Funerals

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by SomewhereOutThere, Mar 27, 2015.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    "I don't see an issue with it. I myself would much rather visit the place of burial a day or two later to pay my respects on my own. I really don't like being around groups of people during really emotional times." (from another site)

    I am seriously considering not attending my father's funeral when he passes (and have told him) and to bring MY family to his graveside the next day to talk to him and tell him I love him, which he knows. Now, before the event, I am seeking opinions. This is how my mind works.

    In the "Should Go" category:
    It is socially acceptable to go and not socially acceptable not to
    DNA collection will judge me worse than they already do.
    Others will mistakenly think I don't care.
    Maybe I'll regret this one day.

    On the "Should Not Go" side
    I never did care what is socially acceptable.
    Funerals are for the living, not the dead. THey are so you can console one another and I have nobody to console other than my family, who will be with me regardless of what I de
    Close DNA members (all two of them) already judge me poorly (Bro? Sis?)
    The funeral will likely not be the type of Jewish funeral my father wanted anyway, along with sitting shiva. I don't know for sure. My father put bro in charge of everything.
    Sis made us have an open casket for Mother and I did go, but I don't want to remember Dad in an open casket. He is so full of life.
    I strongly believe that seeing Sis and Bro will distract me from the real reason I'm there and cause myself and my family to feel resentment and other negative feelings...that is not what a funeral is about.

    On the selfish side:
    I don't ever want to lay eyes on Bro or Sis again. The past is the past.

    Also, I strongly believe that we live on after earth death and that I will have a nice chat with Dad later on. I have a psychic medium who is very accurate and whom I trust very much.

    I want to make this firm decision before it happens. Last night, he sounded so out of breath and I got off the phone with tears in my eyes.

    Would I be horrible if I didn't go? I believe he WILL know because I don't believe our spirit dies. However, I also believe he will know why I'm not there. Plus we will be at graveside to celebrate his life just as soon as the hoopla is over and as soon as Sis and Bro are back doing whatever it is they plan to do. Luckily bro lives out of town.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Well people do miss funerals you know. Usually it's because they're too distraught to go or ill or whatever. My father had to lay down in the church basement during my mother's funeral, he couldn't handle it. My sister-in-law's father had a stroke the day before her mother's funeral. They ended up having the funeral and then having a private internment several weeks later for her dad's benefit. I had a cousin who died in a car accident the night after another cousin's funeral! A number of relatives didn't make the second funeral - just couldn't handle it so soon after the first.

    More akin to your situation, my best friend's brother came when his mom was dying but went home before the funeral. He lived several states away. His brother and sisters weren't happy with him, but in the end, it was his choice. He get's along okay with his siblings, but he had said his good-byes and didn't see any reason to stay any longer.

    My opinion is, you do what YOU can live with. Funerals are for the living, as you said. Sad as I find the idea, it is up to you. He'll know you love him either way. Being close to him while he is still alive is more important. Finding your own closure afterwards is more important.

    If you want the funeral to be what HE wants, you might suggest to him that he make the arrangements himself while he's still alive to make sure his wishes are carried out. Also, it occurs to me that if your family is as awful as you say, you might actually have a hard time even finding out where he's buried to go visit later if he hasn't already got the plot, if you don't go or at least have one of your kids go.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I come from a strong religious background - just so you know where this is coming from.

    You say that the funeral will likely not be the one your father wants.

    My take?
    IF bro does go for the whole traditional funeral your father would have wanted, then I think you need to be there, because the traditions etc. will be part of your grieving. You will regret not going.

    If it's the kind of funeral your bro and sis want and NOT what your father would have wanted, then it becomes THEIR way of grieving, and you are welcome to have your own.

    Just my two cents, of course.
     
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  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thank you both. This has been weighing heavily on my mind. I've talked to my husband about it and mentioned it to my father as well, although I always add the truth...I hope he lives ten or more years.

