am I the twisted sister

27 Mar

Sisters!

It’s sort of a sore subject for me.

Family!

An even harder one for me.

My whole family lives within 30 minutes of me, yet I feel like they might as well live on the moon. That is not true for all of my family, just the vast majority.

This is a post unlike any I’ve even written. I don’t talk much about my family except for my tripod.  I do not spend a lot of time with most of my family. My mom is a pretty awesome grandmom to Q and one of my little sisters and I talk or text a few times a week.

So this post is going to be rambling and all over the place but I need to get this out of my head. I need to feel. I need to write what I am feeling.

Let’s back up, there really is information needed to make sense.

My parents divorced when I was 5 and H was 2. My dad remarried C2 shortly after. Stepmom is C2 because my dad married two women with the same name.  Dad and C2 had their own children, the first was born when I was 9. They had two girls and 1 boy – La, Li, and M. M was born when I was 18 and a new high school graduate. If you are keeping track, I am the oldest of 5 – there are 4 of us girls and the baby boy.

I spent most of life bouncing between houses. Weekends with my dad and weeks with my mom. Holidays were spread out and I generally spent time with both families on the holidays.  At my mom’s family there was always stress and drama…someone is always hating on someone else on that side of my family. At my dad’s family I was always her daughter. I have always looked just like my mother and my dad’s family never failed to point that out. I always felt like I would never be more than her daughter.

There was time, at a Christmas Eve dinner where my dad said something to my stepmom and she turned around and said, “they’re not my daughters.”

When Q was about 9 months old, I decided to walk away from an abusive, controlling relationship. I was living in Florida at the time and the only person I knew to call for help was my dad. He flew from NJ and picked me and my baby up and brought us home. Part of the reason I stayed in that relationship so long was that I thought no one would help me. I was unworthy and undeserving of my family. I truly thought there was no way my family wanted me anymore. My dad surprised me. I called and he was on the next flight to rescue me.

I came home to a home that was not really mine. My dad and C2 accepted me and my Q but really that did not last long. It did not take long to realize my stepmom hated me. It was about a month before I felt like a kid …I lived with C2 and my dad for a little shy of two years (my 7th & 8th grade years) and I never felt truly welcome. I always felt like I (and my sister, H) were the second class citizens to her children. They always came first. I started to feel like Q and I were in the way, so I moved on.

This weekend I had all those old feelings again.

You see little sister, La is getting married in September and I am a bridesmaid. Little sister, Li, is also a bridesmaid. La  had Q sleep over on Friday night and then on Saturday we were all meeting at a dress shop. La took Q to my dad’s house so she could visit her Uncle M, my youngest sibling. I was a bit concerned because we haven’t seen my dad in a while. In fact, my dad hasn’t bothered to remember Q on her birthday the last two years. I can deal with him forgetting me but not my kid.

Anyway, Li still lives at home with my dad and C2 with her daughter. Li is in the exact same situation I was in 10 years ago. 21, a single mom, a loser for a baby daddy.  But Li has been welcome to stay at home and raise her daughter and go to college and hardly work. I know it shouldn’t bother me, but everything about Li dredges up emotions and feelings that I don’t entirely understand.

I thought I was over all this shit.

I am 33 years old.

It shouldn’t bother me!

But it does!!

Li is living the life I was not allowed. I was treated like a leper for having a baby so young, for not getting married, for purposely choosing to raise my baby alone. I was made to feel terrible. Yet Li has that same life and it’s ok. I went to college, but I had to work full time to raise my daughter. I struggled for everything I have. I fight every day to make life good for my daughter. But Li has the life I had, but wasn’t allowed to keep. And since she had her daughter, my daughter has essentially been forgotten.

And while living at home, and using state medical insurance, Li had gastric bypass. She was 21 years old and she has never tried to eat right and exercise. The state changed requirements so there was no counseling or waiting period. Again, this shouldn’t bother me but it does. Again, I fight and struggle and its like it was just handed to her.  I know the WL surgery is not easy, but this is my ramble.

As I was ready to head out to meet my sisters and my daughter and niece at a dress shop, I had a mini melt down.

I love my sister and I do not blame her or hate her, she just brings up stuff. She makes me feel stuff. She makes me feel stuff I didn’t even know still bothered me.

