- My mom and I were able to go snowshoeing this past week. We are having another snowstorm, so I see more snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the near future. It’s been a very snowy late winter.
- My daughter and her husband got a new kitten this past week. I’m grateful she is adding joy to their lives.
- Volunteer time; it was good to go back after taking a couple weeks off.
- I had an eye exam this past week and will be getting new glasses. I’ve been having some minor problems with my eyes, mainly sensitive, irritated eyes with blurry vision caused by a blocked tear gland. I can’t even cry right anymore. Seriously, at this point I’m not sure if I should laugh or cry. I’m grateful to find out what is going on and that it will be a long time before I have to go back again.
- I signed up for a motorcycle class at the local Harley Davidson. I’ve been thinking about it for years but have been nervous about signing up, so now I did.
- I saw my first robin this past week. Even though there is tons of snow on the ground and more coming…spring will be here soon…right??
- We had a volunteer night at the sailing club to put our summer sailing brochures in envelopes. Previously our friends Harv and Kate were doing it themselves and it took them 6 hours. With a large group, we got the job done in a half an hour.
- It was nice to see Harv and Kate again. They are somewhere around 90 years old and Harv has been in poor health. I’m grateful to have some wonderful older friends to look up to. They have been married for 62 years and are a great example of what marriage can be.
- As a Christmas gift, we had our pastor and his family over to grill out and swim. It was a lot of fun to see the little kids having fun in the pool.
- We also had our friends over for trip planning last night. Next month we are taking a road trip to Traverse City, Michigan. We had a good visit.
- While our friends were here last night, we saw a red fox walk right by the window. That’s not something we see very often.
It’s been a very long and stressful weekend. My daughter ended up getting arrested. It was bad timing because I had to work a trade show all weekend. But when is it ever a good time to have a child arrested??
My husband was supposed to work the trade show with me but had a conflict. He had an ice fishing trip planned before we knew the dates of the trade show. My husband has been going with the same group of guys for the past 10 to 15 years. I told him to go ahead, that I could handle the trade show with the help of James our previous employee who still works for the business we sold. He does some very part-time work for us with our new business.
Paul left early Thursday morning. The day started out fine. I ended up getting my nails done and visiting my daughter Angel for supper. After lunch it started snowing and we ended up getting more snow than was predicted. The roads were very slippery. My son ended up getting called in to work. He wasn’t home when I went to bed that night, nor was he back home at 4 in the morning when I got up to go to the bathroom. I checked my phone just in case my son texted since at that time he would’ve been working 12 hours and I thought he would be home. When I checked my phone, I noticed a missed call and multiple texts from Arabella. She said that her and Will got in a fight and she wanted to move back home. It was hard to go back to sleep after that.
I tried calling my daughter in the morning but she was sleeping and didn’t answer. I decided to go outside and start shoveling. We have a huge driveway and my husband took the 4-wheeler we use to plow the driveway. I was pretty annoyed at this point. I didn’t sleep well. I wasn’t expecting to have to worry about the driveway and my daughter. And I didn’t want to go to the trade show. Trade shows aren’t really my thing. I’m not a people person. Talking to people and selling a product to me is a form of torture.
Ten minutes before the trade show started I got a text from my daughter saying that her boyfriend and her were fighting again and she called 911. After an hour, they both were carted off to jail. Meanwhile, I was at the trade show having to smile and pretend everything was okay. Clients asked how my kids were doing. Great, just great! Smile, smile, smile. It was miserable.
The next morning my daughter called from jail. She had about 3 minutes on a recorded line. She basically told me that her and Will got into a fight. She left for awhile. When she came back, he had another girl with him at the apartment. She flipped out and beat him up. She weighs around 100 lbs. more than he does. In the process she got a black eye and bruised face. They both got arrested. She was charged with 3 misdemeanors, one being battery. He was charged with a misdemeanor and a felony. I was really worried because she admitted to what she did wrong on a recorded call. I didn’t have much time to think about it because I was off to a 10 hour day at the trade show.
The night before I talked to Paul and my other kids until 2 AM about what happened. I didn’t sleep well and was really exhausted. Paul was really upset and was going to cancel the rest of his trip. We were debating about bailing our daughter out. I convinced Paul we should continue on with our plans. The main feelings we felt were sadness and anger. Anger at Will and our daughter for getting physical in their fight. Sadness that the relationship they had was now over. Most people were angry with Will. But we didn’t think he deserved a felony. My daughter was at least 50% of the problem. It was very hard to see her mug shot.