    During these last years my father has actually often listened to the abuse I put up with, which is unusual for him. I think he relates and he has tried to be kind to me. I doubt by the time he goes there will be any regrets or anything left to say. I never get off the phone without saying "I love you." I know this sounds so petty, but in our VERY small family of origin he is the only person, besides my beloved grandmother, who ever treated me like I'm not worse than everyone else and that means a lot to me. I am sad as he wishes his children would all get along, but I have no control over the other two and he knows that too. He also knows I am not what they say, if they even talk about me. I assume Sis, who needs her sounding board, is now bombarding Brother with her stuff about me. Lord knows what she would do if she did not have him to biotch about me to. So sad. Sad anyone is obsessed over a sib they say they hate...

    I am strongly leaning toward finding out which rabbi is doing the ceremony (or funeral home) and making arrangements to say good-bye before or after the funeral. It will be hard enough and thee is nobody who will be there for me to console. I do like one of my cousins and his mother (Dad's sister), but I'm sure her sons will be there with her for support. I'm not close to anyone. I won't even recognize most. And I doubt my brother will have the type of funeral Dad wants. Sis has already said she will not sit shiva, and, frankly, I couldn't handle seven days in a dark room with my DNA collection either. When I am under that degree of scrutiny and pressure, my mental illnesses can not be held in by my medication. Nobody needs to see a meltdown at a time like that.

    I don' t like funerals. For myself, I'd like to be cremated and then have my family plant a tree for me (a new life). Everyone will have orders not to even let SIs and Bro know. Ok, this is getting gruesome...lol.

    Thank you again.
     
  5. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Do what you feel comfortable with. If Brother does it his way then don't go. If you cant handle being around the siblings, don't go. If they don't like you now then who cares what they think?

    Personally, I'm for Irish Wake. Chuck my butt into the ground (or scatter my ashes, whichever) then have a party and talk about the stupid crap I/We did!
     
  6. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I'd say that sounds good...but Jabber is under strict orders to die last. ;)

    Somewhere - Make sure you know where he's buried, skip the funeral and have hubby tell anyone nosey enough to ask that you were simply too distraught to come. That's true enough. After all, it would be entirely too distressing to spend time with people you can't stand to be around.
     
  7. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    You need to do what is best for you. It's hard becuase a funeral is where the family appears to be "united". Outsiders will not see the tension that lies beneath but it's there and when you mix in raw emotion it can take an ugly turn.
    When people are greiving they sometimes say and do things they would not normally do and if there's already a predisposition for dysfunction it can become disasterous.
    The worst thing that can happen if you don't go is sis and bro will talk bad about you. Oh wait, they already are doing that.
    I think it's good that you are sharing your feelings with your dad. I also think it's good that you are giving thought to this before it happens.
    I was very close with both of my parents. My mom has been gone 17 years and my dad has been gone 5. I still miss them both so much. It's a very hard thing to go through.
    I hope your dad has many more years.
    ((HUGS)) to you..........
     
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  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I shouldn't care and normally don't think about them.

    But I'm actually extremely sensitive and have a very sensitive antennae. I cry easily too. In order to go, I'd have to load up on tranquilizers.

    When they are out of sight they are pretty much out of mind.

    But we have such a small family. There won't be anywhere to hide. Most of Dad's friends are now gone. He is going to be 91 next week, bless him.

    Jabs, I like the Irish way, but I don't want to party with this small bunch :)

    After Mom's funeral, which was an affront to her Jewish beliefs because the casket was open (and I saw her sooooooooooo different than I remembered as it had been so many years since I'd seen her), my bro and sis and Unc all asked me to go out to lunch with them afterward. THis is before Sis went bonkers on me for actually daring to be t he one to put boundaries on her.


    My husband and I refrained and drove home. It was the weirdest funeral. THe rabbi was going on and on about what a great person she was and a fantastic grandma (she never sent any of my kids so much as a birthday card) and la-de-da. I thought it was so fake. I didn't shed a tear. I felt like I was at a stranger's funeral. My kids did not go. I told them not to worry...she never wanted to know them so why go? I'm not sure why I went, come to think of it.

    Dad is a whole different story. I do think I can celebrate his very colorful life and in my own way with my husband and my children after the games are over. Since I believe I will see him again, there is no need for me to say good-bye. I can stll pay respects, but not get into the fray of things. I think my kids will appreciate it too. They think, of course, that Sis is a bit mean and nutty and like his mother before him, my kids never saw Bro so he would be a stranger to them. Once Sis came over for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner at Princesses house and later on Princess said she didn't want her there anymore because she made her feel uncomfortable.

