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Updates on my week: memories of others, more drama, back pain and procedures…

** am unable/unwilling to edit this properly, as the pain and meds I am on am making it impossible at the moment, so apologies in advance **

I am hoping things get a wee bit better here on out.

After the last post re ‘avalanche of crap’ the other day, I simply did not feel like posting again. My back pain was pretty high and I was feeling down from the drama.

My son and I ended up fighting/discussing/hashing it out until 4 am that night. The man has some issues, which breaks my heart. He says he doesn’t even remember me hugging or kissing him as a child- which is shocking. His father was there and was just as shocked as I was- anyone who knows me, KNOWS that I am pretty demonstrative with my kids and that boy never lacked for love and kisses. He said what he DID remember, when I DID show him affection, it felt ‘fake’ to him somehow.

I mentioned this to other family members and they were just as shocked as we were. We have no idea how he’d come to this conclusion. It was telling, though, when his younger brother tried to hug him and calm him down after the fight on the porch- he pushed C away twice. He eventually apologized to C, but we just simply don’t understand how/why he feels the way he does… and I am heartbroken, still.

He has come back from his time in Chicago a very changed person- a bit neurotic, more so than before. He started pushing us away as a teen, but we assumed it was a normal teenager phase and just due to the kids he ran around with. He went from being a rather shy, but close to his family type kid to acting ashamed of us and feeling jealous of me.

He said he saw me more as a sister than a mother at some point and that he did some of the things he did to me as a teen (lied to his friends and mine about me, so that I was alienated from my own friends) when he started doing theater out of jealousy and didn’t really know why he did/said the things he did back then. It was difficult for me to hear from my adult friends back then all the things my son said to them which weren’t true at all… and he apologized for what he did.

I don’t understand the jealousy part at all. I always have been silly in how supportive and proud I’ve been about my kids and their achievements. I always loved to support them and give them encouragement and just felt joy when they accomplished things. I guess he didn’t feel the same way.

To explain some of it: I’ve always been semi-in the public eye with my work and hobbies. I had no idea and am also baffled as to why my oldest son would be jealous about that. I always assumed (and been vocal) about how proud I was of him. I am very uncomfortable knowing this and my heart hurts over it.

I feel sad for him. I feel sad for us. The rest of us (brother, dad, yadda) can’t really comprehend his side of it. It’s like his perception of how life was is totally at odds with ours. Granted, we had some emotional issues when the boys were growing up. I was gone a lot abroad working. I’d come back to a house that was beyond horrific and get upset over it. My mother and middle son were going through their bipolar. It was not all roses and ice cream… but no family ever is.

At one point during the ‘discussion’, I simply removed myself from the house and went outside on the porch be alone and have a cry. I sobbed for a while, which isn’t like me. I needed the alone time, I felt overwhelmed.

He came outside after a while and demanded to know why I was doing this.

HIM: “What’s this?”

Me: “What’s what?!”

HIM: “WHY are you doing this? Crying?!”

ME: “WTF?! Why do you THINK?”

HIM: “I don’t know”

I am wondering, honestly, if he is not on the autism spectrum sometimes. He doesn’t seem to understand subtle nuances in emotion and can be extremely literal and has a lack of empathy. My youngest son, who IS on the autism spectrum, is very empathetic and ‘gets’ emotional things more-so than any person I know, tried to explain things to him- tried to diffuse the original situation- but could not get through to his brother.

I was on the verge that night of having him move out, honestly, I was. I can’t take much drama like this- not on a constant basis. It’s unhealthy. It’s not good for the baby to see people screaming and crying all the time. It upsets the rest of us and we’ve been pretty much used to a quiet, peaceful, rational calm these last 5 yrs since the 2 big boys have been grown and on their own.

He also told his father about my blog and for a moment there, they attempted to stop me from continuing this. FUCK THAT SHIT. I am blogging. It’s the only thing I have that’s mine alone and the only thing saving my sanity. I won’t hide behind secrets and pretend crap away. I can’t live like that anymore. If they don’t like it, they don’t have to read it. Period.

The next day, my oldest seemed better. Maybe the drama and discussion provided him some sort of catharsis. He actually came with me to a 1 yr old’s birthday party and played with Maisie on the playground and helped watch her. He said he had a good time. I was very grateful that he helped with Maisie so much and seems to adore her as much as he does. I think he’s warmest to her than any of the rest of us and it makes me feel good to see this.

