Back of the Head Sucker Punch
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
That's what my emotions did to me today. Yesterday they hugged me, whispered comforting words into my ear, told me to remember the good times. Today, they betrayed me. (Thank you for all your support on my previous blog, btw, it really means a lot, and it means even more after what I'm about to tell you.)
Yesterday I sent an e-card to my step-mom, with a simple message that I was thinking of her. Why did I do it? Because it was the truth, I was thinking she would be having a hard time of it. I had really expected at the very least my step sister would send me a message and tell me I was on her mind. We both loved my dad very much. I posted the article she wrote about him on Father's Day.
I heard nothing from ANY of my step-family. Not. Even. A. Facebook. Message. Step-mom read the e-card today, around 5:15. I got an e-mail about it from the website I'd sent it from. It's now 3 hours later. No response from her.
Emotions have always been a complicated thing for me. My adoptive mother really screwed me up in that regard. I was told not to cry "crocodile tears". I was made to feel I shouldn't get upset about anything, because it was my fault she was so miserable. She never actually said those words, but people don't need to be blunt for a kid to get the picture. I was taught to feel nothing but guilt.
So you can imagine that figuring out my feelings today would be difficult.
First, I'm angry. Angry that the group of people who are SUPPOSED to support me, because they're SUPPOSED to be family, ignored that I existed. Not a single one of them knew my father HALF as long as I did. Apparently, when I lost my father, I also lost EIGHT OTHER PEOPLE. They all have each other. I'm not important to them. Fine.
Second, I feel guilty for being angry. It won't solve ANYTHING to tell them how I feel. It will just make me look like I'm the difficult, angry step-daughter. I'm outnumbered, even with my husband backing me up. I have never and I would never go out of my way to hurt someone else's feelings. I may do it accidentally, or because I'm not thinking, but NEVER on purpose. I have been doing my absolute best to treat my step-family with love and respect, and they dropped me like a hot potato. Granted, I'm not perfect, and when my dad got remarried I was difficult. I was "losing" the one person in my left who NEVER found fault with me. He loved me UNCONDITIONALLY. Shouldn't we all fight tooth and nail for such love? She made him happy, and I respected her for that. Why can't I get the same respect?
I want to yell and scream at them, tell them how much they've hurt me, and how disappointed my dad would be at their behavior. But what freaking good will that do? It will only cement in their minds the horrible person they have made me out to be in their minds. I feel like there is nothing I can do which will make this easier for me. Every action except inaction will make it harder for me.
I am a strong person, and I have a strong personality. But that doesn't mean I'm not sensitive and that my feelings don't get hurt. That brave face is put up as protection.
Please understand, I hate saying this because I don't ever want anyone to think I'm using it as an excuse, but adoptees have abandonment issues. They have 'abandoned' me. What's worse, is that I don't think they were ever really there for me to begin with. I think it was faked. I think I was "put up with" while my dad was alive, and I convinced myself they were family. I lied to myself. It makes me so sad.
I always look for the best in people, even if my brain tells me I'm not going to find it, my heart convinces me things are going to turn out well. My brain is usually right.
You guys here have treated me a thousand times better than these people who were supposed to be my family. I really appreciate each and every one of you.
Member Comments About This Blog Post
Thoughts and prayers are with you. *hugs*
1312 days ago
In some ways I am kind of like you, big personality, strong willed and always seem to have it together. I hate to show weakness and always try to be there for everyone in their times of need and to be kind to people. I think that leads most people to think people like us don't need support or that we have such tough skins that we are not sensitive and can't be hurt by slights or that we brush things off and move on quickly where others struggle with the typical emotions. Of course, none of that is true. Sometimes that leads me think there are only 2 types- the needy that scream for support and always get it (squeaky wheel) and the strong (who suffer in silence). Hang in there.
1314 days ago
1315 days ago
The whole situation just makes me feel sad :( I wish it wasn't the way it is, but even though it hurts, you seem to be in a good headspace. You know what I think is remarkable, though? That even though you "lost" that half of the family, you've been able to reconnect with your bio mom. From the sounds of things, you have some real love an acceptance on that side of the family, too.
I remember reading the blog last year when your father passed, and it was heartbreaking. I couldn't even imagine what you were going through then, or what you are going through now. So, while I don't have much to say about it all, I'm here for you if you need me! Mostly! (I seem to get on spark before you blog, and then not at all for 1-2 days XD )
If things were rocky with the stepmom, be kind to yourself and try not to overthink the situation. I know it's hard not to, but part of all of this is how critical you are being of yourself, you know? Be kind to yourself here! You are already hurting, and overthinking what those people think of you is only going to make yourself feel worse. If they don't want to keep in contact, cut the dead weight, ya? Easier said than done, but I think these negative thought patterns are things we all have, and I can certainly understand THAT, if nothing else. (It's also easier for someone who knows those thoughts to tell someone else not to worry about them than to not worry herself :X)
1315 days ago
Okay - breathe deeply.
