Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Wayward Blogger Returns

I've been gone awhile, haven't I? It's not that I've been deliberately laying low, it's more that I've been shamelessly lazy and have been using facebook to stay in touch. Facebook is so much easier than blogging (Hey, "friend" me! Look me up using this e-mail address: grannyskywalker@hotmail.com)! But, alas, facebooking, while easier, is not as in depth as a good old fashioned blog. :) So here I am again, back to blogging so that I can post a few pictures and talk about some personal issues that have really been bugging me. And no, I'm not talking politics. At least not this time. lol
First let's start with the pictures. In my last post I mentioned that I was going to meet a couple of blogging friends in person for the very first time. Randey had a business trip to Ohio and I tagged along, specifically to meet these wonderful people! This is Sue from Rabbit Run Cottage and her husband Bill. These are two of the nicest people on the planet! Sue is funny and charming and witty and stunningly beautiful! And Bill is her perfect match. Sue and I enjoyed a day of shopping and then she and Bill took Randey and I out for a dinner at The Cheesecake Factory (love The Cheesecake Factory!!).
Here's Sue and I, waiting patiently for our table.
On the left is Sue, another blogger who happens to be a friend of the other Sue (middle) and me, on the right. Sue and Sue were great fun together and made my day of shopping and lunching a true joy. Both of them are just so funny and great to be around.
And this is my friend Joan from Joan's Journeys. Joan is so very special to me. She's the one who first mentioned Weight Watchers to me so, for that alone, I feel like I owe her so much more than I could ever repay. But it's not just that. There's so much more and I really can't explain it. She's just...special. Period. I adore Joan and was thrilled beyond belief to get to meet her. :)
Here's some pictures of the beautiful scenery in Ohio, too. Look at these colors! Everywhere you looked, the colors were just exploding in all their Autumn glory!







