that funny little thing called family

2016 started off with a bang for me; quite literally. But before I get into that, I’d just like to give you some history.

I am not what you would call an emotionally mature person. I cry at the slightest thing (something I’ve been working on for years), have a fierce temper, fly off the handle far too quickly, and too often find myself arguing with myself how not to lose it completely. I do take things too personally at times; every morning in my household for example. But I am aware of my shortcomings, my flaws. And I am the first to admit it.

Last November my family and I went through a really rough patch. So rough in fact, that I didn’t know how we were going to eat, or how I was going to get to work. I honestly didn’t know how we were going to make it. Then the universe responded, in the form of family and friends, both close and far (like overseas far) by rallying around us, and supporting us in our time of need. It wasn’t just the financial aid that was bestowed upon my family, but the support and reassurance shown to me, a wife and mother who felt lower than a failure. But I again acknowledged my shortcomings, and whilst I didn’t name those who helped us publicly, I don’t think I’ll ever stop thanking them personally. But the point I’m trying to make, is that I acknowledged the help and assistance shown and given to me. I’m so incredibly grateful for it; I don’t see the need to come off as a martyr or a victim. I have made poor decisions in my life that lead us to that point in our lives. But I am a victim of my own decisions, my own wrongdoings. No one else is responsible for my situation, but me.

One of the biggest things that happened last October/November, was my mom and step-dad buying groceries for my family and I. And I’m not just talking about some milk and bread, I’m talking an entire boot full of groceries, basically a monthly shop. I remember pushing the trolley with my mom, putting in one or two things, turning around and then my mom putting in way more. We ate that month because of my mom and step-dad. I’m not ashamed to admit it, because surely as a family, that’s what we do? We support each other, both emotionally and financially when needed, and then we of course acknowledge this support, whether it be publicly or privately. But the point is, we acknowledge it. I am not ashamed to admit that my mom bailed me out. Again. I’ve lost count at how many tins of formula my mom and step-dad have bought for the twins, packs of nappies, fresh veggies and meat to make baby food, some petrol here and there… I’ve lost count. I don’t know how much I owe them financially, and one day I’ll clear it all, but I’ll be forever indebted to them emotionally and spiritually. They kept my family going when I didn’t think we could anymore. But that’s family for you. Isn’t it?

Tuesday the 5th of January, our family fractured, perhaps forever. And what you ask, caused this fracture? A tv. Yes, you read that correctly. A tv, and 2 children who think that they know all about the world and what it entails. 2 children who think that they know what hardships are. 2 children who really have no idea how the real world works. 2 children who since then, have gone out of their way to ostracize themselves, make themselves out to be martyrs and heroes, all because of a tv. I am partly to blame for this fracture, and I admit it and accept responsibility for it. But I also have my reasons, as I absolutely refuse to see my mom and step-dad be taken advantage of for yet another minute, without something being said about it. I snapped. What caused me to snap? A comment. A comment about how my step-dad had filled my boot twice last year, because I couldn’t. Yet the ironic thing is that the person who made the nasty, hurtful, TRUE comment to me, was irate because a reminder was given to it just a few days prior, about how its family had bailed it out. Again. Pretty much the pot calling the kettle black, but this is a person with a total and utter victim mentality, with the belief that the world owes it everything. I too was sexually molested by the same man for 2 years. I too had my innocence stolen from me. But I have refused to let it determine my course in life, determine my fate and destiny. I am who I am, because of decisions that I make in my life. Not because of something that happened to me. I determine my path in life, not an event.

This person had the audacity to state that its partner for the past 18 months had done more for its son and it, than my mom and step-dad ever had. With that in mind, take into consideration that at age 25, it is engaged for the 3rd time in 7 years (to 3 different partners) and that this latest engagement is to a person that it has been with for the past 18 months, but its son (from the 2nd engagement) is only 2.5 years old. Let that little nugget sink in.

