I dropped off the edge of WP

Sorry if it seems I dropped off the edge of WP. The day after my last post, I came down with the flu. I spent way too many days in bed staring at the ripples on the ceiling and talking gibberish to my dead grandma. After the fever went away, I ended up with a bout of colitis. Let me tell you, fun times. I am still not eating solid foods and every time I move too fast I hack up a lung. But I am slowly improving to the point where I can finally do the laundry, clean the house, and turn on my computer again.

I blame it on trying to do too much and not getting enough rest. Apparently I am not 25 anymore. I didn’t sleep well the night before Thanksgiving. That one was my own fault. I changed my cartilage earring from a stud to a hoop. The hoop was way too tight which swelled up my ear which woke me up in the middle of the night in throbbing pain. I spent hours starring at the ceiling wondering if I should get out of my warm bed to change it. That made Thanksgiving morning come way too early. Then Paul and Angel were off to run the Turkey Trot race. I stayed home by myself to keep an eye on the turkey, cook, clean, and decorate for the party at noon. No one was home so I blasted my music and got to work.

After Paul and Angel got back, my mom and Matt were the first to arrive to the party. When my mom arrived I turned off my music, then she came into the kitchen and turned her music on without asking. She yelled at my brother Matt for where he was setting things down which is out of character for her. Paul and Angel were talking about the race and my mom asked me if I ran too. I was getting upset at this point and told her I did not run for a year. Besides there was no way we would put the turkey in the oven and leave the house for several hours.

Everyone seemed to arrive at once. My best friend’s son brought his new girlfriend. He introduced me to her as the matriarch of the family which I thought was really sweet of him. My mom put him in his place and told him I wasn’t the matriarch, she was. It was a very awkward experience. This may or may not have been the point when I started drinking. Everyone was in the kitchen trying to talk and ask questions as Paul was trying to cut the turkey and I was mashing potatoes. My mom was asking where the bowls are. Paul’s step-dad Darryl was talking Paul’s ear off about hunting and fishing while his fiance asked if I wanted her to put whip cream on part of the Jello or all of it. I told her to go ahead and put it on the whole thing, then my mom came over a told her not to.

Finally the meal was ready and it was time to eat. As I was eating, my mom came over to the table with Matt and showed everyone his incisions from his gallbladder surgery. I didn’t have much of an appetite after that. Then it was time to clean up. Afterwards the drinks were flowing and we played games and opened the pool. The last guests left around midnight and I stumbled into bed once again not sleeping well.

The next morning Paul, Angel, Alex, Lexi, and I went to the Christmas tree farm and picked out two trees. I spent most the day decorating the house and trees with the kids. Then Paul and I went Black Friday shopping for a couple hours for a futon couch which we didn’t find. Saturday I went shopping again until I finally found a futon couch. Then I also stopped at Kohl’s because I needed socks and bras. Maybe this is more than you want to know, but I threw out 4 bras in the past month that were worn out. I no longer had any plain white socks either. Both items I don’t buy myself at the thrift stores. But I wanted to get them on sale. Sale, sale, sale. Then I spent the afternoon with Angel volunteering.

Sunday was church, then I spent the rest of the day shopping the sales online researching vacations and creating the family calendar for 2023. I turned my computer off at 9 PM exhausted. Then I was back at it again on Cyber Monday shopping the sales for Christmas on my computer. In the morning I shopped with Paul, then the afternoon I shopped with my mom. By that evening, I was sick and fell off the edge of WP. I think I am finally on the mend.

This uncertainty, part 3

This week Will found out who his dad is.

Whereas my son’s girlfriend has a similar life story to mine my daughter’s boyfriend has a similar life story to Paul’s. A couple years back, we figured out who Paul’s dad was after doing an Ancestry DNA test. From what I gathered, his bio dad fathered 6 kids with 4 different baby mommas. Pretty much a kid per decade, the oldest being Paul and the youngest still a teenager younger than our kids. By the time we found out who he was, he was already dead. I have no idea how he died. The scary part is that he died just a couple years older than my husband is now. Paul hasn’t reached out to any of his siblings, although something tells me none of them would be surprised.

