A couple of lightbulb moments...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by witzend, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    One I had just now, one last night.

    I wrote just a few moments ago about my Dad having responded to my sister-in-law's plea for him to have compassion for my brother as a good man by saying "I told her that I never was and never will be proud of my kids because perfection is the least I expect of them."

    I've had family friends ask why I am the odd man out when C is nearly 60 and never held a real job, married three times, accused of being a little too hands on with a teenage stepdaughter, etc.; W is working but unhappy and now on her third marriage; S is a drunk and not working and now on her third marriage, and T has never worked and moved to Florida with his family (we live in Oregon) to get away from all of us. I had always rationalized it with old things that I must have done to make him angry, but that's not it! It's that I am the happy one with a good first and only husband, a nice home, standing in the community, and good friends. But the worst of it all is that I have the nerve to have pride in myself and am able to move past the stupid stuff you do when you are 14 or 20, and that just cuts too deeply into his ego for me to be proud of myself.

    Second, I have been totally busy on learning a new skill, and utterly befuddled by it for weeks. I finally got it figured out last night, and then was making dinner for husband and I while he took out the trash and recyclables. I thought "We should have M over for dinner." I'm so insecure that I am always questioning my motives, so I found myself asking "Why?" The only answer was because I miss him and would like to see him and have a better relationship with him.

    So, I will be contacting M for a lunch date next week. I'll talk to him about letting go of the past and moving on. I can't let him feel like what's important for him to move on in life is whether I am proud of him or he thinks I love him. His life is about him being proud of himself and knowing that whatever anyone else thinks, at the end of the day you look yourself in the mirror. It's a self you should and can be proud of.
  2. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member


    I am simply in awe. It's wonderful that you're rebuilding your relationship with M on new terms, and that you're able to impart this life lesson to him, which is one that so many of us struggle with.

    I've been struggling for days to respond to your posts about your Dad's response to your note. Your descriptions of your parents' treatment of you are eerily similar to my own experience and I've been having trouble making sufficient sense of my feelings to be able to aptly comment on your situation.

    I am learning so much from you, in how you are handling matters, both with your parents AND with M.

    You sound like you're finding peace with your family dynamic, in all directions. And throughout you've handled yourself with such grace, dignity and honour.

    Thanks for sharing your revelation...
  3. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Wow, Witz. I've been hoping you would get to this point. Ain't it an awesome feeling!!!
    We can't control what anyone else does anymore than they can control us. When we get that, really get that, it changes our perspectives so much.

    When I finally understood that my mother's stuff had nothing to do with me, I could have a relationship with her without being hurt. Now I can see that her issues are hers, not mine. I can change her. She is stuck the way she is for whatever reason. And I can either choose to accept her as is, or wait for her to change. And waiting would waste a lot of time and leave me with a lot of pain. So, I jsut accept her, warts and all!

    When I understood that it really didn't matter what I thought of difficult child's choices, it only mattered whether he was proud of himself or not, that he began to change. And now that he has had some successes, I see those changes happen. No matter what I did to him or for him, it made no difference in how he behaived. Only when I truely let go, and loved him inspite of himself, did our relationship change. I spent sooooo long letting him know how disappointed I was. Our relationship lived there and now, well, I just love him. No strings. No ifs. No buts. I don't let him take advantage of me, but I don't punish him by withdrawing anymore.

    And life here, in the place I finally found for myself, is so much better. I no longer see myself as a victim of my mother and my son. I see them in the light of day, and sometimes I don't like what I see, but it is their right to live their life how they see fit.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Witz, I'm so mega proud of you. You have no idea. :D :D

  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Nice. You must feel marvelous~Good for you!
  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Yep, I'm feeling pretty good. Talking with you guys all of these years has been a godsend.
  7. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I am SO glad you're feeling better about this situation. I'm impressed that you were able to decipher the thoughts and feelings, and come up with a logical conclusion, since it seems that very little about this has been logical.
  8. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Witz, this is wonderful. Congratulations on seeing so much, overcoming so much, and being willing to pass it on. Thanks for sharing this with us. {{{big hugs}}}
  9. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    So what are you cooking?

    Should I send you a manger? lol (private joke.....)

    Hugs & Love

    Perfection to me is finding a peace in my own life that makes me comfortable to be myself so much that I'm free to enjoy who I am, and how I treat others.
  10. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    Can I borrow your lightbulb?:tongue:

    I'm glad to hear you are finding peace in the situation with your parents and with M.


  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I was cooking Chicken Parmesan. It was yummy! No manger!
  12. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    Good for you, Witz!

    I'm so glad you shared it with us.

    It's interesting how it works out with kids and parents.

    husband and I were talking about he and his siblings(2) the other day. husband is the baby by 12 years to his sister and 16 to his brother. husband has always been held up as the irresponsible "baby". Granted, he got in trouble as a teen, and made some bad choices, but so did his siblings!

    husband was always kept out of the family financial affairs once his Mom became incapacitated. The older two made all decisions and never consulted with him ONCE always thinking of husband as the "baby" (in his forties). I won't go into detail, but some of the things done once my mother in law passed away were so callous towards husband. The two older ones were always held up as being "the responsible" ones. Even though they certainly weren't models of perfection. They had more $$$ than husband and I, but as we have discovered now, certainly NOT MORE SENSE.

    DHs sister was arrested for DUI and hit and run. She spent some time in jail and had her DL revoked (I can't even IMAGINE my MILs reaction to that). She left her husband, shacked-up with someone else, then moved from there, and is currently bouncing from friend's house to friend's house. She quit her long time job and is living on a moderate inheritance of mother in law. She's 60.

    husband's brother was recently arrested for DUI. He's 64. He's diabetic and uses a pump and has fragile mental health. Yet, he was in control of all of my mother in law's estate. husband could never get answers about certain assets and what happened to them. Brother likes living large and he also spends large. Spoiled (and I don't use that term easily) their two boys rotten and boy did they ever get payback on that one. Oldest has destroyed their million dollar home and kicked out of several schools. He's 22 now and seen the inside of a jail cell a few times.

    Then there's husband and I. The babies. No DUI's (husband would lose his job) and no jail. We live in a small home and don't drive new cars. husband has a blue collar job and his siblings have always looked down there nose at us because of that. We pay our bills and are good neighbors. Yet, we were suppose to be the losers.

    Oh, the irony.

    I hope you have a lovely dinner with M.
  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Dazed, I think that the reason that your B & S IL are in such bad shape is that they were way too busy spoiling themselves! It's pretty hard to get that ill if you are busy working and raising a family and planning your meals, etc. I guess that's what they get for being greedy. You guys have handled it very well, from what I can see.