Dear Mom

Dear mom,

It is with a heavy heart that I write you this letter, knowing that I’ll probably never send it to you for fear that you’ll take it completely out of context. You could never read something like this and take from it the self reflection, the sadness, and the hope that maybe we can fix what happened between us. Chances are you would read this, like you read my sister’s letter last year, and pick out all the parts where she showed you why you were wrong and how she grew from that into a better person and instead, chose to play the victim, as usual. You picked out all the parts where she showed you where you might have done some things better, perhaps made better decisions, hopefully, even apologize, and you chose to play the victim.

“You should see what she wrote to me! You should see the horrible things she said!” And I did. I read that email, and where you felt picked apart and blamed, I saw my sister explaining to you how she had become a better, stronger person. My sister reached out to you, and you spit in her face.

As I feel you would spit in mine, if I ever showed you this letter.

No daughter ever feels good telling her mother to go fuck herself. I certainly didn’t feel good when I told you to go fuck yourself. I’ve never said anything like that to you before, and I doubt I would ever say anything so disrespectful again. Where you might focus on the fact that I said it to you, I’m focusing on the why.

You told me that I antagonized the whole situation with Brother. You said it was all my fault and that I deserved what I had coming to me. That’s like telling the girl with the short skirt that she deserved to get raped because her skirt was too short. No. It doesn’t work like that.

You called me to tell me that my actions sickened you, that I disgusted you as a parent. You told me that you don’t respect my husband as a man any more (not that I believe you respected him to begin with)because he just walked into your house to threaten your son, then in the same breath you told me that I antagonized that situation with my Brother. What did you expect was going to happen? Would I sit here, on the phone with you, nodding my head and saying, “yes mom, you’re right.”

Fuck no. I’ve been steam rolled by you enough times, and to be quite honest, I’m sick of it. I may be your daughter, but I’m also a woman deserving of respect. A respect you seem to lack when your temper gets the best of you. Your temper is a great and terrible force, and it’s beyond frightening. Do you know how many times I’ve heard my friends whisper, “your mom is scary,” after they’ve heard you yell? Did you know you even get a crazy glint in your eye, that looks like you might either explode of get violent?

You’ve thrown your keys at me, you’ve thrown hot coffee at me, you’ve broken things that I cherish in your tempests of anger, all the while leaving me feeling guilty for making you so mad. Does that sound like emotional abuse to you? It sure does to me.

My sister asked you not to smoke with her friends on her 17th birthday, it was her only request.When she caught you smoking with her friends she was enraged. How did you handle that? You became doubly mad at her. I honestly think that was the beginning of the end for her. It wasn’t long after that that she moved away from home, never to return.

If this was a witch hunt, I have more than enough evidence to have you burned at the stake with nary a backward glance, but that’s not what this is about.

You are estranged from both your daughters. Dad has just informed me that we need to take some time apart, and I agree. But I still miss you, and I love you.

I never said I wanted you to be perfect, but it sure would be nice if you could take some responsibility for this mess. It would be nice to see you finally take the first step and make a friendly overture. I know you’re sitting in your palace waiting for me to kneel before you and proffer apologies and guilt and beg your forgiveness.  Not this time. I won’t let you have that kind of power over me any more. This whole situation is ridiculous, and you’re too proud, stubborn, or angry to think that you might be at fault.

Dad keeps telling me that you’ve grown so much from who you used to be, that you’ve made so much progress. All I can see is that you’re a stagnant person who refuses to grow in any way. I know you’ve changed a lot from when I was a kid, but dad’s complaisance doesn’t help your stagnation now. He told me last night that you’re closing yourself up. Cutting yourself off. I hope when you’re done hitting rock bottom, when you’re done playing the victim, you’ll see how your actions got you into this situation, and know I’ll still be here, waiting for you because I love you. And I still have hope that you’ll be able to grow from your mistakes and be a better person.

Which is what I’ll be doing as well. Every situation forces us to grow, to learn, to be a better person. I choose to learn from this, not to be suffocated by it. I wish you would do the same, even though I know you can’t, at least not right now.