Will was also raised by a single teen high school dropout mom with mental health issues. When Will was in his middle childhood years his mom got married, had a couple more kids, then gave up Will for his grandma to raise out of state. My husband was raised by his mom and grandma in a household with no rules. It sounds like Will’s grandma was really strict. When he did something wrong, he was forced to read the Bible for hours. It doesn’t sound like it worked out too well since now he hates everything that has to do with God. But I give a lot of credit to single parents (and grandparents) who parent the best they can more than I give a coward who walks away from their own kids.

I feel bad for both men for the abandonment they have had to live with. Neither men really having a good male role model in their lives. Then this week Will found out who his dad is. He asked his mom who told him. Will and Arabella found him on social media. He is married with two children. From all outward appearances, he looks like a world class family man. He also looks a lot like Will. Will is planning on reaching out to his dad.

We also found out Will’s dad was paying child support for him. So his dad knew about him all along and never once bothered to reach out to get to know his own son. I wish him the best but I don’t think this is going to end well for Will. I’m afraid he is going to get hurt all over again. Especially since his dad has another family, one he never bothered to include his other son in. It’s too bad because he is missing out on a great son. Paul’s dad missed out too. Despite their upbringing, they are admirable men.

We have tried to include Will into our family as much as we can. I know it doesn’t make up for not having a dad. For almost a year, Will has worked at an adult arcade. We have been telling him forever we were going to visit him sometime while he was at work. We never did. Tonight we are going to stop by and surprise him. I know it’s not much but hopefully he knows we care.

This uncertainty, part 1

Lately I’ve been struggling a lot with indecision and uncertainty. Where do I even begin?

I’m not certain how I feel about my mom right now ever since she sent a picture to my daughter of her ex-boyfriend on her wedding day. Last week I talked to my therapist about it. She asked me how I don’t hate my mom. I don’t really…hate my mom. I just need space.

I just don’t understand how she could do something like that. Was it intentional? She had to dig back pretty far into her photos to find that one. Was she jealous my daughter asked me to be a bridesmaid? She is always making comments…must be nice…but it doesn’t sound nice. She was the one blemish on an otherwise perfect wedding day. My therapist said it doesn’t matter whether it was intentional or not. The issue is that my mom is always being the drama queen.

If it’s not one thing it’s another to try to get my attention. My mom has been to urgent care twice in the last week or so. Neither time for anything serious. The last time it was for a fever of 100. She has been calling and texting about how sick she is.

I’ve only seen her twice since the wedding a month ago. It’s been nice. I think twice a month is enough for me. But I know if I push back she is going to smother me. I just don’t know if it’s worth the fight.

I have to start planning Thanksgiving and Christmas. That’s another thing, my mom never once hosted those holidays. I started taking it on after my grandma no longer could when I was in my 20’s. Seems kind of young looking back now. I think I feel a lot of resentment towards my mom for that. Sometimes my brother Luke would take it on and he’s younger than me.

This year everyone is invited to the big extended family Christmas party regardless of vaccination status. Last year we were not invited because my household is of a mixed status. Now we are invited but I don’t really want to go. I probably will anyway because the aunts and uncles that are currently not in the family feud went out of their way to be great towards my daughter on her wedding day. Better than my mom was. Actions speak louder than my mom’s words. She sometimes exaggerates things to stir up drama and I can’t overlook that.

I’m not really sure what to do about my mom and my relationship with her. So far I’ve opted to do nothing and be noncommittal which is the opposite of how I try to live my life. I don’t know seems to be my answer for a lot of things these days and I don’t really like it. I’m the type of person who always has to have a plan.

