My brother is staying with me for a month. It’s fun to see him every day. We didn’t grow up together, and only met when he was 10. So we’re still getting to know one another. He’s a punk, but I love him. My kid brother. But one of the challenging things I’m learning about having him here, is that it exposes me to some of my family that I’d rather not be exposed to. Thru him, I get to see and experience what he goes through with my father. Usually – it doesn’t get to me, but last night, he shared an experience he had this weekend and I just about lost my shit. I’m still upset. But I think what upsets me the most, is that, at least for the next month, it will be a “norm” in the house. It bothers me.
My father is … well… abusive. Physically sometimes, emotionally others. And not all the time…. but still. A spade is a spade. It takes a lot to write that. It took me a while to get my brother to even admit it out loud. Now look – there’s something to be said for getting physical – sometimes a well timed shove can wake someone up – That is not the type of physical altercation that I am talking about here. There is no excuse that I can logically come up with to make it ok. I know that man loves his kids… in his own truly messed up way, but he is toxic. It’s why I’ve put up walls and boundaries – to keep me and the kids safe and worry-free.
So here I sit. Knowing that over the next month or so, I’ll likely be (at the very least) hearing more stories, learning more things, and overall, likely cementing why I made the choices I’ve made to step away from toxic people in my life. I try and remember that there are two sides to every story… and somewhere in between lies the truth. But so far, the stories I hear align with everything I know from my past… and I’m not convinced that leopards change their spots. When someone shows you who you are, believe them.
It’s sadly, nice to know that I’m not the only one of us kids who struggled with Dad. But at the same time, I wish with all my heart that I could take that away from him – let him be spared. I’m protective. I don’t want to see my family hurt. I’d do just about anything to keep them all safe and loved. Ugh. It’s rough being a sister sometimes. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
I’ve been hiding from my phone for the past couple of days. Ok, maybe not hiding, but I plug it in and walk away from it. I don’t want to be near it. Families… weddings… I swear, weddings, funerals and babies bring out the crazy in people. And typically – when the crazy comes out – someone gets hurt.
I guess this time… that person is me. I’m hurt. Reeling actually. I feel as if I’ve been singed and cut by someone I never thought I’d have to fear.
My “bro”. He’s not related to me by blood, but we call each other “brother” and “sister”. We met 13 years ago, he was my neighbor who lived with his then-girlfriend across the hall. I swear, the first time I met him, I knew he was my brother from another mother. LOL. We’ve had a lot of ups and downs over the years, but we were always there for each other. He’s always been there for me.
I knew, as his wedding day approached that our friendship was about to change in a big way. Ideally, I’d gain a cool sister out of the deal. But she has never seemed to have much interest in that, we don’t share a lot of the same ideals, so I get it. Actually – I wish she understood exactly just how much I get it. The Bro’s life is about to change in a pretty serious way. His life now must be with her. Up until recently, I’ve been excited to think about what is in store for their future… moving in together, babies, eventually buying a house, doing all the things that I know he wants to accomplish. And I knew that our friendship would move to the very back… like nosebleed seats. And I’m cool with that – hell – I’ve been pushing him in this direction. I guess I figured we’d get through his wedding day first. I was wrong. And truly, I’m not sure our friendship can recover from this. And if I’m honest, After all that was said, I’m not entirely sure I want it to.
I won’t spill all the details here… but I will say that I wish I could help some people see how much their words can damage. How their tone and the way they approach other people will directly impact how their words are received. I will also say that it takes a very brave and yet rather stupid man to judge another. My bro laid out many of the decisions I’d made over the course of my life … pointing out my mistakes, effectively rubbing my nose in the areas he felt I didn’t measure up. Not just in my past, but even now. But he did all of this, only knowing bits and pieces of the story. He judged me… and it came across with anger, disdain, disappointment and shame. His soon to be wife even joined in the “fun”. She’d verbally attacked me prior to my bro letting me have it. Screamed at me and said I was a horrible “best man”. Ironic she did that when I was putting finishing touches on some bachelor party related stuff earlier that evening. It was a hard hitting 1-2 verbal sucker punch from them as a couple.