    So I think all of us can do this alone, without distractions.
     
  9. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Then do so. I didn't mean to include anyone in the whole Irish Wake thing that I wouldn't want there. Oh, I have family members that I "tolerate" but spending a few hours with them is no big deal. If this were the situation for me, I wouldn't go.
     
  10. Confused

    Confused Active Member

    Its definitely something you will know what to do when the time comes. Its not an easy decision, but the best part you have already talked to your dad and he understands either way. Do whats best for you and your family.
     
  11. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Of course you should care, somewhere. This is your life, this is your story, this is your father.

    That is your sister, or your own brother...and there, right there, are all the wonderful things that might have been, the honor and cherishing and strength for each of you that never happened, and the terrible things that did happen, instead.

    Parts of your story are ugly, like so much of my story is ugly.

    But there is something that happens to us when we face that part down. It has something to do with honoring ourselves and with honoring what is. It has to do with seeing and believing. What happens to us matters. We don't have to make it all right, we don't have to blame or punish ourselves when it is ugly.

    Whether we are hurt or blessed by our stories, whether we are hated or cherished or ridiculed, this is our story, the good parts and the bad parts too.

    You matter.

    It matters that you find what is most sacred for you and your family during the time when you lose your father.

    That is the story, those are the values, that will travel the generations.

    ***

    Our siblings are our witnesses, just as we are theirs.

    But we are all engaged in a kind of deception, defining ourselves and one another through the roles each of us was required to fill so that our families could achieve some kind of balance around the core issues of the dysfunctional parent.

    It's like we're zooming at top speed through a place where nothing is clear. There are no road signs. Nothing is dependable. Everything changes, instantaneously. The rules are different from one day to the next, from one minute to the next, everything revolving around the needs of the dysfunctional parent, and it's crazy making. So, we wander around, knowing there is meaning here, but unable to recognize or lay claim to or take comfort from it.

    There is no reliable way to judge the meaning or the value of anything. There is no concept of sacred.

    There is no concept of self.

    Everything revolves around the needs of the dysfunctional parent.

    That's the nature of the place where we grew up, just little kids.

    Just little kids.

    But that is okay.

    We survived that, and we can do this.

    ***

    Setting the intention to honor the relationship with the parent or the sibling, and all that it taught you (or me) is a good place to begin. Honoring what it meant, good or seemingly bad, to have that person in your life in that role opens the scars and shamed places so we can see the truth in them and heal them.

    Honoring the times they handled it well, and honoring our surviving the times they did not handle it well ~ or we did not ~ we need to make those parts of our stories our own.

    No one can hurt or shame or weaken us with true things we already know. It is only where we are not sure, where we have protected ourselves from knowing what really happened ~ those are our areas of vulnerability.

    We need to have nothing to hide, nothing to protect.

    That's a biggie. I had lots of work to do around that one. Way down deep where we are afraid to see true things, the message seemed to be that I had lived against my mother's wishes. That was the message I took, the thing I taught myself. That I had been judged against, that somehow I had lived anyway, that I had to make amends.

    That I was not legitimately here.

    How sad, and how enraging.

    And how pitiably, stupidly wasteful, that such things happen. But they do happen, and they happened, to us. Our job is to face down the wrongnesses. Life is a precious thing. We are so blessed, to be here.

    We are here on purpose.

    Our dysfunctional parent was wrong.

    Once we can see and know that?

    BOOM


    :O)


    ***

    Challenging and changing who our abusers taught us we were takes bravery and courage and a belief in the rightness and triumph of the white. In dysfunctional families, we are all one another's abusers, because each of us reinforces the reality taught by the dysfunctional parent. Accepting that takes a different kind of courage, a deeper level of understanding and forgiveness of self.

    That is where I am, now.

    In the beginning levels of that.

    It is so horribly sad, and so wasteful and stupid, to need to go through all this. But at the end, there will be love and the power of love, I just know it.