Gratitude tomorrow…

Yesterday I found out one of my blogging friends passed away after a long battle with depression. I wish I could’ve done something to help her. A couple weeks back I noticed her blogging patterns were off. She posted one day like normal and then she just disappeared. She no longer liked or commented on my posts either. A week went by, then another week. I was really getting worried. What if something happened to her? I decided to do a little poking around. I had her name and a general location so I started scouring the obituaries. Nothing…

For awhile I had a sense of false hope. Maybe she was in the hospital and couldn’t update her blog. Maybe she got in a car accident. Maybe she was taking a break on the beach of some nice resort. Maybe she was sick with a fever. The nagging voice in my head said maybe she was dead. Nope, couldn’t be that because I didn’t find an obituary. Maybe, maybe, maybe…until one day I saw a post from her family with her obituary.

Did she know the last time she posted it would be her last? She never said good-bye.

It hurts. Even though we never met in person, I felt like she was a good friend. On a hard day, she often would write an encouraging comment. I just can’t believe it. She was an inspiration to many, especially those struggling with mental health issues. Maybe some day I will go back and re-read some of the things she wrote but as of now I just can’t. Good bye Ashley, you will be greatly missed.

My mother is a narcissist

Looking back it seems so obvious. Right now I’m feeling glad my mom sent my daughter a picture of her ex-boyfriend on her wedding day. I am angry, upset, confused, and sickened by it too. But what I am glad about is that this has been a wake up call for me. Anything else I could accept or take, but not this.

My whole life my mom has been manipulative and controlling. She had a way of making me feel guilty for not wanting to be the person she wanted me to be. She didn’t like my friends, my hobbies, the music I liked or the clothes I picked out to wear. She didn’t even like my husband when she met him and tried to set me up with my ex-boyfriend. Nothing was wrong with my choices, she just didn’t like them and made me feel bad for wanting something different.

She wanted to be the favorite grandma to my kids and often bought them expensive gifts the other grandma couldn’t afford. She used her money to control. She used guilt. She always tried to push back on boundaries. Her favorite cards to play are victim, martyr, and heroine.

I was thinking a lot the last couple days and I have a lot more thinking to do. The main reason why I was angry at my siblings in the past and more recently with my Aunt Jan was because of things my mom said they said about me or my family. There is a hint of truth in what she says, but she exaggerates it causing drama. I can’t believe anything she says.

My mom always wants to be the center of attention. She was angry she didn’t get to sit facing the head table. She was probably upset my dad couldn’t be there. She was probably upset my brother Matt couldn’t go to the ceremony. But what I think really upset her was the fact that I stood up in my daughter’s wedding. Lately she has been making passive aggressive comments towards me in jealousy. She is never happy for me. It must be nice that you get to do things I never got to do…

I am trying to turn something negative into a positive. Don’t get me wrong, I am still pretty upset by what she did. In some ways it has been freeing.

Here are the ways I am going to deal with it in the future:

  1. I am going to talk to safe people as a sounding board. I am going to talk to my therapist about how to deal with this.
  2. I am going to be writing about it and processing it.
  3. I am letting go of my anger towards my aunt and other people my mom told me said bad things about me. Part of this is on me. I took my mom’s word to be true. Instead I should have called my aunt and worked any potential conflict and hurt feelings out with her directly.
  4. I am going to communicate better with my brothers instead of having my mom relay messages. Last night I talked to my brother Luke for an hour and cleared some things up.
  5. My mom is a toxic person and I want to limit my contact with her to twice a month. This is going to be really hard because she walks all over my boundaries.
  6. I want to be more genuine to myself around her.

These are all thoughts off the top of my head. I’m sure I will be thinking about it a lot more over the next several weeks. This has been a very eye opening experience for me and I’m just starting to process another layer of garbage in my life.

Wedding wild cards

I was feeling a lot of anxiety before the wedding because of the wedding wild cards, the several difficult people who would be there.

A few days before the wedding I expressed to my mom how I wished I had a dad who could be at the wedding celebrating with us. My mom took it to mean I wanted my dad at the wedding and went on to say Angel needs to forgive my dad in order for God to give her forgiveness. I decided to let that conversation go. Even if everyone forgave my dad, it still wouldn’t give us the kind of relationship we wanted with him.