This person went as far as separating my mom’s dirty washing out from the rest of the washing, and excluding it from the washing. As my mom’s washing machine has been broken, I’ve been doing her washing at my house. It has even gone as far as removing its son from my mom’s care, even when a simple thing is done, like taking him out of his car seat. Its partner has 3 dogs, one of which is 11 years old, and it had a stroke. Something happened to its one front leg, and the decision was made to amputate it. This cost between R1000-R1500, when quite honestly the humane thing would have been to euthanise the old girl. But then about 2 or so weeks later, its son was quite ill and needed to be admitted into hospital, and because it’s a hero and martyr, it asked for help from another member of our family, who had to literally scratch around their house for the R270 odd that was needed to admit a child who required hospitalisation. Who normally provides this money for admittance? My mom and step-dad, no questions asked. But the free ride is over. The abuse that my parents have experienced at the hands of this person, is over. I have been more of a child to my step-dad than this person ever has, defending him and sticking up for him publicly, when this person publicly made note of the fact that it was a single parent, and how hard it was, and that it had no financial support and that every day was a struggle. All of this was publicly posted, whilst living back with its parents, after the 2nd engagement fell apart. The second engagement that we all warned it against. But yet again, it knew better. It conveniently forgot how its father was up almost every night with its son, calming him down, getting him to sleep. It conveniently forgot the roof put over its head, the food that was provided. The expensive tins of specialised formula for its son. All bought for and provided for by its parents, no questions asked. Because that’s what family does. It has also conveniently forgotten that my mother carried our family financially for over a decade, as the sole breadwinner in our household. What this person does instead, is blame everyone else in its life for its situations, decisions and outcomes, instead of looking to the true culprit; itself.

Why am I bringing all of this up now, when I am preaching that family does what family does, because its family? Because this person has forgotten all that has been done for it. And when one tries to remind it of all of the bail outs and support shown to it over the years, it either vehemently denies it, feigns amnesia or just ignores you altogether.

What this post is to me, is therapy. It is my way of acknowledging that whilst I could have handled the situation more maturely on Tuesday the 5th of January 2016, what is done is done, and quite honestly, so am I. This person is nothing to me anymore. And I do believe that this person has realised it, as I realise that I am nothing to it. And that’s ok. Sad, but ok. The abuse and blatant taking advantage of that this person has shown towards its family, MY family has gone on for 20+ years, and has now come to an end. I maybe seen as the enemy here, the bully, the perpetrator. But that is only because, as it so aptly spat in my face on the 5th of January, the truth hurts.

That funny little thing called ‘family’.

G

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3 thoughts on “that funny little thing called family

  1. I always find it so strange that for eg 2 kids who grew up in the same family experiencing the same difficulties etc can turn out so differently- the one taking responsibility for their decisions and actions and for how their life turned out and the other always laying the blame at the parents/families door, that can never accept and acknowledge that what happened was as a result of their poor decisions and cannot be blamed on how they were brought up, or because they grew up poor or because they had to go without. It is certainly like that in my family, my one brother always blames the way his life turned out and his poor decisions at the foot of my parents and I am the complete opposite. What I have realised is that people like that will never change and will always find a way to blame whatever goes on in their life on someone else. They will also only ever see how your family has helped you but forget or refuse to acknowledge the mountain of help that they had actually received (and which is usually more than any help that you have ever received or asked for) They will always be the victim and when your parents are no longer around, they will find someone else to blame. I don’t blame you for losing it _ I Would and have done the same!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANK-YOU. I needed your comment, to reassure myself that I’m not being unreasonable, that I’m not being too harsh, and that this person is just a victim of their own doing and mentality. What you said above is EXACTLY how it is in my family; it’s like you’re writing about us.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tweak circumstances slightly and I would swear you were writing about my family. Trust me you are not being unreasonable, or too harsh and kudos to you for acknowledging that your shortcomings. Only truly strong people can do that!

        Liked by 1 person

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