It’s been over a month since we’ve spoken any words of significance and I can’t lie and say I don’t miss it. I do. I miss you, mom. I wish things could be different, but I can’t make you change. You have to want that for yourself, and you’ve made it clear that you don’t want that right now.

To be honest, I have a lot of growing to do too. I’m still mad at you, but it’s not a seething, burning rage. I know you are only doing the best you can (which right now, I’ll be honest, isn’t much).

I’m also frustrated by the whole situation, and your ignorance towards how your actions affect the people around you. Even though I have people in my life that love me and tell me that I should be glad to have such a toxic person out of my life, that doesn’t make me feel less bad about how this went down.

I can’t even say that I’m sorry I told you to go fuck yourself, because I’m not. I’m just sorry that I was pushed hard enough to make me say it. I hope you learn from our time apart, and I hope you know that despite your gaping faults, I still love you. I still have hope for you.

 

Fixed By Christmas

I’m so frustrated. 

My mom called me this morning. We stuck to the initial small talk, “you still picking up the girls from school?” “Yeah,” and then she throws out the, “we need to talk.”

“Oh?”

“About what happened between your brother and your husband.”

Groan. 

Just when I thought I got out of having to discuss it with her. 

The conversation went pretty much like I figured it would. She was offended that my husband would come into their house and threaten her son. 

I told her he was sticking up for me. She told me that if she threatened him every time he emotionally abused me that she’d be over at my house every other day. 

Now, she never said that my brother was completely innocent, but it sure as hell felt like that’s what she was saying. Trying to justify what he did by saying that I already knew how upset he was when I had gone down stairs to bother him some more. Which I didn’t. He seemed annoyed to me, and normally between us, when one is annoyed, the other pushes his/her buttons. We’re antagonistic, which is usually meant in the spirit of good fun. Usually. 

Until my brother completely snaps and loses his goddam mind in a furious rage, unbeknownst to me, then suddenly I’m the fucking idiot. 

You know what I’ve come to realize? 

I don’t really like my brother, as a person. I love him out of familial obligation, but I think that’s as far as it goes. I’ve tried to be close to him, I’ve tried to ask him to make time for me, to hang out together, but he can’t commit to plans ‘in case something comes up.’ 

Plans change, life gets in the way, so he just won’t commit to spending time together. Fine. 

My dad says there’s always an undercurrent of anger and resentment stemming from the shit I did to him when he was a kid and that when I antagonize him it brings it all to the surface. For real?! All I have to say to that is GET THE FUCK OVER IT. Honestly. You know, I’m a grown woman with three kids and family all of my own, I have enough stress in my life that I don’t need to fuel it from the shit of the past. 

Anyway, the conversation with my mom was really upsetting because my mom made it sound like it was fine that he shoved me because I wasn’t innocent in antagonizing him and I was in his face. I wouldn’t get out of the way and that’s why he shoved me, he just wanted to be left alone. 

I tried to tell her that he could have said that, that he wanted to be left alone, or that he was mad. I would have left him alone. But he didn’t talk to me. He didn’t even afford me the courtesy of any type of communication. 

“You knew he was mad when you chased him down the stairs with the kids,”

I didn’t know he was mad. I knew he was annoyed. Yeah, I was trying to bug him, not send him into an aneurysm of violent rage. 

When it’s all in good fun, we really antagonize each other. And we’re both really good at it. And I don’t know where that leaves us.

My mom told me that it wasn’t fair that I only told my husband my side of the story, and that when he went to speak to my brother he didn’t let him give his side of the story. I told her that my husband, more than anyone, knows I’m not entirely innocent and I tried to give him the full story without embellishing because, well, it doesn’t need embellishing because it’s so ridiculous!

She also said to me that she remembers when I told her that I like to tell a story from my perspective to make it more epic. 

