things actually went from pretty rotten to horrific.
There are multiple issues at play here, all somehow interlinked in a messy spaghetti type construction of pain, history and hurt.
Then add a sibling getting involved who copped it from me quite unfairly and has raised a pretty valid point about communication issues and how to resolve them.
From my upbringing and my parents’ far from amicable divorce I developed a few ‘traits’ – I hate conflict. I go to ridiculous lengths to ensure people around me are happy. I take on a lot of blame for people’s shortcomings or failings at happiness, contentment and general well being. I have extraordinarily development communication skills. I am extremely skilled at negotiation, conciliation and resolution.
But let’s look at that statement: I go to ridiculous lengths to ensure people around me are happy.
Have parents who choose to move two hours away? Will feel bad I don’t include them enough.
Have parents who choose to have an egg for dinner more nights a week that ideal? Will feel guilty for not cooking more meals they like.
Have parents feeling neglected or left out? Will go to extraordinary lengths to include them.
Have parents feeling slighted or belittled? Will not stop until they don’t feel like that anymore.
And so on and so forth.
It’s fucking exhausting.
Also – WHY THE FUCK AM I KILLING MYSELF TO COMPENSATE FOR THEIR LIFE CHOICES????
Move away? Your issue and responsibility to stay in touch.
Feel neglected? Speak up. Join in.
Feel slighted? Raise it. WITH THE PERSON WHO MADE YOU FEEL SLIGHTED.
Why the fuck is this so obvious to me and yet so fucking baffling and obscure to the generation who raised me????
My Brother-in-Law has his own parental issues and when I was talking to him about mine he said, ‘Kim, I wasted more than a year feeling so angry about the situation and why they came to us for advice and solace but did nothing to change the situation. Then I realised, we are so much more emotionally developed than them. At that point I just felt so much of the anger and confusion and bewilderment of their behaviour dissipate. Let them stew in their own juices I say.”
And you know what? He’s totally right.
As a friend said to me yesterday, there’s a reason most of us move out of home once we’re adults.
And therein lies the core of MY issue. Not that of those around me, MINE. When my parents divorced and I saw what my Mum had to go through to get herself back a) into the workforce and b) back into her profession I vowed that I would never ever be dependent on anyone else for my financial or emotional wellbeing.
Jesus, I totally fucked that one up. While Chef and I have a relationship I am intensely proud of and one we work on constantly, I am, at the moment, totally financially dependent on him. But not only did I drop my independent-guard on that front, we are totally dependent on my mother for our life here in Sydney. If we did not live here we could not, in our current situation stay in Sydney.
That is not a disaster in any sense of the word BUT for the fact that we now, FINALLY, have some stability in our lives. Oscar-the perfect school for him; Felix, settled and excited about high school next year, Jasper – happy in a school we love, Grover, at a pre-school we adore, Chef in a job he finds challenging and rewarding.
I know much of that can be rebuilt and re-established elsewhere, it is really Oscar and his situation which keeps me cemented to this reality.
But this current living arrangement is now starting to require from me things I can not deliver.
There. I said it.
I believe, as much as it scares and pains me to say it out loud, that it has run its course. There is no apparent way this set-up, with what certain people need me to do for their happiness and peace of mind, can continue in the long term.
So again I say, what to do, what to do…