Archive for the ‘Playing by birth family rules’ category

NONONONONO!

March 7, 2009
ist2_2655048-darkness

This is how I feel when we speak on the phone.

I am not sure if what is happening is a search gone bad kind of thing or a simple personality clash, irrelevant of the search. I imagine the relationship/non-relationship must be a large part of this clash. I can’t manage to get a sentence out without being interrupted with some sort of challenge, as if I am uttering some untruth. I can say “it’s raining” and get “NO, it’s not” in that sort of jumping (as in, on me), snappy tone, as if I have been caught in some lie.

ist2_4251023-depression

I cannot even handle a phone call these days. I want to scream NO, I am NOT lying, it IS raining here.

Everything I say is suspect. Most often the challenge comes as a result of misunderstanding or not listening to what I am saying. As in, “the mailman, who is a friend of Jane, told her that he has a pink poodle…” which is then interrupted with “WHY would the mailman tell YOU he has a pink poodle? There is NO SUCH THING as a pink poodle.” She comes at me with all caps, bold and italic, accusatory and loaded with contempt. Everything begins with NO…  NO, it is not raining. NO, that is not how your ____ is, NO, you did not do that, and so on. NONONONONO. It’s a tiresome refrain. (more…)

HELP ME…. I’M MELTING….

January 18, 2009

There is a talk coming; it is necessary and thus, imminent. I find myself resenting that there even needs to be a talk. If people would all take a minute from their own view to consider another, such talks would not be necessary. It is January 18 and I find that I am still steaming from the unwanted gift of an imposed Christmas guilt trip and, since this trip I have been sent on (for it’s a gift you can refuse but one which resonates for its unwantedness and unmerited origin) my feelings toward others have changed.

What I want to ask is, “Have I done that thing?

Have I ever made you feel guilty for dropping me at the orphanage?

No.

It seems that not only have I not done that, I have bent over backwards to ensure that you will not, for a minute, feel any guilt, for I do not want you to feel anything negative, ever. that is my way in this world. Empathy and respect and only positive output.

That’s how people treat others if they love them. Actually I am grateful for the upbringing that I have had, sometimes perhaps more so, given this game. So, if I have not ever made you feel that oh-s0-common guilt, I do not expect, and actually resent, attempts to make me feel guilty.

ist2_4034991-savages-let-looseI told you several times that I had made other plans for Christmas. I was exceedingly clear. I chose how to spend my holiday. I have that right. But for you to demand, when we first spoke after the holidays, “Where were YOU? We waited ALL DAY for you, and FINALLY decided to go ahead and have dinner”, was so wrong.

I call bullshit.

It’s not fair to make it seem like I kept people waiting and ruined any holiday spirit for not showing up where I was NEVER expected.

I have never done that to anyone and never will. Do you ever try to see things from my point of view? Do you ever wonder how it feels in this situation in which it is all of you and me? Maybe can you see how it is perhaps difficult and uncomfortable to join an entire family as the sole outsider? The Secret? Have I imposed any expectations on you, or tried to get you to do life my way or join in my habitual plans? I think not. Then why, oh why, would you do this to me?

Do you not see how some members of your family do not entirely accept me?

ist2_6450448-xxl-being-green

I do. Have I ever complained about this or even mentioned it? Do you not see how your husband has acted out in small passive-aggressive ways to force you to choose, “situationally”, between me and him? Remember that time he “accidentally” sabotaged that party for me? I do not blame him, for I don’t expect others to be any more human than I am. But that this sabotage even happened – and you did notice, even if you are in denial over it – was hurtful. I still care for him. I do not condemn. But it made me feel uncomfortable and embarrassed to have this action taken against me. And I know it’s me personally but that I represent a relationship with another man; one about which you have said he was always jealous, though they never overlapped. That the same event was sabotaged two more times by both of your other children (of whom he is the biological father) was again hurtful. It’s beyong coincidence and thus obvious. I expect no more or less than that, for I expect noting from you all, and do not know how I would react had my mother suddenly turned up with another child, a secret, that was not my father’s. But I am no fool and could not help but notice this, this thing which you’d have to be clueless to not notice yourself, and it does make me uncomfortable for I am also human. I give myself the same credit that I extend to others. Fair is fair.

ist2_381585-illustration-lieI am a grown up.

