Wednesday, September 8, 2010

it's just part of life, right?


so i've mentioned how much my kids love signing time. so much that not only do we watch it, but we also listen to it constantly in the car.

here is one of the songs on perma-repeat.

It's just part of life, you bump and bruise and fall
Sometimes seems like everyday and sometimes not at all

When you're hurt you always become better
When you fall down you always get back up
And when you cry it never lasts forever
I'll help you feel better, we help each other out

It's just part of life and hugs can save the day
With kisses and a bandage we're ready to go play

When you're hurt you always become better
When you fall down you always get back up
And when you cry it never lasts forever
I'll help you feel better, we help each other out
I'll help you feel better, we help each other out

this song is good and it's also bad, at least for me. crying doesn't last forever. being hurt? do we always become better? physically, usually, sure. emotionally? at times i have a hard time believing that i will ever be better. when i fall i sometimes want to just stay down on the ground. my husband is there telling me he'll help me feel better...giving me hugs and kisses, bandaging my emotional wounds. but bandages don't always fix it. every time i hear this song it makes me think.

there is more drama with my parents. (what else is new?) i've distanced myself from them over the last month and a half or so because i've been focusing on trying to heal--and the constant stream of criticism i get from them is far from helping me. with the baby's first birthday coming up in less than a month i sent them an email outlining some boundaries if they choose to come to her birthday party. the response was exactly what i thought it would be--a total blatant disregard for my feelings, completely invalidating me and denying any kind of wrong-doing on their part. as usual. it's like they think it will kill them to admit that they've screwed up here and there with me. then they place all blame on me. i wrote a response that i didn't send because it's just full of my frustration and hurt and years of pent up confusion and anguish where they are concerned. they say i'm the only one who "makes accusations" and tries to "instruct them on their behavior." probably because i'm the only one with the guts to do so, because i know for a fact there are others who feel the same way i do.

i want to have a good relationship with my parents, but i can't keep putting my mental health and the happiness of my own little family in jeopardy for them. i'm tired of maintaining a relationship based on what i HOPE it will become instead of what it is. i love my parents, i really do. they've done a lot of good things for me and i am grateful for that. i've told them that. so why is it so hard for them to just see they've made mistakes as well, own up to them and apologize? really that's all i'm asking for. the worst part is that their stubborn behavior is interfering with their relationship with their grandchildren which is hard on me, too. i want them to get to know my kids but not at the detriment of myself and my marriage.

so the big question is this: is a relationship with them really worth all the pain, hurt, invalidation and frustration i experience?

and why is it my siblings all seem to be able to take it--or ignore it? i took it for years and years...and now that i'm an adult i'm tired of it. i'm tired of them trying to control me, or support me in the way they think i need instead of what i actually need, what i'm telling them i need.

i wish they were there to help me out when i ask...HOW i ask. it doesn't matter if i say i should wear the red shirt and they tell me the blue one is best, that i'm wrong, even though i know i'm right...the red one is better for me...then they criticize me for choosing the red one and get mad because i'm not taking their advice. does that even make sense? then i always end up running back to them and apologizing, even though i know i was right, just to keep the peace.

i just don't know what to do anymore.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Parents are not perfect people. I feel like my parents can hurt me more than anyone else because they are my parents. I feel like they should know better, but they don't. They make mistakes (just like we do) and I could probably guarantee that your parents ARE trying to be the best parents for you. Sometimes you may need to agree to disagree with out letting too many emotions get in the way. Setting up boundaries is a good thing but you have to be careful not to get too controlling when you do so.

spencer said...

