1

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

10

Pet Peeve #102- When HIS Family Members Treat Maisie Like A Non-Entity (and him, too)- or Crazy CAN be NON-VIOLENT, too.

See these 2 people- they MATTER. Maybe not to his own family, but to me and mine.

See these 2 people- they MATTER. Maybe not to his own family, but to me and mine.

**this week has been MONUMENTALLY BAD for us. I am almost ashamed that I’ve ranted so much on this blog, but what the hell… only real place I can do it**

Pet Peeve #101 can be found HERE

I have actually known about this for a few weeks, but didn’t know the SPECIFICS until a few days ago when we spoke to another family member of his.

Background:

R is the 2nd child (and youngest) in his family. His only sister had her son (his family’s first grandchild) 2 months before Maisie was born. His family pretty much treats him like a non-entity. They live 3 blocks away from us and never come to see him/Maisie. They bought two houses next door to each other so that they could move his sister and her hubs in next to them while she was pregnant. They’d previously lived DIRECTLY ACROSS THE ALLEY from the 2 houses. His sister is 13 yrs older than he.  They (R’s mom/sister/nephew) take walks daily, but never walk by our house nor stop by. We ALWAYS have to come to THEM. I’ve never once asked (nor have I needed) them to babysit my daughter. They help raise little baby Milton because R’s sister is a veterinarian and works- as does her hubby.

They once told me that we could not look baby Milton in the eyes for the first 30 minutes we were there, lest it upset him. R’s father is always told (when he picks up Maisie) by his mother/sister “Put her down, you’re making Milton jealous”. He generally drops her after they say this… except for a month ago during R’s birthday dinner and the father got glares from his wife/daughter as a result of his ‘not obeying’.

Fucking give me a break- this boy is only a year old! This is even unhealthier in other ways than MY dysfunctional family.

Also, there is the racist thing. They’re not happy that I am half-Asian and that Maisie looks Asian. R tried to shrug it off as “Dad was in Vietnam” (give me a fucking break- he never left Stateside)- or “My grandpop was in the Pacific Theater” (OMFG, SO WAS MINE).

Here’s the perfect RACIST example:

We had previous issues with his parents in the past. This is from a post to my Facebook in 2011 when I had a miscarriage and his father INSISTED he drive us to the hospital for the d&c:

What happened when we drove to Kalamazoo for the procedure, or, Am I being too sensitive here?

December 22, 2011 at 2:42am

On Monday when we had to go to Kalamazoo for the D&C, R’s dad offered to drive (which was fortunate because R was hit with another stomach ailment and had a bucket in his lap the entire way).

I was nervous about the procedure and cramping slightly because of the dose of misoprostal/cytotec they had me take the night before. 

I sat in the back seat while R sat in the front passenger’s seat, hugging his puke bucket.

Suddenly, R’s dad starts talking, prefacing his speech with “I don’t want to offend you, but… ” then goes on to inform me that I am high risk at my age being pregnant. 

I acknowledge this fact and try to keep the tone pleasant… I mean, that’s the whole reason I was going all the way to Kalamazoo to see an obstetrician. 

Somehow, his discourse changed to “Asians age overnight- you can go to bed with someone who looks 16 and wake up with something that looks 60”.  He also implied something that made me reassure HIM that I wasn’t trying to make ‘retarded babies’.

He went on and on about the Asians and their aging overnight for about 10 minutes, as if to drive the point home for me somehow.

I didn’t let him have it then because I was a) in shock that he’d SAY something like this to me, ESPECIALLY at this time as he was driving us to surgery for the miscarriage and b) I was terrified about the procedure itself and c) it was 4 am and I was so tired.

Anyway, I’ve had a lot of time to think about this over and over since then and am floored at the ill-timed racial slurs (to be honest, he’s mentioned this 4 or 5 times before, but usually when he’s drunk) and insensitivity.  I also am really angry about it.

We were supposed to go to R’s parent’s for Xmas Eve and I am not comfortable going at all.  Because I know that Ray would never say a peep to his parents about this, I texted his mom tonight and told her I wouldn’t be going and why I wasn’t going.  I am depressed enough right now and the thought of that drive there/what that man had the balls to say to me really pisses me off.

 I put up with stupid, insensitive things from my parents.  I do NOT have to put up with them from HIS parents.  I am sick of being treated like some foreigner.  His father’s asked me before how long I’d been in this country– hello, I was born in St. Joseph, MI.  He’s mentioned the overnight aging thing before.  Hell, I think he doesn’t mention the black genetics because I happened to find black ancestors in HIS genealogy (which seemed to shut down his genealogical endeavors immediately, lemme tell ya).

I may be a little sensitive right now, but I don’t think it’s wrong of me to feel uncomfortable considering the circumstances– or angry. I had to type this out because I have been so upset over this (and y’all know, if I am so upset that I keep my mouth shut for 2 or 3 days mulling things over before spewing them here, it must REALLY bother me).

