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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Not Enough Wine For This

A million things are running through my head at this point.

Crying.
Screaming.
Hitting something.
Tell him I'll quit.
Tell him he's crazy.
Tell him HELL NO.
Tell him that's a bad idea.
Don't sound selfish.
He thinks you're selfish.
Do the right thing.
What's the right thing?
What did he say?!?
Why does he want that?
I didn't know he wanted to run his business INTO THE GROUND.
Be diplomatic.

Okay, I stuck with the diplomatic. I had to respond soon or he would know something was up.

"Uuuuuummmmm, I guess it would be fine." I tread carefully. "You know, I realize that I'm going to have to work with people I don't trust, so I'll just have to treat him as a co-worker at this point I guess." Meaning I don't trust him but I would be willing to work with him.

"Okay great!" Is his reply. I guess I gave the "right" answer.

Stupid me. I didn't even stop to think that this would mean he will be here for things like FAMILY EVENTS.

The next day he comes in all excited. Your mother is so happy to have her son back.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Basics

My brother got married in February of this year. Here is what I understand from the stories I heard from my parents, who flew out to go to the wedding. Her sister HAS her two front teeth (and that's it), and has a couple of kids with different dads. The girl my brother married, her parents are divorced and alcoholics and stuff. And I think she lives with these people who she calls mom and dad, the dad is a pastor. That's what I know. No judging on any of that stuff, just saying what it is. Depending on what my brother told her, he could seem like a real prize compared to all that.

I DON'T know what my brother has told her about his life. So far I could have cared less.

My grandparents, after much back and forth, have recently been including my parents in correspondence and they've been going to lunches with them. Of course, NOBODY THINKS TO INCLUDE ME IN THIS REPARATION OF RELATIONSHIPS. I'm left behind. Recently, my shrink finally got me to call my grandparents one time and I spoke with my grandmother for about 15 minutes. That was about six months ago. It was the most difficult thing I have had to do in a really long time, picking up that phone and dialing those numbers. I haven't heard from them since.

You have the basics so far. Brother screwed up, family torn apart, I moved out, was told I was being selfish, I got married, I didn't seek emotional help, brother moved away, brother got married.

I would like to stop here and say a few things. I don't think my parents did a good job raising my brother and myself. I know that's a really harsh thing to say, but it's the truth. I don't think they had good examples. I think they tried their hardest to be good parents with the knowledge they had. I have tried my hardest to let go of resentment for their lack of parenting skills. I bring this up because I chose to go to work for my dad and I still try to have a relationship with both of them that resembles a parent/child relationship, or even a friendship, although a distant friendship at that. I enjoy working for my dad, and the freedom it bring me. And he's a great boss. But I'm about to complain about some stuff and I don't want people to be like Well then why did you even go work for him? He's a good person. I'm just having a hard time with this right now. And my brother is not my own child, so I can't understand why my dad is doing the things he is doing.

Now the reasons why I'm even bothering to tell you any of my story.

When I started working for my dad, about two weeks in he says to me: "What would you think of your brother moving back and coming to work here?"

Silence.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I Never Did Regret It

I got married in 1999, two years after my brother did this but before all the drama with cutting himself and getting kicked out of the house and moving away.

But I wasn't speaking to him, nor was I speaking to my dad's side of the family.

I wanted to invite my dad's side of the family to my wedding. My grandmother had made me this lovely silk pillow for the rings. I missed them all so dearly and I wanted desperately to invite them to my special day.

My parents, somehow, talked me out of it. Being a stronger person now, I don't know how they did it. It was like, one day you'll regret not having your brother at your wedding and in your pictures. You don't know what's going to happen with the family, he's your brother. Also, they were paying for my wedding and even if they didn't say anything about it, that guilt was already in place.

He came to the wedding and the others were not even invited.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Enablers

My brother continued to show what I knew at that point to be his true colors. He went to jail (juvenile hall? I don’t know for sure), where I found out years later that my dad told him to tell people he was in there for stealing cars. Apparently some crimes are “acceptable” in jail and others are not and you get the sh!t beat out of you or even killed if you say you did what he did. Uh, I’m sorry, if you molest kids I’m pretty sure you deserve to get the sh!t beat out of you or killed.