I won’t lie, that first 24 hours after they both let me have it… I was a wreck. I broke down. I bawled and went quiet. I crawled inside my world and licked my wounds. I wasn’t even angry, I was self-reflective. I had to check myself… make sure that what he’d said wasn’t true. I guess because I’ve been actively working on self-improvement, I had to really take a good look and make sure that there weren’t areas of his feedback that I needed to consider. The next day, we spoke again and he apologized and tried to sweep it under the rug. Even tried to deny some of what he’d said the night before. I thanked him for the apology but stated that for me to feel comfortable attending the wedding and the festivities, that I would like an apology from his fiance/soon to be wife. He agreed that I deserved it, but warned that I might not get it from her right away. He laid out various reasons and excuses for why I should just let it go. About 15 minutes after he said he’d talk to her and get back to me, my phone rang. It was her, and I answered it pleasantly, as I didn’t want to start things off on the wrong foot. She immediately started yelling – even yelled an apology. Yea – cuz THAT feels totally sincere. I hung up on her, and texted her that perhaps it would be better to move to text. Honestly, I just didn’t want to be yelled at anymore. We texted a little – but I pretty quickly gave up on that too. So here I sit, no sincere apology and still feeling incredibly upset and uneasy a few days later.
Yes, I could back down… I could suck it up and be there for him on his wedding day. And likely – I will do this. More for me than him. I don’t want to feel guilty 10 years from now for not showing up. And I’ll go into it knowing there’s the potential for drama, or daggers being thrown at me, there will be the potential for awkward uncomfortable silences, and even worse, a high chance that I will end up feeling used or insulted by the end of all of this. I will suck it up, BUT… I’m done. Or at least I think I am. I’m going to just keep going down my own life’s path… because I’m dying to see what happens in the next chapters of my life. To get thru this, i’m going to keep telling myself that it’s not my circus, and not my monkeys.
I’m a grown woman who’s made a successful, full and happy life for herself. I’m a woman who has good, sweet, smart children who may stumble or struggle in their life in places, but who know without a shadow of a doubt that their momma loves them and would do anything to see that they are safe and well cared for. I don’t deserve to be talked to or treated in that manner. Especially when what is being said isn’t true. At least I had that going for me, I knew, deep down in my heart that nothing they said was true about me… that it was being said out of spite and anger and jealousy. But here’s the thing, even knowing that… it still hurt. It was a different hurt tho. This hurt came from knowing that the someone I trusted over the years is now throwing daggers… they are no longer worthy of my trust. That perhaps I’d misjudged him all along.
So … because of all of this… I’ve been avoiding my phone. I’ve been staying off social media and just kind of hiding in my world. I’ve had some shifts in a few friendships in the last few months… each of them shook me to my core for various reasons. This one is no different. What is interesting to me is that when I promised myself that I’d get healthy, even if that meant cutting toxic situations out of my life… I guess I didn’t realize how many of my relationships had toxic layers woven into them. Maybe living on my own and staying single for a while truly WAS the best thing I could have done for myself. I’m so glad I’ve done it up to this point. I’ll have to watch myself moving forward… I’m putting up my walls with everyone – unintentionally. And I don’t mean to. I am just unsure on who to trust, vs. who will judge me or hurt me. Easier to just put up the walls a bit.
I had an interview today – it went quite well. I felt confident, for the first time in months actually. A genuine confidence, not the kind where you fake it till you hopefully make it. Maybe being shaken to my core this weekend was good for me. Helped remind me who I am. Where I’ve been, and more importantly, where I am headed.
I’m not ready for it to be Monday. Truthfully, I got plenty of sleep last night, I’m not sure why I’m dragging as badly as I am today, but there it is. Not even the vanilla latte is helping.