Which she remembered completely out of context. Yeah, when I’m telling an epic story I may embellish a little, but I don’t flat out lie about it, and I don’t do that when I’m trying to tell my side of an argument! I even said in my blog, and to my husband, that I know I’m not completely innocent. I was definitely trying to bug my brother. I just wasn’t trying to evoke his anger.

I told her that it really sucks that again, my dad will ‘have a talk’ with my brother about his actions and that’s the end of it. No apologies. No repercussions. Silence. 

He had no right to shove me. He had no right to call me a fucking idiot and then tell me that it’s not even worth explaining to me why I’m a fucking idiot because I’m just a fucking idiot. 

“I want this fixed by Christmas.”

Sure thing, mom. 

My mom also told me that my dad is so annoyed at the whole situation that he doesn’t even want to have any more family dinners at their house. He was also annoyed to find out that my mom and I (previous to the argument with my brother) agreed that I would sleep over there next weekend so we could do some Christmas baking. Yeah, because I feel like doing that now. Fuck. 

How am I supposed to fix this? 

I’m probably going to sit down with my brother and inform him that I don’t like him. Nothing personal, but what’s to like? Whenever I see him he’s either on his way to being drunk, or high, or enraged. He doesn’t bring anything of value to my life. He stresses me out and annoys the fuck out of me. 

Which still begs the question, why is it alright for him to get physical with me? 

It’s not. At all. And I don’t know how to make him understand that. 

I remember one time when my sister came home from college, and it was just the three of us sitting in the basement watching television and goofing around. We were poking each other, tickling each other, just being silly. Having fun. I poked my brother in the nostril and he stood up and fucking lost his mind. 

He started yelling about how easy it would be to kill me, to fucking slap me across the face and there would be absolutely nothing I could do about it. There would be no way I could stop him from physically hurting me. He went on like that for a while then stormed off. 

I can’t say I was totally shocked, we were really getting on each other’s nerves. But the vehement anger that seethed from him seemed really out of context within the situation. I’m sure my sister could weigh in on the extent of me getting on his nerves. I just feel like it goes both ways. He annoys the shit out of me, but I never get enraged like he does. 

Also, that time when he tripped me when I was pregnant. I remember there was little to no repercussions for him from that. I don’t think my dad really believed me that my brother actually hooked his foot around my legs and shoved me. He thinks I’m embellishing, but I’m not. I cried and told my mother, who told my father, who had a talk with my brother. I think he might have apologized, but it was forced and not because he genuinely meant it. 

And so my mother wonders how I can put up with the crap that my husband does/says to me when we’re fighting. 

This whole situation is just so frustrating. 

The conversation ended with her saying that it was not alright for my husband to come into her house and threaten my brother without even giving him a chance to give his side of the story. She said he could have at least asked my brother to go outside.

And of course, she wants it fixed by Christmas.

Edited to Add an Update to Dysfunctional Sibling Rivalry

In relation to my previous post, Dysfunctional Sibling Rivalry, my husband was out tonight while all this stuff happened. He called when he was on his way home and asked me to tell him a story. I told him about what happened with my brother. He told me he’d see me at home.

My husband came home and played on his computer while me and my oldest daughter were watching some television. When she went up to bed, while still staring at his computer screen, my husband nonchalantly mentions that he stopped by my family’s place to talk to my brother. My jaw practically hit the floor.

I guess he went down to the basement where my brother was passed out and turned off the television and woke him up. He told him that he knows I can be annoying as shit, and that sometimes he’ll want to strangle me, but it’s no excuse for what he did. I guess my brother tried to mumble some excuse about there being so much confusion in the house with all the kids and the noise, and my husband told him to shut up.

“I don’t want to hear it.”

He told my brother that something like this would never happen again, and if it did, he would regret it. He didn’t get into detail, he just said what needed to be said. He wished my brother a good evening and left.

I can’t believe  my husband stood up for me like that! I told my sister and she was definitely impressed, but wondered why he doesn’t stand up for me in our relationship. Perhaps a whole new can of worms to dissect at a later date.

