So, it’s been about 9 months since I began to distance myself from my family. The first couple months, they didn’t even seem to notice, which, to me, felt like the right choice was clear. The next couple months I had to work on saying, out loud, that I was doing this on purpose. I was angry.
It hasn’t really been brought up again. I’m not surprised. My family doesn’t do rational discussion, we do screaming and insults and apologies without ever resolving things. But, Punkie no longer does screaming and yelling and insults.
I’ve thought many times of what I should say if confronted, and I have come up with 2 points to make.
1. Everybody talked to me, expecting me to keep some really huge secrets, without asking if I wanted the burden. I don’t want it.
2. They are all VERY opinionated about many hot topic issues. I either am not, or don’t talk about them. And, essentially, a majority of the time we talked I heard “I hate you. I think you are a horrible person, absolute scum. I would never ever love you if I knew you.” I’m tired of pretending to be someone I’m not to gain their acceptance.
So, I’ve quit visiting. I’ve quit calling. My parents have stopped by twice this year. My mother demanded to be at my oral surgery, and I said no. She said she’d just show up then, so I wouldn’t tell her when it was. I leave town a lot, and even the country at times, without a word. My father in law knows where we are, for safety reasons, but he doesn’t expect to get minute by minute play by plays, so it works.
And, what have I found in this period?
That I’m happy.
That I’m relaxed.
That I can be myself, and people like me.
I actually uttered a sentence to my best friend recently I’d never said to anyone but my husband. And, you know what happened? Nothing. It was nothing. I rushed home, afraid to find she’d deleted me or something. Instead, I got a call to be there for her when her baby had surgery.
I met my husband’s coworker. A really nice, funny, good looking man. Wandered around Niagara Falls with him and my husband and children. And, when he said he needed somebody like me, when he hugged me before we parted ways, I didn’t once think he was flirting or it was inappropriate, like I would have in the past. After being told that men are only interested in women for sex. You have no idea how nice it was to accept this hug and not feel dirty.\\
I don’t have to squeeze several hours out of my day once a week anymore to eat a frozen egg roll at my mother’s while she and the kids scream at each other, and force myself to wait to say hi to dad, then hurry to get lost before he gets mad about whatever today.
My kids are gone this week, and you know what I’ve done? I’ve cleaned the house, I’ve done an hour long workout every day. I’ve planted dozens of flowers. I’ve worked on my little memorial garden and fountain. I’ve cooked amazing meals, just for myself, and then enjoyed our new patio set. And, I haven’t felt one bit of guilt.
I found that I didn’t do this sooner because I thought I depended on them too much. And, now, I’ve learned I really don’t need to anymore. We bought a patio set but believe it or not, the 5 pieces didn’t fit in the trunk of our car.My parents have a truck, an SUV and a giant van. Before I would have called, they would have said they’d be right here. 4 hours later, Brad and I would still be sitting at Target, waiting. Instead, we spent $20 to rent a truck from Home Depot and take the patio set home. And, my parents have pointed out to me before how that is a huge waste of money. No, it isn’t. Because $20 is well worth not being so irritated and frustrated.
I’m not mean, I’m not rude. I’m not going out of my way either. They mentioned something about coming over tonight. I locked the boys’ bedroom doors because I don’t think they should have to worry about their things when they aren’t here. we’ve taught them to take care of their stuff, I’m not letting other people break it. Apparently they have decided to make quarter year visits. And that works for me.
My one sister I haven’t seen in 6 months? My brother came over to watch football once in January. My other sister lives right by my ex-in laws. I stopped by to see her new house 4 or 5 months ago. She explained she was sorry she made me mad, but they never came to visit because they didn’t have a car. They bought a car shortly afterwards. They still don’t visit. So…yeah, I’m feeling very, very relaxed.
Funny story about sister visiting. I stopped by one day, and she wasn’t there, but her husband was. I talked to him for awhile and he said when they get a car, they really want to visit more. They’ve been meaning to. Because “We just really love Brad. He’s so great, and seems like such a great guy. He’s hilarious and just awesome. We totally love him.” now at the end of that sentence you can see a look of recognition go over his face and he continues “I mean…you too. I mean, we like you too. Like..I mean, you’re…blunt. So, we’ll see you too.”
Mind you, this was the same week I did see my mom, and she complained about all the strippers my brother keeps dating and “why can’t he just find the female version of Brad and settle down.” I said “Nobody will like what i have to say, but he won’t find it because honestly, he’s a wreck right now. He needs to work on being happy alone and taking care of his responsibilities, then eventually he will be able to find that. But, not now.” My mom looked annoyed “Oh yeah? and what did you do that was so great you got to have Brad?” Thanks mom.
Definitely happier without them in my life anymore.
Speaking of people you are happier not to have in your life anymore…Our oldest played his last indoor soccer game. He ages out now. Brad and I were there, as was my ex, Joe. Brad and I cheered and tied shoes and refilled water bottles and gave high fives and got sweaty hugs. Joe missed all of this, and didn’t see the goals made my either of our kids, because he was on his phone. He had been sitting on the bleacher in front of me, and I could see he was texting a woman about how much he loved her and missed her. Whatever. Then he moved up beside me, maybe thinking I couldn’t read the screen now? You know why he couldn’t be bothered to watch the game or tie a shoe? He was filling out his OkCupid dating profile. He forgets how fast I read, so I saw “I don’t even no wat 2 put here. I am tired of being used by women and having my heart broken. I am a good guy with 2 kids. My kids come first. I just want a nice, country gurl 2 settle down with, who will love me for me and not my money and will understand my family is most important to me and will always come first.”
And that has been today’s edition of “I’m surrounded by idiots.”