Saturday was an exhausting day. Sunday was not much better. I was having insomnia and nightmares. At least it was going to be a shorter day at the trade show and Paul was coming home. Thankfully this morning we had an appointment with our couples counselor. I was worried about a lot of things. I was worried about my daughter’s pets in her apartment. They didn’t give her any of her medications at jail. She was off her meds for 5 days. We are leaving on vacation on Wednesday. Should we still go? The make matters worse, we are expecting a blizzard on Wednesday. My daughter had her hearing today. Would we bail her out or leave her in jail while we are gone? Did we need to get a lawyer? What was going to happen next? Could I get her key to check on her pets? Could I get her meds to her? One medication she wasn’t supposed to stop abruptly.
I felt like I had to put all my feelings on a shelf over the weekend. But maybe that was a good thing. The trade show was very distracting. Every evening James and I went out afterwards for drinks. I ran into some friends of mine which was nice. I didn’t have time to worry as much as I would’ve sitting home alone.
Right after we got out of our appointment with the counselor, we got a call from Arabella that both her and Will were out of jail. If they do certain things, their charges will be dismissed. They went back to their apartment. We sat down and talked to them for an hour to see if they would be safe. We came up with a safety plan. There was relief in knowing we didn’t have to make some hard choices such as if we needed to bail her out or keep her in jail while we were gone.
I was worried my daughter would be suicidal. She was on suicide watch at jail. Apparently they stripped her down and strapped her to a chair. In doing so they bruised up her arms. Her body was a big massive bruise. She was also self-harming in this whole process. Will said Arabella was banging her head against the wall and burning herself. He was trying to stop her. I was worried they might be suicidal or harm each other again. If they do, they will both be in jail for awhile.
I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the way my life is going to be. There will always be problems it will be hard to catch a break from. We are still planning on going on our trip. We might have to leave a day early because of the blizzard to make the drive down to Chicago to catch our flight. There is not much I can do right now. My daughter is an adult and my hands are tied. I don’t have much control over what happens or winter storms. But as of right now I think everything is okay and that is all I can ask for.
Gratitude week 156
- Spending Christmas with my kids and their significant others.
- Spending three weekends in a row celebrating Christmas with my kids and their significant others. I am really blessed to have adult children living nearby.
- Spending Christmas Eve with my husband, best friend and her family.
- The candlelight Christmas Eve service.
- My son and his girlfriend got into a car accident on Christmas Eve. A lady blew a red light and hit them. I’m really grateful they were safe in the accident. I am really, really hoping and praying his car isn’t totaled as he has only had it for a month.
- My son Alex does not always wear his seatbelt which his girlfriend and I have been giving him a hard time about. He said previously if he thought he was going to get into an accident he would slip it on real quick. I asked him how that worked out for him. He said from now on he is going to wear a seatbelt.
- I gave and got some really cool gifts. Among my favorites are the Lake of Tears vinyl record, several books including A Father’s Story by Lionel Dahmer, and a magnet fishing kit.
- We had a white Christmas.
- The wind chills are finally above zero.
- We had a great night on Friday sampling beer, eating pizza, and watching the Bucks game with our employee and friend James plus Angel and Dan. Because it was incredibly cold and snowy not all the pizza places were open. When the delivery driver got here, she said she got stuck in someone’s driveway and was sorry she was late. I’m grateful for people who show up to work on a holiday weekend with bad weather conditions. I gave her a good tip.
- Volunteering at Christmastime. Seeing the joy of people in need receiving special gifts at Christmas time. There were a lot of clothes donations at Christmastime, so my mom, Angel and I helped with the sorting today.
- In addition to our own counselors, Paul and I started seeing a couples counselor familiar with our family history. Our marriage is not in trouble. We thought it would help us get through some difficult areas we need to work through mainly with family of origin issues. After one session, she has already been very insightful and I’m hoping it will enhance our relationship.
Gratitude week 155
- We were able to get some back burner home projects done.
- Volunteer time; it’s always a blessing to share my time helping others.
- My daughter and son-in-law got the rest of their wedding pictures back and they are absolutely gorgeous.
- I’m grateful that my daughter and son-in-law realized they had a gas leak in their house and fixed the problem.
- We have snow on the ground and are expecting another foot of snow this week, so it’s looking good for a white Christmas.
- I had my extended family Christmas this past weekend and it went well.
