The Ties that Bind, Restrict, Suffocate…

I’ve mentioned my daughter E, and the lack of relationship she and I have largely due to my father and stepmonster.
E is 20 years old now.
After a couple years of allowing me to message her and then one night phoning me drunk to talk, she blocked me on facebook, and recently my stepmonster unfriended me.
I’ve still not gotten my mom’s photo albums, and at this point, I don’t think I ever will.
Stepmonster had at one point mentioned they had a leak in their roof…it’s not to far a stretch to realize that the albums they stored in the attic-rather than mail to me years ago-were destroyed.
It would’ve been nice if any of them could’ve been honest about it, but after all this time I should know better.
After everything E and I talked about back in October I was hoping that would be a starting point to build a positive relationship, but her responses (if I got one) to my messages after that were typically rude and/or cold.
I’ve spent 18 years preparing myself for anger, for questions.
Thankfully at one point I even prepared myself for indifference.
And I’ve tried to be understanding, tried to keep the door open just in case this is an initial reaction and she will eventually have questions.
Every birthday and Mother’s day for the past 18 years has been nothing short of miserable for me.
What I realized with the new moon was that in the midst of trying to hold onto her, of trying to keep the lines of communication open with someone who for all sakes and purposes couldn’t give a shit less, I’ve been putting the relationships I do have with Keylime and Boo not on the back burner, but in a way I’ve taken for granted that they’ll always be there. I’ve allowed my desperation to keep the door open for E to distract me from the boys I cherish.
I’ve allowed a “shoulda/woulda/coulda” relationship to take away from the lives that are happening right in front of me.
I’ve based every decision I’ve made for the past 18 years to some degree on “will E be able to find me if she needs me?”, “If E wanted to come visit will there be enough room?”
For the past 18 years, I’ve sent birthday cards and Christmas gifts, never knowing if she received them, never knowing if she liked them…but hoping.
In the past three years on facebook I received one “Happy Mother’s Day”…not gonna lie-that made my day.
Talking to her on the phone had me grinning for a week.
Finding myself blocked devastated me.
…and what I’ve realized is that Keylime and Boo have never experienced those reactions from me about anything, but they’re the ones who are directly affected by my reactions.
Not too fair is it?
Keylime and E both have birthdays in May. Four days apart as a matter of fact.
I reminded Keylime to tell her happy birthday, she completely ignored his.
We sent her a card and a gift.
In the three years that she and I, she and Boo, she and Keylime have been communicating she’s never once sent either of them a birthday or Christmas card…forget about a gift.
She told me she thinks of them as her brothers, and for all sakes and purposes, she and Boo appear to have a decent relationship thanks to facebook. They text and talk on the phone occasionally, but more oftenthan not his greetings go un answered. She called him last year on his birthday and wanted to say hi to everyone on speaker phone…
I don’t know what changed.
But I know it hurts me, and the boys are the ones who have to deal with me shattering.
So I’ve decided that since sticking my hand out is met with indifference, for the time being I’m pulling back.
If she wants to know why she was raised by my father and stepmother, if she wants to know anything about me, she’s going to have to reach out and ask.
I’m tired of being hurt, I’ve put up with too many lies for too long.
And she’s heard those lies for too long.
It might be that the only relationship she and I were meant for in this life was one of birth.
It might be that that we’re not meant to have a relationship until she’s much older…
I’ll leave the door open for her, but I’m not going to stand at it waiting for her anymore.
So far as my father and stepmonster…
Those albums were about more than just my mom, they were a chronicle of my life.
They backed up the fact that at one point I was part of a family.
But that family no longer exists, and it seems the albums don’t either.
When Boo was a baby and I was beginning to realize the extent of the lies and thievery that was going on, my stepmonster wrote to me “Worry about your own family and leave us alone.”
…she neglected to realize that I’m related to more of the people in her house than she is,
and I neglected to realize that the family I thought I belonged to was long gone.
Since I’ve finally come to these conclusions I feel a lot lighter.
It still hurts, but I know in time it will fade.
And in the long run, I’ll be healthier for it.

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2 thoughts on “The Ties that Bind, Restrict, Suffocate…

  1. K- It is their loss. Hopefully one day E. will decide for herself to look for answers. I very much can relate to how you feel. I was adopted and didn’t know of any family for 42 years. People who choose to take family for granted, or simply do not take the time at all are dealing with their own issues. You and your family are not the issue. I hope one day someone gets your albums for you.

    Love, T.

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