    ***

    Over time, I think we begin to really get it: There was nothing personal, nothing sacred or real or right about those namings we were named by our dysfunctional parent. There is no reason to believe now, in what passed for values or truths in the hatred-fueled family system the dysfunctional parent required.

    There is such freedom in knowing that.

    Everything changes.

    We see the wrongness. We see just how wrong, just how ugly, our story is.

    It's like winning the jackpot, to understand this in our bones.

    Anger blinds us.

    Fear blinds us.

    It is better to confront what is under there, protecting us from some hurt we thought was forgotten.

    We learn how invested we are in believing what we thought was true. It is a scary thing to go into the world without a map.

    But here we are, flying.

    ***

    So...sincere honoring is something that happens in the heart. Those things that facilitate honoring, I would do, when the time comes that you lose your father. Those things that make a parody of honoring either yourself or your father or the relationship between you, those things I would not do.

    But only you can know what that will be, for you.

    I have lost my father, already.

    When I did, he came to me in a dream.

    My husband's father came to him in a dream, when he died.

    When I lose my mother, only I will know what feels right in that time. For today, all I can do is honor myself and my feelings to the degree that I am able to do that today, understanding that will change.

    I am loving this part of healing.

    ***

    When my father died, the time after devolved into a series of shocking and unforeseen things. Mask after mask fell away, each one uglier and less believable than the last, as my mother twisted what was left of us to mirror her viciousness.

    I feel fortunate in so many ways. But ours is an ugly story.

    There are no heroes, here.

    I am working through it. I will know when I am through because when I am, I will see, not only myself, but each of my sibs, as the heroic figures they are.

    It is all about the healing.

    ***

    So, until that time comes for you and for your father, there is no way you can prepare. So many things will change.

    You can only open to loving him now, which you are doing.

    You are learning, I think I see you learning, to question the validity of the roles you were required to assume in your family of origin.

    I think I see you battering away at the roles assigned to your father, and to your freedom to love and appreciate one another.

    I think I see him hearing you, loving you, listening to you.

    This is a good thing for us to do, because we come away from it cleansed of shame. We have already acknowledged our secrets and unsure places and so, there is no possibility that anyone else can trick us or shame us into accepting those roles again. When we are healed, the roles no longer echo for us and so, they lose their meaning.

    That is what is happening with your sister now, I think.

    She might even believe that what she was taught about you, that the black sheep role you took on, is real. Maybe, she is trying to unhook from her role, too. Or maybe, her role has worked so well for her that she cannot let it go.

    To me, it seems that both of you are calling across a place so filled with echoes and reflections that you cannot see one another or yourselves clearly. That you are both engaged, that tells me there is an emotional investment, some heart to heart commitment there on both sides.

    There are ten thousand ways for this to resolve.

    I think you are doing really well. It is a scary thing, to go public to our families. When they say no, we wonder whether they are right about us. Then, having refused to accept their old judgments and conclusions about us, or about how things were, having risked their censure to clearly state our take on things, we discover they no longer have the authority to judge.

    And then, it becomes pretty clear to us that whether they judge us or not, good or bad, never did have any bearing on what was real, at all.

    And we remember that good and bad are judgment calls. And that how we judge a thing depends on how we see it.

    Once again, we are bounced back into trying to ferret out what is real about anything we thought we knew.

    I think this is very true.

    Shame is a key for us, a marker along the path of self reclamation. Through it, through exploring its genesis as you are doing now we learn where our interpretation of self has been dependent on someone else's interpretation of us. But here is the thing. Each of us is who she is depending on where she is and what she is doing and what she has been taught about her value or talent.

    In reality, deep down where it matters, the self is a privately held, individual, uninterpretable thing that can flow any direction, like water.

    We behave and believe as we have been taught to, and somehow, think that is us. That is just a collection of beliefs and behaviors, and all that stuff is changeable. If you were whisked away to another culture, you would eventually come to be more like them than like the you who exists here and now.

    We see where we have given our power away. The power we gave away to fit in was the power of self definition.

    And that is really the only power any of us has.

    Where have we glorified ourselves with power that was not legitimate? Where have we come to hold ourselves in contempt? Tricking ourselves in either way means we lie to ourselves a little bit, and over time, the lie grows. We don't know what is true about ourselves, anymore.