I disagree with you on one point, taking control of your own life and setting boundaries for your own life gives a sense of empowerment and can boost self esteem, and I feel that should never be discouraged. When you say "be careful not to get too controlling", that does not resonate with me. What does that mean to you? Telling your family it is not acceptable to yell at your kids, but stop short of telling them they can't do it in your home or in public? Setting boundaries with how they interact with you has nothing to do with the rest of their lives and how they choose to deal in other interactions. You may say "Do not swear in my home" or "Do not make derogatory comments about how I choose to believe" and they can still do whatever they choose in their own home, on their own time, with their lives. However, when they are in your home they are to respect your rules, if those can't be abided by then other action needs to be taken. If the OP told her parents, for example, never to "be rude or disrespectful" to anyone at anytime, that would be controlling. But when she sets boundaries, she is setting a clear expectation of how she is to be treated, with respect, which is completely acceptable. That doesn't mean they have to alter their lives for her, just their interactions with her. Does that make sense? Sometimes I do not explain myself very well.

Anonymous said...

I have personally seen the hours of love, the tears, the unconditional support, the caring your parents gave when you were in the hospital. I have spoken with both of them and know how much they love you and your children, and how much they want to support you. I know how hurt they were by your e-mail, and how they feel they they have been prevented from interacting with you in a normal way. And before you complain that they have been talking about you behind your back, remember that they haven't been blogging about you, or writing on Facebook about how horrible you are. They are in anguish because they love you so much, but a person can't function in everyday life or be a parent to children still living at home if he or she goes around crying all the time, so to protect themselves, they have withdrawn emotionally from you. They want to be a part of your life. They love you. They rushed to be with you in the hospital, and they stayed around the clock, and were with you, murmuring love and support, telling you how dear you were to them, how much potential you have, what a good person you are, how much you were loved and valued. They were there, until they were told to leave. I was there. I saw a lot of what went on that you do not remember. You may not keep this comment on your blog. Your parents don't know that I am writing this, and will probably be mad at me, but I think what you have said, how you are judging, and what you are doing to your parents is destructive to them, to you, your children, and to your family, both immediate and extended. You are a good person. You have gone through a lot of bad stuff in your life. It wasn't all your parents' fault. Your parents are good people. They know and have said that they have made mistakes. They know they are not perfect. They are human. Stop throwing stones at them. It is time for real reconciliation, and humility and love. Believe that they love you. Forgive them for their weaknesses. Please.

spencer said...

I guess I have to cut this into several posts, it is too long. Let’s take your post, point by point. First, you stated “I have personally seen the hours of love, the tears, the unconditional support, the caring your parents gave when you were in the hospital. I have spoken with both of them and know how much they love you and your children, and how much they want to support you.” You are correct. They were there. However, being there and shedding tears are not necessarily pertinent to anything that was posted. The issues are lack of boundaries, disrespect, lies, poor judgment, etc, that were mentioned in the post. So this seems to be a play on emotions, hence manipulation. Whether or not her parents love her has never been in question. That was stated in the e-mail you referred to next. “I know how hurt they were by your e-mail, and how they feel they they have been prevented from interacting with you in a normal way.” It is interesting that you discuss “normal” ways of interacting. Neither I, nor the OP, find disrespect, spite, lies, causing emotional distress, lack of boundaries, lack of compassion, etc to be anything close to “normal”. You may attempt to debate this until you are blue in the face, but the fact is, you are portraying something that is not correct. Normal interaction includes mutual respect, not one-sided respect. “And before you complain that they have been talking about you behind your back, remember that they haven't been blogging about you, or writing on Facebook about how horrible you are.” I have, thus far, failed to find any posts that say “how horrible they are”, or any blanket statements at all. I do, however, see posts where she criticizes the actions she finds faults in and also praises them for the good. For example, in this exact post she states “I love my parents, I really do. They’ve done a lot of good things for me and I am grateful for that.” That is a far cry from “horrible”. It seems that unless the OP does nothing but stifle her feelings and ONLY discuss the good things, you will dramatize and globalize something and make it something more than it is. In regards to “talking behind your back”, I personally have had individuals come up to me and tell me her parents have said some atrocious things about me, so while it may be inappropriate on the OP’s end, it is also inappropriate on their end. Those who demand respect but refuse to give it are not well received.

spencer said...