My mom invited herself to the rehearsal dinner which wasn’t a big deal. But while there she got upset about the seating arrangement. She was upset she wasn’t facing the head table and told Angel how disappointed she was in her. My mom didn’t seem to understand it wasn’t about her.

Later that evening, my mom said Matt wanted to attend the wedding ceremony. My mom expects everyone to cater to Matt. Angel told my mom Matt was welcome to come to the reception but she didn’t want him at the ceremony. Matt acts socially inappropriately. He often grunts, farts, burps, makes gagging noises, and stands up to kick his legs. If he has to go to the bathroom he wouldn’t have any qualms about pushing his way up the aisle oblivious to who was coming down. No one wants to worry about that on their wedding day.

I understand my mom wanted my dad and Matt to go to the wedding but because of their behaviors they were not able to. In a perfect world, I wanted them there too. I could only wish.

I really wasn’t expecting what happened next. While Dan and Angel were having wedding photos of just the two of them at the park, the rest of the wedding party waited at the limo. My mom sent a picture to my kids and I of one of Matt’s birthday parties Angel’s ex-boyfriend attended. MY MOM SENT A PICTURE OF MY DAUGHTER WITH HER EX-BOYFRIEND TO HER ON HER WEDDING DAY!!! I was pissed. Do you understand why I was worried about the wild cards now??

Angel left her phone in the limo. I tried really hard to crack her code to get into her phone and failed. I was worried she might get locked out of her phone. One of her bridesmaids decided to take the phone to Angel to get the code under the guise of us wanting to use it to take pictures then deleted the photo. None the wiser. It was really stressful and I was embarrassed in front of the wedding party about how dysfunctional my family is. I texted my mom and asked her what she was thinking. She texted back, guess I wasn’t thinking.

Everything was going great up until that point, then my mood just crashed. Inside of me my blood was boiling. On the outside I was trying to pretend everything was fine. Of course my daughter Angel can read me like a book. She asked me what was wrong, I replied nothing. She was getting really anxious so I ended up telling her. Your grandma sent a picture to you of you and your ex-boyfriend on your wedding day.

It was the last thing I was expecting. I was thinking maybe Alex would be late for something, but Alex and Lexi were on time and very involved the whole weekend. Everything went great with Arabella too. She could tell I was stressed so Will and her came back to clean up between the ceremony and wedding. Will accidentally put dish soap in the dishwasher which created a big bubbly mess. The dishwasher was running when we got home, when I went to bed, and the next morning when I got up. It wouldn’t shut off with the bubbles so high. But how could I be upset with good intentions?

But why did my mom send us a picture of Angel and her ex on her wedding day?? What was that? I had an amazing time at the wedding but I was pissed. Then my mom went up to randomly give a speech after the best man and maid of honor saying how she gained a grandson.

I decided I was going to confront my mom. She hurt my daughter and son-in-law on their special day. I was just so angry. I want a peaceful life, but sometimes you have to confront people especially apparently in my family. I was ready to chew my mom out, but she came over apologetic and crying hysterically. Will I forgive her? She will never be able to forgive herself until the day she dies. I found myself comforting her instead of confronting her. I had to be the mature one. I just fell back into the same old pattern. Then my mom went over to apologize to my daughter and her husband.

I asked her why she did it and she said she didn’t know. I am so confused. Then she called me later in the evening and said that I was the only one who was really upset about it as if something was wrong with me. She had my dad on speaker phone and he was asking me how Alex was doing. I just need a break from my parents. I feel so upset and sorrowful over the hurtful things my parents do. I don’t want to let it bother me but it seems like it always does.

I am still feeling angry and sorrowful over this and have been crabby and moping around. My husband said my expectations are too high by thinking my parents are going to be functional people. I guess he is right about that.

3 days

Today I found out all my closest friends will be attending the wedding. I am pretty excited about that. You know what they say, friends are the family we choose. I have a lot of family I consider wild cards. You never know what you are going to get.

