Oh man I said I was going to write and I just can’t get myself to focus. So let me just start rambling about Thanksgiving to get this started…Most days, most people don’t know, I spend a lot of time in a dissociative state of mind. I sit and do nothing but work on my internal world, recovering and dealing with memories, and I’m just listening to music and spend my day stretching, working out, reading and dancing, at home in my little safe space.
Yet life requires you to go out. And having this blog requires me to write about it. LOL. Half of me really does want to go out but half of me doesn’t want to go out or do anything. I don’t know if it’s just this is what we are used to or if we just don’t have the energy to do more, but we end up just sitting here and not going out. Not but for absolute requirements to go out. Such as groceries (when i’m finally down to drinking condiments for dinner hahaha!) and school/employment (unless I feel it’s necessary to protect myself and call off)…..and then there is the family get-together.
I live in another city not far but not that close so I can often get out of family things. This year we had to go to Thanksgiving though. For two reasons. One, our boyfriend had never gone to thanksgiving with my family in the four years we have been together. We do christmas visits but not thanksgiving because there wasn’t really a place having a big dinner on my side, but his grandma had the big turkey dinner planned for grandkids and great grandkids there, so we’d go there. This year though, his mom passed away and he is having issues with his addict brother and his grandma is getting kind of senile and protecting the brother with the addiction and it’s sort of becoming a toxic situation to him. So this year, he agreed to go with me (also it gave him an excuse not to deal with his own family drama this year)
And the second reason we had to go to Thanksgiving was it was in memory of a beloved aunt. Well since my grandma died, the aunts and uncles who used to do thanksgiving on my dad’s side no longer did it, and my mom’s side is having family issues so they haven’t been planning a thanksgiving either. And so there wasn’t really any big family plans to get together at on my side, basically the whole 4 years our boyfriend has been with us. Then, this year my Aunt Emmy (who is younger than my dad who is almost 70) died suddenly and unexpectedly in her 50’s. This year some family that was in another state a few years back are now living in my home town again and I hadn’t been to visit with them in so long. This year family decided to get together at one uncle & aunts house in memory of the aunt who passed away, as every one on my dad’s side usually had thanksgiving at HER house every year. The only people left in this city (as many of my cousins moved out of state or other aunts&uncles lived in another city/state) were just the aunt & uncle who’s house it was at plus my parents and one other set of aunt & uncle. I have siblings but they seemed to be doing their own things. My brother Jeremy was deciding to do thanksgiving at his house with his wife, son, and step-daughter, too. I picked to go to my aunts & uncles which was happening around the same time. It seemed way more important to go there than to my brother’s.
I’m sure this upset my brother Jeremy that I did not come to his house…that I didn’t even try to stop in and say hi even…..There are many reasons why. With getting my memories back and making the decision to go no contact/low contact with toxic or abusive people, that included low contact with this brother. I don’t have him as a friend on facebook and I’m not going over to his house if I don’t have to. See, my brother has some severe violent issues. Most of the time he seems like just a normal guy, dresses like a normal guy, doesn’t have any extreme interests, just lives life watching sports, going to work, paying his bills, eating and sleeping. But he is a control freak and he is verbally and physically abusive at times. He was always this way. He almost killed me on more than one occasion. My parents didn’t exactly know how bad he was (I realize I never told them about many big issues or I was too young to accurately portray the seriousness of the situation) but they did know he had these violent issues. I’m not going into details here about his violence toward me as a kid, but I will in another post specifically about that.
Anyway, the only point to mention it here is that I decided that I cannot be at his house on a day of being thankful. Even though my mom and grandma pleaded with me to go because Grandma Ellen would really love to see me as she was going there. But because there is nothing I can see thankful in him and there is nothing in him I am thankful for, I couldn’t go. He acts entitled, and rude. He and his wife have caused issues in my family and disrespected my parents. I cannot go to his house, because that would be like saying what he does is okay. It is not. I cannot smile in the face of such repulsive abusive nature and try to be thankful for them. I also refuse to spend my Thanksgiving listening to him bitch and scream at his family or have a chance to be putting me down and be emotionally abusive toward me.