But it does bother me.

How can my dad forget his first born? How can he ignore his first granddaughter?

How dare he and his wife?

Damn, why do I still cry?!?

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24 Responses to “am I the twisted sister”

  1. Meg March 27, 2011 at 11:35 pm #

    I’m so sorry that happened/is happening. You are worthy of so much love, please remember that.

  2. Marzipan March 27, 2011 at 11:45 pm #

    You are entitled to dwell, rage, cry, scream, laugh, and so whatever it is that you need here – because this is your safe space. You built this. You’ve attracted this community. You are worthy of all the love that is surrounding you. Thank you for sharing all of this with us. It was so brave. Xoxoxoxox

    • jeninreallife March 28, 2011 at 12:46 am #

      Mara,
      Thank you for your kind words. I am learning to release my feelings. As the oldest kid in this situation, I have spent all my life burying my feelings and being the strong one. This is all such unchartered territory, but I feel like I am finally at a place to feel my own feelings and share them. Thank you for the encouragement and support!

      much love and big hugs!

  3. Lori March 27, 2011 at 11:52 pm #

    I actually understand a bit of where you’re coming from. In my screwed up story, my dad married the mother of one of my exboyfriends (about 2 years after we dated). This boy had been sent to the youth correctional center multiple times, and jail multiple times as an adult. They bailed him out, let him live with them, etc. while offering no support for me to go to college. My dad never paid much attention to me except when my mother made him. When I got married I made the decision to not have my father walk me down the aisle. This of course hurt him, but after all the years of feeling insignificant in his life I decided it was time to stop trying to have a relationship with someone who made no effort in return. It was approximately 15 years later, when my grandma passed away, that I was forced to see & talk to him again. This was the first time he’d saw his 2 grandchildren (and the last to this point). We exchange xmas cards and that is about it. He actually does send a gift cert. as a present for the kids with his card. No acknowledgement of me really tho. Sometimes I feel guilty for staying so distant, he isn’t getting any younger, but I just can’t make myself enter that dysfunctional relationship again and deal with the feelings that go with it.

    So, probably more than you wanted to ever know lol, but just wanted to let you know you’re not alone in your frustration.

    • jeninreallife March 28, 2011 at 1:01 am #

      Thank you Lori!!

      Thank you so much for sharing your story….I really appreciate you opening up. After today, I most definitely know how hard it is to write it down.

      much love and big hugs!

  4. Tina March 27, 2011 at 11:55 pm #

    That just sucks. You worked damn hard to get it where you are and this kind of family crap is just that — crap. Focus on you, your daughter and your dad during these situations. Walk away from friction, it’s not worth it. You’re a good gal, a meltdown every now is expected. Hugs to you.

    • jeninreallife March 28, 2011 at 1:03 am #

      Thanks Tina!!

      I feel the hugs!!

      much live and big hugs

  5. Aine March 27, 2011 at 11:59 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us. What strikes me is that your struggles have made you what you are … a strong, capable, grown-up woman and an insightful mom. Li doesn’t have to take care of herself the way you had to take care of yourself, but she’s not going to have the benefit of really knowing her own capabilities.

    As for the WLS, I’ve known a number of people who’ve had difficulties with it in the long run. I can’t imagine taking the risk of having it done at 21, especially without having exhausted every other approach to health first.

    You are awesome as you are. Big family events always bring out big emotions! {{hugs}}

    • jeninreallife March 28, 2011 at 1:25 am #

      Thanks Aine!

      I needed the reminder – family events are nuts!!

      much love!

  6. Tara March 28, 2011 at 12:37 am #

    It’s okay to feel what you feel. You may never get the answers to these questions and I think it’s important for you to be prepared to not have them even though it seems it might help you understand the bigger picture.

    Maybe, just maybe this is the plan laid out for you by the universe (or God if you are so willing to accept that). You just have to figure out what that plan is and then how can you execute that to it’s full awesomeness.

    • jeninreallife March 28, 2011 at 1:28 am #

      Tara,

      so much of the courage to even let myself feel these feelings, much less write them out, came from your encouragement. You helped me let it out. I cannot even come up with the words to express how much you have helped me.

      much love and big hugs!

