Note:I wrote this post a week ago but then removed it. It felt too whiny and raw. I have decided to put it back with some slight alterations. After all this is why I blog right? I apologise if I lose the comments. They were good too. I hope they show up.
I talked with my sister and told her how much I enjoyed spending time with my nephew (her son) and what a great time we had. She said he really enjoyed himself too and she even thanked me for making the effort for him. It was no effort, I was glad to do it.
She said I had the family’s signature eyes which was so nice to hear. It was a recognition of sorts, a sense of belonging.
She said she was thinking of sending the group photo of all of us to E (bmom), she didn’t want to keep the fact that we had met from her. I thought it was a good idea too so she sent it. E freaked out. Not just a little, I mean she really freaked OUT. She told my sister she felt she had been stabbed in the back, that she thought my meeting him was vindictive and said ” now more people know my business”. She totally blocked out the conversation with my sister in which she gave her permission for he and I to meet, swearing it never took place.
I have done a fairly good job lately putting all of this into perspective. I have taken some of the pressure off of myself to always be the understanding party in this situation, trying to honor my own feelings for once. Although I am reading The Girls Who Went Away which I will write an entirely different post on when I am done. It’s a great book by the way. So on some level I still struggle to understand her and I do see the shame and guilt clearly although she continually insists she feels neither. I know she must on some level struggle with this. But what really blows me away is that after five years of knowing where I am she is still more worried about what people will think of what she did almost 40 years ago than she is worried about what people would think of her horrible treatment of me now.
You can’t wave a magic wand and say out loud “you are not a member of this family” and make it so. It doesn’t work that way. Of course it’s not like I can prove I belong. I don’t have the papers to prove it. My dog is a purebred and even though I don’t have his papers I could get them if I chose to. Fortunately my dog could care less. I wish I felt that way. But who am I kidding, even if I had the papers to prove my place it’s not like she would grow a branch for me to perch out in the open on the family tree. You won’t find me on any of their geneology charts.
This has been hugely upsetting to my sister. She asked for our aunt’s advice on the matter and was instructed to “never mention me again”. Maybe someone can tell me how this is healthy advice? How is E ever going to heal if everyone keeps allowing her to hide? To me this sort of thinking just perpetuates the stigma of shame. “Don’t ever talk about it again, forget, move on.” as though that were even remotely possible.
There are two aspects of this situation that I find most disturbing. First I focused a great deal of energy on E this week instead of being able to enjoy the moments I got to spend with my nephew. Second is my nephew himself. He was told (not by me) of his grandmother’s response. Now he is upset and feels terrible that “he” made her sad and angry. That really pisses me off. He should not have to feel bad about his natural curiosity to meet his aunt.
I have to wonder how one detatches themselves so deeply that they are able to view a photo of their grandson and gloss over the fact that their daughter and OTHER grandchildren are surrounding him. To walk away with only a feeling of anger and fear that their secret will be revealed. This is a mystery to me.