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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Doing your part...

With mother's ill health lately, there's been a lot of acrimony -- namely, each sister accusing the other of "not doing their part." In fact, the last time I visited, a near-fight broke out practically over her bed! Usually, my stance with family is to withdraw when it comes to this kind of behavior. And that is what I did; I turned on my heel, and said, "I'm going home."

As I've stated previously, my two middle sisters are having war and now, tried to drag me into it. No thanks.

One keeps accusing me of "not doing my part" in helping mother NOW. Excuuuse me, but I "did my part" LONG before she was even born (she's 9 years younger than me). Actually, I "did my part" before I was age 20, but continued to help (excessively) my sisters/mother until I was age 40. At that time, I read "Toxic Parents" by Dr. Susan Forward -- and it changed my life. Sometimes you have to let go and move on -- and no, you do not have to forgive people who have mistreated you, including parents.

I practically raised all three of my younger sisters, AND mother. When our father died in '72 at the age of 42, DH and I moved them all near us and FOR YEARS we were both devoted to them ALL. Mother was more like a dating teenager than a grown widowed woman with three teens to care for. I'll never forget how they'd all fight over who would talk on the phone to their boyfriend. I mean, come on...this is just ONE small example of mother's childish, selfish behavior over our ENTIRE lives. No, I do not think I "owe" her anything; she'll die STILL NOT having been a "mother" to me.

Human behavior is perverse at times, it really is. Take for example: adopted kids hunt down 'birth' parents who absolutely DID NOT want them in the first place. The adopted kid thinks his "birth" parent is more a parent than the ones who WERE good parents. Parenting takes more, LOTS more, than giving birth. Thus, I always felt my mother/father were not my real parents; my paternal grandparents were better parents than they were. We're talking abuse, neglect, you-name-it here, for the uninitiated.

At any rate, let me just say that I haven't been back to the hospital since that last altercation. I do not like to fight, when it comes to family/in-laws, and always withdraw. I have more on my plate, emotionally, than I can hardly deal with -- the one-year anniversary of DH's death is coming up February 21st, and yes, it's getting more and more emotionally difficult to deal with.

I wish that mother's situation had not created the kind of antagonism it has between all of us siblings. But then, I guess it's a "Fairy Tale" to think otherwise. I've witnessed this kind of family discord in the past, and especially with the four deaths of immediate family this past year. Thankfully, I had NO kids to reap the whirlwind, and as I age, the better I feel about not bringing another human being into life.

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