I have to say, I’m definitely very grateful that my husband stood up for me. It meant the world to me. I think it beats the ‘conversation’ or whatever, that my dad had with brother, where they most likely discussed the situation but didn’t decide on any kind of resolution.

I’m pleasantly surprised.

I’m also very curious to see how my brother will react to me the next time we bump into each other.

Dysfunctional Sibling Rivalry

Today was my grandmother’s 77th birthday. She’s real old. And a little batty, but I love her. Obviously.

The woman practically raised me while my mom was working outside of the house.

As soon as I got to my mom’s house, my brother started running his mouth at me. Pushing my buttons, as brothers are wont to do. I asked him to stop because I’m afraid I might be starting a cold sore and the last thing I need is more stress. Obviously because I asked him to stop he kept going. I don’t even remember what he was saying, just stupid brother shit. 

Later, after my mom and I had made a bunch of chicken for dinner, as per granny’s request, I went downstairs to hang out with the kids and my brother. We were goofing around, and everything was fine. 

I went back upstairs to finish tidying up. Mom was getting the rest of dinner ready. The kids were playing around going up and down the stairs. My brother was getting annoyed, I guess. But i told the kids to get him. We chased him back downstairs and he ran into the bathroom so we (me and the two little ones) kept banging on the bathroom door. I thought we were being hilarious. I thought we were all just goofing around.

Suddenly, my brother comes out of the bathroom and shoved me, with both hands, and almost knocked me over. He looked really pissed. 

“Whoa, what’s the problem?” I asked him. I had no idea why he was so angry, and all of sudden, too. 

“You’re a fucking idiot.” He told me, like it was a matter of fact. 

I was so shocked that he said it. I didn’t even know what to say. How do you respond when you’re own brother shoves you, pretty violently, then tells you you’re a fucking idiot? 

I kept trying to get him to tell me why I’m a fucking idiot but he said it wasn’t even worth explaining to me. Luckily the kids had gone back upstairs at this point, because he kept telling me to get the fuck away from him. 

I did what any insulted and angry sister would do; I sat next to him. Part of me wanted to know if he would actually hit me. The other part of me wanted to annoy the fuck out of him because I was still so stunned that his mood had taken such a drastic turn. 

What is his fucking problem? 

I went upstairs and told my mom and just shrugged and said she didn’t know what to tell me. I went into the bathroom and cried. I messaged my sister.

Me: I’m so upset right now!

Sister: whats going on?

Me: 

Brother got really mad and shoved me, then told me that I’m a fucking idiot…and I have NO idea why! I wasn’t even near him because I’ve been upstairs cooking all afternoon!!

I asked him why I’m an idiot and he said that it doesn’t matter and its just not worth telling me why I’m a fucking idiot…
 
Sister: wtf?
 
Me: This isn’t one of those times where I instigated something and now he’s retaliating, this literally, for me, came out of no where
 
Sister: 

NO idea at all??

man he’s so fucked with the way he deals with emotions!!
 
Me: He’s been on my case all day since I got here and I told him I think I might be getting a cold sore so lay off and of course he thrives on being a pest and kept going, half an hour ago we were sitting on te couch watching a movie and he started tickling my knees and I was screaming and we were goofing around and it was all good
Then he stormed out of the bathroom hall and shoved me, pretty hard too, and told me that I’m a fucking idiot. Mom just shrugged and said she didn’t know what to tell me. I fucking hate him. Now I just feel fucking anxious and nervous like I’m going to puke. And I don’t even know why!?!?!?
 
Sister: don’t you think its pretty scary that he seems to think its ok to assault you?
 
Me: Yes. The last time it happened is when I was pregnant
 
Sister: 

like when you were pregnant too

Boyfriend said thats pretty psychopathic behaviour

 you should leave the house

you can’t tolerate that

 thats really fucked up
 
Me: And go where!? I don’t have the car and we’re about to have supper
 I don’t know what to do..
 
