Tuesday, June 26, 2012

This is what happens when blogging is cheaper than therapy

Well hello there!

It's been a while, huh. Twelve whole days. I'm sorry about that. 

I had some thinking to do.

It can be hard having a blog sometimes. Normally I just come here and blather on about whatever is in my mind at that particular moment, and it's wonderfully cathartic.

But sometimes there are things going on in my life, and brain, that I don't think are particularly suited to a public forum. Especially one where people, like you lovely readers, usually come for nice chats and pleasant company. And especially thoughts that haven't been given enough time to coalesce and develop into a reasonedcoherent, fair argument. So, since I couldn't write what I wanted, I abstained. And I sulked, and Mr Accident suffered, because I need somewhere to vent that isn't at him, poor man. 

Now, the things I didn't want to write about... I am going to write about. Briefly. I suspect it will be good for me, but mostly because I detest the "everything is wrong but I can't tell you" posts some bloggers throw up - it's a bit rude, really.

So, to sum it all up as succinctly as I can, I went to my grandmother's memorial, and this entailed seeing my family. And my family (as I suspect all do) come with some considerable baggage.

At the memorial I saw my brother. (Yes, I have a half-brother. And a half-sister too, somewhere. They are much older.) He has a very checkered history, and has been in, but mostly out, of my life for years. I think the last time I saw him I was 17. We occasionally email, but only seem to cover the really serious family topics, like sexual assault, mental illness, drug use, divorce... you know, the usual. (!) I actually know nothing about him as a person. It was both confronting and reassuring to see him. We hugged. He was pleased.

I saw my dad. I dislike him intensely, for a multitude of reasons. I was relieved when he arrived late  because then I didn't have to see him before the service. (20 minutes late! To his own mother's memorial! And he didn't take off his hat in church!) However, all his nephews and cousins look so very similar that I was a nervous wreck every time a male relative walked in, until I could be sure it wasn't my father. Grandpa had strong genes! After the service we all had tea in the foyer. I was hyper-aware the entire time, just praying he wouldn't see me. I had even worn my hair differently that day, so I would be less recognisable. It turns out I am a complete sook when it comes to emotionally charged confrontations in completely inappropriate locations - we didn't have one.  I evaded successfully, then fled. To say it was stressful would be understating it. (Remember, I've been in war zones. And frankly I preferred them.) 

And I finally saw my beloved cousin. We were thick as thieves growing up, two only children of the same age, with parents who were best friends. But three years ago I had a falling out with his wife and as a result I hadn't seen him since. He missed my wedding. He's never met my girls. I always thought, growing up, that he would be like an uncle to my offspring, but they don't even know what he looks like. Devastating. But to finally get to hug him again? Priceless, and very emotional.

So that's what's been stewing in my head.

It's a relief to get it written down, now perhaps I can move past it all and start thinking and writing about more normal things. Like laundry, and walking the dogs.  Perhaps tomorrow, hey?

In the meantime, I'm off to catch up on all the blog reading I missed. It's really good to be back.

34 comments:

  1. Oh man! Family. You love them, and hope to love most of them and get along, but that just doesn't always happen.
    I said to my husband this morning, driving back from the hunting lodge we were -- I am jealous of these people, our family just don't bond like them! My 2 BIL''s live within 15 km from us, and we see each other 2, 3 times a year.
    (I'm actually refusing to fly dow with the boys, to the inlaws, as per usual during the winter holiday. I just want to stay home and not have to listen to rugby on the tv for up to 8 hrs a day ;-)
    Hope you're feeling better.

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    1. My in laws have their own issues, but the ones I have met are absolutely lovely. I just wish my husband could say the same! I am flying the girls and I over to visit them in a month or two. (Solo, four hours, two toddlers, I must be mad!)

      Some days I just ache for a "normal" nuclear family. I guess the best I can do is try to build one for the kids, right?

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    2. And that's what you're doing, Mrs. Check your own post today, and well done :-)

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  2. Great to have you back Mrs. A. - we missed you. Hope the emotional churnings have settled and you're feeling normal equilibrium again - families are minefields. So glad you you've made contact with your cousin again; a male cousin you love makes for a great relationship, so hope you're able to pursue it comfortably from now on.

