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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Weird place

So I'm in another one of those weird places - you know, where my mind is going a million miles an hour about a million different things but I can't pinpoint a single thing that I'm actually thinking about. Yesterday was rough for some reason. I had all sorts of plans to get all sorts of things done, and I didn't do ANYTHING. Literally. I sat around all day, playing on the computer, watching movies with the kids, and eating. I won't even go into the amount of food that I ate yesterday - it disgusts me to think about it.

One of the things that I can pinpoint as being directly on my mind is my ex-husband's family. For almost two years, they have had zero contact with our son. Wait, I take that back. His grandmother sent him a couple of birthday cards and Christmas cards. Nothing from his grandfather. Nothing from his uncles. No phone calls from anyone. Nothing. My ex used the excuse at one point that the restraining order forbid them to have contact - that's pushing it a bit, but still only accounts for about 7 months out of the last 2 years.

The day after my ex died, his sister-in-law called me and informed me that the family wants to "have a relationship" with my son. I got angry and told her exactly how I feel about that family and the way that they have ignored my son's existence for the last 2 years, and that I wasn't sure that I wanted him to have any sort of relationship with them. After all, he is 3 1/2. His father has been out of his life for almost 2 years. He doesn't remember him, he doesn't ask about him, and he certainly has no clue about anyone in his father's family - what is the point of introducing these strangers into his life? They live 1600 miles away - it's not like they're going to be popping over for tea on a regular basis.

This is something that I am really struggling with. In a perfect world, they would have maintained a relationship with my son throughout this whole ordeal. They would have cared about him enough to call him and check on him and make sure that he was ok. But they didn't. They didn't care. They walked out of his life as soon as I kicked his drunk father out of ours.

In the 3+ weeks since I had that conversation with the sister-in-law, I have heard exactly NOTHING from any of them. They have not sent me the paperwork for the trust fund that they supposedly set up for my son and his older brother. They have not called my son. They have not sent him a letter or a card or even an email. Yet they want to have a relationship with him?

Are they waiting for me to make the first move? If they are, they're going to be waiting a heck of a long time. In my opinion, they have already written him off. They have ignored his existence for two years. The sister-in-law didn't even know what YEAR he was born - she was shocked when I gave her his date of birth for the trust fund paperwork. It's not like she didn't remember the exact day, but to not even know the year???

I know that I should forgive and forget, let bygones be bygones, etc. etc. etc. But the fact is that I am extremely angry with them. They ignored my son. They took my ex back into the fold and provided him with a place to live and food to eat and (most likely) liquor to drink. They continued to enable him, rather than make him take responsibility for his own actions. They blame me for the lack of contact between him and my son - hey guess, what? I'm not going to put my son on the phone with someone who is so drunk that he can't even form complete sentences. Call me crazy if you want, but I'm not going to do it. I gave him so many chances to clean up his act, but he chose not to. Yes, alcoholism is a disease - but there is treatment for the disease, should the affected individual CHOOSE to seek that treatment. He chose not to. Had he sought treatment and counseling, he could have had all the contact that he wanted with my son.

This is one of those times that I wish I could see into the future and see the various outcomes that could happen. I would like to know if allowing (or not allowing) a relationship between my son and his father's family is the best thing for my son. Because in the big picture, it doesn't matter what I think or feel about them - it is about what is best for my son. Personally, right now, at this moment in time, I think it's best to pretend that they don't exist, just as they have done to him. He is too young to understand who they are. I feel like they only want to have this so-called relationship for their own selfish reasons - they aren't thinking about what is best for him, only what is best for them.

Ugh. Add this to everything else that is on my mind right now, and it's just a little overwhelming....

But now that I've gotten all that off of my chest (wow, I really didn't mean to type that much) I have to get back to cleaning and laundry and running my daughter's lunchbox across town to give to the stepmother and watching the race and watching the weather (hail in February? really?) and figuring the bills and all sorts of other stuff that I have to work on today. Maybe I can be more productive today than I was yesterday.

1 comment:

  1. Amy,

    I can appreciate what you are going through. As I may have already told you, my mother chose to not recognize me as her son and therefore not recognize her three grand kids and my at-the-time wife. She chose and that is the "line-in-the-sand" I use as the benchmark for all decisions I make that is in any way related.

    In the following years, my ex took my kids to see her, against my wishes & behind my back. I have lost contact with siblings, re-established contact & again lost contact with them as a direct result of this action. She has sent me "in-your-face" stuff, sent me old things as gifts, and has lied to the family to make me look like the bad person in all of it, but has never once made an effort to say I'm sorry or to undo what she did.

    People have told me things that have happened have changed the circumstances, that I should make an effort, that I should put the past behind me and extend an olive branch. That her sending packages in the mail is her making an effort. (even though she has had my phone number but hadn't called or written a letter despite having my address)

    While I'm only looking out for my best interest & you are looking out for someone else's, I think the commonality in our situation is that we both look back to that line-in-the-sand as our baseline. As long as we don't loose sight of that and nothing significant happens that trumps or moves that line, we can both know we are doing the right thing for the right reason in our given situation. Also, small, insignificant efforts don't trump the initial event. Remember your benchmark & hold fast to that decsion & everything else will be the right thing to do, based on the initial decsion.


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