“They are in anguish because they love you so much, but a person can't function in everyday life or be a parent to children still living at home if he or she goes around crying all the time, so to protect themselves, they have withdrawn emotionally from you”. That truly is unfortunate, truly. However, there have been multiple times when we have tried to have a sit down to work through all these problems, the goal being ALL parties voicing their concerns, setting appropriate boundaries, and coming to a resolution, emphasis on resolution. However, that has been confounded time and time again, instead of owning responsibility for actions, they want to “drop” the issue and move on. We do not believe in “dropping the issue” unless appropriate steps have been taken. For example, if I steal a car, should the police allow me to go and “drop the issue”? Of course not, not until appropriate jail time and fines have been paid. Then you can expunge your record, and amends have been made. The same applies here. However, the bolded part happens exactly the same way in my home, due to their behavior. No one is blameless in this situation. “They rushed to be with you in the hospital, and they stayed around the clock, and were with you, murmuring love and support, telling you how dear you were to them, how much potential you have, what a good person you are, how much you were loved and valued. They were there, until they were told to leave”. I find this statement quite peculiar, or more appropriately, incomplete. You are correct. Those things happened. However, I was party to other demeaning conversations, most notably starting arguments over treatment plans and disrespectful/distasteful remarks in her presence, even if she was not capable of comprehending them. Support would mean allowing the multiple physicians, nurses, technicians to make the appropriate treatment decisions and supporting those. Not confounding them and underhandedly try get information, that by law, they are not privied to and to wait until I am out of the room to cause more issues instead of talking them out like adults. I had a nurse call me to discuss this with me, someone that has no ‘dog in the fight’ so to speak, and let me know of her displeasure and the inappropriateness of the interactions they had, so I believe it. This does not sound like support, and in fact multiple medical personnel (devoid of any initiation on my part) discussed the inappropriateness of this with me on several occassions. The OP’s parents may have been told to leave, but their egos are not the primary concern in that situation, OP health was. I can tell by the way you write that you are not unintelligent, so I am sure you are willing to see both sides of an argument and see the truth in that, hopefully understand a bit more where we are coming from.

spencer said...

“Your parents don't know that I am writing this, and will probably be mad at me, but I think what you have said, how you are judging, and what you are doing to your parents is destructive to them, to you, your children, and to your family, both immediate and extended.” This is very telling, that you can’t even discuss your own feelings for fear of retribution. The OP and I understand this all too well. This has been my biggest concern, the fact that twice, either you or two separate people have decided to be “anonymous”. If you have something to say and you truly believe it, own it. The tag “anonymous” allows just that, anonymity, and the internet is rife with bullying in the name of anonymity. To be quite honest, it is very cowardly to strike blows at someone and not even allow them the chance to defend themselves. This is part of a larger, systemic family dynamic issue that has yet to be resolved. You may not agree with the attempts the resolve this, you may not agree that sitting down and hashing it out is the way to go, but it is the OP’s life, and if she wants to have an amicable sit down and resolve issues, she has that right. Relationships are a two-way street, when one side refuses to look at anything and invalidate you or refuse to ever be wrong, that is detrimental. This applies to both sides of the issue as well. “You are a good person. You have gone through a lot of bad stuff in your life. It wasn't all your parents' fault”. Of course she is a good person. Yes she has gone through bad stuff. And no, it wasn’t all of her parent’s fault. I fail to see how this fits in with her post or anything she has said. I have yet to see where she has said that it is ALL of their fault, for anything. What it appears she is asking is for them to take FULL responsibility for THEIR portion of the problems, which is completely understandable. And as of yet, has not happened (at least to my knowledge). “Your parents are good people. They know and have said that they have made mistakes. They know they are not perfect. They are human.” Again, you are correct, her parents are good people. And again, they have made mistakes. However, if they know they make mistakes I fail to see why it is so hard to own them? It appears the mistakes they think they have made and the mistakes that the OP thinks they have made do not coincide. Again, they are human and are not perfect. That does not give them carte blanche to do as they please, without any accountability. No one is asking for perfection, OP is asking for recognition of problems on all ends, a conversation, and a good relationship. That does not seem to be too much to ask. Granted, it is never easy to sit down and hash out problems, but other than that there is talking behind backs, assumptions, and general poor behavior. The prior method seems to be preferred.

spencer said...