I feel very fortunate to have gotten to go with Randey on this trip. Of course, it's only made me all the more eager to go on more trips with him. In fact, I'm hoping to go to Georgia in February to meet some more of my blogging friends! I'm very excited at the prospect.
Okay....that's all the fun stuff. Stop here if you're only looking for good cheer. This next part is a bit of a downer, if I do say so myself. I figure that most people have finished with reading this by now, though (who likes reading a long post anyway, right?) so basically, saying all this next stuff is almost like writing in a diary rather than blabbing my personal business all over the net. That's the attitude I'm taking anyway. (Yeah, I can be delusional like that when I need to be.)
Anywho, my issue starts with my relationship (or rather, lack thereof) with my mother. We've been estranged for years, although we did have a brief reconciliation a couple of years ago. Too bad it didn't last. :( I honestly don't know what I did to her that has made her unwilling to have a relationship with me, but she's darn sure reached that point. How does that happen? How does a mother decide she doesn't want anything to do with her own child? This all came to head a couple of months ago and it happened because of facebook (you'd of thought I would have sworn off facebook after this!) I noticed that my mother had started a facebook account and I sent her a "friend request". I know, it sounds stupid, but I thought it might be a way to start a dialogue with her. She didn't respond. Finally, after about three weeks, I rescinded that request and sent another one, this time with a message attached. That one she did respond to. She accepted my friend request but then sent me an e-mail saying that I had rejected her in the past and that she couldn't stand rejection again but that she would always love me and would just try to remember the good times. See, our most recent problem all started back in 2004 when I got into it with my sister and my mother decided to get involved with our argument. It had nothing to do with her and I will never, ever understand why she felt the need to take sides. How do you take sides when each side is one of your children anyway? Given the circumstances, I felt then, and I still feel today, that I didn't reject her, she rejected me. But whatever. The point was, I figured we'd never get passed it if we didn't talk about it. She asked me what she'd done and I told her a few things. Then I asked her what I had done to offend her. Next thing I know, she's sending me an e-mail telling me I need to look in the mirror, that I judge people and that I forget they have feelings. All true things. But I'm also willing to listen to another person's point of view. In fact, I thought that's what we were doing - sharing our feelings, getting things out in the open. Apparently, I was wrong. All I was doing was offending her again. She ended up wishing me "a happy life" and wishing me and mine "all the best in the future". She later sent me another e-mail, asking if I would consider meeting her at a neutral location to "either fix our relationship or know that it is over forever". Over forever? Really? How can a mother/child relationship be over forever? I've never killed anyone, I never slept with another woman's husband and I never committed treason against my country. So what the hell could I have possibly done to warrant my mother wanting nothing to do with me ever again? I declined that meeting with her. I kind of think that if she's okay with the prospect of never talking with me again, then her decision is probably already made. At any rate, all of that isn't the reason for my "downer" post. I've told this story to explain this next part. I found out recently that my daughter-in-law and my youngest granddaughter will be leaving Okinawa and returning to Florida in a couple of weeks and that my son will be joining them for Christmas (he won't officially leave Okinawa for several more months, though). They will be in the same area in Florida as my oldest granddaughter, as well as my in-laws and my sister and other family members, too. I was out shopping with my daughter Des last week when it occurred to me that we could go to Florida and spend Christmas with all of them! What a great idea! We haven't all been together for Christmas since 2003. What could be better? Des said she thought her boss would give her the time off and I knew Randey could get the time off so I called my sister to run the idea by her. Just as I was dialing the phone, though, it hit me. My mother would probably be going to my sister's for Christmas (she lives about 2 1/2 hours away from her). I asked my sister if that was the case and yes, indeed, it is. Not only my mother, but her sisters as well. In other words, there's no room at the inn for me and mine. Crushing blow, I don't mind telling you. No big family get together for us. I mean, really, my feelings were kind of hurt even though I know they shouldn't be. They had made their plans already so I wouldn't expect my sister to cancel their plans just to accommodate us. But it would have been so nice to have that big family Christmas one last time. The way the kids are all growing up, going their separate ways and all, this is probably the last year something like this could have worked out. But it just wasn't meant to be. Now here's the real downer portion of my post (at last, I've arrived at it!) I feel kind of like I'm on the outside looking in on this family sometimes. Not only will Christmas with them not be an option, but neither is anything else. My mom and my sister always spend Thanksgiving and Christmas together. Always. My sister is at my mom's right now, having spent Thanksgiving with her and gone shopping on Black Friday, etc., etc., etc. I'm not part of the group anymore. To be honest, most of the time, that doesn't bother me much. I'm so very bitter about my mother that I wouldn't spend time with her regardless. Something about being "disposable" in her eyes sort of takes away the drive to be close to her, you know what I mean? However, I do resent the fact that I will never matter enough to come first with any member of my family (not counting Randey and my children, of course). I know down to the very fiber of my being that I did nothing to deserve whatever it is my mother feels about me and I resent that her lunacy has cost me time with other members of my family. And I resent that those family members won't call her on it and, in fact, are okay that me and mine will get left out in the cold every single year during the holidays. There, I said it. I resent it like hell. And I really need to get over it. Because it's not going to change. These recent developments have taught me that much. But man, it really bugs me. I'm not sure what bugs me more, though. Not being able to fix whatever part of me there is that can't seem to get along with other people or being of so little importance to the people in my life that I'm easily dismissed and/or discarded by them. I want to matter. I just don't know how. I guess that's really the main part of this post. I don't know how to fix me. I don't know how to be the kind of person that matters and that is worth being with. And I sure as hell wish I did because life wouldn't be so confusing then.

15 comments:

  1. marynewton1@yahoo.comNovember 29, 2009 at 10:50 AM

    Kari
    How lovely to have you back and so glad you enjoyed your trip to see all the Sues! I'm sorry about your family situation and really don't know what to say.Most families have problems including mine I guess you can choose you friends but not your family. I hope things improve Mary

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  2. Kari,
    Have heard some about your Ohio trip, but how nice to see more pictures! What a special treat for all of you...thanks for sharing it!

    Now..on to the serious stuff. What's wrong with YOU?? Seriously?? You are asking this?? Well, I have the answer...NOTHING!! It amazes me how little value so many place on the time spent with their family. Does it take a tragedy of death or illness to make folks realize that their family is the reason behind our very existence?

