Trying to Understand

Published October 15, 2016 by maryleesdream

family-blessing

 

 

Ever since I found my family, I’ve been trying to get back into the family.

 

I have failed.  I’m not actively trying right now, but I think about it everyday.  I try and figure out how to do it.  How to make their minds and hearts open, and allow me inside.

It has happened with a few kinsmen.  Three have welcomed me with open arms, flaws and all.  They understand the pain and anger, sympathize and know they are not responsible for causing or fixing  it. They know it’s part of me, and are willing to take me on anyway.  It’s a wonderful blessing.

I don’t use blessing in the religious sense, as I do not believe in a god who rules the world.  A blessing, a mitzvah, a good thing in the universe.

 

They are on my mothers side, only.  The wild side. My fathers family says Mom’s family was terrible.  Things too horrible to even talk about. It’s all true.

 

But somehow, my good, good father, from his good, good family managed to get together with this bad, bad family, and create me.

 

I think if I could only get them to understand, that I’m just normal, not a sick person who is out to get them.  But the more you try, the more like a sick psycho you appear, so its better to back off.

They say that I show, by my actions, that I don’t want to be part of the family.  I guess I do, but it’s really a defense mechanism.  I want to be loved so bad, but I have to seem cold and hard, so they can’t see how their rejection hurts.  It comes off looking cold.

My family actually had some sort of sit down, or at least phone chain or something, where they all decided to cut all contact with me.  This is my father’s family, the good guys.  Pillars of the community, grand marshals in the town parade, all around good, nay, great citizans.  This is what they have decided is best, for dealing with me.  Best for them, mostly.  Best for me, definitely not.

I send baby gifts to my cousins, when they have children.  I want them to know that babies are wonderful things, and to think about me, and love me despite what happened to me.  But I never know if the gifts are received, and they probably think I’m crazy for sending them.

Imagine being shunned by your kin! And for what?

If there’s anyone out there who reads this, what do you think I should do?  I love sending baby gifts.  I’m so happy to know who my family is, even from afar.  I can’t forget about them and go on with my life.  I do go on with  my life, all the time.  How does one not? I get up everyday, just like everyone else.  I have a job, and live in a big house with 5 other people.  I cook dinner and pay the bills and run a busy house,and work full time.  I do a decent job at both.  I’ve seen a few therapists, but they haven’t been able to help me.  I think it’s because there is nothing wrong with me, I just feel a certain way about things, and that’s it.  There is no evidence of mental illness.

Should I  just disappear, completely and leave these good people in peace, or continue to send gifts, and leave flowers on my grandparents graves from time to time, to let them know I’m still out here, trying to connect?

I think I know the answer, disappear.  Stop beating a dead horse.  They will never, ever accept you, no matter who you are.  They cannot admit that they may have been wrong.  It’s against family law.  I am outside of family law.  It does not matter how I feel about it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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15 comments on “Trying to Understand

  • If you love sending baby gifts, why stop? If it’s important to you to leave flowers on your grandparents’ graves, why stop? If these things are important to you, then continue doing them for you. Try not to worry about whether your family likes it or not. It’s not about them, it’s about you. Remember, over time, gentle running water wears away rock. Be true to yourself.

  • If it was me, I think I’d focus on those who have chosen to welcome you into the family – those on the other side have a problem with the fact that one of their own went astray and created you. He brought them “shame” and you are the evidence. They can’t handle it. It actually has nothing at all to do with you personally. I’d say keep leaving the flowers at the graveside, history is your connection. Send the baby gifts if you really want to but don’t expect it to make a difference to what really is a bigoted family. They are the ones with the problem and I don’t think you’re going to be able to crack them. Possibly there’s a ring leader there and when they are no longer around you could begin chipping away again but as I said at the outset I really would focus on the side of the family that accept and leave love you for who you are ❤️

  • sorry for the delayed response. just now read your post. you seem a deeply empathetic and caring person, and and expressive one at that. these are all great qualities, gifts even. use them when they bring you joy. if you wanna buy gifts and send them, do it. do what makes you happy. don’t let the recipients steal your joy.

    keep your expectations from your family low. i don’t know what their problems are. but i can tell you, they’d love it if you made it easy on them. if you disappeared, they could complain. they could use your absence as further proof. whatever negative feelings they wanna assign to you as the cause, they could. but don’t concentrate on that – the injustice of it all.

    don’t focus on whether it is easy or hard or simply okay for them to deal with you. that’s all their problems ! you have enough keeping you busy. keep your expectations low but allow yourself to enjoy life’s little joys and don’t let them take that away from you (for their convenience.) they’ve taken enough from you already, they’ve taken themselves away. a punishment that you never deserved but they choose to inflict on you, trying to make you the scapegoat (damned if you do, damned if you don’t)

    but forget about all that now. their lack of reciprocity is license to no longer worry about their motivations, or their reactions. it’s not like you’re going to be mean or anything anyway so don’t worry that you’ll hurt them. they’re adults. if they believe you hurt them, they can put their adult britches on and give you a call and say so.

    do what brings you joy, when it occurs to you, and let yourself off the hook for all their drama and baggage. i don’t know what will happen, but it is not your fault they chose to make you the scapegoat. i don’t know if that can change but why torture yourself? don’t fall prey to their perceptions. be kind to yourself. be imperfect and inconsistent at times, even – don’t worry so much.

    well that is my opinion based on being an adoptee with some similarity in relationships… hope it helps.

