people from HS. By the end of my first year in college, I started dating a “boy” who was my age and in one of my classes. It was pretty quick how well we hit it off, but I let him know that while I wasn’t sure I’d save myself for marriage, I was not the kind of girl to just hop into bed with someone, either. There were intimate moments, but I had a line I’d drawn, and we never crossed it. I had trouble trusting my best friend from HS when talking about my new-found relationship, as she knows the grandparents and my aunts and my dad, and things ALWAYS seemed to get back to them, so I stopped talking to her about things and wrote them in my little diary I’d had since age 11.
The 4th semester in college, my dad has decided I need to decide betweeen boyfriend and “family”, and I belived, along with my BF’s family and my college friends that he was pretty much acting like any dad, and that his super-strict attitude would blow over in time. So I tried to make sure I followed his rules, and even started going home each and every weekend with him so I could watch the kids, (he semed convinced I’d end up pregnant and have to drop out of school like my cousin, aunts, stpe mother, and step sister all did). Then, for a few weeks h seemed to relent, and let me hang out at college a few weekends, so I of course spent them with my BF. Vlanteine’s Day was coming,a dn I wanted to go on a Valentine’s Day date for the first time in my life. It fell on a Friday, and after a few weeks of freedom, I thought we could plan a poor-college-kids’ night on the town (still didn’t drink and neither did boyfriend), with simply dinner and a movie – we’d saved a bit to afford a nice by college standard dinner. Come V-Day, I get a call from dad asking why I wasn’t waiting to be picked up and go home for the weekend. I told him I thought he was through with that thanks to the last few weeks, and he said, “No, you’re coming home.” So I told him about dinner,a nd he asked me to make a choice – go to dinner and be disowned, or come home. I told him I wanted to go to dinner, and he asked where he should drop off my clothes. After falling to the floor,c rying, my BF decided we should drive an hour to his mom’s for the weekend, so she could try to help. My dad wold not budge. Soooo.. BF and I go to his house one day while everyon’e out and grab what we can in 10 minutes and leave my key to show that I took him seriously. Unfortunetly, I forgot my diary was there and not at school, in my dorm room, having filled in all the pages a few weeks prior.
My dad then writes a letter in tripliate, certified mail, detailing the steps he has taken to disown me and how horrible a daughter I am. He sent one to my dorm, my BFs apat., and his parents. He cancelled my car insurance and my health insurance (I had an infection at the time). He THEN found my diary, and photocopied pages describing intimate things a 19 year old girl writes about, and mailed then to my aunts, grandparents AND worst of all, my BF’s parents, to show everyone what a whore I am… One BF my while life, diary clearly states that in 9 months we’ve never had sex, but I am a whore. My BF was so embarassed, we almost broke there, because who wats their parents reading that? And my dad’s parents supported his actions through all of this, so I gave up on them, along with him, and tried to pretend I was an orphan (mom was still in drug rehab and I later leanred Dad had been hiding her letters to me, telling me she hated me and blamed me for her condition).
Sigh. So a very broken young girl gets treated more like a daughter by strangers, her BF’s family, and she makes it through school cum laude on her scholarship plus one year she’s paying back now, refused an offer of a car soon after being disowned by grandparents because she did not trust them at all, so she and BF shared his car until it was destroyed while parked by a DD 3 years ago. She’s worked her butt off trying to build a career in the town she chose to go to school in because growing up she’d always wanted to live in a small town. After 14 years I am still with my BF, the same guy I started dating in college. He’s had his own issues to deal with, and being in a relationship with a girl who kinda had no where to go hasn’t been easy on him, I know, and though he hasn’t finished school himself, he’s gotten a good fullt-time job, and even a promotion-but-not-in-pay move to a better department. We’re still about 5 years behind where I’d like to be, money and relationship-wise, but I guess with my past, I shoulnd’t be surprised when things don’t follow the course of “normal”.
My grandmother is apperntly dying, and the one aunt I don’t feel totally alienated from insists on sending me updates. I wrote her a long email explaining that I can’t feel the same pain she does, but that I’m sorry for her pain, as it’s her mother. I guess I’m sad because I feel that my parents (not enough time to write about the current adventures of Mom) couldn’t care enough about me to get their acts together. My dad’s parents were perfectly fine ignoring me, and then being ugly to me when I was around them. I feel very much like there must be something wrong with me for so many important people in my life to feel so ambivalent towards me… which of course factors into my emotional problems with the lack of a ring on my finger. I’d like to know that now, as adults with fairly stable jobs, does my BF still want me now that any obligation to make sure I have a roof over my head is lessened… does he love me, or is he still with me because he feels partly responsibile for my dad kicking me out?
I guess after reading this I shouldn’t feel so bad about not wanting to at grandma’s bedside, but it means the end of any hope of her ever say, “‘Isilme’, I’m sorry we never baked cookies together.” I guess I’m mourning the loss of a chance of a fantasy than the actual person – again making me question if I am some horrible person for being able to distance myself – I see it as self defense, but I know it makes me sound mean to others.
Thanks for letting me vent – sorry it’s so long.