I spent most of today buried in overwhelming sadness. Feeling mournful. I did talk to my Mom (turns out she is talking to me) briefly, but there’s this barrier because neither one of us bring up my brother and she sounds so fake. Like she’s checking off the Mom boxes of keeping in contact with a child.
I went through feeling like this last year and honestly I’m not really up for doing it again.
It’s that feeling of being incredibly alone and not belonging. Even though there was dysfunction there, I was a crucial part of it. And now, I’m being shunned by my brother, my Mom has previously made it no secret she takes his side, and my Dad is doing whatever it is he does when things get difficult. Disappearing act. He is signing his messages L, First Name. No Love. No Dad.
I don’t feel needed in my role as daughter, or sister. And despite the dysfunction so much of my identity is tied up in that. I honestly have no idea who I am without them or that dysfunctional way of thinking.
I thought I found a solution that worked for everyone after he said he wasn’t even coming and didn’t speak to me for 7 months. He threatened to keep my niece away from me forever. He wrote and said horrible things about me. Him and my Mom used my dead grandmother and best friend against me… “what would she think about this.” He was lucky to even be the emcee (if I remember correctly he begged me while crying after refusing to speak to me for 7 months) and now he’s throwing a fit because he wasn’t a groomsman. And now all I can feel when I think about the wedding they forced me to have in MO is sadness. I’m just so angry and sad and… mournful.
I was naive enough to believe everything was ok when they were all wonderful to my face. I’ve already done this. I’ve already grieved this loss last time they stopped talking to me. I can’t do the back and forth. I can’t take being punished by the silent treatment every time they don’t like a decision I’ve made.
And people keep saying (husband and close friends) to let it roll off me, that the more I think about it the more power I give to him. And yes, that’s true, but this family unit was the center of who I was for so long… it isn’t easy. It isn’t easy to simply let it go.
I feel abandoned. And this is not the first time I have felt that way. This acute sense of loss. I feel like a part of me has died.
This morning I realized I’m no longer financially dependent on my parents. I managed to untangle myself from that system, post wedding I don’t need them, I’m not reliant on them… and I’ve removed them as co-signers for things and my husband has replaced them. I apparently now owe my Mom $1000 for something she volunteered to take on (“I thought his family would offer to pay for it!”) so I will find that $1000, and give it to her, and then try to recover my bruised finances.
The only real upset there is that I now can only afford A once a week. I reluctantly (very reluctantly and while crying) canceled additional sessions with her tonight via email. I simply can’t. I have to reserve extra money now, build an emergency nest. It also means I can’t stop working at my small business and have to make a minimum of $1400 in additional income each month, but that’s doable. And it’s extra incentive that the first thing to go if I don’t make that money is my appointments with A.
My husband helped me budget tonight. At least I have him. I have the family that is us… but god it hurts so much to feel so abandoned. And I’m not sure if I’m sad for current me who is repeating this pattern again… who tried so hard to disengage last time. Or if I’m sad for little me who is just wondering what she’s done wrong, and why all that effort was put in in the first place. Or both.
It’s become clear to me that the ‘love’ from my family is conditional on my behaviour… their approval and affection is conditional on me doing things their way. It’s why I’m suddenly now getting no monetary support for therapy (my parents contribute $1000 to my brother every month for that purpose and pay for him to chase his music dream). I’ve been cut off, for misbehaving.
I try not to be resentful, it feels ungrateful. But when something is so blatantly unequal because “you can handle it. You’re older. You don’t need therapy. I’ve just paid for most of your wedding (nobody asked you to do that!)” it’s really hard to not feel second best right now.
It’s really hard to feel anything but incredibly sad.
I’m coming to terms with the fact that I am alone in this, after I spent years trying to do my best to care for them, sometimes literally (as in making my Mom food and taking my brother to school because she wouldn’t get out of bed and my Dad had disappeared) as a child. And it was all for brownie points and praise that only exists when I fit into this specific mould.
Fuck. I’m so incredibly sad.
P.S – somehow, miraculously, I still have yet to have a drink in November.