Sister: call a cab, take the kids, take a bus
 if family thinks its ok to treat you like that, why do you tolerate it?
 seriously, Boyfriend was like, holy fuck she should have pressed charges
 (about the pregnancy thing)
you need to estrange yourrself from him, Boyfriend doesnt understand why you tolerate it… why does everyone tolerate it??
thats not a loving relationship
 
Me: Nope, it’s not, mom sent dad to talk to him, I’ve already estranged myself from him. He’s a dipshit. Talk more later, I love you! Crying on granny’s birthday..she changed the place settings so I don’t have to sit beside him
 
Sister: i’m so sorry sister 
 
In reference to what my brother did to me while I was pregnant, he got really mad at me for something (I still have no idea why) and he hooked his leg around my legs and shoved me from behind. If I hadn’t grappled the counter, I have no idea what would have happened. I was 7 months pregnant. It unnerved me so much. I mean, that was my baby! 
 
I remember one time when my sister was visiting from university and the 3 of us were downstairs watching television. I was definitely irritating my brother (as he was irritating me) and we were goofing around and then he snapped. He got up and threatened to slap me across the face, and got more and more descriptive about how he was going to kill me, and that I better sleep with one eye open. Part of me was terrified, the other part of me thought it was funny. Honestly, who gets THAT mad?! 
 
I guess, as an answer to my sister’s question of why I tolerate it, I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, or how I’m supposed to react. I could never physically attack him back, not that I condone violence anyway. Talking to him doesn’t work because he just tells me to fuck off. Giving him space doesn’t work because then there is ZERO repercussion to his actions and he’ll act like nothing happened. 
 
We don’t get together as a family very often for dinner (except holidays) and I would have felt terrible leaving with the kids on granny’s birthday. God only knows how many birthdays she has left, I just didn’t feel justified in any way to leave.
 
When I came out of the bathroom in tears my mom went and told my dad that my brother’s behaviour is unacceptable and that he should go speak to him. 
Which did, as I expected, absolutely fuck all. Brother and dad came in the house after having a smoke and we avoided each other for the rest of the night. There was no apology, no resolution, nothing. 
 
It turns out that he was pissed because he was trying to watch a television show and the kids were making too much noise. He never once mentioned to me that he was upset, or that he was trying to watch television. My mom said that he had no right to be angry either because he knew we were all over there to celebrate granny’s birthday. 
 
I still don’t even know what I’m supposed to do. I guess I can just keep my distance from him. It’s not hard since he doesn’t really make an effort to be close with me anyway. He really is a rage-aholic. This guy has serious issues that need to be dealt with. I know I don’t always make things easy, but I never think I provoke him to the degree of anger that he goes to. Maybe I do. Maybe I tolerate all the shit that happens to me because I think I deserve it. I know I’m a button pusher, even when I’m not trying to push buttons. 
 
My dad drove me and the kids home and we talked a bit about it in the car. My dad’s trying to tell me that there’s an undercurrent of past transgressions that he still harbours resentment for that happened when we were growing up. All I could think was, GET THE FUCK OVER IT. I have 3 kids now, and a whole grown up life of my own, I don’t care that when we were in high school I had a couple of parties that got out of hand and that ruined his partying forever more at my parents house. Or whatever other shit he’s caught up on. Ugh. Apparently that’s part of the problem too, that I don’t care. 
 
Dysfunctional. 

The Other Shoe

I just read my last post, prior to the one I just posted (The Purge) and I guess I’ve left you hanging.

I went back to him. I’m still with my husband. It was a hard choice to go back, but we’ve gone to counseling. Things right now are going well, but I don’t anticipate they’ll stay that way for long. Living with him is like walking on egg shells. A few weeks ago it was so bad that I was actually looking for a place to live. Unfortunately I don’t have enough money to make it on my own.

How can you love someone so much, but know that they’re not right for you?

I was telling my husband about a plan I had to make our house a little nicer. I want to redo the front hall and I have some inexpensive ideas. I was just tossing them around, trying to see what he thought.

“I think it’s a stupid idea.”