After jail, he started “cutting” himself, he withdrew from everyone, may have done some drugs (no I don’t know for sure but why not?), dropped out of high school. All this time my parents are supporting him, letting him live in their home, draining their resources and emotions, saying he just needs us to help him, etc. They took him down south to some facility ($$$) that was “voluntary” (rehab? therapy? I don’t know). My parents stayed in a hotel while he was down there for weeks/months ($$$). He got on some medication for depression and some other disorder, psychopath or bipolar or something. They finally take him home and then he thinks he’s better and doesn’t need to take his meds so he stops. Somewhere along the way he has a job and starts bouncing checks.

None of this is enough for them. Time and time again, they make excuses, all the while I know this will end badly. I don’t give people many chances and I usually end up being right about people and the people who give more chances end up getting hurt. It’s their kid though, is what people told me. You don’t understand because you are his sister. Whatever. I think they’ve been through enough at this point to have enough reasons to kick him out of the house.

The final straw for them was when they found satanic stuff in his backpack. Their pastor advised them that their lives were in danger so THAT was a good reason to kick him out.

So they did. He slept in their backyard a few nights and was homeless for awhile. He eventually convinced some sucker friend of his and his girlfriend to let him live with them. They got married and moved to some other state, Kansas I think? Well, HE WENT WITH THEM. I mean, who does that, and as newlyweds, why would you let someone move with you?

After that, I don’t really know what happened. I was probably early twenty-something at that point and hadn’t spoken or seen him in awhile. I was very angry with him. I hated him. He had ruined our family.

And by ruin our family, I mean my dad’s side of the family was never the same. No more warm, happy holidays. No more lots of cousins to talk to and play with.

My grandparents offered to pay for therapy for me, which was very nice. My parents weren’t speaking to them because they were “siding” with my uncle. I felt like I was in the middle. I don’t know what anyone did to make me feel like I was in the middle. I know that I was put in the middle many times. But at the same time, how could I not feel torn?

I never did go to therapy. I just held on to the hate and the bitterness. I was protecting myelf. If I was still hurt and angry I would let anyone in so nobody could hurt me. I didn't speak with anyone from my dad's side of the family. They didn't try to reach out to me and I took that to mean that they didn't want to talk to me.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

And I Meant It

"Insert child's full name as stated when child is in big trouble!" says my dad. "Keep your voice down. Don't you think that is already a concern of ours?" he said.

What the hell did I care? It would be a great benefit to the WORLD at this point if he were no longer here. I don't really remember any more of the conversation. I went to bed and didn't sleep well.

Either the first night or the next day, I realized that my parents weren't going to kick him out of the house. I wasn't asking them to choose, but I wasn't going to live in the house with a child molester.

At the time, the person who I thought was my best girlfriend was living with her boyfriend. He was verbally and physically abusive to her and she wanted to get out of the house but couldn't afford to live on her own. We agreed to move into an apartment together and she would break up with her boyfriend.

As a side story, and to make another VERY LONG story short, she never did break up with him, he ended up trying to kill himself in our apartment, and three months later I moved out on my own.

My parents were not happy with my decision to move out. My dad said I was abandoning my mother. I'm sorry, who is the adult? Children cannot abandon their parents. That is the definition of being a parent. Raise them and they go away. It's not called abandoning, it's called growing up. They just didn’t like the timing.

Obviously, that was the real reason they didn't want me to move out. But they turned it into something else. They said my friend wasn't a Christian and by entering into a legal agreement with her, I was "unequally yoked." Therefore I was "living in sin" and they got me kicked off as a youth leader at the church we were attending.

To that I have to say two three things:

1. She was Catholic and they don't deem Catholics to be "Christians." Who are they to judge anyone's "Christianity?"

2. I was 18. I should have been old enough to do what I wanted without being under their rules. If the church didn't have a problem with my living with my friend, it shouldn't have mattered what my parents thought.