Needless to say, I did not speak to these people for a few years after that. I calmed down a lot after Maisie was born because in my mind it was only the right and fair thing that she know her grandparents on his side. He has NO OTHER relatives here in Michigan except for his folks and sister’s family. The rest live in Philly and he barely knows them.

Anyway, on his nephew’s birthday on the 4th of July, his parents INSISTED and MADE SURE we’d be there for his 1st birthday party. Of course, I had no problems with this- I come from a large family (however effed it it may be at times) and want Maisie to know her only cousin on his side. His mother helped cook for the party, it was all very nice. I took the photos of the children together and thought nothing of it until a few weeks ago when I casually mentioned to R’s mom that we’d be having a small ‘family only’ cake party for Maisie’s 1st birthday on the 10th of September. We planned on having a bigger party on the 19th when R has a day off.

R’s Mother: “We can’t come on the 10th, we fly out to Vegas that morning- we’ll have to do something on the 9th”

I told her (nicely, because I was still kinda gobsmacked- they’ve been to Vegas 3x in the last couple of months for FUN- it’s not like they’re poor and have to save all year for these vacays- this is a COMMON THING) that we were busy on the 9th.

I was so shocked- but kept a cool facade- that I couldn’t even respond to that.

I learned later on (a couple of days ago) that they planned the trip so they could take BABY MILTON back to Vegas (not his first trip) and that it was the only day they could because his daddy had that weekend off… Gimme a BREAK. They KNEW when her birthday was. They were AT THE HOSPITAL WHEN SHE ARRIVED. She is their only other grandkid.

The mother is passive-aggressive as hell. She even likes to talk about how much ‘Milton loves Vegas’, as if it hurts us.

She says things with a pleasant look on her face, like: “I would have had an abortion with R, but his dad likes babies, so I had to keep him” OR (when I was pregnant with the one I miscarried): “Just so you know, I don’t touch or pick up other people’s babies before they’re a year old”.

What HURTS is how they treat R and my baby. No amount of money can replace kind words or even a loving interest that R craves from them.

Early on in our relationship, we were having problems. Being the mother of three sons, I suggested he call him mom and talk it out with her- that’s what I would expect MY kids to do.

He called her and chatted for an hour. He felt so good after… until a few days later, when we saw her face-to-face and she said:

“Oh, you know the day you called and talked and cried on the phone? I put the phone down and did laundry”

WHAT.THE.FUCK?!

R’s father is also a doozy- as long as I’ve known them, he’s told R (as if by ROTE):

“You know son, the reason why we can’t have a close relationship is because ‘a daughter’s a daughter all her life, but a son’s a son til he takes a wife’- and that’s why I am closer to your sister”

This man LITERALLY says this nearly every time he sees R. It’s ridiculous. They do it with these bizarre-ass smiles on their faces, too- never raising voices, nada. Like they’re saying “Oh, the sky is blue” or “Isn’t that a pretty flower?”

So, after SIX LONG YEARS of never seeing R even address this, he finally broke down and cried a bit over it today.

Yeah, they throw money and cars at him… and I always ask WHY he accepts them.

His answer, through his sadness: “Don’t you think I KNOW that’s all I will ever get? I take it because that’s all they ever do for me”.

He accepts these crumbs because he knows he can never possibly win their love. Not with this baby. Not by himself.

I can’t really relate, these are wealthy, spoiled people problems in my book. I just get more pissed off the longer I witness it.

If he tells his dad that he’s done something, the father will say:

“OH, I’VE DONE THAT *FIRST*- YOU ONLY DID IT BECAUSE *YOU ARE MY SON*”

Watching him try to bend over to please them for years has broken my heart and this finally did us all in.

I told him, under NO circumstances, will he be carting her off to them during the holidays or to show her off.

R said, much to my surprise: “You’re right- if they want to see her, they can come over like EVERYONE ELSE DOES”

I have never seen him stand up for himself or Maisie before today- even though he didn’t say it to their faces (they never do that in his family), it was startling and HUGE for him to do this.

MY PARENTS are much older than his, in poor health, and yet they still come 14 miles nearly every day to visit with Maisie.

His are 3 BLOCKS away and won’t even come to her birthday.

In my opinion, because this was so spur of the moment and she didn’t even bother to tell us until asked to Maisie’s birthday- this was a calculated move on their parts, just like everything else.

R, for the first time in his life, tears streaming down his face, agreed.

This was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

My folks and so many other say “Oh, they’re missing out- don’t get worked up over it”, but I needed to write this out- to vent this- to shout this- because IT’S BEEN EATING AT ME ALL FREAKING MONTH.

Tomorrow is her birthday. I wish them a bon voyage to Vegas.