  7. workout mommy March 28, 2011 at 12:37 am #

    oh girl, i just want to come thru the screen and hug you!

    first, I have to point out that you are a MUCH better person for all that you have done on your own.

    second, although I didn’t grow up in a situation like this, my husband did. It infuriates me to NO END that his dad treats him differently than his step siblings and that they get spoiled rotten while my hubby and our family is basically overlooked. We don’t need anything, but it’s a tough sell to little kids at xmas when they are getting no presents and all the other grandkids are getting piles upon piles. It’s sickening. And I can’t say a word b/c it’s not my family and my husband says nothing. He tells me he spent a life arguing over it and it is never going to change.

    i don’t understand the answers to your question because as a parent, I could never imagine treating any of my kids like this. 😦 That is what makes YOU a better parent though because you do realize the unfairness of it all. I wish i could say something to make you feel better……but just know you are not alone. hugs, lisa

    PS: anyone who has ever been a single mom is by default a superhero! 🙂

    • jeninreallife March 28, 2011 at 1:32 am #

      I LOVE you and I really really wish upon wish you could come through the screen…I could use a mommy hug!!

      soon, very soon!

      much love and big hugs

  8. AnnG March 28, 2011 at 12:46 am #

    You cry because it HURTS LIKE HELL to be the first born!! Big hugs to you…hope the hurt goes away and some way, some how your dad starts mending this relationship that HE SCREWED UP!!

  9. Jules - Big Girl Bombshell March 28, 2011 at 1:03 am #

    YES…nice to see this honesty from YOU! Your feelings… AND lordy do I know ALL about those blended, extended families… At some point, we can perhaps chat more, but today…

    I HONOR and VALIDATE YOU and all those feelings!

    • jeninreallife March 28, 2011 at 1:34 am #

      oh Jules, you make my heart smile!

      much love and big hugs

  10. Angela March 28, 2011 at 1:21 am #

    You are a stronger woman for the suffering you have endured. You’re allowed to be mad and hurt. You help your daughter grow up strong. Your good will come around and you will know that you fought for it, you earned it; no one handed it to you. You will treasure that good like no one else could. xoxo
    Love ya.

  11. Thea @ Im A Drama Mama March 28, 2011 at 3:27 am #

    You know what? Family stuff sucks. I get sucked in to old issues every time we go back home, and it seems impossible to break out of.

    Please know that you are a wonderful person and an AMAZING mother and all the crap you had to go through has made you who you are. Please don’t let any of them take away the light you have inside you, because we all need to see you shine.

    • jeninreallife March 28, 2011 at 10:42 am #

      Thanks Thea!

      You really are a great friend!

      This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!
      This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!

  12. Jen, a priorfatgirl March 28, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    I can’t pretend and say “I understand” because I really don’t know what it is like to go through what you are going through but I can totally see why you have the feelings you do! Hold your head high and be proud of who you are, what you’ve been through and that you are here to tell others it is possible!

  13. KCLAnderson (Karen) March 29, 2011 at 1:35 am #

    Oh my heart is breaking for you Jen. We have much in common…I had no idea. First things first: do NOT beat yourself up for not having “gotten over it.” One thing I have learned is that it’s not something we ever get over. Sure, we move on and have happy productive lives but there will be times when we must go through the old feelings and feel them again and process them again.

    Second, and this is not to make excuses for anyone, but there’s peace in realizing that our parents did/are doing “the best they can.” Their “best” may actually suck but they’re stuck in whatever life they’re stuck in, and their parents did a number on them too.

    As for Li? Yes, much has been “handed” to her but in the long-term she won’t be an independent, strong person who will fly on her own…she won’t ever know what that feels like and that is a tragedy. YOU my dear, will reap the benefits of having struggled. In fact, I recently wrote a post about the butterfly story. It’s such a fabulous story that it made me change my mind about struggle. I see now how it makes us beautiful and allows us to soar…even though in the moment, the struggle makes us tired and cry.

    I wish I could give you a big hug. Think of me as your big sister (and yeah, I’m a little twisted too ;-). I have steps and halves and drama too…but you are working on you and I have no doubt that you will find you way and soar…

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