"You get what you pay for, but I just had no intention of living this way." -Counting Crows

Why We're Here...

My husband David and I delivered a stillborn Baby Boy that we loved, and wanted. Our first and only son, Logan, had Down Syndrome. Our daughter's smile is a little light in the darkness. She turned one year old three days after our sweet Logan tip-toed away on January 24, 2009. After 2 1/2 years we found out we were having another baby, whom we affectionatly called Rudy. Just shy of 6 weeks we found out Rudy was Ectopic. Rudy was surgically removed on May 26, 2011 delivering another blow to our already broken hearts.

Cutting people off.

Look out! 2 posts in one week!

This post isn't really about Logan. The issues I have with my family go back decades. But you see the thing is, when Logan died, issues I had started coming into focus a little more. Hurts became a whole lot more defined. I found myself backing away from people, closing myself off and eventually cutting a few family members out of my life. I couldn't handle the drama. I couldn't take more hurt and anger and rejection on top of the heavy sadness in my soul. And instead of talking about it, dealing with it, even screaming it out...I shut it down. I stopped answering the phone. I stopped sending gifts, cards, photos. Did this happen with you?

My dad. Sigh. Ok, so my mom and dad divorced when I was a baby. I've only ever known my dad from a distance. He lived three and a half hours away and I saw him twice a year for 18 years. I don't remember him ever calling more than once or twice in between his visits, and if I ever saw him on my birthday...it's gone from memory at this point. My dad was an enigma to me as a child. He went on to quickly marry and start a new family. This gave me a Step-brother and a sister, my only sister. After high school I moved in with my dad to attend college (he lived closer to a big city, I was tired of home, it was different). To say the environment was hostile and explosive would be an understatement. My step-mother is a therapy session all on her own. Let's just say, it wasn't easy living there. The psychosis that floated around that house was unbearable and I was quickly trying to escape that trap. Anyhow, a few years later they all moved to SC (18 hours away) and the day easily ranks in my top five days. I mean, there aren't enough hours to be had to sit and type out the debacle that was the relationship I had with those people. The cliff notes version is that my step-mother is a diagnosed delusional paranoid OCD person. And with that, I've given her lots of leeway. She's sick. She gets a pass (or at least half of one). I've just learned that in order to find happiness in my life, she is best avoided. But I guess you just expect more from your father. At least you hope for more I suppose. My dad wasn't sick or abusive. He just wasn't anything. He wasn't around, and he left you with the impression that it was somehow your fault, or something you were imagining, or that you were just expecting too much. And as an adult I've started to see that he is a pathological liar, self involved to a sickness, and the biggest drama queen I have ever encountered. Through out my adult life I just tolerated it. Whatever, its just how he was. I never clamoured for an apology like the other three kids did. I didn't want explanations or excuses. I just wanted him to be different that he was. Not change the past, but change who he would be in the future. He didn't. And when my daughter was born it became very hard to tolerate. I won't get into all of the details, but I'll say this. He didn't meet my daughter until 2 months AFTER Logan died. She was 14 months old at that point. He popped into town to rescue my sister (drive her back down south) and stayed less than 24 hours. He did this after telling me for over a year he was too broke to come meet his granddaughter. I mean, I get it. Some people just don't care all that much about being a grandparent. But you see, he did. He has 6 other grandchildren. Two of which are at his home on a daily basis. All of which he met with in days of their birth. I'm sure if I'd have screamed and ranted and demanded, he'd have come down sooner. But, I'm not into begging for love and attention. I just felt like he should've come. He knew that. He had excuse after excuse, lie after lie, story after story. It got old. I remember when I was in labor with Logan. We had to make the horrendous phone calls to everyone to let them know what was going on. It only seemed right that I call my dad to tell him his grandson had died. So I did. And instead of offering a little sympathy or even...I dunno...something, he said "this is going to push me over the edge!" I mean reading it it doesn't seem like this big deal, but the thing is I was the one in labor with a dead baby, and hear I was feeling like I had to comfort him. He didn't try to comfort me. The conversation wasn't about me and what I was going through, it became about him. And that about sums up my dad. Everything revolves around him, and if it doesn't...well by golly you'd better be sure he'll find a way to make it so. You know, I wasn't mad that he didn't ever call to see if I was ready to slit my wrist. I wasn't even mad that he didn't make an effort to be at my side during the worse days of my life. I mean honestly I wouldn't have wanted him there anyhow. But in the weeks following Logan's death they wouldn't even let me have my grief. Every call revolved around one of my siblings, and how they had wronged my dad...what new drama was afoot. The final straw was a couple of months after Logan died, after my dad drove the 18 hours (though he claimed he was so broke he was in foreclosure) to pick up my sister (and the man she had an affair with and then deserted her 2 young kids for) so that she could go back to see her kids (because apparently Logan's death was some sort of temporary wake up call for her?)