This weekend flew by a little too quickly, and overall, it was amazing. I had an amazing meal and an even better conversation on Friday night. It was one of those nights where I found myself not really wanting it to end. When I got home afterwards, I’d discovered that the new area rug I’d ordered for my living room had arrived, so I stayed up late getting that all set up.
Then on Saturday, my 20 year old brother and I went out for breakfast. I came home and started working on my son’s room. The goal was to get it all set up and decorated before he came home on Sunday evening. (And just to note – the look on his face when he saw his new room – made everything worth it…he lit up, with an ear to ear grin and came over and just hugged me for a solid few minutes. Felt damn good to be a mom at that moment.) Later that afternoon, a friend stopped by and he kept me company while I built furniture. I had been mulling over some questions in my head and found it nice to bounce my thoughts and questions off of him.
I’ve been thinking.. a lot… about religion and god. And since those typically aren’t topics that I think about, let alone ask others about, it was nice to get someone else’s perspective, even if their perspective was VERY different from my own.
On Sunday, my other brother and his fiance came over for a visit before I had to go pick up the kids. The topic of religion came up again, and I found it was nice to be able to compare perspectives even further. Theirs in particular was VERY different from my friend’s from the day before… and again, very different from my own.
As much as I appreciate the ability to sit with people I love and trust to talk about these things with… I actually found that I was left with more questions. More confusion. A few years ago – had you asked me my opinions on religion and god, I’d have had an answer for you. Now? I don’t know. I suppose I’m feeling a bit lost these days in that respect.
I think what dawned on me on Saturday, is that I don’t think even I realized just how angry I have been with God. For many reasons. I dont’ feel like I’m angry much these days. In fact, it was a few weeks ago that I found myself saying a prayer before I fell asleep. It has been YEARS since I’ve done THAT. Maybe I’m somehow coming back around to it all? Only this time… it’s different. I’m not coming around to God for anyone or any reason other than it’s right for me.
What faith am I? I have no clue. I’ve studied so many. There are so many parts of different religions that I connect with… and yet – still parts of them all that don’t quite hit the mark.
My brother’s fiance and I had a very interesting debate about the Bible. I had asked how she can trust a book that has been edited many many times? That ultimately, the book was written and edited by Men. And men – are fallible. Don’t misunderstand – I find a lot of what is written in the bible to be incredible and there are many lessons one could live by… BUT…. I don’t believe all that I read. Logically – being swallowed by a whale (ok a giant fish) just isn’t realistic. But the lessons and morals behind the stories are still clear and valuable. For her, she believes the bible … literally, figuratively… all of it. I asked if it was possible to be a christian and not believe that all of the bible is completely 100% true. Not sure that I really got an answer there.
I also found myself asking why religions seem to pull away from just worshipping God? Catholics seem to do a lot of worship of Mary, for Christian’s it’s Jesus Christ. I’ve never fully understood that before. She had an interesting analogy for me that helped me at the very least understand. She said that God is a perfect being… one that we, as fallible humans, cannot really understand or communicate with. She said that Christians pray to Jesus because he then can act as a translator between us as men and God. Interesting – I’ve never thought about it like that.
Sigh… so much to learn. 🙂
Well – I better get back to my daily grind today. I’m lacking in motivation today. I’d much rather curl up and take a nap. Hope you all are well – much love to you!!
Today, I went with my bro to pick out and purchase an engagement ring for the woman he’s been seeing. It was fun to watch him agonize over the right ring, dreaming about his future with this lovely woman. He had a set budget, he’d been saving for a while. She didn’t want anything extravagant, which was lucky, as his budget wouldn’t allow for that. It was, truly, a very sweet moment in his life. I felt honored to be apart of it.