    Our locus of control is out there, not in here.

    It seems to me that if we can try to see through the static, we can learn what it meant to us to grow up as we did. Then, we can reclaim our integrity of self. I think we can choose kindness and compassion, not just for ourselves, but for each family member.

    It is not mandatory that we choose compassion.

    I just think that once we own up to our hurts, and to the things we have done that shame us, then we can hold ourselves in compassion, because we did not set out to hurt anyone or ourselves but somehow, that is what happened.

    Compassion for the other guy happens on its own.

    Forgiveness and self reclamation turns out not to have been about them, after all. Just as the abuse was impersonal, so does forgiving it turn out to be impersonal.

    For me, this is true so far.

    Still, we need to be honest. We need to acknowledge where and by whom and for what reason we were hurt, and we need to do the same for where and how we have hurt our sibs, too. We need to understand what it cost us to take on those roles we took on, and what it cost them to have that role already filled.

    We all did the best we could know.

    Maybe, we all are still doing the best we could know.

    ***

    What did that mean to us, how did that work, what happened to us that might have turned out differently had we been able to be sincerely grounded and present in our lives? Once we can see how we are put together, and why we needed to do that, I think we can see our way to sincere reclamation of self.
    We reclaim our legitimacy, in that we reclaim portions of ourselves once given over for the sake of connection, for the sake of trying to fit in, for the sake of trying to make it all work, somehow.

    I think we are doing really well with that.

    I think it is scary to challenge those roles we took on. If we could go back to those times when we were just little girls (or little boys) thirty to fifty pound little kids with no clue about how the world worked, we would understand a little more about how we took on those roles we did, sacrificing something legitimate about ourselves to do so.

    I am sure we all made the best choices we knew.

    I believe you are working through something that will conclude with your reclaiming something sacred ~ the legitimacy, I mean the really sacred legitimacy and rightness and value and joy of your relationship to your father.

    Legitimacy of self, then.

    I am excited for you.

    ***

    Unless we are a family who celebrate and strengthen one another, we are not required to share those things that are sacred to us with those whose intent will be to disparage us, to trap us somehow into those old games of scarcity thinking.

    The territory of the heart and the integrity of the self ~ these things are sacred ground. We are learning this is true, I think. It is like an echo of the wonder of being here, of being alive.

    :O)


    ***

    I think about this where my mom is concerned. D H says that, however I decide to handle things at that time, I need to remember that I will be vulnerable to all the same roles. There are many ways for the old games to begin.

    It will be as difficult to say no to those old roles as it was to learn the how and why of saying no to our addicted children.

    I think that is what is happening to you, now.

    And I think you will come through with flying colors because, important as our family members are to us, our feelings for them are pale shades of what we feel for our children.

    And we are coming through that fire.

    I think that these flames, this business of thinking our family of origin issues are bigger than they are ~ I think those flames are reflections, not real things at all.

    I think that is true.

    ***

    There was a time when I thought that healing meant there would be no emotion where family of origin were concerned. Then, I understood that to be "numb". Under the numb was true regret at the way I loved them, and the hurt of the loss of what we all might have been to and for one another.

    That is where I am, mostly that is where I am, now. Then, I remembered I am not the one who insisted on the relationships we have with one another, now.

    I forgot I have no power to change this for them, but only for myself.

    That is all I know about my own situation, today.

    ***

    We need to be wise, and we need to be wary in these times.

    We need to honor and cherish and strive to be kind. What they do or how they see is none of our business, really. There are some times when I am so thankful for whatever little pieces of it that I can see.

    How sad it all is, given all we might have been to one another.

    Your sibs are separate issues from your father's relationship to you in his life, and it would be best to see them as separate from your father's relationship to you after his death.

    Totally separate things.

    I am happy for you that this is so. Fathers define us to ourselves in a way no other person ~ not even a lover or a child ~ can. Over time, I have read the changes in your feelings toward your father, and have seen corresponding and healthy changes in how you seem to be defining yourself. Even in this post, you are clarifying what is real and determining how you will respond to the sacred finality of your father's death with sincerity.

    That is such a big step.

    I think maybe you are sifting through the old ways you once believed and that you are finding the holes in all of it.