    • Thanks! I’ve been doing whatever I want for awhile, because why not? What is my family going to do, disown me LOL. They already have.
      I have nothing to lose.

      I like to think of my cousin’s babies wrapped in the blankets that I send them. I like to imagine that my love is covering them, and the love of our extended family.

      For all I know, they pitch them right into the trash, but I can imagine whatever I like.

      FREEDOM!!!!

      • Freedom indeed ! 🙂 And you never know. Don’t underestimate the positive influence or role you may play in others’ lives even if they can’t see the direct connection or don’t want to face it. You have no obligation to do so, but, when you do put selfless love out into the world, it’s only a good thing (in my opinion.)

  • My bmom family apparently also had a phone chain lol and cut me off shortly after i found her. I later reached out to some of them including full sibs who rejected me personally. So, every Xmas I would drink some beers and then send Xmas cards and notes to a couple of these relatives who hadnt officially rejected me. (Just ignored my existence but werent active aholes?) After about 20 years one of them called me. He had a few beers to work up the courage to contact me. Something in common! Anyway, he was nice and told me who my likely bdad was but he was quite scared he was going against the family rules by contacting me. I like the idea you are nudging your family by sending them the gifts. But it makes me mad they are ignoring you and not even thanking you and yet they accept these gifts! They could return to sender after all, right? Maybe you can give a baby gift to Nice people every time a cousin has a baby instead of to them. But I get it.

  • I’ve had exact same thing happen. Took me 3 years to realise there is no point in trying to force myself on them. They may be my half siblings but there is nothing there for them and now for me either. Once I actually stopped lying to myself it became easier, not easy but easier. I am much happier now that I’m not thinking of ways and situations that might bring us together and am almost back to being who I was before I met them. I am very happy to know who I am and where I came from and from whom but in the end I’m me and that’s what matters. If I lose that I lose everything. I hope you find peace and happiness whatever way you decide to go and know that there is no wrong way. We must do what our head and heart say and try our best to protect ourselves as we proceed. We are strong and will survive and then thrive. All the best to you .

    • It’s been almost 6 years for me. I’ve given up entirely on the half sibs. They don’t want me around, and I really did not like the two that I met either.
      I’m glad that you are happier now. I’m actually happy too. I usually am.
      I will never understated those brelatives though! But, I guess they can’t understand me either. Family, but not family, strangers, but aunts, uncles and cousins.
      I don’t think the human heart was meant to have to deal with these things.

      Thanks for your understanding. It helps to know there are others like me, so I don’t feel so alone out there.

  • I hate to think of you spending time, emotional energy, and even money, trying to get back into a wonderful family, who have never treated you well – and so they are not wonderful. They haven’t been there at all for you, and have now made it a point to never be there for you. Remember, you have a right to your feelings – no matter what they think. You mentioned in your last post that they think you’re a bad person – of course you’re not, but you’re a (justifiably) angry person, since the way your father has handled things in general has not been good. Unfortunately, people don’t want to hear anything bad, and it’s easy for them to write it off as hostility, madness, or bitterness. It is a shame that they will allow no dialogue, it’s easier just to be scared and so ignore the unhappy camper.

    Do whatever you think will give you some peace of mind. But I hope you won’t be disappointed if it doesn’t lead anywhere. From what you describe, these people, your dad’s family, would rather shut you out so they can pretend to themselves that there is no valid complaint on your part. The truth is unpleasant for them, and unfortunately there are politics in every family.

    I hope that as a birth mother, this advice can help. If not, I understand. I advise you to give this wonderful family no more of your tears, no more of your hurt, and no more thought, if you can. I realize it may not be possible for you. Whatever they think doesn’t matter, it is what YOU think about your situation, that matters. I support you, and I hope they are still reading your blog. I would like them to know what I THINK OF THEM! And it’s – Not much! Shame on them!

    • Thanks for your comments.
      Sometimes I hope they are still reading also, but even if they are, they do not seem to be able to hear anything but hate. My cousin, the one who read this blog said my hate was so strong it was scary.

      I am a very mild mannered, not scary middle aged woman! I just can’t believe that the whole family is actually scared of me!