“Stop throwing stones at them. It is time for real reconciliation, and humility and love. Believe that they love you. Forgive them for their weaknesses. Please”. I find it interesting that you presume to tell a grown adult how to live and act, and yet refused (or so it seems in this instance, I may not have all the pieces of the puzzle) to turn that towards the other parties involved, as stated in your reasoning for being anonymous (so the parents don’t find out). Trust me, she is not the only one “throwing stones” and that needs to “humble herself”. This is abusive language in its manipulation towards the OP. She has a right to any feelings she has, as do her parents. Humility needs to come from both ends, she is not the one saying she refuses to acknowledge her fault in any of this. That is evident in her post here. You say you never saw the email in question, if that is true, then you don’t know anything but what her parents are saying is in the email.

spencer said...

It is possible that the true content and meaning has not been conveyed appropriately. It is even possible that everyone is completely wrong. But how do we know that until there are clear, respectful, open lines of communication, such as is requested (i.e. an amicable meeting)? I understand your defense of your family, but you do not have all of the facts, and making unfair judgments and leaps in logic is not warranted, and the OP is part of your family too. I dare to venture a guess that you would not be willing to say these things to your parents, if you felt that way towards. Why, then, do you feel the need to anonymous do it to another member? I know the answer, and so do you. However, I do appreciate the time you took to voice your concerns, but in the future in may be prudent to be a little less judgmental on your end and leave your name so the OP can contact you directly about your concerns. Thank you for taking the time to read this, if you read it all the way through. The OP and I would be more than happy to have a nice, appropriate, respectful dialogue with anyone in the family pertaining to these situations, provided individuals privacy is not violated. However, this ad hominem attack on my wife, my kids, or me will not be tolerated.

Eliza said...

Honestly, I'm scared to comment on here because of how Spencer will react, I don't blame who ever anonymous is for being anonymous.

I think your parents would be heartbroken if you stopped a relationship with them. I know they love you. I would be heartbroken. I love you and I love them. Relationships are hard.

Even though you are an adult, married, and have your own children, they are still your parents. You can't change that.

I'm sorry for what ever has been going on. I haven't heard about it, except for this post. I don't want to hear details. But it seems like emotions are high on both ends. I think writing about your feelings is a good thing but I disagree with slandering your parents on a public blog.

I love you. I hope I didn't offend you.

spencer said...

I am confused as to why you are "scared" of how I will "react" as I have done nothing but offer cogent, coherent, logical, and intelligent posts in rebuttal to some poorly thought out arguments. I am unsure why that would scare you, unless confrontation or individuals standing up for themselves, in and of itself, scares you. Unless, of course, you are getting information from other sources that are telling you to be "scared" of me, which would be malicious, false, and defamatory of me personally.

In regards to your statement that she is "slandering" her parents, I suggest you look up the definition of that word, as you have used it incorrectly and out of context. Firstly, the definition of slander is "a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report". Notice the use of "and", as it requires all three items to be present to meet the definition. Her posts are not done out of maliciousness and they are not false. One could argue they defame others because some of her comments put a light on them that is less than flattering, but that is irrelevant to the definition if all three points aren't met. Secondly, you have it out of context. Slander is spoken word, whereas libel is by "written or printed words, pictures, or in any other form than by spoken words or gestures." Not to get nitpicky or anything, but when you are making statements that are untrue and unbased, I will not stand for it. If you want a true example of slander, see the last line of my first paragraph.

I hope my frank statements do not offend you, but as I have stated before, I will not stand for ad hominem attacks on my family.

Eliza said...

I think it's great that you stand up for your family.

Thank you for correcting me on the word slander, I didn't know that it referred only to spoken word and I didn't know the word "and" was in the definition, I thought it was an "or." I used the wrong word, I'll try not to make that mistake again.