1st xmas sans afamily

My relationship with my aparents has ebbed and flowed over the years since I was a teen. Basically as long as I am being the good daughter and not questioning them, everything is okay. Shortly after my son was born I decided to stand up for myself after one to many criticisms from my mother. This didn’t go over very well and basically, we have barely spoken since.

I did go to their house for xmas last year but afterwards was accused of being cold. I guess since most of my attention was being paid to my son, that makes me cold. The only thing I had asked for for xmas last year (as we are required to make lists) was a couple of baby pictures of me. I don’t have any baby pictures and for some reason my mother has always been oddly possessive about photos yet keeps them in a shoebox in the back of a desk in the basement. Being adopted and always wondering who I looked like — my desire to compare myself as a baby to my son was something I looked forward to doing. I had wanted to make a triple frame with E’s picture in the middle and a pic of me and my husband on each side. I never mentioned the big bad “adoption” word to my mom, just stated that I wanted to make a frame with the three of us. So when it came time for me to get my present, I get handed a big box. I open it and it is filled with pictures of me from adoption to teen years (even the duplicates), my old report cards, drawings I did as a child, cards that I made for them and my baby book. My mother said “there you go, there’s your life in box.” Um, hello, I still have a life. It didn’t end when I moved out. I don’t know, maybe I took it the wrong way. I didn’t say anything in the moment but it just felt like they were trying to purge themselves of me. I just wanted a few baby pictures, and they gave back cards I made for them? I guess they didn’t want them anymore. Or maybe they were trying to say “see how much you loved us when you were a good little girl.” It was all I could do to hold back the tears — both of elation for finally seeing a picture of me as a baby (two months being the youngest pic, all I had seen before that was a year old), of sadness for that little baby, knowing she had recently lost her first family and of feeling rejected by my parents.

My parents birthdays both passed this last summer. I sent them presents and called to wish them happy birthday. My son’s 1st birthday was also this summer and they sent him presents and I called to thank them and sent them pictures of him. That is the last time we have spoke. Both my husband and I had birthdays in November and my parents chose to not even send a card. No card, but a pretty big statement, huh? I debated how to handle xmas. After much thought and discussion with hubby, I decided to send them a card with multiple pics of our son and a combo present for both of them. Well xmas came and went, no card from them, no phone call to wish us a Merry Christmas, no gift for my son — their only grandson. You know what, they suck! It’s one thing for them to be mad at me and take their anger out on me by not acknowledging my birthday but it’s another to punish my husband and worse yet to not even acknowledge their grandson on Christmas. How’s that for good Christian family values? And the thing is, at this point, I hope they don’t call because I don’t even know how I would handle it.

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December 26, 2006 at 9:06 pm 11 comments

Wrap your own presents

I thought it would be apropos to chose this time of year to start my blog because it was during this time, 25 years ago, that one of my worst childhood memories was established. It’s the one memory that has bothered me most and been the hardest to shake. Ironically enough, when it happened I just let it slide and filed it away in a drawer to sit and gather cobwebs until my son was born.

It was xmas eve. My father always waited until the last minute to buy presents and then the very last minute to wrap them, or to ask me to wrap them as was usually the case. I think my mother did most of the xmas shopping so really, the only person he had to buy for was his wife. This usually involved me going along to help him pick out something, which really, what does a young teenage girl know about what her mother would like — especially when you have very opposite tastes? This particular night I was probably feeling my teenage angst in full force. I had not been getting along well with my family for a couple of years, I was withdrawn and mostly just wanted to be left alone. There was no point in ever trying to communicate with them what I was feeling because if I was doing anything other than being the “good” daughter then I was called angry and defiant. There was something I wanted to do that night, probably something stupid like call my boyfriend or watch a movie. My father comes to me at the last minute on xmas eve and tells me to go wrap his presents for him. My response flew out of my mouth, sharp tongued and without thinking “wrap your own presents.” Well holy xmas eve hell Batman, you would have thought I spit on him when I said it. His face turned bright red, he pushed me against the wall, looked me straight in the eyes and said “You little bitch, I’d kill you if I thought I could get away with it.”

At the time I blew it off as my dad being an ass. He rarely blew up but when he did, look out. I’ll never forget the evening he freaked out over who knows what during dinner. We were having steak and potatoes. I was just a little kid and he waving a steak knife at all of us, red faced and screaming something. That’s all I can remember of that episode which is probably for the best.

I’m sure I had not completely blocked out the xmas eve incident but I just never really gave it much though. Maybe to some people they might think “what’s the big deal.” When my son was born I was met with a ton of feelings regarding both my first family and my adoptive family. Most of these feelings, not being of a pleasant category, still bother me because a moment in my life that should have been filled with nothing but bliss, holding my newborn, was clouded over by feelings of resentment and alienation. By thoughts of abandonment, parental taunting and abuse.

How could any parent look into their childs eyes and say they’d like to kill them? Kill. Not just beat me. Not kick me out of the house. Not ground for the rest of their life. Kill. How far does someone need to be pushed before they feel like committing such a horrible deed? Before they WANT to do it? Does being told to wrap their own xmas presents qualify as a crime worthy of such a threat?

I hold my son and I love him with a love that is immeasurable. I cannot fathom being the parent that my parents were. When among groups of women who start talking about their parents and things their parents said to them as children I used to always pipe up and say “I won’t say those same things to my son that were said to me.” Most of these women laugh, oh you just wait, you’ll hear it come out of your mouth — it just happens. No, you don’t understand – I WON’T.

My presents were purchased and wrapped a week ago. Happy Holidays to everyone and to those with children, whatever age they are, give them a hug and a kiss and tell them you love them.

December 23, 2006 at 5:21 pm 2 comments

So I’ve started a blog…

I swore I’d never do this, you know, start a blog and be just another one of the millions who feel a need to spout off what they’re thinking. And shhhhh, don’t tell anyone because nobody IRL knows about this. Why? At the moment, I’m not sure. I just wanted to do this for me. Since I already spend way to much time behind the computer and we all know it is cathertic to journal our feelings, I felt I was much more likely to journal while sitting here instead of on the sofa in a book.

December 23, 2006 at 4:31 pm 1 comment

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