FAMILY REUNION?!

Families!! You either love ’em or you hate ’em’! In my case both. Those of you who have been following my blog will know of the problems I have regarding my family and for those of you that haven’t, here’s a taster!

My sister is visiting from abroad for three weeks. We get on really well and I will really miss her when she goes back. Because both my children T and C want to have virtually nil to do with me and are depriving me of seeing my grandchildren, my sister, ‘B’ decided to organize a family reunion. When she told me she had arranged for both my children plus spouses, all three granddaughters, myself and her all to meet up and go out out for a meal together, I was absolutely gobsmacked!! I couldn’t imagine it. (I haven’t seen T and C in the same room together for 20 years!) I couldn’t imagine it….all of us, nine in total, seated round a bench table and actually talking to each other, playing ‘happy families’. Me and B went in a taxi, me in my wheelchair, of course. We arrived first and as usual, my offspring were suitably and predictably late. The greetings were so brief as to be almost non-existent. So there we were, all sat round a table which felt very odd, if not a little uncomfortable.

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(photo credit: dogclipart.com)

My family were all very happily chatting amongst themselves and eating good food, and me and B were left talking to each other. My kids are so rude sometimes! I felt hurt that they didn’t even bother to introduce me to my grandchildren. ‘Happy Families’ continued till the end of the meal (good food at least). Then, little S, who is now one-and-a-half (my son’s little one), was allowed to get out of her highchair to have a look around and play in the open area nearby. She was dressed in a white, flared dress and looked like a cross between a bridesmaid and a little princess. She ran straight past me, not recognizing me, of course, not having met me before. I was this strange woman in a wheelchair at the end of the long table, her having been at the other end so there had been no smiles and eye-contact etc.

I looked at this beautiful little girl, running about and giggling and felt nothing but pain. This was the granddaughter I’d never met and here she was, in flesh and blood, running back and forth passing me without even a glance. I felt so, so hurt. My son hadn’t even made any attempt to bring her over to me to tell her that I was, in fact, her Nanny. I tried to catch her attention but she was too wrapped in running about and playing with my daughter’s children who are 8 and 5 now who were too occupied with little S, that they totally ignored me. They were strangers to me and that really hurts. As for T and C and their spouses, they more or less acted as if I was invisible.

The meal ended. S was sat on the floor, absorbed in looking at a book. She looked so sweet any yet I was a no-one to her. I longed to scoop her up in my arms and hug her close to me, telling her that I was her Nanny and that I loved her very much but I wasn’t able to. 

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After that, T and C and respective families, headed for the exit having said a brief goodbye and they were off somewhere else. That left me and my sister. I looked at the deserted table, still littered with crockery and leftover food, and then burst into tears. What had been the point of this so-called ‘family reunion’ ? I was none the wiser and could have been invisible for all the notice they took of me!

So how do I feel now? Well, to be honest, I feel crap, shit, hurt, disappointed, resentful, angry and mostly devastated that my children could make me feel this way (mind you, not for the first time and I daresay not the last either). That’s my ‘family’ for you in a nutshell.

6 thoughts on “FAMILY REUNION?!

  1. I’m sorry this was so hard for you. Hugs xxxxx I have no words to adequately comfort you, but know that I am aching and I think of you and your situation with them often.

  2. Ellie – my heart breaks for you and your pain.

    Families can be absolutely despicable at times, but I think it’s really important for you to consider options:

    – although nothing can replace actual “parent-child contact – and parent grandchild contact – if you wish to continue to have some knowledge of their well-being and such, then perhaps your sister is the medium through which it happens, i.e. requesting updates and photos etc. – all depending on her relationship to them, of course, and their willingness.

    One thought has struck me deeply, and it pains me so – Ellie, although I do understand how deeply scarred and wounded you are by all of this – and how difficult it is for you to be able to understand and cope with it all – especially the denials of your truths – but you are enabling them to hurt you; I believe it was E. Roosevelt who said no one has the power to hurt you unless you give them permission. (it’s something like this. at any rate, it’s a famous quote and you’ll have to excuse my brain for possibly having messed it up.) But it is true.

    I wish there were words I could offer to you to help you understand —- and make the “blows” easier to accept — but you allow them to hurt you. You can’t change their behaviors and attitudes, their reasoning or beliefs, their acceptance of you truth etc. —– all you can do is this: accept it, let it go — and change yourself — your reactions to them.

    It’s a slow process — healing and recovery, but you have the strength and inner beauty and wonder to heal. You do.

    And when you begin the journey of letting “their sh*t” go — your burdens and pain will start to ease.

    I *do* understand Ellie — for just recently I spoke my Truth to my childhood abuser – and quite frankly, I sincerely believe I have no been disowned for it. And you know what, it’s okay.

    It’s okay to make the tough choices in life, especially if it means honoring the wonderful person you truly are. You will be “set free” — and your life will take on new hope and meaning.

    Hugs to you Ellie – and love and strength.

  3. Firstly, Pat….It is so good to see you back and ‘hear’ your sensible and sensitive opinion and wisdom.

    Thank you so much for your understanding comments and insight. I’m so sorry your own situation turned out badly but glad that you are okay.

    I do believe that you are right – I know that I need to ‘let go’ to free myself and move on and I keep telling myself that too but ‘Hope’ always sits on my shoulder whispering, “give it one more try; try ‘this’, try ‘that” and so on. It’s so difficult to give up that hope but I know, for my own good, sanity.and happiness, that I do need to let go of the control the pain has over me and get on with making my own life content and peaceful.

    I have read your reply several times, carefully, and I ‘do’ understand what you mean. I know that my family will continue to hurt and wound me, but only if I let them.

    Thank you for your belief in me and for your encouragement and I will continue to re-read your reply as a reminder to know that I do, in fact, know what I need to do. Bless you, my friend.

    Love, thanks and hugs, Ellie xxx

  4. So much heartache. I’m so sorry Ellie. That is terrible that your own kids would treat you like that. Even if they don’t really understand your mh issues or disability, its not right that they’d disrespect you like that. Sending you a big hug and lots of love ❤
    Carol anne

    1. I don’t think I’ll ever understand why they behave as they do but yes, it does cause me very much heartache. Thanks for the hugs and love, Carol anne. Hugs too xxx

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