...not to meet my then 14 month old daughter, not to be with his heart broken daughter who was grieving the death of her son. Anyhow, he called me drunk (a former drug addict and alcoholic, rehab, broken family - affair...the whole bit). I don't know why he called me. Guilt? Attention? Its hard to say. But he called me repeatedly, while supposedly DRIVING to my house (18 hours away) and drunk off his ass. My father drunk dialed me in the midst of my grief to whine about how terrible his life was. I called my cousin (his BFF) and told him to deal with it, I just couldn't handle it. Weeks went by with no apology, no excuse, not a word. Nothing. And a little light went off. That was the straw. I just couldn't deal with the selfishness, the drama, anymore. I had way too much reality and sorrow and depression on my plate. REAL pain. Pain I didn't ask for, didn't deserve, and didn't put on myself. I just couldn't take anymore complaining, and whining, and boo-hooing about how awful their lives were when they had NO IDEA what REAL pain felt like. Their lives were shit because they made them that way. I worked my butt off for a good life, and was dealt a grummy hand. I shut down. I never answered the phone again. That was two years ago. He's never seen my daughter since (she's now three) and never even made an attempt to. My step-mother wrote me a crazy letter around the year anniversary of Logan's death. I responded, clipped, short, to the point. I sent pictures of my daughter, they sent them back with a really nasty letter. I sent Christmas and Birthday cards and Father's Day cards, they ignored my birthday, and eventually my daughter's birthday and Christmas too. With every passing month they become more hateful and cruel. Its one thing to be mad at me, to hold a grudge against me, but a three year old? See, and that is unforgivable in my book. And the sad part is, I miss my dad. I miss who he is when he's just being relaxed, not trying to outdo anyone, prove himself or lie. It makes me so sad that my daughter doesn't know her grandpa. That he doesn't know her. The other day she said to me, "Yoo's daddy is in heaben cuz he's dead." I guess she figured that's where he was since she's never seen him. I corrected her. Momma's daddy lives far away. But it made me so angry at my dad all over again. He's quit calling. His last attempt was in November. Not that they were real often or anything, but once every few months or so. I contacted him last June to let him know my mother's mom had died. I thought it was the decent thing to do. It was a very short conversation, 3 minutes is all. He managed to get in that my sister had deserted her kids again, and that the time he called me he wasn't drunk, he'd had a stroke, oh and that he'd send flowers (which he didn't). Uh, yeah. Except that my mom has had about 6 strokes, and has never acted drunk. I mean come on, you can tell when someone is drunk. He wasn't confused, he was stupid drunk. You know, like the drunk chic who hangs on everyone and asks if they love her, is she pretty...in a baby voice. That's what he was like. I talked to him a long time that night, it was sort of funny. I got in a nice couple of digs. Anyhow, so here I am, two years later and I'm tired. You'd think cutting someone off would be easy, but it hasn't been for me. I obsess about it EVERY DAY. Seriously. There isn't a day that goes by where I don't think of it, which enrages me even further. Some times I'm sad and wistful. Other times I'm angry and belligerent. And as far as I know my other siblings have cut them off too (for other reasons). I dunno. I'm just unsure of what to do with the thoughts. Its not like I want a relationship. For years and years I've just said I didn't want anything, I just wanted them to go away. The thing is, I'm wondering if I'll regret it. I mean, I tell myself that I'm protecting my heart, that it just can't take anymore pain and rejection and drama. And I'm protecting my daughter from the pain and rejection too (since I'm well aware of the favoritism that's already been displayed against my older brother's kids for my younger sister's kids). I don't want her to be hurt. I don't want to have to explain to her who these people are, or why they do the things they do. Why they don't love her. No. I don't feel loved by them. Not one bit. I don't know that they are capable of loving. But I obsess about it, relentlessly. I don't want to talk it out. I don't want some huge confrontation. I don't even want an apology, I just want him to be different, better.