- My husband and ALL my kids and their significant others attended. I’m grateful to be surrounded by my children, seeing and talking to them often.
- I like all of their significant others.
- A double batch of cheesy potatoes fit into the biggest crock pot I own for the extended family Christmas party.
- Fires in our fireplace on cold winter nights.
- It’s Christmas week and I’m looking forward to time spent with family and friends, the Christmas Eve candlelight service, good food, Christmas trees, and giving and receiving gifts as we celebrate Christmas.
- Spending time with relatives I haven’t seen since before COVID.
Gratitude week 154
- Lunch with my husband and daughter getting Indian take out.
- A free car wash.
- Hosting Christmas at my house with my husband, kids and their significant others, my mom, and siblings and family with no drama. Everyone seemed to have a great time together and that is pretty close to being a Christmas miracle.
- My mom’s Christmas gifts came in the mail in time for the party.
- My brother Luke and his family spent the night.
- The futon couch I ordered came just in time for my niece to sleep on it.
- Volunteer time.
- A date night at the community theater with our elderly friends Harv and Kate. They are in good health and we had a wonderful visit.
- Christmas lights, music, and trees.
- Having a good visit with my mom.
- Playing gin rummy with my husband.
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.
Do we ever think about the hidden secrets beyond our knowledge after all the horrible things we already found out? This question has been haunting me since Lexi asked me this yesterday. What don’t I know about my family?
My son’s girlfriend has been opening up to me about her life. Alex and Lexi have been together almost a year and a half now. Sometimes she will come over just to talk. It’s strange because I see many parallels between her life and mine. I won’t share with you the details because it’s not my story to tell. But I can say she experienced a tremendous amount of suffering in childhood.
Sometimes I see myself in her. It was hard finding friends who could relate. I remember being the girl not fitting in with others entering adulthood with fresh memories of a carefree childhood. I never had those stories to tell. I felt like I just exited a war zone when I entered adulthood. Childhood was a time of worry, fear, and stress that left me careworn with a lifetime of fighting anxiety, depression, and PTSD. I could never get that time back and change it into something I wanted. It’s hard to explain that weight to someone who didn’t carry it.
I understood when Lexi said she didn’t want to totally cut her family out of her life. She said there are so many layers to it. How can you walk away when you are conditioned to be a lifeguard trying to save the family from drowning while they are always pulling you under? I told her it is okay to limit her contact with them although that is something I still struggle with doing myself.
Sometimes Lexi will talk to me about her relationship with my son. She talks more in a relational way instead of a complaining way. But sometimes I’m not sure what to say or do. My son still has not met her family. He has no intentions of meeting them because they are not good people. But how is that going to work if they get married or have children? They both do not want him to meet her family. I don’t understand. I usually wanted significant others to meet my family early because that could be the make it or break it point. How else do you really get to know somebody?
I’m not really sure what to do. Maybe I should just keep listening as someone who kind of understands instead of trying to fix things. Maybe this is what having a daughter-in-law is like. My son rarely sits down and has little talks with me. I’m glad she is opening up to me and we get along well. What more could I ask for?
Although she really did make me think when she asked me what I thought remains hidden that we just don’t know after all the horrible things were revealed. For the longest time I didn’t know the truth but it was still there. There is probably still a lot I don’t know. I never really thought about it before and that’s a scary thing to overthink about. Dealing with what I know is already hard enough.
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.
My letter from the bride and groom
Thank you for standing up in our wedding. You and I have always had such a close bond. I cherish our many memories we have made together. Some of my favorite memories include running with you in the mornings, going on the train ride at Disney, and the many community theater shows we were in together. I remember sitting down while you attempted to put makeup on my twitchy eyes. You will always be my best friend and person I turn to during hard times. You are strong, hard working, and patient. The love I have for you can’t be put into words. You are the best mom a girl could ask for. Thank you for the time you put into raising me and the investment in giving Dan and I our dream wedding. You always have my back and I love and appreciate you so much.
Thank you for all of your contributions to our wedding, and for raising such a wonderful daughter. I feel very fortunate to have you for a mother-in-law and future grandmother to our children. I look forward to becoming a member of your family.
Angel gave me this note right before the wedding ceremony. It was hard to keep a dry eye and this was a very special touch. I am so excited for them as they start the next chapter of their life together. I know my daughter married the right man. I can’t even describe how joyous their day was to me. It was one of the happiest moments of 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.