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    1. Oh, I hope so too! I miss him terribly.

      In a year or two we may be posted quite near him, he's a very expensive flight and many hours travel away from me at the moment, which is very limiting.

      Thanks for your kind words, I really do appreciate them.

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  3. It's lovely to have you back missed you dearly. I know exactly how you feel about family I had a falling out with my eldest brother about 2 and a half years ago and with my mum. I only rarely see or speak to her for the sake of my kids, she doesn't respect me as a mother and it shits me to tears. So I only see my other brother but even that's rarely. My hubbys family is lovely though and very close so that makes up for it otherwise I'd have no out side family. I realy hope those demands in your head settle down soon and your back to your normal lovely self. Kind regards Jodie xx

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    1. Hi Jodie, I missed you!

      I'm sorry to hear about your family, I have an... ahem... interesting relationship with my Mum, too. It can be fabulous, but sometimes she just says the most inappropriate, harsh things. She knows how to wound.

      And it is so very hard to bear when the love of a mother falters. After all, she is the one person who society expects to love you unconditionally. And if she doesn't love you, then that (in my experience) just brings up a whole HOST of self esteem issues. But I won't delve too deeply into that here. Wrong place! But if you ever want to chat, drop me an email.

      I'm glad your husband's family is there for you to try and fill the gap. And I am sure you are more than capable of filling the grandmother-gap for your kids, too.

      Go softly, and be kind to yourself xx

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  4. You know its interesting what happens in blog world.. you get to really liking a blogger and then when she goes AWOL (like te military term there? :) ) you get curious. I mean it when I say more than once this week I thought to pop over and say, "hey hows it going Mrs. A?" but then I thought that would make me look like a nosey freak so I dropped it.

    Let me say thank you for being so open and real. We need more of this in our lives. I feel your pain- as you point out all of our families come with baggage, and my heart was hurting for you as I read about this tough memorial of mixed blessings (and good for you for going). How I wish we could sit down over a cuppa and really hash it out, I can relate on so many levels. But, in the meantime (and I say meantime becuase of course I do expect and invitation from Australia someday haha ;) ) I am saying a prayer for you and I do encourage you to get back to that blogging, about whatever is on your heart, becuse you are a good blogger and you are one of the few I actually sit down to READ, and not just SKIM, if you know what I mean. :)

    God bless you, Mrs. A. And in all seriousness, if you ever need an ear, you can reach me at oldfashionedhousewife@gmail. Blessings, sister.

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    1. You are so lovely to me, OFH. Thanks for being here and being so understanding. It really does help. If it were possible to put a hug into words, I think you just did it.

      And consider this an invitation to Australia! I reckon you could do quite the tour, dropping in on bloggy friends all over the joint.

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  5. As far as I'm aware, I have no other siblings. I dont like my dad much, but in small doses I can deal with him. My hubby however... I dread the day we get the call that his father has taken a turn for the worse and we have to go and see his family.... Ugh.

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    1. That wasn't supposed to send yet. Sigh. I'm glad you were reunited with your cousin, and that you made it through without a breakdown. I'd bring some purple food over if I were closer. And on a more cheerful note, my grandfathere family has super strong genes, too.. looking through family photo albums, you can instantly tell who's a Townsend... All the guys - little kids included - have giant ears, and all the women are jowly. I'm not looking forward to my future.

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    2. Ugh, dreading the dying dad call too. I have already told my brother I'm not interested in an ailing-health, "let's get to know each other better" reunion. I don't like what I already know, and I can't imagine ever wanting to know MORE.

      My family all have giant noses. Seriously, GIANT. We took a cousins group photo, and then another in profile... Except for my cousin Victoria. She always gloats she missed out on the honker. She is the pretty one!

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  6. So glad you posted, I was starting to wonder if Mrs Acident had had an accident!

    You can choose your friends but you can't choose your relatives...says it all hey.

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    1. So very true... but I can chose where I live, and who I call, thank goodness! I can't imagine the pain people suffered through, way back when it was rare to leave the village where you were born. It would be my nightmare.