I have had a whole life before meeting you. I choose to retain that life and my own family. I am most comfortable with that family and that life. If I choose to spend my holidays with those with whom I feel most comfortable and joyful; if I choose to put myself and my own well-being first, then how dare you not only scold me for that but go so far as to twist that into a lie, and into one in which I have behaved badly and insensitively. For it is a huge and blatant lie to pretend that you waited all day for me at Christmas when I could not have been clearer that I had other plans and would be out of town and NEVER said I would be there.

I heard from another family member that no waiting occurred. I was never expected. No dinner was delayed. Not for a single honest minute. That other person got my message without confusion – the same message I sent to you repeatedly.

I do not respect lying. I do not respect disregard for others’ feelings.

I do not respect fake martyrdom. I will not be a false martyr and happily do what is asked of me over what I want to do, over what is enjoyable to me, in order to do what you want me to do. Martyrs are not selfless, they are foolish sufferers. It is enough that I am there a lot, and do a lot for you and give you things that are precious to me and would actually rather keep. I do not have to give up the holidays that I so cherish. I can understand disappointment. I do not understand demands, deceit and condemnation. And then, rather than discuss this painful scolding you had just unloaded on me, you suddenly had to go, “bye!, you said, and hung up. You knew you’d stepped over a pretty important line. You had to control the conversation and would not allow any further discussion. undiscussed things like this fester and get infected. It’s not an admirable tactic.

You actually refused me the right to discuss this.

That’s also not fair. AT ALL.

ist2_1621082-crown-of-thornsI cannot have this. I cannot be expected to put my life aside. I can share it, but I cannot put it aside or deny myself any of what I have built for myself in favor of your wishes. I will put myself first. You gave up the right to dictate terms to me when you dropped me off at the orphanage. I have no issues with that decision and understand it and know it must have been painful and have sympathy for what you must have gone through. But I expect some consideration as well. It cannot be undone, but I am happy to make it easy to move past that. I will not go through a second childhood with you. i will not be molded into something new and form-fitting; I will not be made into a compliant, controlled half-being.

I am respectful, considerate, kind, thoughtful and empathetic.

That is a fact. It is why the people who love me do so with such abandon. It is how I treat you. Show me some of that in return.

We can have a relationship and we can be friends and I can even love you, unless you refuse to even try to learn to see things from any view other than your own, your desired outcome. That’s not fair or reciprocal. It is one-way thinking. I adhere to the Do Unto Others edict and will never allow you to feel guilty and will go to great ends to see to that. I don’t want you to feel pain or guilt.

So why are you trying to do this to me?

Is it more important to you that people think I have dropped everything and everyone I know to spend holidays with you simple because you want it? Or do you really care about my happiness? Why can’t I be happy and comfortable? Why do I have to be the ONLY one to acknowledge how the rest of your family feels about me? Denial is a band-aid and not a cure. I am big enough to understand that I am an outsdier and that my presence is not much apprecaited by all, and am not much bothered by it. You can deny it all you like, but you’d do better to try for a minute to see how it might be uncomfortable for me. I do not complain of it and I do not let it stop me from coming around. I cheerfully ignore it and am polite and considerate of your entire family, regardless. I make no mention of it to you. But I want some iota of that same empathetic consideration for myself. I do not condemn them for not accepting me and will still visit with them from time to time.

But have any of you ever considered how it must feel from my point of view, to be the perpetual outsider?

ist2_2789202-traveling-with-luggageI think not. Keep it up, and we’ll inevitably become like those other reunion stories in which the people ultimately drift apart. Because, I’ll not continue to put up with this. I will not give up my peace and happiness to play out a pipe dream. If it does not change – this expecting me to walk all the way over the line and into your expectations and demands – it will not last. I have bent, beyond nice, and empathetic, and understanding, and have met you FAR more than halfway. Don’t take advantage of that. Think of me for a minute. Stop making demands.

I have feelings. If they hurt too much, I will protect them at any cost.

I will flee. I have to live with them. I am sensitive. You are not being sensitive of the feelings in this situation which are not your own. Try to be sensitive of all feelings in this situation.

Take a cue from me.