My mom said my brother Luke won’t like the music. There is no doubt about it. After he stopped drinking, he became addicted to faith and very legalistic. He does not listen to any music that is non-Christian and neither does his teenage homeschooled kids. I know he looks down upon my family and views us as a bunch of savages. I also know that religion is where he feels safe from all the crap we experienced so I try not to take it personally. It’s not even that I disagree with him, I totally understand and think it is better for him than drinking too much. But he has a tendency to judge instead of support, the latter something we were never taught to do either.

Luke isn’t the only one questioning the music and other choices regarding the wedding Angel and Dan have made. I told Angel that I trust her judgment. What she really has a problem with is people not trusting her. She’s got this. Music is her thing. She has a music degree and a job in the industry. I can understand why it is so important to her. She said she doesn’t want to take requests because they bog the DJ down when she has a well thought out playlist already made. They will have jazzy dinner music from 6 to 8, dance music from 8 to 10, and club music from 10 to midnight. At the ceremony, they will have several singers and a pianist that hold the minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in music. I told my daughter I think she has this handled and validated her feelings of frustration over people questioning and criticizing. It’s their wedding. Angel said she is starting to feel more excited about the wedding than anxious today.

Other than that, I ironed my son’s shirt for the wedding. If it was up to him it would probably still be sitting in the bag I bought it in laying around somewhere. I can’t remember the last time I ironed. Yes, I have an iron. I got it for a high school graduation gift from my aunt. I remember that because when I opened the gift I was excited to see what was really in the box and it really was an iron. Our house has an ironing board built into a drawer in our kitchen island. It looked well used but it was the first time I used it.

As I was ironing, I started to think about ironing. When did that stop being a thing? I missed the smell of ironing. I started to think again of my grandma who was always ironing it seemed. She had a glass soda bottle with a little sprinkler on top to put little drops of water on the clothes before ironing. If you think laundry is a hassle now, try ironing everything.

My mom also gave my grandma laundry to iron. I remember my mom saying the smell of ironing also triggered my brother Matt’s violent outbursts. In the summer, my mom would iron outside. When she couldn’t do that, she sent it all over to my grandma’s. I had forgotten about that, but it all came back to me today. My mom thought if we could perfectly follow all of the crazy rules then Matt wouldn’t be violent anymore when in actuality all it took was the right anti-psychotic medicine. It’s no wonder why my brother Luke fell into following rules so easily and becomes upset when they are broken. I have to fight against it myself with my thinking if I do everything right I won’t get sick, etc. But hey, nothing about my childhood was normal, except maybe my grandma. To think ironing could trigger violence. How flipping crazy is that?

Anyway, I am excited all my best friends are coming to the wedding. I’m happy for the family members attending, even the wild cards. I’m glad Angel is starting to relax a little and enjoy the last couple of days before the wedding. I know it’s going to go by fast now. I’m glad to report everyone is healthy (except Arabella with mono but she will be there!). Only 3 more days to go…

8 days

Another dream, this time where the past meets the present. My best friend, not even invited. Not by my side as the matron of honor. Never to see or talk to again. I had a dream she was not invited to my daughter’s wedding. How could she be when she was not invited to mine?

I felt the pain of those left behind. Before it was Shelly. She was supposed to be my matron of honor. I was the maid of honor in her wedding. But along the way life happened and screwed it all up. You see, Shelly needed a job and my brother Matt needed a teacher’s aide in his special ed classroom. Maybe that’s where things went wrong. Matt was physically violent and at the time he was a full sized adult.

Matt didn’t like school much and had the tendency to hurt someone when he didn’t want to do school work which was quite often. One day after attacking Shelly at school, the police were called. The police came to school, handcuffed my brother, put him in the back of the squad car, and took him to jail. It was something my mom always warned us about. Watch Matt carefully he is an adult now and if he hurts someone he could get locked away forever. I haven’t been able to get over my fear of the police. Every time I hear a siren my heart races.