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  7. You will probably feel better after mulling it over and putting it down on paper. The worst, probably worst thing ever is to carry on beating yourself up about things you have no control over. Take the good things that happened and carry those memories with you, and leave the others behind and move on. Take care,and I am glad you are back

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  8. OMG!! I so needed to read this post today - THANK YOU!! My relationship with my family is...well pretty much non-existent. Turns out I inherited a number of genetic 'flaws' (read as 'mutations') that my parents knew of and chose not to tell me or my sisters about. These 'flaws' had the potential to have serious ramifications for any children I may have had - although it turns out the same 'flaws' prevent me from even having that option.

    I often look at my friends with great envy. While they're having babies and have awesome relationships with their parents, I feel I have no history (no photos etc...) and I'm just trying to build a 'family' of my own making. As selfish as it sounds, it was strangely comforting to read about your experiences. It reminds me that no matter how alone I feel, somewhere there is someone who can relate. So, thank you for sharing.

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    1. That is shocking! Truly shocking. Why would they keep it from you? Surely growing up with that information would have made it easier for you to accept?

      I'm so sorry that your family hasn't turned out as you may have hoped. Hopefully building your own loving family will help fill the gaps. Thanks for commenting. It does help to feel less alone!

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  9. I'm glad you're back, I've been checking my reader for you every day. There's nothing like family for triggering inner turmoil, I guess because the emotional stakes are so high. Lovely, sensitively handled post.

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    1. Thanks, it's sometimes it's hard to work out what to keep out and leave in. HEAVY editing...

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  10. I missed you very much, I hoped all was well with your visit....sounds like it was stressful...but now you are home, with the people that matter most...x
    Family...ugh....we all have em, and some of em, we could desperately do without. Others we love, but &^% gets in the way and stuff it all up....Family gatherings do my head in....worse each year....
    Thank goodness for blog friends I say............

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    1. Thank goodness for blog friends indeed! And real life ones, too. I like the ones I can pick myself...

      Before I left Peanut gave me a hug and said (completely innocently, but with so much accidental wisdom) "Mummy, your family is here. Don't forget that!" I think she was confused about the idea of a family reunion, without her! But I held on to that thought the whole day.

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  11. I can totally relate, Mrs A! My relationship with my father is also one of avoidance: He avoided us as children and now as an adult I do my best to avoid him. Bad memories and all that. Makes for a stressful existence sometimes.

    Still, so very, very happy you are back online and blogging. I was beginning to worry that perhaps you'd been a figment of my imagination! It wouldn't have been the first time. ;)

    Keeping smiling,
    ~S.

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    1. Avoidance is an excellent tool - no point poking the hornet's nest, hey? As a kid, My Dad avoided me the majority of the time too. I just wish he'd done it slightly more...

      It's so reassuring to hear I'm not alone!

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  12. ditto to all of them. Missed having you around the blog world. Family are so much fun aren't they? I am also having the "dreading seeing my dad" feelings. I don't talk to him anymore and he doesn't know my boys, but he is still in touch with my brother who is expecting his first. *sigh* maybe I'll be able to avoid him as well as you did.
    Take care and welcome back xo

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    1. Wear your hair down and hide behind it. It worked a treat for me ;)

      What is with all these terrible fathers? Do you think it's a generational thing? Or did our mothers just get incredibly unlucky? I would love to know, because the last thing I want to do is repeat the past through ignorance.

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  13. Sometimes all you can write is 'I am not OK but I can't get into specifics'

    That is the nature of families.

    I am glad you were able to use your blog as therapy, we are all here for you.

    x

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    1. Thanks Kelley.

      That "not sharing" thing wasn't actually aimed at you. I know you've pleaded the fifth on a number of occasions, with very good reason.

      I think there are a couple of different types of blogs out there. Some, like yours, are a venting space. It's totally fine for those writers to write however much they want, and share as much or as little as they please.

      But some, like this one, are kind of cheerful community sharing spaces, and if I just disappeared for ages without an explanation, then that would be akin to telling all my hard won real life friends to go screw themselves. I guess I figured people deserved a bit of an explanation. Does that clarify it a bit?

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  14. glad you are back and ok-ish. Take your time and be gentle to yourself.

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  15. Hugs and much love Mrs A. You know where we are :)

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