3. Nobody I have ever discussed this issue with agrees with my parents. I have clearly presented all of the information, including the fact that our family was in a state of great turmoil, and should I have stayed?

I lived in that apartment for three months. Since the day I was born, I had either seen or spoken to my mother every single day of my life. I wouldn’t say we were close by any means, but we were in constant contact. She was a stay at home mom and my dad traveled A LOT so I didn’t see him very much. But for those next three months, my mom did not call me one single time. Not on my cell phone, not on the house phone. Nothing. We saw each other at church and that was it. Talk about ABANDONMENT.

And mind you, this terrible thing didn’t just happen to them. It happened to me too. Because no matter how “adult” you think you are, the age of 18 is still the age of a child.

Moving on.

Feelings of the Heart

The Boy and The Man are driving to school and The Boy is playing an electronic game. For whatever reason, it responded to something really loudly, surprising The Boy. He says to The Man, "My heart felt that." The Man says, "Oh yeah, sometimes my heart feels it when I get scared or surprised by something."

The Boy replies, "Yeah. It's like a monster picked up our car, threw it to Hawaii, and my heart said 'well, that was interesting.'"

Monday, September 15, 2008

WHY Am I Doing This?

I am a terrible friend. Remind me of this the next time I complain about having no friends.

This girl, R, who I used to work with at my old job, she stayed my friend when she got laid off. I really wasn't expecting it and I really appreciated it. I thought, Wow, she's a real friend.

Then I changed jobs and I haven't been there for her. I have been so busy and involved in my new job and I haven't dedicated any time to her. She has texted me, e-mailed me, left me a voice mail, commented on MySpace, etc. And I HAVE NOT RESPONDED. AT ALL. The weird thing is, I have no reason to not call her. I just don't feel like it. What is THAT about? Why WOULDN'T I want to call her? She doesn't even have a fatal flaw (yet).

Any insight? Seriously. I'm going to make myself e-mail or call her TODAY, but why would I do this when I complain about people not being true friends to me?

Doodle

Do you ever stare at the wall or ceiling and see shapes of animals or faces? Like watching the clouds go by. I wish I could pencil in what I see because when I go back to the same place I never see the same picture again. Also, I think it would be cool to have an entire (small) room filled in with the pencil drawings of what people saw on the wall.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Screwed Like a High Speed Black and Decker Power Drill

I'm putting my whole self out here for everyone to read. So be nice. Really, my heart is raw right now and I'm telling some major family secrets.

Also, I am tagging this as "MAYBE I'll Tell You When You're Older" because it's totally inappropriate for The Boy. But I need to get it out. I can't keep it in anymore.

First, the background.

Here is background about my brother:

My brother is two years younger than me. We were probably close for the first three to five years of his life and by close I mean that we played well together. Blocks, trucks, dolls, "school," etc. After that, not so much. I don't know what it was, if I just didn't like him because he was my little brother, or if he actually was a pest.

Anyway, there was lots of fighting. From stupid stuff like "He's looking at me, she's on my side of the car" when we were younger to me SPRAYING WINDEX IN HIS EYES and him KNOCKING ME OUT UNCONSCIOUS when we were older.

Side note: For those of you who have sons and daughters, please make a big deal out of your sons hitting your daughters. I don't care what I ever did to my brother, 1) It is NEVER okay for boys to hit girls and 2) it is TERRIBLE for a girl's self esteem to see her parents not discipline their son for hitting their daughter and will affect her greatly in her adult years. Love her and don't let him do it. SERIOUSLY.

Being older, I was smarter than him and I cheated when we played games (not ALL the time) and told him he was a loser, etc. And I don't know if it's all my fault or if it was also in part due to my parents parenting skills (or lack thereof) that he actually turned INTO A LOSER.

He was (still is, I suppose) actually really smart. Too smart I think for his grade level and he was therefore bored. He didn't like doing homework. He would not do it at all or do it and then not turn it in. Also, I think as a teen he was very depressed and it went unrecognized and untreated and he was told (not by me) that he just wasn't trying, etc. I think he needed professional help and didn't get it.