When the saleswoman brought him the total, his face fell. He was $100 short. He confessed that even if it had been on the nose, he’d have less than $50 to live on till he got paid. I applied for a credit card through the jeweler. I didn’t actually think they’d approve me for one, as I’ve certainly never been acceptable in the past. But surprise of all surprises, they approved me. It was a great moment… I was able to help my brother out and I purchased a Christmas gift for myself. I won’t get it back until just before Christmas, but I fell in love with a gorgeous white sapphire ring and decided to add it to the purchase. I can’t wait to get it! 🙂
I never purchase things for me, and I won’t lie, I felt a little bit guilty on the way home about it. But, when I think about it, I always put others first. I always buy things for the children. I certainly never buy jewelry, and seeing as I’ve been helping the bro do research on rings and gems lately, I’ve certainly drooled over quite a few lovely pieces. I’m really not much of a jewelry girl. A few friends of mine live by their accessories and fashion pieces. Me? I will often wear one ring on each hand. I rarely wear earrings and if I wear a necklace, I’ll wear it for 6 months straight and forget about it. Maybe it’s laziness… or maybe I’m just prefer to keep it simple.
The bro was commenting in the jewelry store, how he can’t wait to settle into life a bit more. How he looks forward to surprising his wife with an anniversary band or a tennis bracelet. I nodded and smiled, but struggled to relate to his excitement over this. I’ve never been in relationships where the other person was one to give jewelry. Or even gifts. Come to think of it, I’m not even sure I’d know what my reaction would really be. I almost think it’s easier to buy stuff for yourself. You know what you’re spending, you know your own tastes – so you’re guaranteed to love it, and you know it’ll fit. 🙂 Those are wins all around.
I think it’s a rather old fashioned ideal that my bro shared today. Men buying their women jewels. The feminist in me says – there’s no need to do that. But the lady in me smiles and thinks it’s sweet. I suppose it really just makes me think of my grandparents. Granddad would buy nana a new piece of jewelry on every cruise they’d take. Occasionally, he’d buy her a some type of bling for her birthday or for christmas or an anniversary. I loved watching her light up every time she’d put something on that he’d given her. She’d tell me the story around each item and I always enjoyed admiring how pretty she looked as she sparkled.
Well folks – I hope you had as lovely a day as I did. Much love to you all. Goodnight.
The more I unpack and work to turn this house into a home, the more often I have these lovely little moments; when I’ll walk into a room and in a certain spot, a particular view across the house leaves me feeling a sense of warmth, safety and security that I’ve never had before.
The last week I’ve had off has given me the time to really put in some effort on things around the house. I’ve planted plants and have been working on the back patio area and the front lawn. I want to build a privacy fence so that I can have a garden out there that we can sit and enjoy and not feel like everyone is watching. I can imagine trees and plants and flowers, maybe a little park bench; a little secret haven, a sanctuary away from the daily grind.
I’ve spent the last two days working on a new project. Refinishing the master’s bathroom vanity. It turned out so great that I was inspired to keep going! I’m going to do the same treatment in the house’s main bathroom. And today, when I’d finished the vanity, I kept going and refinished a beautiful piece in the front entry way.
I’d never guessed that I’d like refinishing furniture. Who knew?! I can see a fairly serious hobby forming. 🙂 It’s fantastic.
I’ve had my brother staying for the last day or so. He’s helping with some of the heavy lifting I need done. I need to have a serious talk with him tomorrow, and honestly, I’m nervous for it. Really nervous. I love that stupid punk ass kid. But he needs a fricken knock in the head. He even comments about how he doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life. How he needs to figure it out. We talked a bunch about it, but then I see what he does all day. He’s never going to pull himself out of this rut that he’s in unless he actually is willing to change his habits, change his behaviors. He gets upset because my Dad is always angry with him. I can’t really say that I blame him. My brother has no awareness of how what he does affects other people. He’s quite innocent in that way.
The dog situation… sigh. That whole thing has just thrown me for a major loop.
I wanted that dog, so badly. He was an amazing animal. But with my son being the rambunctious 4 year old that he is… I’m sad. Heck, I’m more than sad. I wanted a new pet. I’ve wanted a new pet for about a year now. I like that type of companionship that you get with a pet. And now, it kind of feels like the whole thing is off, dogs, cats.. doesn’t matter. When, originally, the plan was June. I’m bummed.