    You are right...no unforgivable crime has been committed, so why can't everyone agree to disagree and allow the other non-involved members of the family to be together? Are you the one that is difficult to get along with...or does distance play a part in not being able to work it out?? The farther you are from the problem and the more time that passes just adds to the strain. I have been through something very similar and I finally just stood up and said "I am here, I'm not going anywhere and the sooner you adjust to that, the better it will all be".

    Go...take Randey and Des with you and go. Take the presents for your grandchildren, just freakin' show up and act like you are supposed to be there...because you are.Do you really think your grandchildren give a flip if you are estranged from anyone else? Don't let anyone keep you from your grandchildren...how dare they assume they have that right! Will it all work out? No crystal ball here for that answer, but what's the worst? You will know you have made the ultimate gesture and probably find out just how things really are. You may discover that, as sad as it may be, there are members of your family that will remain family just because that's what they are. But, you may find out that knocking down the wall will take everyone by surprise and they will realize just how much they mean to you.

    Uh...okay...this is not my blog, so I'll stop talking now. (shocker)

    Follow your heart....

    {{{big hug}}} Cassie

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  3. I wish you peace, Kari.

    Love the pictures, and would love to meet Joan; she is super special!

    ((hugs))

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  4. Started typing you a comment and poof it was gone?? Soooo...if it shows up somehow that's the reason you've got two. Let's try this again, shall we

    ~~~~~~~

    Hi sweet friend!

    First, I hope you can feel the BIG virtual hug I'm sending you right now. Sure wish I could give it to you in person. Second, do you see my virtual finger pointing at you? It's there. Don't you dare blame yourself in this situation. I can't imagine you did anything, but even if she THINKS you did, this whole thing is wrong, wrong, wrong. There is nothing (and I mean NOTHING) that would make me stop loving my children. Period.

    Don't let her keep you from being with your family. Start now and move on. Don't let this holiday go by and then another and then another because then it will get harder to mend. Go. Be with your family. Stay in a hotel if you must. You have the right, the desire and the love...and they need you. If your Mom comes, she comes. If she knows you're coming and she has a problem, let her stay home. Sorry...just realized I'm preaching to you. I just got fired up. I don't like having my friend hurt. So, I'll stop, but I will pray that things change.

    Moving on...I'm so happy for you (and a bit jealous too) that you got to spend time with two of my favorite bloggers, Joan and Sue. I hope I can meet them both one day.

    So glad you're back blogging again. You're right, facebook is fun and fast, but just not the same as blogging. Stick around, okay?

    Love and hugs!
    Kat

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  5. Welcome back!! and sorry about all of those family issues..why can't things be easy. I hope that one day, things will work out. Family is just too important.

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  6. (((hugs))) Kari.
    I could say so many different things... and have lots of thoughts on this but decided none would lift your spirits so I just want to say you are very special and give you a cyber :) hug ...

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  7. Dear Sissy,
    I read your post and want to let you know, you and your family are well to come to my home and stay with the kids for christmas. Jodie and Nick and our grandbabies will be here and you are welcome. Please come on and well have a big family christmas!!!! Just let me know when you are going to be here. Pam

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  8. I know how it feels to be an unwelcome guest. I won't put myself through it ever again. I'll spend time with my own kids and grandkids here. We won't be traveling for a holiday to visit extended relatives ever again! Sad, but that's just the way it is. So, is your sister sympathetic towards you, or does this bolster her position as favorite? Silly, isn't it? Hang in there. Sometimes close friends are the best family you've got.

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  9. First, let me say that you have been missed. I am glad to "hear your voice" again.

    Now (deep breath), I wish I had some words of wisdom I see V has commented about the "chill" she has received during a family visit. That was a hard blow for her, so I am reluctant to push someone into that situation. Having said that, part of me wants you to take "your part" of the family and go. It seems so unfair that you are frozen out. You can choose to take your brood and join in; your mother can then choose to either be there or not.