I told my parents I wasn’t going, and they were understanding and not really pressuring me to go, but they let me know they wanted me to come. They didn’t get mad when I didnt. Instead I went to my aunt & uncle’s house and ate with that group of family and waited for my parents to arrive there after being at my brother’s house. It was a nice experience. I was completely comfortable. I felt completely accepted. I felt like no one here was being fake. And if I had gone to my brother’s and his wife’s thanksgiving, it would some how had to be a big deal about them and what they were doing and they would put on their facade like they are a happy family and kind people but it’s not who they are.
It’s hard when you have to pick between family and cut out family because they are abusers and toxic. But man, when you stick to that decision to keep yourself away from toxic people, it gives you so much strength and healing. Do stick to it.
I know other people have family’s that guilt and shame them for speaking up about how they can’t tolerate the abusive toxic family members. So this Thanksgiving I got to be thankful that I had family that doesn’t ask questions and already understands.
I told my dad, sorrowfully, “I’m sorry I can’t go to Jeremy’s for Thanksgiving.”
My dad says with a snort, “Ha, why because of Jeremy?”
He already knew. I know my parents aren’t perfect but they really do love their children and they see what they are. They just believe as parents you still have to love your kids and stand by them no matter what. Even if that means you are yelling at them the whole time you stand by them. Ha. At least my dad does. I think my mom actually has to have some sort of delusions or dissociation to deal with the reality of her sons who are toxic, but some things have changed in her and she now doesn’t protect them quite like she did when we were kids. But she still protects her decisions she made when we were kids.
I had some anger inside me toward my parents about how they dealt with the things their children were doing as children. I had some issues where I felt I wasn’t protected when I should have been. But now, as I slowly let more of my feelings out to my parents and hear their side of the story, I can see, they were suffering too. They tried to utilize any resource they had to help heal their kids. I can see they weren’t just sitting there ignoring the reality. They were stuck knee deep in it with me. They, like me, just were trying to survive. They were trying to hold their family together.
I understand now that they felt it was necessary to keep me in a life as close to “normal” to everyone else. I understand now that their initial reaction was to protect me and that other things later got in the way of their decisions, such as societal pressure. I understand they believed, because of what doctors and psychiatrists told them, that their kids problem’s didn’t have to go into adulthood and they believed their kids could be saved. One problem though….if the kids are fighting the help or manipulating you so you go easier on them, then it does no good.
BUT THEN…………Then once the kids grow up, and it’s obvious all you tried to do to help them was taken for granted, parents have to step back and see they can’t excuse their behavior as a child developing that can be changed. They don’t stop loving their kids, or holding them accountable for their actions. They just know, now as adults, there is no way for them to control their kids. You just love them and let them know you see them, see what they do, and you won’t ignore it.
Humans are free and the decisions your children make are not a reflection on you. Of course you had something to do with their development, but everyone has autonomy. Everyone knows right from wrong unless they have a mental illness that prevents that understanding (which chemistry doesn’t have to be your fault as a parent either). Maybe parents make mistakes but decisions you make are yours, not theirs. I see that. My parents see that. You can see how parents’ mistakes helped shape you but you have to learn from mistakes not become a victim to it. Abuse is no excuse for abuse. I will never except that answer because, guess what, I WAS ABUSED AND I DON’T VIOLENTLY ASSAULT PEOPLE EITHER!
You are supposed to want to over come it and not try to be stuck in a “victim mentality.” I’m angry still and I love my parents still. This duality has been a struggle until this week. I feel like I can now accept that I feel both ways. I think I had an experience that I needed this thanksgiving to heal a part of me. I will have to explain that in another blog, as this one is getting really long. I just wanted to start myself writing in hopes to focus on writing more. Because I wasn’t doing anything. As usual, there I sat, stuck in my head, all the words flying around but I wasn’t grabbing onto them. Just staring off into space and thinking thinking thinking. So I had to start moving. And this is the result. Lets hope the part two is more interesting and less ramble-y. Ha-ha!
I have three different things I need to blog still. Not all about thanksgiving, just some memories and past I have to get out, before we forget them. Memory isn’t the best when dissociation interferes. Hard to recover the information. Well I’m ending this ramble as a part one about Thanksgiving week. And in my part two I will tell a couple more details about why this was such a great healing thanksgiving.