I have not posted much since my mother got sick back in March. To say the truth, I have wanted to blog but so much personal stuff has come up since my mother's illness I wasn't sure I wanted to put it out there. So, here goes some attempt. There is nothing like a life threatening illness or situation that will bring up every unresolved issue a large family has.
I have 4 siblings. I am second to the youngest. My mom and dad divorced when I was 19. The reason for the divorce, my dad at the time around age 54 was found having an affair with a 17 year old girl. The affair began when she was 15.
Those of you who are parents. How would you feel if your 15 year old daughter was having an affair with a 52 year old married man?
This is only the most minute crack in the ice to begin to tell the story of my childhood and beyond. Suffice to say that if all that happened back then in our home were happening today, my dad would probably be in prison for life.
What has come up on the past month with one sibling in particular is he doesn't remember any of it. He thinks we have exaggerated the story. My 3 other siblings don't deny it all happened. We have all chosen to deal with it in different ways. The 5 of us have never had occasion to discuss it. There have been side conversations with each other, but never the 5 of us all together for as an intense emotional time as this.
One night at the hospital, in the waiting room, there was some reminiscing going on about all the beatings my dad gave to my oldest brother. My brother was relating the times he had to go to the ER and then would go to my aunt's house and would have to lie to people about what happened, he would say he had been in a car accident or any number of other lies to cover for what my dad did. People were sort of laughing, at one point, I said, if he were doing that today he would be in prison...
This started an all out shouting match with my other brother who doesn't think anything too bad really happened. It wasn't pretty and I used some pretty bad language. The thing that put me over the edge, was when this sibling was asked if he would leave his 5 year old daughter with dad to which he replied, yes.
Since that evening, my relationship with my 3 older siblings has been strained. Both my brothers live out of town so are not here for the day to day caring for my mom.
My younger sister has asked the other 3 to respect her boundaries around having any sort of relationship with dad. I have asked for the same.
By the way, for many years I have worked on trying to figure out how to forgive my dad, and what kind of relationship I could have with him. Where I landed was I forgive him but any relationship I try to have with him does not work.
I am today labeled by at least 2 maybe the 3 older siblings as being childish, selfish and paranoid when it comes to my dad...
It is very painful to be misunderstood by people you love. It is also painful to want familial relationships to work and when they don't you have to let go...
So, I am grieving today...Grieving again some of the pain of my childhood, grieving the pain of watching my mother come so close to death and all she has/is going through, grieving my siblings lack of understanding and being slandered by them...
This is one of those times where I have to go deep into the Lord to ask His help to do what I cannot...I know in time this will pass, letting go of illusions, expectations, even in yourself (I did not react well in some of these situations)can be a hard road...
Kind of a downer post hey?
On the positive side, my mom will be moving from rehab to her new assisted living apartment on Monday!