    In my own situation, I have worried about the fact that my mother in law lives with me, while my H is shacked up elsewhere, creating a terrible strain on his relationship with his mother. I love my only child unequivocally so this seems hard for me. But MIL takes the attitude that she has done nothing wrong, nor have I, so why should his brokenness interfere with our relationship? I am grateful for this. She is his mother, will always love him and has told him so, but she does not let his brokenness dictate the health of her relationships. I get that. It is a hard place, but she did not create it.

    I see the same here. You have offered olive branches, she has spurned them. If you can fade her heat, go be with your family. The choice will then be hers, clearly. Of course, a lot of this depends on your sister's attitude.

    Man, this turned into a rant. Just follow the peace. If peace is in staying away, then so be it. If there is no peace in that...duck your head and go! And know that we are so glad to hear from you again! C

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  10. Mom,
    Betty can go suck a big one. Come on down and hang out for Christmas, I'll be staying in a hotel too. We can hang out there and just go to Jodie's mom's for Christmas. Don't let the 3 psycho's ruin the holidays. If you'd like I could go ahead and crack her skull while we're there. Just let me know.
    Nick

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  11. I love your photos; those Autumn colours are just beautiful.

    As for families, lots of us have problems! I can't remember the last time we were all together for an 'occasion', sadly it was probably a funeral.

    I really hope that now you've vented your feelings you will feel better and won't dwell on things too much. If someone doesn't appreciate you for who you are then they certainly aren't worth you wasting your time and energy thinking about them.

    I hope you have a lovely Christmas, however you spend it.

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  12. Well sweetie, I guess you thought that after all the nagging that I had read this and that we were mad about it, but that's not the case at all. I've been lazy about catching up on post reading. How I missed this, I can't say...but just so you know, Uncle Wallace and I DID call her on this...and got exactly the same response you did...I wish we lived in Florida...we'd have the best Christmas ever...but you know you are always welcome here...always...anytime...you know I love you and always have...Aunt Sandi
    oh great...now I'm going to cry...

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  13. Oh Kari, stuff like that sucks (and yes, I do read long posts). As I read this from your perspective I kept trying to solve the puzzle of my sister who purposely moved three states away from all of us (in her words "To show them [mom, brother etc] that they should have tried harder to spend time together when we lived close." The thing is, now she complains to all of our other relatives about how we never bother to go see her or keep her informed with our lives. I have spoken to her about ten times in as many years and they were all MY calls on MY dimes. She complains about how she's never seen my children, but travels to see her friend in the same state we were living in without telling us. She's never sent my children cards or letters and didn't even acknowledge my daughter's birth.

    I'm wondering if your Mom and my sister are related?

    So sorry for your hopes for Christmas. I hope some holiday magic makes things work for you.

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  14. I was so gonna say "what our Kat and Cassie said"
    and then I saw Nick's comment! YES! What your baby boy Nick said!!! (And yes Nick. I KNOW you are all grown up but we moms will always think of you as our baby boys...okay I am totally digressing here)
    You have every right to be there and should be. Go.
    Dang...I can not imagine letting a child feel as you do and not fighting for the relationship...but sadly, I have seen it happn with moms. My sis in law's mom was like that.
    SHE is wrong. NOT you. End of story.
    You are an amazing lady and I adore you...how could anyone NOT adore you?

    You would be welcome here no matter what..even IF you DID sleep with another husband or kill someone or commit treason...well...not if the FBI came crashing in looking for you and made a huge mess but I would still love you!

    We have some of this in our family too...it is sad and stupid and I will never understand people. I just hate that you feel so awful and that this has hurt you so. I wish I had known earlier (I am a baaaad friend)...I send hugs and love and a "our door is always open to you and your family" invitation. ALWAYS.

    Love,
    Sue

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  15. Sissy, I really do need to start reading other people's comments before I make mine. I probably would not have left a comment at all had I read what Nick had to say. I try to understand your side of things but one thing I want to tell you is this...you only have one mother and when she is gone there is no more. I miss my mother now at this time of year more than any other time. I hope you and your Mom will be able make this up, that you will be able to explain to her what it is you are feeling...because I believe she is as much in the dark about why you are so hurt as anyone else is. Pick up the phone, make plans to meet, just the two of you...you owe it to yourself and to her to fix this. Remember we love you.
    Aunt Sandi

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