People always say "blood is thicker than water" and I always wonder why given that it's water that dissolves blood when added together.
That's probably a strange thing to say but when I try and apply the cliché to my family, well, it's really just a cliché. Yet this is what we are conditioned with growing up. That blood is thicker than water. The thing is, my friends have been far more reliable than my family has ever been.
I grew up on the outer, the proverbial black sheep but always thought it was because I was the eldest and travelled rather than married early etc. Since being with DH, he has made me realise that my family is dysfunctional and that I have been desensitised to being treated poorly as it's what I have been used to. I'm always doing things for them and getting nothing back. It's like pouring water into a bucket that has a hole in it.
Now I'm taking a step back. That cliché says I shouldn't but I have. And this time I'm not feeling guilty about it. I feel strong and resolute.
I didn't tell my family about my pregnancy until I was into my third trimester. At the time I wasn't sure why, I just didn't. Now I think it was because I wanted to enjoy it without interference or unwanted comments (eg. "..you've got two kids..how are you going to handle three?") and the inevitable judgements. I can see that now.
Not long ago, I had mum hospitalised due to concerns about her appearance. She looked really ill and she was passing it off as a tummy bug. Against her wishes I picked up the phone and got her into her doctor who immediately arranged for her to be admitted.
Turns out her spleen was at the point of rupture and she was operated on straight away. She spent a few weeks in hospital and I arranged toiletries, clothing, books etc and even attended Christmas Day as it was too far for Dad to attend (he's not good with heavy traffic anymore). My sibling attended once and that was it. I was there everyday, including xmas day and alone as kids weren't allowed in.
Once she was home, I rang regularly to check to see how she was doing. As you do. I don't get calls or visits. I am the one who makes them.
I then found out that my two teenaged nieces were coming to SA for a few weeks. I asked them when they were going to tell me and their response was oh we thought we did.
As time got closer to their arrival date, I suggested things I could do with them (in the scheme of things) and there was always the response along the lines of well your brother and his wife have this planned and we were going to do this...etc.. In other words, there was no room for me. DH asked me why I was surprised given that this was what they'd done in the past. I had no answer. I guess that every time I just expect things to be different.
A week after they were supposed to have arrived, there was no word. So I rang and inquired as to when we should visit. Dad says oh leave it for a week or so. Mum is doing things with them and they're away for New Year with a friend of their mother's (who lives ten minutes away from us) and then your brother is going to do this...etc.. she'll ring you. Again, no room for me.
In times past, I would just shrug it off and not think about it. This time, I admit I was feeling cut out and ****ed off because, yet again, I'd put myself out there and when that need was no longer there, I was forgotten or set aside. I guess you could say I was hurt. I don't like admitting that because, to me, it means that they've gotten to me. And I hate that.
So this time I have stepped back. I have not called. I have not gone over. I have not answered the phone. They, in turn, have called once, they don't visit and as far as I know, my nieces are here but I haven't seen them and am unlikely to. This makes me sad but there's little I can do. DH has been hugely supportive and we have instead focused on our impending new arrival because, the truth is, that the only family that will ever back me is the one I have with my DH as well as my friends and it's high time I started honouring that. I am not sure whether I want them back in my life as I'm tired of pouring water into a bucket with a hole in it.
I needed to write this. That's all. Thanks.
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05-01-2014 08:04 #1
Taking a step back...and feeling okay to do it.
Last edited by Caviar; 05-01-2014 at 08:09.
05-01-2014 08:08 #2
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05-01-2014 09:09 #3-
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- Apr 2012
Is there more to this story that what is written here? All I can see at the moment is that your nieces didn't have time to visit you. If they are teenagers I wouldn't take this too much to heart.
Perhaps take some time out with hubby before bub arrives and have a special treat to relax (movies, dinner etc).
Hang in there and good luck..
05-01-2014 09:24 #4
You sound so lovely and caring I'm sorry you are even made to feel this way you do so much!