C, on the other hand, was in a hurry to get home.

C: I need to get home, Mom, I have to mow my lawn before the city gives us a citation.

The statement above kind of illustrates the differences between the two boys. Not that it’s bad, but C is probably more mature than all of us combined in the household. He likes to keep on schedule and get stuff done. I really respect that and wish I were more like that myself.

C also came to me the night of the ‘big discussion’ and said he had to go to his room to decompress, it was way too much for him emotionally that day. I could totally concur.

It just worries me that my oldest must have been used to such emotional drama during his time living with his ex. His father keeps reminding me that he must be simply projecting the relationship stuff he had learned/lived in Chicago on me, since I am the only adult female in the house. After the exchange I had with his ex via the text, I am starting to think his dad must be right. This girl is estranged from her family for many years and apparently it wasn’t a great situation to begin with. Her mother was never supportive, nor did she care about her achievements. My son has mentioned her upbringing at great length in the past and it saddened me to hear about it. I was and am still shocked by all of this bullshit this week.

I am wondering how many of my son’s ‘memories’ are simply things he absorbed from HER.

Freaks me out a little bit, to tell you the truth.

I look and feel like shit here… but that’s to be expected lol

I had my back procedure yesterday- lasted longer than I thought it would. It was an epidural with injections to my lumbar region done under live x-ray at a hospital 40 minutes away from my home. I didn’t expect it to be as painful as it was- I am now in more pain today than I had been prior. The side effects (nausea, dizziness, sweating, lethargy, fever, pain) have been BRUTAL. I am hoping it all works- doctor said it may or may not. The tailbone procedure I had last week only worked on half of my tailbone and pain. The doctor says he hopes this procedure that I had yesterday will resolve all of it. From what I’ve read on the Internet, after looking up the side effects i was having, there’s a 50 percent chance that it won’t.

Seems like a lot of work and odds for such shitty odds that it may not work.

I also DETEST these narcotics and my need for pain relief.

I have never experienced chronic pain in my life- nor the need to take these types of medicines on a regular basis- and I am freaked out by how they make me feel emotionally.

I want to wean myself off these things. I want the pain to subside. I want my sons to feel better. I want to rid myself of this sudden depression I have been drowning in.

We also had Maisie’s 1 yr photo shoot 2 days ago, but will save that for another post.

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MORE VENTING/RAMBLING/BITCHING- and I have to say, after 6 yrs of witnessing R’s family, I appreciate my family (aunts, cousins, parents) MORE.

I don’t know if it’s the pain meds or family issues or what- but I have been extra angry lately…and weepy and emotional, you name it.

My tail bone procedure that was done a few days ago seems to be kicking in, kinda… as long as I take the pain meds with it. I am not happy with it yet, so I will discuss it with my doc on Monday if it doesn’t change. I really don’t want to be taking medications for pain for the rest of my life.

My lower back procedure is happening on Monday. I am very excited about it. I can’t wait to be able to work out again and do yoga and move and lift baby without screaming in pain or landing in the hospital.

They put me on a muscle relaxer and a narcotic pain reliever- which I detest. I am not a big user of prescription (or any) meds. I am one of those ‘hippie-dippie supplement/vitamin’ people. I don’t even smoke marijuana (and it’s legal where I live)- I am actually one of the 5% of humans that is ALLERGIC to it. I turn into Linda Blair from the Exorcist, projectile vomiting and all (TMI).
However, I have been taking the meds as prescribed because of the discomfort post-procedure. I really don’t like how emotional it is making me- or how sleepy.

I noticed, also, that the Baclofen (sp?) that they gave me for muscle spasms has been giving me EXTRA VIVID dreams. I actually dreamt that I was in Alaska the other day and it was so realistic! One of my sisters was there, too, and in my dream I ended up beating up this skanky woman who was harassing her. Earlier in the dream, I’d been to a shabby, but very clean and nicely decorated house (decorated in white) of a Native American woman who played an old wooden piano. She was wearing a beautiful beaded white deerskin dress. They weren’t nightmares- just so REAL.