Here is background about my dad's side of the family:

My dad did not have a good childhood. He was the result of an affair, which ended his birth mother's marriage with the man she was married to. His birth mother did not stay with the birth father and therefore my dad grew up without a dad and with a mother who resented him and also an older brother and sister who knew everything and resented him for their parent's divorce and were relentless about reminding him of this constantly. And if you thought the windex and knocking me out was a bad story, you're not going to like my dad and his brothers relationships. They used to beat each other on the garage floor to see who could make the other pass out first. As one person would climb up the tree to the tree house, the other would throw nails in each others heads to see if they could make them stick. These and many other stories were relayed to my broher and I at inappropriate ages. I remember these stories very vividly because they haunt me.

In addition, another haunting story I was told at a young age, my dad was molested by his uncle. With a wire hanger. That is all I know. I don't even want to know that much but I don't know if his uncle was caught or if my dad even told anyone.

In high school, he met a guy and went to his house for dinner one night and his family was a loving Christian family and accepted my dad for everything he was. They pretty much adopted him and I think my dad started living with them. He now had three brothers and two loving parents.

That is who I grew up knowing as "Granny and Papa" and all of my uncles and their wive were my aunts and they all had tons of kids and they were my cousins and we were all very close. Holidays, Christmas espeically, was so much fun, big and loud and full of good food and presents and laughing and bursting with warmth and love.

Here is the background of the situation:

I turned 18 and graduated high school in 1997 (that would make me 29 right now for those of you who are trying to do the math). That summer, something awful happened. My brother was babysitting my three cousins, two boys and a girl (she was five), the cousins whose dad was the guy my dad met in high school actually. He babysat them during the summer while they were out of school. Without going into the detail of how it was discovered or what exactly happened, my brother molested my girl cousin and her neighbor friend.

It ripped our family apart. Everyone.

This is another thing I remember that my parents did a few times. I would come home from doing something really fun and then they would give me really terrible news.

Once, I went to a roller skating birthday party and I had such a blast, I was probably on the biggest fun a high a girl that age could be (I think I was nine or something). All I had to do was come home and go to bed and my day would have been safely remembered as a really great day. Tell me the bad news the next day. But my parents called me into the kitchen and told me that my great grandmother had died. I was devastated. I was very close to my great grandmother and I was young and had just recently dealt with the death of her husband, my great grandfather, to whom I was also very close. He told me that if I ate burnt bread that I would get curly hair (it didn't work). The great day was completely erased and eclipsed by that news.

So, not to stray from their "normal" style, I came in at night from having fun although I cannot remember what it was as this eclipsing news would change my life. My brother was watching television and my parents were sitting at the table in the other room. I was headed to bed when they called me in. Couldn't let me sleep one more night in peace. Sit down, they said. I sit. We having something to tell you, they said. This happened.

WHAT? I couldn't even believe it. HOW could he do this? I HOPE HE KILLS HIMSELF, I said.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Didn't Know That Existed

I didn't know stuff like this existed.

Check out the T-Shirts too. They are so funny.

I would get the Blue Eyes button and The Man would get the Drummers button.

Which button would you get?

Friday, September 5, 2008

It's Not a Race Track

The Boy let Kansas into his room this morning. Shortly thereafter he comes into our room and says, "I tried to let Kansas in my room so that she would sleep with me. But apparently she thinks my room is a race track."

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Privacy FAIL

The Boy is big on privacy now.

This is difficult for two reasons that I can think of right now:

1. He's five and cannot do everything for himself.
2. We have a small house.

Last week The Man told The Boy to please go to the bathroom and The Boy made The Man go into the bathroom (at our house) with him, but told him "Don't look okay? I need privacy." And The Man had to turn around and stare at the wall while The Boy used the facilities. Then The Boy covered up and gave The Man permission to "look." Then they leave the bathroom and The Boy pulls his pants down and tells The Man, "Look at my penis!!!"

Oh, yeah. A third reason just came to me about why privacy is difficult:

3. He likes to pull down his pants and show us his junk.