    Remember when we were posting about Leonard Cohen's Halleluiah?

    About the cracks being how the light shines in.

    I love it that you posted that your father has been kind to you, and that he has taken time to listen, and to hear you and that you have taken and given the time to hear and be heard.

    You are coming real, and real is good.

    Your perspective is changing. You seem less afraid of the sister's power to name you. It seems to me that you are questioning her power over you and that you are beginning to see that, real as it felt, it was never real.

    Her interpretation of you is her illusion. That you both feel a kind of fascination with one another means the story is not over.

    That's what I say.

    Know that we are right there with you in the spirit of things. I believe in you, and in me, too.

    We get comfortable with the reality of the walls we've constructed to keep ourselves safe, never realizing we built them ourselves. One day, we get it that are not keeping ourselves safe, but imprisoning ourselves behind those walls we built. All we can do then, once we have seen the sham of the walls, is name them for the illusion they are.

    Like the man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz, right?

    They never needed him, at all.

    That seems true to me.

    At one time or another, we realize we are free of something we did not know had imprisoned us.

    I'm still figuring all this out too, but that is how it seems to me.

    Cedar

    I learn so much about myself through posting to you.


    :hugs:


    :mcsmiley1:
     
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Cedar, I have learned tons about me from you and our little "sessions." I love how we can learn from one another.

    Obviously, I am not going to continue going into detail here. I can be so naive at times. It never occured to me that Sis would care enough to read what I wrote. Every time I think she is "better" than me, she proves she is not. She is human, like me, and does the same good/bad/neutral things I do. And, yes, it is easy for both of my sibs to label me the problem.

    To me, the problem mainly was my mother and her shadow endures over time. Sis said I like to play the victim. I never did LIKE it. But, the fact is, I was often a victim. So was she. We all were. Mom did nobody any good raising Bro to the highest heights when he was just human. In fact, he must have known since he moved so far away (which has been a blessing for me. Distance is so helpful when you do not connect with your DNA).

    My father knows he is the other scapegoat. He knows he was blamed for the divorce, for his temper, for everything. But I explained to him...I was on his side. I always tended to see his point of view, from early childhood on. I always saw Mother as having a malicious, biting, humiliating temper, which is worse to me than yelling. That's how I see it anyway. Oh, there were times I switched sides early on...Mother can be covincing. NOBODY and I mean NOBODY I have ever met can lie against a person better than her. Nobody, nobody, nobody. So I bought some of the stuff about Dad, then I rethought it hard and went back to thinking she is far worse than he ever was. She enjoyed "divide and conquer." She could be VERY VERY mean. And she never felt she was wrong, of course. She was the leader and enabler of our dysfunctional group. It was fated that Sis and I would not get along. She set it up for failure and Sis believed my mother's version of everything, which mean she thinks I'm awful. As I get to see the real person sis is more and more, I almost pity her. She has a lot of people in her life, and she has nobody who really cares, including my brother who has a very busy life of his own that doesn't include her.

    I did care. I can't anymore.

    Now Dad has some money that SIs wants. She will never call out Dad on a nything she finds as she wants that money. Bad.

    And the truth is, Dad is not like Mother. He would never disinherit one of his children. He is not perfect, nor am I. We do have hearts.

    I think she still lurks, so I will leave it at that.

    by the way, Amtrak sucks. I may post about that :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
  13. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    It's so hard to see ourselves or our sibs through anything but the filters erected by our abusers. When I become conscious of the cost, of the theft, in what was done to all of us for the sake of the abuser's grandiosity, I hardly know what to think.

    So I don't think anything.

    I devote those energies to trying to see it for what it was, and to putting it behind me.

    An ugly story, but mine, all mine.

    and in doing that, I see that I am here, that I am present enough, to make that declaration.

    Good for me.

    And maybe, if we are very lucky, good for us all.

    Like a witch's magic spell, it begins to fall apart without constant infusions of the hatred that made it real in the first place.

    Horrifying, isn't it.

    When you really begin to see it, I mean.

    Here again, as we have had to do with our difficult child children, we can only understand that, whether we see it or not, there is a purpose, here.

    And we are very strong.