My mom was sick with fear for Matt. He was facing assault charges which were eventually dropped because he was incompetent to stand trial. I never spoke to my childhood best friend again. My mom flippantly said, “Oh well, you were going separate ways anyways.” I was going to college and she was working with my brother. But I wanted the choice.

My plan was to go to school to become a counselor. Then I was going to fix my family. That was when I was young and dumb enough to think I could. I already felt the weight and responsibility. If I only knew Matt was going to hurt someone before he did. I could have stopped it. It’s my fault he attacked someone because I was not vigilant enough. If I believed it was my fault, I also believed I could fix it.

I felt guilty on my wedding day because I didn’t want Matt there. I didn’t want Matt to hurt someone. When I got married, Matt was going through some serious health issues and my parents thought Matt could die which intensified my guilt. They got a room for him in the hotel we had our reception at. After the ceremony, which he didn’t attend, we had the photographer come to the room to take wedding photos with Matt. We were gone so long some of the guests chided us about what took us so long as we were coming down from the hotel room.

Now it’s my dad who is not invited to the wedding. I can’t say I blame my daughter for not wanting him there, but it’s still painful. What if people ask where he is? He was pretty sick a month ago and in my mind I thought maybe he would die and free me from the shame he brought upon us. It’s a horrible thing to wish for. As if I will ever be free from the pain he caused me. My counselor said if asked I could tell people he is not well enough to go. If further asked, I could tell them I will talk to them about it later. I am good with the plan. It’s the last thing I want to talk about. It’s my mom I worry about. She has a tendency to overshare and play the victim making it all about her when the focus should be on someone else.

Call me a slow learner, but I just figured out this year I can’t fix people. In fact, I don’t have any control at all. I thought I could fix my family of origin but they are way too beyond broken to be put back together. I can’t even fix myself. I tried to fix my husband when he was drinking too much. I felt like it was my fault. I was responsible for him. It was my job to fix him. How easily it was to jump back into my old role. At times I even thought he was drinking just to hurt me. He has been seeing a counselor too which has been helpful, but I think it will be something he will always struggle with. At times I can’t blame him. If drinking took away my pain, there wouldn’t be enough I couldn’t drink.

He thought he could fix me too. He thought he could be my knight in shining armor. He thought he could bring me out of the dark spaces I hide within myself. He tried to make me happy so he could fix my depression. Why didn’t my fear and anxiety go away? Didn’t I love him? Didn’t I trust him? Wasn’t he something to live for? Couldn’t I just stop feeling that way? Couldn’t he just stop drinking??

We couldn’t fix our parents, both of us having parents with addiction/mental health issues. We couldn’t fix each other. We can’t fix our kids who all show signs of addictiveness and/or familial mental health struggles to some degree. That was a hard lesson to learn. There is nothing like having to watch someone you love hurting. I wanted to do anything I could to take the pain away from them. It’s harder as a parent, especially being the mom, because there is a huge sense of responsibility to fix your children. How often is the finger pointed at the parents when the kids struggle? (I can tell you with a daughter who has Borderline, it’s a lot even from professionals that should know better). It’s even easier to blame myself.

I guess if there is any silver lining in this, we have been waging war against these demons for a long enough time to know how to fight them in the best way possible. It wasn’t the first time someone I was close to wasn’t invited or wasn’t well enough to go to a wedding. My best friend wasn’t invited to my wedding and I never saw her again. My own grandpa didn’t go to my wedding because he wasn’t well enough. I can only control what I can control. It’s not easy, but there is some peace in knowing when to let go.

