Saturday, August 8, 2009

Dysfunctional Relationships Revisited

A while back I shared a bit about the deterioration of my relationship with my father and step-mother here and here.

I have a private family blog where I update everyone on the happenings in our life. When my father received the blog post in his email that Lizard King was going to Afghanistan he emailed me and said:

Mom and I are quite shocked by this email. Despite our differences, our hearts go out to all of you. This must have been an excruciating decision. In our varied travels, we have met men who were contractors working in Iraq and they seemed quite happy and told us that they did not feel unsafe; and, the money was great!!! If you would like to talk, all we want from you is a sincere apology for what we perceive as your disrespecting us and the rest will be forgiven. In your blog, you do not mention if 'Lizard King' will be working in a safe zone. No amount of money is worth risking his life by putting himself in jeopardy. But, we're sure that you have considered all of that in your deliberations. Again, all we want from you is an apology, but understand, we will not be disrespected. We are your parents and at this point, at our age, we are too old to start changing. You have to accept us the way we are.

At that point in time I couldn't even begin to deal with this. I told them that and also said that I couldn't tell them how much time I might need. They told me they would be patient. Well, as you know, things changed and LK is in South Carolina. Still it is a difficult situation and I am having a hard time. I didn't want them to think I was blowing them off so I emailed this morning. I told him that I was sorry for keeping him waiting so long. I told him that I was a little afraid (which he took to mean that I was afraid of him, but I meant that I was afraid of things going back to the way they were). I asked him to be patient.

He called me as soon as he read the email. We talked for about 40 minutes. I said a lot of things that I needed to say and did so respectfully.

I have also decided that I need to address issues as they happen. Sometimes I'm so shocked by their behavior that I don't even know what to say. This is something that I need to work on.

I am very hesitant and extremely cautious. I cannot go back to the way things were. I really didn't want to deal with this right now, but I guess I don't have a choice anymore. I wonder how this will all play out. I suppose only time will tell.


Sherry said...

good luck--why on earth do families have to be so complicated?!

Not exactly related, but feels like a good place to vent: All of my family is out of state. My mother looks at my blog about once a month. My SIL, who is on facebook all the time & has a 3yo son, does not even read my blog! WT...?!

Shady Lady said...

I would love to know the answer to your question, Sherry. I think that it doesn't really need to be that complicated. Some people just need to make it that way.

The only reason my family "reads" the family blog is because I have it set up to email them when I post. Otherwise, it wouldn't happen. They don't know about this blog. (except my sister) I keep this one separate so that I can write about things openly and honestly. That is something that I don't feel I can be with my family.

Lisa said...

Oh Shady I wish I had he right thing to say to help this relationship. I can't imagine being a parent in that situation with their child, no matter their age. Family members can really leave scars that can last a lifetime. I really hope your father will give you the time you need.

Take care dear friend,

Shady Lady said...

Thank you, Lisa. If only he could comprehend this. He really doesn't seem to get it. The bottom line for him is that he is respected in the way he demands. It doesn't matter that he doesn't offer the same respect. The way the two of them treat my husband is completely unacceptable. Yes, I stand up and defend him. He won't say anything because he doesn't feel it is his place. The hole situation just sucks.

Zayna said...

Oh, dear. You know I know something of what of you're going through.

Reminds of the saying, "Children don't come with a handbook."

Well, it's seems neither do parents.

It's sad when parents deny their responsibility for their child's emotional experience and demand respect simply because they're the parent without returning the respect just because you're their child.

Especially once you're no longer a child and are now a grown up with children of your own.

Hmmmm...maybe I can relate more than I thought?

Don't rush through to any decision until you're sure in your heart and mind. I think you shouldn't feel pressured to deal with something so important before you're ready to.

Hugs and all the best with this.

Shady Lady said...

Zayna, I know that you can relate a bit. I sure do wish there was a handbook. ALthough, I have to say, my daughter sure is a lot easier than my dad.

I don't want to rush at all. I'm just waiting to see what he does next. I need to proceed with caution.