My sister. Sigh. She's the spitting image of my dad. She doesn't think so. And for the most part she's been given a pass too because I feel like when you are raised in such a warped environment, how can you be any better? And my sister has lied, and done me wrong, and stolen from me, and who knows what else. But she had an affair (used me in that too, unwittingly) and left her husband AND KIDS (9 months and 5 years old) in SC to move back to Michigan because she felt it was something she needed to do for herself. And I tried, believe me I tried to excuse her behaviour and rationalize it and psychoanalyze it. She lived with my neighbors for several months while I was pregnant with Logan. And I tried to let it go, and I tried to except her life choice and the idiot fool she left her husband for (who I dearly loved) because that's what sister's do. And I believed her when she told me she had it worked out about her kids, and that there wasn't any other way, and that she was getting them... I was on her side as much as I could be. But when Logan died...I didn't get it anymore. I didn't understand how a mother could move 18 hours away from her babies, with no hope of visiting (being as she was broke, homeless and without a car). She deserted her children. It was unacceptable. Unforgivable. I couldn't look at her. I couldn't speak to her. I couldn't stand the sound of her voice. The hatred was blinding. She was blessed with a good husband (believe me, he was good to her), two beautiful and healthy babies and she threw it away like they were garbage. And I didn't get it. I still don't. I couldn't tolerate it. I couldn't look at her and be okay with what she had done to my poor innocent nephews. I wanted to hurt her, physically. I couldn't stomach anything about her. And until a couple of weeks ago (thanks a lot facebook!) I believed she was back in SC (because remember my dad came and got her and took her home). But she's not. She's in Chicago with that loser. Her boys? Still in SC. And I know they are better off with their dad. But its still inexcusable. Fine. I get it, some people get divorced. But these parents that move away from their kids? I don't get it. I can't fathom being away from Aubrey. The very thought of not having her on a daily basis gets my insides all knotted up and I start feeling homicidal. And the problem is that here my sister is, pregnant at 19 and unwed. Shotgun wedding. Baby #2 was unplanned, and miscarried at 7 weeks. Baby #3 comes along, surprise, 9 months later she splits. And these are the people having healthy living children while mine is dead. Its not fair! And I hate her for it. I hate her for not knowing how lucky she is. I hate her for pissing it all away. I hate her for hurting those boys. And the same goes for my dad! I just don't get why people like that are given children. Why can't it be those type of people who have babies die? People who think their children are accessories, punishments, a nuisance. Anyhow. My sister has called a couple of times. I never unfriended her on Facebook, but she was silent and she left me alone. Until a few days ago when she popped up and started commenting on my wall and then sent me an email about my step-mother (her mom) being on FB (I blocked her right away). I didn't answer anything. I still can't stomach her. Then today she sent me a message on Facebook. A real confrontational one too. I didn't respond. I blocked her.

I'm not ready.

I want to forgive them. Or at least I want to feel nothing about them. It eats at me and I hate it. I just don't know where to go from here. My dh tried to convince me to call my dad a few weeks ago, and I almost did. But I got so worked up, so angry, so hateful that I threw my hands up and said no way! I know that the more time that passes the bigger the chasm, and I'm not sure if that's a bad thing or not. I feel justified in my actions. But I feel petty at times too. The reality of it is that the three of them are never going to be different. People are who they are. You learn to accept them, or you move on. My older brother doesn't seem to have any issues with it. But I just can't seem to forget. I'd sure love some input from anyone in the same sort of shoes. Its easy to say forgive and forget if you've never been treated like a second hand kid your whole life. My dh, try as he may, just does not get it. His family is fairly normal.

Anyhow, I just needed to talk through some of this. Logan's death has changed the way I feel about so many things, and the way I deal with so many things. In a way I feel its good. Its helped me to stop being a door mat and to focus on the things in life that matter. So many other things that used to seem like a huge deal now seem petty and foolish.

Just one more way I'm different now, I guess.


Michele said...

Sometimes forgiveness is just letting the hurt go while not letting the person close enough to hurt again. It's not the ideal but it's a start.... I'm so sorry. :(

Heather said...

I'm sorry you've had to deal with all of that on top of losing your little boy. Life really isn't fair sometimes, and there's just no explaining it.

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