Gratitude week 133

  1. I changed my cartilage piercing for the first time in two and a half years with no issues, no swelling, and no bleeding like the last time…so after 8 years I think it finally healed.
  2. Fresh picked cherries and my husband made cherry pie for the first time.
  3. Summer!
  4. My birthday week…seriously, I’m all birthdayed out.
  5. Sailing on my birthday and staying overnight on the boat with Alex and Lexi. It was Lexi’s first time sailing plus her birthday was the day after mine…so lots of celebrating.
  6. Celebrating my birthday with friends and family over the weekend.
  7. Going out for lunch and getting a massage with my mom for my birthday today.
  8. My good friend Lisa quit drinking. I’m happy she is making a healthy choice and is taking care of herself. She is a friend I really worry about especially the last couple years after her teenage daughter died.
  9. I’m always grateful to be home and sleeping in my own bed.

Up north upset

Why does there always have to be drama with my family??

It started already before we even got up north. I invited my kids and their significant others up north for the fourth. They all said yes. It’s been a family tradition for decades and this was the first time in a long time that all the kids could go. Paul had to work all day Friday. Originally we weren’t going to go up Friday at all, but two out of three of our kids wanted to go up then.

We weren’t going to be getting up north until late. This presented a problem with supper. I was going to be bringing up all of our food and we weren’t going to be up their until at least 8 PM. Dan and Angel and Alex and Lexi were going to be riding up together on motorcycles. They wanted to leave earlier to make sure they were up there before it got dark and had limited room to bring along food. I asked my mom if she had something they could eat when they got there. But she told me they should stop at a bar. Then she said she bought 4 bags of cheese curds for my brother Mark. I was puzzled by our conversation and thought my mom was acting strange. I was also annoyed and wished I had a parent who liked to provide food for her family.

I decided just to make supper for everyone at home last minute. By the time we got up north it was after 8 and my mom was ready to go to bed shortly thereafter. Everyone up there (my mom, my brother Mark, his wife Carla, and brother Matt) was ready for bed at 9. So we moved outside to start a fire and watch the fireworks about ready to start. Mark did not talk to me. My SIL Carla yelled at me to move the motorcycle helmets off the table. That was about it. I felt like they were avoiding us.

During the fire, I found out Mark and Carla were rude to Lexi before Paul and I got up there. My mom asked Mark and Carla if they met Lexi. After being prompted several times, Mark grouchily said yes and walked away. My kids said they did not feel welcomed and that hurt me deeply.

It all started a couple years ago when my mom sent their laptop for Dan to fix and remove pictures from. Dan and Angel found child porn on the computer and took it to the police. That night up north Dan told me he did not feel welcomed by my family. He said it was all his fault too. I gave Dan a hug and told him I was happy he was there and he is not to blame for what my dad did. But Mark and Carla apparently do not feel that way. They treat my dad like the victim and Angel and Dan like they are to blame.

I awoke very early the next morning thinking about telling Carla off. I wanted to tell her about how my dad was abusive towards us when we were kids. I wanted to tell her I couldn’t count on one hand any good memories I had with my dad. I wanted to tell her that he was never nice to my kids, quite the opposite in fact. I wanted to tell her all these things, but didn’t. Maybe things would be different if he was a loving father and grandfather who struggled with addiction.

Instead that morning, Mark, Carla, and my mom went to rummage sales. Carla whipped the car keys at my brother Mark, then yelled at him when he didn’t catch them. I can’t stand how mean she is to my brother, but I’m not sure there is anything I can do about it. Thankfully I see them only a couple times per year.

Also, that morning, my son got ice out of the freezer for his water. Apparently it was Carla’s ice. She yelled at my son saying it wasn’t community ice. My son apologized and said he would buy her some more ice. I wasn’t quite so patient. I yelled as they were going out the door that it was just fucking ice. Later that day they left to go spend time with my dad. The whole experience left me angry, anxious, and depressed for almost a whole week afterwards. I can’t stand when my kids are mistreated for something they didn’t even do wrong. My daughter is getting married in less than 3 months and I don’t even want to invite half of the family I am inviting to the wedding.

Other than that, my kids and their significant others all got along marvelously. It was close to miraculous. I wish I could just focus on that and let the bad slip away. I really have to examine how much time I want to spend with my extended family if they are going to upset me so much.