      Now that Mom’s gone, I guess I feel that Dad’s side is all that’s left. I hope someone has the courage to tell me when he passes, but I wouldn’t count on it.
      I don’t get disappointed by them anymore, because I don’t expect anything. No thank you’s for gifts, just nothing.

      I was shocked to hear that it was a family-wide, consensual shunning though. I did not know they all agreed to that. It hurt, I must say, but I’ll live, I always have. I thought some of them were nice…..
      Your comments are always welcome.

      And, I never cry about my father’s family. I never have. About my mother yes, but they are too cold for tears. Their coldness is part of me too, I guess.

      I stopped sending gifts to my parents and siblings years ago, just for births now, and always a blanket. I’ll keep on for awhile. Only for first cousins, or if my sister ever had a baby, that I knew of.

  • Marylee, I may have gone overboard in condemning your relatives, and may not have been of much help. It’s wrong for me to discourage you in any way, on any issue, and I apologize. The situation you are in is extremely complex, and I worry that I tried to oversimplify everything. Still, the whole situation makes me so angry, as a birth mother. Your Dad I think, didn’t do much to welcome you into the family, if I understand it correctly.

    I suppose that strategically, it didn’t help to show your blog to a family member, but live and learn – I think that the issue is not that you have hate (you don’t), but do have anger, which is very easy to avoid for some people, as it’s easier to say the angry person is “scary” and just cut them off, instead of talking through it and trying to see that their perspective is different. And hey, you’ve got the right, you’ve got the right, to our feelings and impressions!

    It’s not you, I think, it’s a fault of theirs. In truth, you haven’t asked them for very much, and you don’t want very much – just to be heard, just for your feelings to have some validation, if not complete understanding and agreement.

    Hang in there, and yes, if it makes you feel better to send gifts for babies that your family has, or honor your grandmother’s memory with flowers, then do so. I just would hate to see you continually disappointed, if there’s no room in the collective family’s heart for one in your particular position (adopted out, lied about, and then shunned). It makes me very sad.

    I can tell you that my younger son received a visit from my older son (who does not even want to hear about me) a couple of weeks ago, and he mentioned it 2 weeks later and said nothing more. I have the impression that he doesn’t want to talk about it, even what they did together, or anything, so I had better not ask. If I ever am in contact with my older son (which may never happen), I will face anger, resentment, possibly rage and hatred from him This will have to be worked out, if it’s possible (who knows). I also had all these feelings toward my siblings and father, who left me as a child with our mother, who was mentally ill and violent. As a result, she was out of their lives forever, and so was I. I hope to handle the situation with my son better than my family, or your family, did.

    I’m sorry if I got too intense before, my comments may not have been well-thought out and I hope didn’t make you feel badly. It has been bothering me. People can give advice on the internet, and as they say, it’s only worth what you pay for it 🙂 ! Best wishes to you, and do what your heart – and your mind – tell you is the right thing.

    • Please, don’t worry about the effect your comments have on me.

      I write this blog, in order to get comments, like yours. I want to try and understand what has happened to me.
      I can’t see the situation from the outside, and I value each and every comment that I get. I learn from them.
      I still do what I want, but I am trying to learn. Your comments about my family have been helpful. I like the fact that you can see my side of things, when my family cannot.

      My father’s family thinks they were very nice to me, and I just suddenly “turned mean”. I guess it can appear that way.

      They invited my to a family picnic, and they held a luncheon in my honor. I was happy, but something always felt off. They were smiling with their eyes, but I could see the fear behind the smiles. I think it may have been too much, too soon. It was a lot to take in.

      Maybe I was projecting it, but I started to ask my father questions, and say things to him that were hard for him to hear, and he told his sister everything, and she told everyone else. That was what I spoke up about, and that was what they deemed “mean”.
      I learned things about my father, and his family that caused me to question things I had been told, regarding the need for my adoption.
      My adoptive parents told me my family was too poor to keep me, and that my mother was tired of caring for kids, since she cared for her siblings, so she did not want me.
      This was told to me from earliest childhood. When I found out that my father came from a stable family, with a house and resources, I did become angry. I found a family who could have helped, but for some reason, did not.
      I still don’t know why they did not help, their explanations do not really add up, in my mind.

      When my mother died, my half brothers family rallied behind him. The service was held at a funeral parlor that his fathers family works for. The after service get together was at his father’s sisters house. His main source of support, now is his father’s family. He is close to his half siblings, and their children.
      When Mom died, there was no word from my fathers family. Not one word. Who deserves that? These are some seriously f***ed up people. No doubt about it.

      But, I’ll send another blanket soon, a baby is due in November! Wouldn’t it be something if it was born on the same day as me, Nov. 13? I can only hope!

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