Earlier in the week, I was felled by a lupus flare, due to stress. The tail bone procedure followed that. We also dealt with R’s family (parents, only sibling’s family) deciding to skip out on Maisie’s birthday (even though we HAD to attend HER KID’S 1st bday 2 months prior).

Another thing upset me this week: I helped out someone in need financially- I am not a lender, I just give. However, I was very upset (whether out of genuine hurt or just the fucking meds clouding my brain cells) because they didn’t even give so much as a ‘thank you’ after. Only a few days later, when someone mentioned to them that I was a bit miffed, did they send a long letter to me. I didn’t give it for the thanks- let’s get that straight now- but I guess I was raised differently. If I had been in the same position, I would have at least shot off a quickie ‘thank you’ text. Nothing more, nothing less. I guess it just made me feel a little used or like I’d been had, I don’t know.

People sometimes confuse me… although none as much as R’s family.

We woke up this morning to his mom and sister sending texts while en route to Vegas “Happy Birthday, MAYA”- keep in mind, Maisie is her nickname and I’ve asked that they call her that- this is another pet peeve and they know it. Hell, they call THEIR OWN SON AND THEIR UNFORTUNATELY NAMED GRANDSON BY *THEIR* NICKNAMES.

Just irks me, the entire thing- they refuse to treat their own son and grandchild like human beings and they continue to passive-aggressively (because they’d never come out and say shit to our faces, the cowards) throw these asshole barbs.

Poor R didn’t hear from anyone else in his own family- except for his WONDERFUL Italian Grandmother in Philadelphia. This woman is the ONLY human being in his immediate family that seems ‘normal’ and also seems to actually CARE about him and this child. Of course, his mother treats her almost as badly as she treats us (it’s HER mom). His Grandmom sent a lovely letter (she’s 82 and does so weekly, health allowing) and we called her. I send her photos of Maisie and videos and long letters all the time. I just love hearing from her. She commiserates with us as well, she doesn’t understand why R’s family acts like this, either. I feel so badly for her. No woman at her age should be so alone and isolated from her family. It’s not freaking natural. I understand her- she was raised by immigrants, as I was by my mom. I simply DO NOT COMPREHEND the level of cold and disconnected and passive-aggressive we witness in his folks.

My mom, who is Filipino, always got on well with Italians, too. I think they share a similarity in mindset to a great degree. Both cultures are super family oriented and clannish and opinionated. I can dig that.

Cold, quiet, reptilian communication styles don’t work with me. Hiding everything under a facade of utter BULLSHIT isn’t my thing, either.

So, yeah, this morning I felt like going postal until the party rolled around. The letter and the lovely phone call with Grandmom was also a salve to the soul.

I spent a good 3 or 4 hours talking to R and Jeff on the back porch. Jeff will be here an additional week because I need help with the baby after the procedures- then he’s back to Texas. We discussed the different ‘family styles’ we each grew up in.

In Jeff’s family- and they’re there are a ton of them- are close knit and from North Dakota. They drink together, hunt together, spend all their time together and get along well… all of them are big talkers. If someone in the family pisses off another, they will all chime in and ‘call bullshit’ to the one that’s at fault. No one really holds grudges or stays mad- they just discuss, argue, laugh, cry, and move on.

In R’s family, they never yell. They don’t discuss. His parents and sister’s family all live far away from the rest of their families back East. Things are whispered, told to be kept secret. When I met R, when he would talk to either of his parents, they would PRETEND HE WASN’T TALKING or in the room and just tune him out like he was invisible and talk to each other. It could be ANYTHING he was saying- like if he mentioned he’d done something that day or anything pedestrian like that. It was bizarre and I called them on it once in the car:

Me: “Um, hey, he was actually saying something to you and you guys did that weird thing again like he isn’t here”

Them: UNCOMFORTABLE SILENCE

If he- or anyone- tries to discuss things with them, they simply hide/stop talking/ignore… or his dad will say “I did that first” to him or something equally strange.

That is, unless they’re drinking, then they’re much more social.

R has no memory of his childhood prior to age 12 when he moved to Michigan. When I had him see a therapist about it, his family became uncomfortable with this and he stopped going.