    I am glad you both are able to see what was true.

    That is an incredible gift.

    My father passed first. These kinds of understandings, the relationship you are forging with your father now, that will not happen, for me.

    How amazing that it is happening for you, and for your father, too.

    You do.

    I do, too.

    Here is a strange true thing: After my father's death, my mother spent the time I had given her, the time I took away from being present while our house was built ~ a thing we should have been able to celebrate unencumbered, but which paled in significance, compared to what my mother was doing ~ anyway, my mother spent that time I gave her lying to me about my father and about his mother. Night after night, she said the most venomous things about my father, and about my grandmother.

    I listened, believing that once the venom had been emptied, she would be able to gain perspective and forgive.

    That was never to happen.

    My mother continues to hate to this day.

    It has been something like six years since my father died.

    My grandmother has been dead for thirty.

    Cedar
     
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I understand, Cedar.

    But I don't really care about Sis anymore. I mean, she's probably reading this...lol. I don't WANT her to see it, but if she's going to read stuff that she knows may hurt, I can't help it. I sure am not going back to her private spot again! Ugh.

    I love how you "get" me.
     
  15. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I am able to see and to feel the wrongness, the injustice, in the things that have happened to me through thinking about what happened, to you. You know that feeling, where you know that what passes for normal in your family is not normal, but you don't get how hurtful and stupidly rotten it was or is?

    I am seeing the things, the rules and mores and belief systems that create and justify and even, celebrate, the toxicity in my dysfunctional family of origin.

    The thing that has me on the ropes this morning is that the toxicity is a living, active, spoiled and stinking thing, even today.

    (Little purple prose, there.)

    We are both able to see and clear the woundings through the compassion we feel for one another's pain, I think. It's like I race out to protect you and find myself, vulnerable and alone and trapped in some old poison, in some so stupidly meaningless, poisonous thing, instead.

    Thank you.

    :O)

    That's the part I cannot get over. How much harm was done for such a stupidly cheap reward.

    I cannot find compassion for her, for my mother. Not yet. To go back to the Wizard of Oz analogy. Why did the Wizard set up that curtained booth, create and pretend to a reality he knew was not real, in the first place? It wasn't that he couldn't help it. (It wasn't that my mother could not help the terrible things she did. Of course she knew better; of course it was not just that she was overwhelmed. Man, I cannot believe what this looks like, seen from this new perspective.)

    My sister called again, yesterday.

    I see her so differently. I am so angry with her, now.

    Can it be true that they are doing what they seem to be doing? Could it possibly be true that they are and that they know it?

    I have posted here before about my mother's seeming joy in what she described as the jealousy (over her) between my sister and myself.

    ?

    What kind of person thinks like I am thinking.

    No wonder I have never really considered that these things could be true. What is true is that I do not think like them.

    Well, halleluiah on that one.

    But they must have the same capacity to take a look at what they are doing that I do.

    Maybe they don't know what they are doing.

    Suzir has an interesting thread going about a concept called Schadenfreude. This word describes those feelings surrounding our concepts of justice and vengeance and hope.

    It's an interesting discussion.

    Vengeance, thoughts of vengeance surprising in their vehemence, hit me right between the eyes when I uncover the truth about what happened to me, and about what it cost all of us, and about how wrong and paltry was the reason for which we were all hurt like that, twisted like that.

    It's like I can't believe it happened, can't believe someone would knowingly choose to create that reality instead of something better. Then comes the concept, courtesy of Maya Angelou, that when we know better we do better.

    My mom is not doing better.

    She means it. She meant it when my father died. Coldly manipulative, even in her widowhood.

    ?

    It wasn't that there were too many kids, or that the husband was any of the terrible things she would say the second his back was turned or right in front of him, once his hearing went.

    There is so much more along those same lines. Things I see now without that ready-made veil of compassion, of "there must have been something so terrible in her past" or "she didn't mean it".

    Cedar

    I remember determining that I would do what needed to be done to bring us all back together. I wish I had never done that.

    Maybe it really is true that some things cannot be healed or understood or forgiven.

    Or maybe, forgiveness sometimes looks like: "I see you. I see me, come aware and letting go."

    Good for me, and good for you.
     
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