Facing the family that isn't family anymore

My cousin got married last weekend. He is the youngest son of my (non-biological) dad's sister.

We have never been particularly close with that side of the family.  My parents moved across the country when my older sister was a baby and growing up everything was about my mother's family.  We drove to visit them every single summer and stayed for weeks at my grandparents.  Meanwhile we saw my dad's side of the family just a handful of times over my lifetime.

I could try to psychoanalysis the reasons for that forever and probably never get anywhere useful. But I might as well still try :)

My mom was the daughter Eastern European  immigrants, English was her second language, they weren't well off and she grew up in modest house in a small mill town.  My dad's parents were British and he grew up in a posh suburb of a major city. My mom always felt inferior to his family.

My mother still tells stories of the various "insults" she was supposedly subjected to by…

Maybe I get why my mom hated holidays so much

Growing up holidays were a nightmare.

Inevitably they would end with my mother sobbing. As a kid I remember sitting silent and terrified in the backseat as my dad drove to some Mother's Day Brunch and Vicky sat in the front seat wailing that "no one cares".

Now that I've reached the point in my marriage where I had to tell my husband to just not get me birthday or Christmas presents ever again because his lame attempts were worse than not getting anything at all, I might just get it? This is going to sound just ridiculously petty and immature, but these days holidays are a reminder that no one cares enough about me to but in a basic amount of effort to do even the bare minimum for me.

Recently for Christmas he got me season tickets to the Orchestra.  I don't care for classical music, but he told me his thought was this way we would have a monthly date night.  Needless to say, he did not plan any dates.  We ended up only going twice because he forgot.

Last year fo…

2018 can suck it

2018 is finally over.  It was quite literally the worst year of my life, and the worst year of just about everyone I know.

A short list off just the top of my head: one friend's dad committed suicide, another friend's mom, grandma and sister all had serious health issues, my sister and her common-law spouse broke up after she caught him cheating on her, etc, etc. An aside, I am sad for my sister and my heart breaks for what she is/was going through, but her boyfriend was the biggest fucking loser and after 6 years of listening to him drunkenly slur about how much he hates his ex wife I am so relieved I never have to see him again.

I have learned that I obviously eat my feelings - I weighed myself this morning and I am almost 20 lbs heavier that I was this time last year. There were months this year where I just couldn't bring myself to exercise and spent my evenings eating chips and drinking wine and boy does it show. Control top leggings are my new best friend.

I have to …

Well it finally happened

When I talked to the counselor about going no contact with my parents he asked what was my worst case scenario.  I said that my dad would get sick - he has had bouts of skin cancer over the years and more recently prostate cancer which resulted in surgery, a lengthy hospitalization for sepsis and has left him very frail.

My sister let me know that he had a cancerous mass on his kidney that has possibly moved into his lymph nodes.  It was so serious that he got the results on a Thursday and they had him scheduled for surgery the following Monday.

I thought about it a lot and eventually landed on "This doesn't change anything."

To recap, I discovered in May that I was conceived via anonymous sperm donor, my sister and I are not biologically related to our dad and she has a different donor. My parents had no intention of ever telling us, were furious I found out and their only concern was that no one else know.  After my sister posted on Facebook that she had  just done her…

Getting ready for Christmas

Now that there is snow on the ground where I live, the looming spectre of Christmas is upon me.

Christmas with my family was never fun. 
My mother was all about witholding and control. When we were small children we were not allowed up on Christmas morning until she was. Then we were allowed to open only one present before breakfast. After a slow, leisurely breakfast we would sit there just vibrating while we had to wait for my parents' coffee to finish brewing and be served before we were FINALLY allowed to open another present.
Then there was the "stress".  Christmas (like every other holiday) ended with my mom crying and wailing that no one helped her, no one appreciated her, etc, etc. Keep in mind that this goes back to when we were tiny children who couldn't possibly be expected to know HOW to help. Even as teenagers if you dared enter the kitchen when she was cooking she didn't want help, she wanted you to get the fuck out of her way.
As adults we tried to …

"Elder Orphans"

I came across this article the other day:

COMMENTARY || Will you be old and ‘unbefriended?’ As the population of “elder orphans” grows, research is needed so that we can develop effective systems of public guardianship and care.Individuals who have no family caregivers are known as “elder orphans”
Now this is my own fucked up life coming through, but when I read this line"Unbefriended older adults are exceptionally vulnerable to poor quality of care. Without family or friends who are familiar with their wants and needs, it is unclear if they receive treatment that is in line with their values and desires" all I could think was "you reap what you sow".
At the rate they are going, this is going to be my parents.

They are almost 70 years old and have alienated every single member of their family and most of their friends.  My mom has two groups of friends left - her university roommates that she reconnected with a few years ago and who she sees once every few years and all…

A letter to my parents

My parents were threatening my sister and I with legal mediation (as an alternative to suing me for "abusing" them by telling people I was conceived by sperm donation). I was looking forward to the opportunity to be able to tell them I would tell anyone I want anything I wanted about my own life story, but I also knew that mediation was just another empty threat, just like suing me was.

Can you imagine? They want me to keep their secrets, so sue me and make all of them a matter of public record?  That makes sense.

As expected, mediation has not been scheduled and my dad is pretending everything is just fine. He sent my sister and I an email on Father's Day because he needed to borrow my sister's boyfriend's truck and wanted us to come to his awful "farm" and help him out.

My sister took that to mean he was "extending an olive branch." I took it to mean he just needed something.

Everything is just fine now! But only because they think they hav…