They are somewhat affluent, can afford nice vacations every month or so. They buy him cars and control his insurance, make sure all his mail and bills come to their house, and his mother does his taxes. They call him when they need him to work on something (like their houses) or fix things or dog sit. These people live 3 blocks away and are completely different with their oldest daughter and her family. They bought two houses next door to each other (and across the alley from their ‘original’ house) when she fell pregnant and fenced both yards in. They spend every day with her and do everything with her and for her and her kid.

R doesn’t say anything to them mostly, as Jeff puts it “they have him by the balls”. His mom is passive-aggressive enough that if he rocked the boat his mail would be lost, his insurance bill would rise, etc. I personally feel like he is too old to let Mommy control his finances, especially since he lives in MY HOUSE and is a grown man.

After Maisie was born, they asked for a copy of her birth certificate. I refused. They told him that they needed it to make a college fund. I called bullshit. Needless to say, they did not get a copy of my child’s birth certificate.

His mother has mentioned that she wanted to abort R when she became pregnant (and said this in the same pleasant, flat tone she always uses), but kept him because ‘her husband likes babies’… they have NO PROBLEMS saying this in front of him, either.

R says he doesn’t make a fuss because he knows it would do no good and he accepts their gifts because he knows that is all he will get from them, as far as love and attention. I cannot imagine how hurtful it is to grow up and live like a non-entity, a second class citizen in your own family- especially one so freaking small.

The mother and daughter don’t like making the other baby (who is 2 months older than Maisie) jealous. If the grandfather holds Maisie, he is told to put her down because the other baby is getting upset. That is no way to raise a child- but the perfect way to mindfuck one. The rest of the gory details can be found here.

When we went to visit his family 5 yrs ago in Philadelphia, we found that his mother’s mom was delightful and ‘normal’ and loving. His father’s family is much more “Yankee”. The aunt that the parents and sister are closest to is very regimented. The uncles and aunt they are not as close to seem much more ‘normal’, but he was told to stop communicating with them basically when we came home, as they didn’t like it. Incidentally, those siblings of his father are the ones they have the most problems with. The weird thing is that his parents don’t always COME OUT AND SAY things directly, they have this weird almost non-verbal way of making him do things and making him understand that shit should not be done for whatever reason… it is so subtle, so Vulcan mind-meld crap-pish.

We have never met his mother’s brothers, by the way- just the grandmother on her side.

My family is the POLAR OPPOSITE (yet, just as dysfunctional- well, maybe not so much, IDK) of R’s.
We’re social, gregarious, we love everyone. We fight within our clan. My mom can be a violent, scary, crazy bitch- but she’s not truly considered part of the whole clan, which has always been a problem for her. We all love her and have feared and loathed her at the same time. Her bipolar has really done a number on us… but her good side is amazingly good. Her dementia now is somewhat of a blessing, as she is less violent nowadays, thank god.

I am not going to lie. When we were growing up she physically abused us above and beyond anything normal and legal. In this day and age, she would be put in jail and the kids would have been taken away- but it didn’t happen. Of course, in this day and age there are meds for her condition that might have made a huge difference- but it’s too late to speculate and all water under the bridge now. Back in the day, her condition and behavior were things to hush up and hide. Nowadays, people have meds for this. Sometimes I think we were born too early. She would have been a perfect candidate for those new medications- she didn’t self-medicate with drugs nor alcohol and always trusted the pills the doctors gave her.

My father’s family is made up of brilliant, beautiful, intelligent, and strong willed artistic women… and kind of depressive, more laid back males, who also are very charming, good looking, and self-effacing. There’s a lot of enabling going on in my family, but we love and hate to be together. We party together well, but if ONE PERSON (always a female) loses her shit on another family member- that member is ostracized. It used to be my mom- or one of my aunts- and nowadays, me, coz I can’t/don’t know how to shut the eff up. We all love each other and are super self-centered (at least us females). We keep the peace (well, not me. I’m the one who just says- fuck all of you, and goes and cries in the corner- and I’m a wussie because my ‘fuck all of you’ is usually only done by typing blogs) by AVOIDANCE. Avoidance and pretending shit away… unless it’s not a ‘family’ matter, then we can psycho-analyze the fuck out of OTHER PEOPLE (as I am doing now ha!)

