Sunday, January 11, 2009

i have one screwed up family

Why is it that you don't quite realize how dysfunctional your own family is until someone dies? Then thoughts of going to said persons funeral lead to questions about feeling welcome, wheter it's really a good idea to attend the event, or to just send flowers expressing deepest sympathies.

My families problems started way back when I was very young. About one or two to be exact. My dad has two older children from a previous marriage and, well, they haven't always been the best of people. My brother, the baby making, woman marring, machine, doesn't have a good relationship with any of his children. I, personally, am only in touch with two of the five (who, by the way, turned into wonderful, wonderful, adults thanks to my lovely sister-in-law.) and have just recently made contact with the third (another one whom my sister-in-law took under her wing, my brother really was a fool to let her get away). The other two are off somewhere far, far, away (actually probably not that far) never to be heard from again.

My "sister" gives my brother a run for his title as a baby making machine. She is also addicted to drugs and alcohol, and dependent on the state to support her. When she was running low on money she'd pop out another baby to increase her paycheck. I'm pretty sure all of her children are grown now, so I guess I'm not quite sure how she's paying the bills. I haven't seen or spoken to her in years. My dad disowned her a long, long time ago. That in itself is a long discustiing story, nothing I really want to air here. Needless to say, my dad did the only thing he could do. My ex sis was/is toxic. My older brother also later stopped all communication with her, along with most of the people in my family. But, just because my dad chose to disown her, he still loved and worried all the time about her children.

On Friday, her oldest son died. From what we've heard through the grapevine, he had a seisure the day before, went home and was heard getting up to use the restroom. They heard him fall, tried to revive him to no avail. They think he died from a blood clot. This child had never had a good life. When he was little he got brain damage from a big wheel accident. You've already heard the stories about his mother, I don't know much about his father (hopefully he had some kind of support from him) the only person who really took him under her wing was my dad's ex-wife, his grandmother and she died years ago. Granted, all of this is heresay, I really don't know much for sure. What I do know though is that my dad is shaken, he is upset. I think one of his biggest regrets in life is not fighting harder to make sure those kids got good homes, either with us or someone else in the family.

Now the question looms, do we attend the funeral or leave well enough alone and just send flowers. My dad, I think, really wants to go to pay his last respects to his grandson. I've told him I'll fly back (hoping I can get a flight under $500) and go with him, along with Mark and my younger brothers. But still he hesitates. Partly because of his absence in Eric's life and his regrets, but also because even though they no longer speak, and haven't in years, he doesn't want to cause his first daughter anymore pain. After all, she did just loose a son.


The Immortal Woman said...

That ex-sister in law of yours sounds amazing, and I am sure you would say the same things even if she were not a constant reader of your blog or anything.

Now for my opinion for what it is worth. This situation is going to be extremely painful no matter what. You are right, these are toxic people and reactions that you think would be normal are not going to happen. If your dad wants to go, it should be because he wants to make a positive gesture and mend things in his mind. Do the right thing, so to speak. And I would extremely respect this decsion, because it will not be easy. For it to go positively, you guys should keep turning the conversation back on them. What they have been doing, where they have been living, the kids, the grandkids. Because these toxics only think of themselves. It will all have to be about them. I would not tell them much about anything in your life or you will be disappointed at the reactions. It would take a brave man to walk into this, but it may help him come to terms with some of things he may have been thinking about. His exwife did a lot to completely ruin any chance he had at a relationship with his older children and his grandchildren, and he could not have sacrificed his three young children to rescue his grandchildren. I do not think I could go, in fact I will not be going. I'm totally okay with the toxic level I got going on right now. I have been talking to Jennifer on the phone steadily about it, and for her I am willing to listen with an open heart. She is extremely upset. What ever you all decide - if I can do anything for you and your brothers (well two of your brothers) I will be here for you. If you need to vent - totally up for that - if you need a place to stay or just want to come over to have a break, I am good at cooking the things you like, but I certainly can make a great dessert and mix a fine cocktail, please know you are always welcome. I love you guys.

The Immortal Woman said...

You may want to go to, Eric's obituary is there. It may give you a place express yourself. Love ya!