Monday, September 8, 2008

Feeling like Dirt on a piece of ^%@%!

So, last week at my therapist's I told him that I was thinking of ending my therapy sessions for the time being. There are times when you need therapy - REALLY NEED therapy and then there are other times that I consider therapy a mere luxury. And, frankly, I'd rather get a pedicure.

But my therapist suggested that I pencil something in and see how my month goes. My husband who is naturally tight with money also agreed that I continue to go. Good suggestion! How did I know that I would have caught a pretty bad case of the blues over the weekend?

We took an overnight trip to visit my family. And, on the way home, like almost every trip before, I left with an extra huge suitcase filled with disappointment.

Usually on the drive home, I can cry it off or sleep it off or eat junk food to purge the pain but this visit was different. I'm still swimming in the muck today.

It was all too much for me to bear. One thing I have realized raising two daughters on the spectrum is that I need to surround myself only around supportive people. I do not feel very supportive or accepted by my family. I am not even sure I should be calling them family right now. I am just a step-child really and all that they have given me in my life has been part of a consolation offering. Since my folks divorced when I was two, I have really not been worthy for anything more from a real family.

I actually have matured and forgiven a lot throughout the years. In fact, I believe I have always tried to take the high road. Despite my struggles as a teen and my flirtations with the party scene, I have always tried to gain the attention and approval of my family members. I can remember telling my dad how grateful I was that he was my day and what a good man I thought he was for staying in touch with me after he left my mother.

Um... HELLO? What a low self image of myself that I didn't have the innate knowledge that as my father, he is supposed to not only 'stay in touch with me' in fact, he should have stayed with my mom and dealt with her mental health issues. At age two, I should have not been left alone with her to take care of her for the next 30 years or so while he went along to get himself a new wife and home and family and live happily ever after. (More on this in later posts. I actually love my step-mom and consider her a blessing to my life. I am just sorting out some junk right now so things have to get messy until I get reorganized!)

As we get the van loaded and I try to round up my two free spirited too wound-up daughters whose issues still aren't completely understood by the extended family yet, I notice my dad putting oil in his car, my step mom cleaning the inside of the windows of his car and her father or, "Pappaw" as everyone calls him put white touchup paint on the exterior. I thought what strange timing to be cleaning Dad's car. I wish I had time to do that to our car. Better yet, wish they could move their assembly line over to our van! We have Cheerios and hand prints on the windows that have been there for years!

Then, I realized, they are GIVING my 30 year old brother their car. I also caught a glimpse of them giving my brother $100 for gas money while he picked through all of my dad's watches and neckties. My dad asked him, "When do you get paid next?" He is a corporate attorney in Chicago... HELLO? Does anyone realize how charmed a life he has? Does anyone realize that I, my family really are the ones in NEED gas money? Oh. How I am not feeling the love!

Now that my dad is handicapped, he can't drive and he won't be needing all his fancy clothes and jewelry. I wonder if he throws in his Rolex, I mean, why not? My brother could use it! He definitely needs a Rolex in fact. Why not? He's earned it. He's worked his way up the easy trail of Moochville and is entitled to the Rolex by now. They already have helped him through college, then straight into business school for his MBA and then immediately into law school. He hasn't had to work a day in his life. He has worked, but he really hasn't HAD to work because my parents, or I guess, HIS parents pay for his everything. And, he hasn't gone without much. He frequents the White Sox ballgames at about $80 a ticket, he wears Versace shades and suits, North Face jackets and drives a Maxima and he has always lived in the chic parts of Chicago. He lives a lifestyle like he is a day trader or a drug dealer. And, I think about how he treats my parents - I mean HIS parents. I can't even type it in now because I am so emotional about it. It isn't like he is cruel or abusive towards them, it just seems that he takes and takes and never seems appreciative or willing to give back. He doesn't even buy anyone gifts. Oh, well, he did give my daughters some stuffed animals for Christmas last year. My step mom DROVE him to the mall, helped pick out the gifts, paid for them and then wrapped them for him. Then, she bragged about how he is such a great uncle getting the girls such cute gifts. BARF. He gives birthday cards, sometimes six weeks late. And, when he does give one of his stupid not-very-funny cards, my parents, I mean HIS parents always laugh their heads off and say, "Isn't that so thoughtful?" Double BARF BARF.