A Convoluted Badge of Something

January 8, 2009

A Greek Tragedy for a Convolute?

ist2_1085349-snow-globeThe psychic looks at my left palm; the one which depicts where I have been, which bears little resemblance to my right palm, which is where I am, and am going.  He says, “Can I be frank?” I nod in an of course manner and consciously decline to utilize the obvious, “I thought your name was Henry?” joke, because I do not much ROFL over recycled humor. Cerebral humor is more my style; a mind-chuckle being more enjoyable than the mind [rhymes-with-part-of-the-word-chuck(le)] that was my childhood.

He says, “Your childhood was really convoluted.” Finally! The most succinct poetic ode to my childhood. A tidy one word summary. It is such the perfect word. I still have it. And it works. And, as long as we are being succint, if I had to sum myself up in one word I’d say I was an italic. And that my life has been in constant pursuit of the appropriate life-saving em dash. Maybe I am a Convolute.

I sometimes hesitantly suspect that I might be a dangling particle. But in reality, I am not entirely positive just what a dangling participle is and cannot immediately identify one. I mean I know, but I am not 100% certain, therefor I am one, because that would explain my confusion about who I am, in a metaphorically grammatical way.

ist2_5290011-who-s-that-manI think about such things all the time because I am very confused. I was raised by one family; I have another family now and I am getting to know them. But I wonder how much they are getting to know me. I don’t think either family really knows me. I think both families have tried to shape me. Why are we not all merely seen for who we are and not for what me might be? My bmom does not listen. I can hear her thinking of what she is going to say next rather than simply listening. Mostly in our conversations I just listen. I hear. I don’t really think much that she hears what I am saying but rather, hears what she wants. Hence The Guilt Trip.

I keep thinking of the whole journey as akin to the myth of Pandora’s Box, which was really a jar and only became known as a box due to a mistranslation of the Greek Pithos for “jar”, which became “box” when translated into Latin.  Pithos sounds like pathos, and is one of the three modes of persuasion, in Aristotle’s philosophies in rhetoric so it’s all Greek to me, and all tied together and convoluted.

ist2_3223613-entrance-hall-of-brussels-courthouseEvents of Pathos, or, Pathetic events, in a plot “are also not to be confused with tragic events. In a tragedy, the character brings about his or her own demise, whereas those invoking pathos often occur to innocent characters, invoking unmerited grief.” – wikipedia

Interesting, that jar/box thing – a mistranslation or mis-communication that changes the meaning of a thing forever. Pandora opened that jar out of curiosity and when she saw what was in it (more…)

Guilt trips always get me down

December 28, 2008

Rainy days and Mondays are, however, fine.

IT’S A PARKING LOT WITHOUT LINES

ist2_4356889-coal-for-youOh, the holidays. What loaded fun. What complicated, charged, bloated, booby-trapped, commercial, expensive, meaningful, non-meaningful, joy! Good thing the big one is only once a year. This is not to say that I am against holidays or don’t like them but rather an acknowledgment of the emotional brew bubbling beneath the surface. No matter how I might try, if I do what I want – what is comfortable and meaningful, and peaceful and happy for me – I get in trouble. I am starting to resent that. And I refuse to continue to always put myself second to others, which is be a huge shift from the last few decades of subservient merry-making and everyday life.

Since beginning my search I have spent a lot of time thinking. Thinking and thinking all day long. Some times in all capital letters, sometimes in italics, often cluttered with colons and semi colons, brackets, asterisks and pound signs. Especially asterisks. I am an Asterisk. Actually, I am a Spasterisk. To illustrate that I am making the quotation mark sign in spastically rapid motions as I say “Spasterisk” as if I am paraphrasing myself. I should have named this blog My Life as a Spasterisk. Shit, always the best ideas are a day late, a dollar short, and then freely offered up for the next person to use. If I see a blog named that I am going to scream. today is a very rare anger day for me. It’s been brewing.

ist2_6547957-country-highwayI had thought and thought about the impact my search might have on my birth mother and for years was unwilling to take that risk, to possibly disrupt her life in a painful or negative way. Since meeting her I have tried to use what my friends determine is my immense capacity for empathy to weigh her feelings and possible perspective into my decisions and quite often made decisions to do things that I’d not wanted to do; to spend more time together than I was as of yet comfortable with. I have always tried to meet in the middle give or take a few miles, but the middle can start to shift farther and farther away till I need binoculars to see from whence I came.

So, for Christmas I had made plans to go visit friends, childhood friends, a few hours away. (more…)