I have no real advice but I am doing something similar for 2014 and of course thereafter. Detaching my self emotionally from everybody except for my own little family and those that really care about me. I read somewhere "stop worrying about people that don't worry about you" this I have started to follow.
My story is a tad different but at the end of the road we are made to feel the same. It's not nice.
They will realise when you do back off and if they don't? Well backing off just may be a good thing!!!
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05-01-2014 10:22 #5Senior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2012
unfortunately it sounds exactly like my family. It's always me making contact, always me visiting always me that's left out.
I'm over it and I like you have chosen to distance myself if they don't want to be around me then that's their choice and as much as it hurts me there isn't really anything I can do.
Big hugs I know exactly how you feel
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07-01-2014 00:46 #6
Thanks Noms. Writing it out just makes it real as opposed to thinking I'm imagining it which I have tended to do in brushing it off.
Loco, it's okay I wasn't after advice. Just knowing that others have similar experiences makes me feel less alone in mine. If that makes sense. Like you, I am choosing to focus on those who show they care about me as opposed to having to second guess or bang my head against a wall...
Rodeo, I noticed on Facebook today that my mother had posted an album full of photos showing the girls having a good time with various members of the family including non family members (friends of their mother) and other people I don't know. What she wrote (eg. "..they've having a ball with their SA family!" and "New Years down at the beach..what a lovely time we all had...") made me feel sh*tty and isolated. I went outside to sit with the chickens.
But this is coming from the same woman who, when I announced my pregnancy, immediately said, "Oh and I can't wait until daughter-in-law catches up and has her third...the baby shower we'll have to organise...we'll have to go shopping...another grandbaby to add to the brood!"
And I was like, what am I - chopped liver?
I'm learning to speak chicken. I think it's better for my mental health.
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07-01-2014 08:23 #7
Have you spoken to your family about the way you feel? How horrible....I would have to say something. (((Hugs))) to you. xx
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08-01-2014 03:02 #8
Yes, Aurora, I have. I am a big believer in direct communication and have actually mentioned it to my mum who typically feigns exasperation and says, oh god do we have to do this right now? Why aren't you happy? You're never happy. What I have done? Why me? And so begins the descent into the self absorbed pity party.
It's typical evasive action from someone I am now seeing as a narcissist. Does not want to accept that anything is wrong, is in complete denial regarding the unrest in the family and absolutely does not recognise her "organ grinding" interference as sabotage. Will manipulate a situation to suit her own needs and when that fails, look out. Oh I'm depressed...look what you've done...the way you treat me... and the wailing begins.
I spent years thinking I was the problem. That I was inherently bad in that I upset her or made her act the way she did. I can't quite think of the words to convey to you how messed up I can see that is now.
In addition to the behaviour I have already mentioned, she has actually maintained that events have happened when they haven't. A classic example was when she turned to my husband and said, "I didn't say that. Go on, you tell them.." to which my husband replied quietly, "..actually, you did. I heard you quite clearly..." to which there was a surprised gasp and a reiteration of no I didn't....and the circus continues.
I have grown up with this and for a time thought this behaviour normal. It's only since I've been with DH that I have learned that not only is it abnormal, it's also unhealthy. DH has made me realise that I don't need to be treated like sh*t and that my energy is better served when it's directed to people who love me as opposed to those who pretend.
There's been a lot of hurt feelings in between realising this and actually getting to know this within me. DH made me see how the repetitive patterns were harmful. Now, having stepped back I feel I have made a monumental step forward regarding the cultivation of sound mental health and positive self esteem.
So yes, I've tried to talk. Too many times to count. Now the time for talking is over. Whether she calls again or not is up to her. I have now let go. Surprisingly, it feels quite liberating.
08-01-2014 05:34 #9
Good for you Caviar. You need to do what's best for your family 💖
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08-01-2014 06:52 #10
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