This is just how screwed up my life is. I’m sitting here, warring with my brain, trying to decide what emotion is appropriate and deciding that none are.
I don’t really get along with one side of my family. They have some deep grudge against me, for some reason. I have tried talking about it to them, but they are the type of people who deny everything. They pretend away problems. They make invisible the people who are not up to their standards. Even when presented with cold hard facts, it never happened.
I grew up mildly afraid of them… well not afraid, but annoyed, anxiety riddled, angered, uncomfortable… just a general icky crappy feeling. They always treated me more like a doll than a kid. Always wanting to take pictures of me, but never really talking to me or paying attention to me. I was more of a status symbol to them. Just like their kids were. The only grandchild but they don’t even know how to spell my name. I’m just a spot to fill in on the family tree, along with my little family. They have never met my step son, though he has met tons of the other side of the family. and at this rate, they never will.
Look at what we did.. Look at what we have…. Look at what we gave you. They never visited for holidays, but berated my parents when they didn’t make the 5 hour trip with a little kid. And then I was old enough to make my own decisions, they wonder why I didn’t visit them. They would ask my parents about me… cards were sent for birthdays and Christmas.. saying things like “We still love you, inspite of what you did” “You never come visit, but here is a card anyway”. I never wanted the cards or presents (well, they sent monetary presents since they never felt the need to get to know me). What I wanted was love. And some non-creepy affection. My Dad grew up in a house devoid of emotion, thus he is a pretty emotionless guy. I can still count how many times I have seen him hug and/or kiss my mom, ever and I remember exactly how many times I have heard him say “I love you” to me since I was about 10 years old… I’ve never heard him say it to my mom. I hate them for what they did to him.
They tried to make me feel ashamed for something I did. The grandparents anyway…the funny thing is… what they think I did… never happened. They took something that they misunderstood and invented an entire, fabricated memory. A memory that only exists in their warped up heads. And in the minds of the people they have told. At my Great Grandmother’s funeral he grabbed my arm in his claw and proceeded to tell me that “We never told Mother what you did. We didn’t want her to think bad of you in her failing years.” What. The. Fuck? I NEVER DID ANYTHING YOU SENILE OLD FUCK! The rest of that side just falls in with whatever the majority wants. So many things I have learned about them….. All of them. The things they hide just so that the rest of the family won’t think bad of them. They raised their children with shame instead of love. My aunt was a childhood hero of mine. Before I was a teenager anyway. I looked up to her, worshiped her… wanted to be just like her. And then she turned on me just like they did. Maybe even before they did. I have always had a sneaking suspicion about what really happened. I had one phone call with her, one with my grandfather. And then it was as if I was no longer there. After that, we just ceased to be a family. They raised an emotionless son and a closeted lesbian daughter who cannot come out to ANYONE. She lives a lie just like they do. And they wonder why they can’t be happy.
The last time I saw my grandfather was at my other Grandfather’s funeral. He was the first grandparent that I had lost… and to be completely honest, he was my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, I love his wife, my grandmother more than anyone could possibly imagine. But when it came to my Granddad, there is just nothing to explain how much he meant to me. Which is the only reason I went to see the others. I wasn’t going to. But I did… for him. And when we reached the cemetery, I felt my husband’s hand tighten in mine. He made a small gasp. I looked around, trying to figure it out since he didn’t know many of these people and we were 5 hours away from home. There stood my other grandfather. Alive. And I was so mad at him for being alive. He made sure to grab me as soon as we got out of the car. He kept saying “You have to come by and see Mama before you leave. Make sure you come see her.” I yanked my arm out of his gnarly grip (which I hadn’t been able to do at my Great Grandmother’s funeral several years before that) and walked on to where I was supposed to be. I didn’t speak any more to him. And I didn’t go by there. I almost feel guilty now for not going, and that pisses me off so much!
And today. Today my grandmother is in the hospital, dying. I haven’t seen her since my husband and I got married a little over 2 years ago. Wouldn’t have seen them then, except my other Grandfather asked me to please give them another chance. We went to see them. Spent about 2 hours there… they glossed over the previous few years where everything spiraled out of control and proceeded to tell my new husband how much they loved me and couldn’t wait to meet my step son…His son… told him all about how they had done the best they could by my dad and had sent him out in the world with only his name to do good. Totally creeped my husband the hell out. He can’t stand them … mostly because of me.. and how I’ve been affected by them. And how irritable I get when I think about them, much less how cranky and jumpy I get when I think that I might have to see them.
She has been dying for years, but this may actually be the end. And I’m empty. I have thought about this day for years. What I would feel, how I would react. Would I go to their funeral? And until a few hours ago, I knew all the answers. I wouldn’t feel anything. I wouldn’t go to the funerals. I would not grieve for them. It’s not like they would notice. But then, there’s my Dad. My sweet, funny, fucked-up in the head Dad. We’ve had our ups and downs too, mostly because of them. I think he could have been more relaxed about my childhood, if only they had been a little more loving. And now I think that I have to go and be there for him. And deal with my husband and the fact that he now has to deal with me and how I feel about them. This is not how I wanted to spend my afternoon. This is not how I expected this afternoon to go. This is not what I expected this blog post today to be about. I just wish that I could start today over.