Sunday, February 03, 2013
So, while grocery shopping with daughter, we ran into people from our past.
10 years ago I left with my daughter from an abusive (more mental/emotional which was turning physical) marriage. My biggest heartache from the ending of that marriage was the friendship I had with one of my sisters-in-law (who was also married into the family) as well as the connection with her daughters.
The oldest was the first niece I had and the first to ever call me 'Aunt'. I loved her so much. The second / youngest was born within 6 months of my own daughter and I had so hoped the 2 would grow up as friends.
Leaving my then husband crushed all that. His brother didn't want his own family brought into the middle of the nastiness that was to be my divorce. I partially respect that but also hated that I felt he turned his back on his niece (my daughter).
My current husband, who has been my friend and rock for so many years now, staunchly believes that my former brother-in-law made his choice and should live with that choice forever.
I am not so sure. 10 years is a long time. Seeing my former sister-in-law with her daughters last night made my heart cry and sing at the same time. I have missed them so terribly.
I do fear the remaining portion of my former in-laws who still have so many problems and can be very hurtful/hateful people. Some legitimately have serious diagnosed mental health issues.
I was told last night that these 2 have cut themselves (and their girls) away from all that madness as well. I was told that our chance meeting would not be shared with any of those other family members.
We exchanged cell phone #'s and promised to try to get together once the spring comes. Ironically we leave within 1 mile of each other and our same aged daughters will end up in the same high school together. I have suspected this would ahppend and have feared that up til now. Now I am not sure if I should fear it.
Part of me wants to reconnect with these people because I have missed them so very dearly. Part of me is afraid of the unforseen (maybe not quite so unforseen since I know the other family members) consequences of the balance of the 'crazy' family. I have tried too hard to keep my own daughter protected from them.
I didn't want to hide this run in meeting from my current husband. I told him this morning. He was worried and upset as I thought he would be. Mainly he worries for my and our daughter's safety (mentally and emotionally more so than physically). Neither of us think we would have physical harm from these specific people.
I don't know. Part of me was so happy to see them and the eldest daughter remembered our formerly close relationship. She is now 20 and agreed that the balance of the family is 'nuts'. She and her mother said that if we could meet again that they would not share this information with any of them. They understood my fear and my protection of my daughter.
Do I trust it? I know how much I have grown and changed in the last 10 years. Should I give the benefit of the doubt here?
I don't want to alienate my husband. My daughter has indicated that she would like to get to know her cousins. I know this will not sit well with my husband. He only wants to protect her. He saw the mess we were both in from my ex-husband (her biological father). He helped save us and nurtured us both into the healthier state we are in now. He feels we were betrayed by my former brother-in-law. I am not so sure if I still feel that way.
I did initially...but as I have grown I can somewhat see his point of view to protect his own children and wife from the absolute disaster that was my divorce. I know this particular brother-in-law tended to be the one to always try to mend fences with his siblings and always felt blood was thicker than water. His wife indicated last night that in the past 10 years he finally realized that his siblings were all crazy and he got tired of being dumped on, disrepected and used.
Do I trust it? Is it worth the risk?
Is my husband being unreasonable? Too protective? Is he right?
I don't want to screw up our marriage over it.
Do I continue to broach the subject....I just don't know.