Hello fellow bards, ovates and druids!
I need some shoulders to cry on and some advice for the future and about handling anger.
As I write, I haven't been in touch with my parents for the past two months. We are angry at each other. It all came gradually, and distance and emails did not cool us down. There was in fact an escalation of violent feelings and a misunderstanding of written sentences to account for, but also, at the core of it all, different point of views that we were not aware of.
So now I have estranged parents, and a full load of anger directed towards them. But also the knowledge that this can't go on forever, I love them, they love me, and sooner or later, we will talk again. Especially after I read this article talking about the subject from the parent POV: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/0 ... d-unravel/
My parents are not alcoholic, they were not beating me or abusing me in any way, they do not suffer from any personality disorders and I think they were good parents. So what could have gone wrong?
My parents are overwhelming. Sometimes it can be endearing, and sometimes it can be to the chocking point. They do everything together and want us to be the same way. I don't think they realized that I changed. I married, I have a job, I recently had a daughter, I am building my own family core, with its own dynamics and rules, and my husband being more of the independent type, our way of life is pretty different.
But the tipping point has been money issues - of course, should I say. My husband lost his job during the economic crisis, and being older, has difficulties finding something. The addition of a baby in such times makes him a dad at home who can't afford a nurse or day care and has to look for jobs that pay more than a nurse would, at odd hours when the baby is asleep. He still finds time to cook, do the shopping, do most of the cleaning and be a supportive husband, while I do my best to be a supportive wife, go to work and not nag too often
and be in good humor and thankful for what he does. It is however pretty hard both on him and on me, and we are not overjoyed everyday, but we make it work so far.
And that is where my parents' patience - and mine - ends. They came to visit 3 weeks after my baby was born. Both my husband and I were tired, our baby waking up every two hours, so I was counting on my parents - especially my mother, who is a great indoors organizer - to help us out. They actually insisted on re-decorating, over-cleaning, and changing furniture's places and being their overwhelming selves. Busy bees, that were not only over-enthusiastic but also judgmental of our ways. Why didn't' we do this, or thought about that? I felt my home wasn't mine anymore, that they were making it their way, because obviously, that's how it worked best. But they were also trying to tell me, a new mother, how to best take care of my baby, and to my husband with his independent ways, they began to question why he wasn't spending more time this and that way instead of doing what he was doing.
I let it go for 3 weeks, and for the first time in my life I felt relieved when they left. But then, having learned I had inherited a small amount from a grandmother, I wrote and asked my parents when they thought I would be able to have this money in hands.
And I received my first cold shower ever, through a lengthy email, where I learned that my husband was a good for nothing, a gigolo living at my expenses and no respect for my parents, that I am a real pigeon, blind to his weaknesses, that I should wake up and let him go, that I live in misery, darkness and a filthy apartment, and at the full force of my life, settling for failure at a job I don't like for that kind of husband. Was I under influence? Was my desire to be loved too strong to make me see straight? Was I weak, with no show of character? I was further told that I would get this money if, and only if, I was going to change my will and open an account under my only name, as it was obvious to them that my husband couldn't wait to get a hold on my inheritance (3,000 Euros). All of this poison mixed with appeals to my intelligence, and how hard it is for them to write such an email, how they love me and want to protect me and help me.
I was scolded, blackmailed, belittled, lectured, insulted (and my husband, father of my child too), not in control of my life, and not recognized the right to build my own family core, but ordered instead back to the stables, to the original family core, under the safety of my parents' wings. I got very, very angry, but tried to tell them so as kindly as I could by email, then I called them on the phone and for the first time ever, was received by my mother like a stranger. Her injured tone, her coldness, making me the bad person upfront and without appeal incensed me so much, and from then on, anger and misunderstandings escalated on both sides.
The last email I wrote I told them that right now we need positive energies in our lives, things are hard enough as they are, that if they can't be positive, then I prefer not to hear it. In my mind, it was a call for ending this escalation, and continue our relationship on other subjects - like how their grand-daughter is growing, the weather, anything, until my husband finds a job. They chose to understand that i don't want to have anything to do with them for now, and as they don't believe that he will ever get a job, that might be forever. I haven't received anything from then since, no email, no news, not even small packages they used to send to my baby, as grand-parents. That makes me even more angry because they put their pride above love, they include my daughter in the fight, they place their ways and judgments above others, and put on blinds while telling me I need to wake up. So there.
I don't think I am wrong by showing my husband support during hard times, by being loyal to him, by respecting the father of my child. I don't think I am blind or under influence, just that I am going through a rough spot with him at my side. I am trying to let go of the anger but so far I can't. Should I even try? Is anger that bad sometimes? Should i see a shrink? What should I do fellow druids? Just wait until my husband does get a job? and when he does, how do I approach my parents again?
Of course you have only my side of the story. My perception of how things are. I have to add that knowing my parents, I know they love me, and probably think they were right to warn me, and did this "in the best of my interest", even if that meant the worst to them (not see me or baby). I know they suffer from the situation as much as I do. I know they are probably hurt not to hear from their grand-daughter (they chose to let her the inheritance money on an account under her name by the way). But I always seem to be the one to try to understand how others think and feel, but that it is not reciprocated. Right now, I need them to feel my position, and I don't think they do.
I am also interested in hearing similar stories about estranged parents/children and why it happened. And i hope it won't happen with my own daughter and me. I think the key is to stay open to criticism, and as a parent it might be hard to do, coming from a child?
Thanks all for reading!