I have another faction of my family- my maternal grandmother’s family. They’ve taken me in where my own immediate aunts and uncles have rather shunned me (which I don’t mind anymore about my aunts, I love them- but all of us together, when someone is pissed- are a high strung lot- or, I am high strung and also exhausted at the same time). It’s kinda like the Amish shunning, except with more glitz, no religion, and it’s Rumspringa all the time.

My grandmother’s family is wonderful. Unashamedly hillbilly, outspoken, down to earth/salt of the earth people. If you piss them off, someone will call you on your shit ASAP. They are more accepting, more stubborn than any of the above families at the same freaking time. I am comfortable with them. I get their humor. I love their generosity, I love how they fight, I love their bitchery, too. It’s like they’re a mix of my mother’s crazy but with a gentler and more forthright kindness that reminds me of Jeff’s clan. R loves them, too- even though he’s been pissing them off lately (and he’s pissed me off, too, so I get it). He just has no idea how to show it at all. I think HONEST is the word that comes to mind mostly when I think of them- honest- warts and all.

I love that.

Now, here’s the thing: I APPRECIATE and LOVE my family (all of them- mother/dad’s side/grandmother’s side more now that I’ve experienced R’s family dynamic.

Holy SHIT, we ALL bitch and moan about our fights and ‘who did what to whom’ and I can admit to violent behavior both done TO me and BY me/others- but damn, none of it seems as heart wrenching as R’s upbringing.

The one core thing my family(families) have is a deep and demonstrative kiss you on yer mouth type LOVE.

I don’t care how much lying we do to ourselves. I don’t care how much ostracizing and bitching that happens- we’ve NEVER HAD THIS COLD, EMOTIONLESS wasteland that he’s endured.

Not so in his family- which irks me, scares me for my own child, and makes me weep for R.

For this reason, I think I’ve been kind of obsessed about the little hurts I witness coming from his side.

For this reason, I am more ADAMANT about sticking to my guns and protecting my child and him from more of this shit.

I wish I would have been a better mother to my sons. I wish I would have been a better daughter/niece/aunt/cousin/wife to the rest of my family. I wasn’t.

But ONE thing I know: NEVER in my life have I ever done the things to my kids or others that have been done to R.

I also want a better life, a better family, a better chance at decent mental health for Maisie.

I do not believe I can do that by exposing her to his side of the family. I don’t care if they have thousands of dollars (they say) put into a college fund. I don’t care if they buy her a zillion gifts. NONE OF THIS MEANS ANYTHING without love and compassion and normalcy and stability. None of this means anything without consistency.

I will gladly welcome his Grandmom into our lives- she reciprocates and genuinely cares- and is 82 and has not many years left, unfortunately.

I won’t FORCE my child on them, I won’t run after them- nor will I let R use Maisie as a way of somehow gaining their love. It won’t work and my kid is not a pawn.

I also appreciate the friends and strangers on my Facebook (and blog/twitter/instagram) who are kind and showed so much love to my daughter on her birthday… and any day.

You people- most of you haven’t even MET HER- have been kinder to my child than her own flesh and blood.

That is not something I will soon forget.

Thank you for listening, for reading, for replying, for being an ear… xxoo

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Tuesday I will have my first back procedure… and school starts for C

I’ve been having issues with tail bone and lower back pain, both of which have prevented me from doing any of my workouts- or even SITTING for any length of time.

Tomorrow I will be having my first (of 2) procedures on my back. I am hoping that it gives me some relief for a while. The second procedure is on the 14th, for my lower back. I am a little nervous about these.

C also starts 10th grade on Tuesday- which is my dad’s birthday. I have to rush to get presents, cake, back done, kid off to school on that day.

I will finish up my Dumpster Diaries post soon… everything is pretty much done, except the art hasn’t arrived from Thailand yet.

I am SOOO tired and SO burned out.

Jeff (who is up here from Texas) extended his visit for another week, because I have my second back procedure at Paw Paw hospital on the 14th and there was no one available to drive me to/from the hospital. Sam was iffy about it and maybe can watch Maisie for me- and Jay said ‘he had to check his schedule’ (which means ‘no’). R has to work and has no more days off left (vacation days).
 
Connor is such a good boy. When I told him that his dad offered to stay, he actually went and thanked him and said ‘if I had my permit, I would have done it myself- thank you so much, Dad’.