I think you're giving these people - your "family" a lot more intelligence and power than they probably have. I honestly doubt they intentionally ignored you. I suspect it is more like they were busy and they had each other to share a few minutes of sadness and grief with and then their day move on. Not that they didn't care, not that they were disrespectful or didn't want to include you.
I suspect it was far more that the impact and overall sensitivity to that particular days' historic events is much different for you; largely due to other historic events in your life. It sounds as if you feel that loss of your father very intensely and sort of carried it in you head and on your shoulders all day long - which is fine if that is your way of handling such things - but you can't and shouldn't expect everyone else to deal with similar situations the same way you do.
Nor should you assume they understood your need for communication and support without you letting them know. If any of them are more like me, they wanted a little time to reflect and remember by themselves, NOT interacting with other people. The card you sent was read, but did you say anything in that card indicating you'd like to talk about your dad or that you'd appreciate hearing from her that night? You say they all knew you'd need support - but did they REALLY know? Did you LET them know? It is quite possible, isn't it, that they knew you'd be having an emotional day and thought you felt they were intruders in your emotions over the father you'd known longer than any of them (your words)?
Just sayin' - If you didn't let them know you'd like them to share in your grief and provide support, your description of your interfamilial relationships doesn't sound as if they'll feel you want them too close when you're upset. This may be nothing more than a failure to communicate from all sides - in which case you definitely ought to let it go and move forward.
1316 days ago
I know its hard, and that your step 'family' is making it harder for you. How terrible of them.
I wish I was closer than 800 miles, or had a car, I would come hug you....computer hugs just aren't the same, but I am thinking of you and sending good thoughts and energy your way.
1316 days ago
I'm sorry that they are being so terrible. You don't deserve that. No one deserves that. I think that it rarely does any good to confront people with how they make us feel, because it just makes them defensive. We can't change people; all we can change is our reaction to them. These people let you down. They are not there for you when you need them. Perhaps it is time to let them go. Not lose contact with them completely, if that isn't what you want, but let go of expecting them to be something that they are not, and look to the people in your life who do give you what you need to fill those places. I know this is easier to say than to do, but it really does help.
1316 days ago
I think its is better that you didn't call them to talk about how they make you feel. Usually I would say "don't keep it to yourself, get it out and talk to them about your feelings". But in some cases, if you have to explain the obvious, then there is no reason to do so. It should have been obvious to them without further explanation. It probably means they don't get you and probably won't. I wouldn't lose more energy for them; unfortunately, they don't deserve it.
But you deserve all the best in the world. Try to reverse the polarity in those feelings and channel your anger and guilt to love for your husband and acceptance for all the good things you are and you have done.
1317 days ago
1317 days ago
I am so glad that you wrote that down. You needed to say all of those things. You deserve to scream, to cry. Parents are the most impactful people, step-parents included. I am so sorry you feel this way but know that you are loved by many.
1317 days ago
I'm so Sorry. I know your Dad would be disappointed in the way they are handling the situation. But he would be proud of you.
1317 days ago
I'm going to play devil's advocate for a bit, so bear with me. First off, your Dad remarried. THOSE people joined YOUR family, not the other way around. THEY'RE the "steps", NOT you. And honestly, I'm thinking that you're giving them a lot more credit than they deserve. I do not believe that they consider you a horrible, terrible person. You've never done anything to warrant that. I think, honestly, and this is really shallow of them, but you and your feelings probably don't occur to them often or at all, and this is why they don't respond to you or acknowledge you, or reply to you. They aren't WORTHY to be considered "family", in any sense of the word.
You need to refocus on the family that DO love you, unconditionally. Your birth mother and other family members, your friends - because friends are family too, and your Spark family, because even though we may not see each other face to face, we ARE there for you, just like a family should be.
I know it's hard for you to completely dismiss those others, but you really need to. If you don't, this very same thing is just going to happen over and over again. It serves no purpose. What is that expression about doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?? You'll never know why these people have acted this way, and that's something you'll have to work on with yourself. Focus on the good things. Remember your Dad with love. Work on your relationship with your birth mother and that side of the family. THAT is all good!
1317 days ago
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