I was an A or B student throughout high school. I wanted to go to college but they said I needed to figure out what I wanted to be. Even though Pappaw was the school's guidance counselor, didn't they know that most kids who go to college figure all the out later? The real reason they didn't want me to go to college was because when I was two, the divorce attorney told my dad he had to pay for college for me. My mom told him that she'd hope I'd want to go to Harvard. So, well if they don't encourage me to go to college, they win. Well, I did end up going to college, four years after high school and they paid for it until I was able to get financial aid and scholarships at age 23. I thought all this resentment was washed away in the 'Bye-Gone" file of my mind. I thought I had forgiven them for this. Why am I wasting my precious energy thinking about it and typing about it? To use my daughter's boo-boo analogy, it is still a wound. I thought it was healed but the bone and marrow is still weak that without the proper care, it can still break.

So, here I sit wounded. And, I am reminded that in my family, I am as important as dirt on a piece of shit. I apologize for the swearing. I really try not to do that but I just know no other analogy to describe how demeaned I feel right now. I don't understand how I could have had such a difficult upbringing and now have children who are so challenging. I don't have the proper skills or support from family to manage all of it! My in-laws who only live 15 minutes away are worse. But, another post for another day.

And no matter how hard I try to 'grin and bear' it, I feel so rejected, so misunderstood, so sad and angry. I don't think it is physically possible for me to take this on. I am going to have to call my doctor and get on medication today. I hate that because it is just more money to spend and I haven't been able to find medication that doesn't make me sweat like a pig. I might try to just hold my head up, put a smile on and go about the day running errands as usual. I am putting this personal conflict on a blog shelf for now...

Why don't they love me just the way I am? I love my girls just the way they are.


hellokittiemama said...

The answer is because people are idiots and they just don't get it.
We have a similar situation in my family as well. It sucks when family members let you down. You and the kids deserve better. And you just keep doing what you need to do for you and the girls.

Hang in there.

Nina said...

I sure hope things look up for you soon. I think every family has issues. My mom who is in her mid 50's is having issues with her 80 year old mother and they have probably spoke to each other for the last time because my mom is so hurt and just over it. I hope you can find peace in your life and let all the bad stuff go.

Bonnie sayers said...

I had to remove the negativity from my life since it added to my stress level. If visiting family is doing this to you that may be the next step. Focus on your immediate family, husband and girls. Have you looked at the Autism Society to find a chapter near you?

Chatting with other families is good, writing here is like a journal so getting these issues off your chest is therapeutic. Good luck with the meds. I had a therapist come here for years through a non profit. It was really helpul to have someone to talk to. I think it is more difficult in the earlier years, but than again when they hit puberty, like mine are in.

Maye we should set up a ning group or join at the chat room at my yahoo group once a day for a pep talk.

Let me know what you think. MT is also a member of my yahoo group. MakingPECSCards - join it from my blog.

Bonnie sayers said...

OH just realized MT goes by hellokittiemama - same person.

Elizabeth Channel said...

Ok this is the second time I'm trying to leave this comment. I agree with Bonnie (autism family) that taking some time away from your extended family might be a good thing.

Sometimes we need the Cross to separate us for a while, and God is OK with that. I know I've done this with my own family time and time again. They believe they would do a better job of raising my children than my husband and I do. So I know a thing or two about bitterness.

Remember, leave and cleave? Remember your true family is your husband and the girls.

I am so sad to see your pain and I will pray that God lifts it soon.

Meg said...

although you have some differences - our story is very similar. you are right to surround yourself with positive people. don't count on anyone but yourself and all other things done for you will be a blessing. its hard to see the gifts to others, but to dwell is what causes the pain. im a great advice giver, but never listen to my own. good luck.

Stonefox said...

I have a similar situation with my family. I have always been the "black sheep." Living overseas is one of the best things to EVER have happened to me- it removed me from being right there on them and them on me. There is so much I could say...for now, I will be remembering you!