“What part of it is stupid?”

“The idea itself is fine, it’s just stupid because it’s your idea.”

He actually said that me.

He’s been harbouring resentment that, from the spring, I maxed out a $6000 credit card that he never knew I had. Yeah, I know that’s not cool. I broke his trust.

He’s hurt me too much, he’s broken my trust.

Now we’re trying to rebuild that trust, but I don’t know how to get it back.

As I said, we’re alright for now. I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop, as it always does.

The Purge

I’m feeling restless. My skin is crawling with anticipation, but I don’t know what it is exactly, that I’m anticipating. 
The Zombie Apocalypse? Vampires? I wish. 

I’m hooked on the Vampire Diaries. It’s feeding that nostalgic, teen-angst-ridden, part of me that I thought I had grown out of. I’m so glad I’m back. I’m swooning over the main antagonist,  Damon Salvatore. And by swooning, I mean obsessed. 

This show is fuelling my obsession with romance and unrequited love. I believe that heartbreak is good for the soul. The show is very character driven, which adds to the intensity of the way I feel. 

I haven’t really felt like this in a while and truthfully, I’ve missed it. 

Hooray for obsession! 

I wish I would write more. I wish I didn’t wait so long to write between entries. I like the purge writing brings, the catharsis. I almost bought a new journal today. I have no money, and I definitely don’t need another journal. It was beautiful, leather-bound and expensive. I think of all the journals I’ve owned, and I’ve owned quite a few, I’ve only ever finished one. I have so many half-started journals that it seems like a waste to buy a new one. However, a new journal, to me, is like a new start. It represents a new beginning, with a new intention of journaling ever day. But I don’t. I’ll write a page or two, maybe seven or eight, and then I just…stop. 

I texted a friend and asked her what she thought. She told me I should keep going with this blog. And it’s true, I should. I hope I’ll keep going. Keep writing. Keep purging. 

It was a good call, and I didn’t end up buying the journal (that I couldn’t afford anyway).

 

How Do You Harden Your Heart?

I’m so torn up inside. I feel like my chest is caving in on myself. I want to go over to his house; our house, our home. I want to hold him in my arms and smell his man smell. I want to tell him that we can work on this, we can fix this. But I honestly don’t know how.

I spoke to him tonight and we were so cold, formal. It destroyed me. I’m pretty sure it destroyed him.

I don’t know how to be mean. I don’t want this to hurt him so much.

What am I supposed to do?

I want to text him my new number, I want to write to him how much I miss him, how much I want to be with him if he would only give me enough time to work things out. I won’t though, I can’t.

We can’t go back to the way things were. We became too complacent, too hurtful. It’s really easy for me (and my mother) to blame it all on him, and I would say the majority of it is on him, but I’m not the easiest person to deal with.

I keep wavering. I keep thinking that it would be easier to go through a divorce, easier to end this chapter of my life, than to try and have him work on it with me and work on us and get us out of this vicious cycle that we seem to be stuck in.

But then I miss him, and I can’t imagine living with anyone else. I can’t imagine someone else’s arms around me. All I hear is the hurt in his voice, the sadness in his dark circled eyes and I want to kiss it all better. If I just go back. But I won’t. Not yet.

Do I pursue a divorce? Do I try and make it work? Will he ever, truly change? Is it even worth it? I don’t know anymore. I have two paths to choose, and I just can’t seem to make a choice. He is petty and mean, but he knows it, and claims he wants to try and work on it. It’s not in me to give up on love. I love him. He loves me. But he may have given me the best advice I’ll need to get through this…sometimes you just need to harden your heart. If only I could figure out how.

If we do give it another try, it’s going to take a long time before I trust him again.

There are other fish in the sea…maybe bigger, better fish.

I don’t know anymore.

It kills me to lose my best friend. The person I laugh with, watch television with, joke around with. I share songs with him, tears with him, phone calls…but he broke my trust by using some of that against me.

I really hope we can see the counselor soon, even if only to help me make a final decision…