Sometimes Anti is better

I love my family.

All sides. From the crazy, colorful, funny and fearless side to the painfully repressed; they are my family and I love them.

But I don’t want to deal with them this year. I should, with the death of my Father and Stepmother, I should want to do nothing but be around my family.

But I don’t. I don’t want to be around my father’s side of the family right now.

I feel bad, but I also know that it is better for me to handle myself the way I know how and to leave them be. They can keep any judgements to themselves, which they will anyway because they are all “too polite” to actually have awkward conversations that might result in actual results. See above: re repressed.

They mean well. They make all the right moves and say all the right things but the truth is I’ve never felt much of a connection to them. We’ve ALL tried. But when you have almost nothing in common with family, that’s when the trouble starts. People have to be free to feel comfortable and not feel like they have to watch what they say in case they accidentally spark off a conversation that inevitably turns to money, religion or politics. Which, when you have zip in common, almost always ends up being the topic!

So instead, I begged off; claiming I had to work because I work in retail now (thank THE LORD) and stayed in bed late with Boyfriend and Puppy just enjoying every moment until Boyfriend had to go to work.

My dinner will be chips and salsa or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and it will be delicious and satisfying. I might get up early and run to Target for a Black Friday deal on a sewing machine. But I might just stay in bed some more until I have to go to work myself.

I’m thankful that I gave myself that time. I’m thankful that my family might not understand but they accepted my excuse and didn’t push the issue. Truthfully they probably knew I wasn’t working, but that tendency towards repression worked in my favor.

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Parent or Husband?

Brother is going to couple’s therapy with Faux.

Initially he said he was going so they could both learn to co-parent Baby Nephew, which admittedly is exactly what I’d expect from Brother. The willingness to cooperate for the good of his son.

The problem is, they went to her therapist.

Granted, Brother had prepped by talking to his own therapist, gotten some verbal tools and insight to keep himself on task and what to expect. Faux sat sobbing as Brother explained how betrayed and hurt he’s felt for months. Every time Brother would make a statement, the therapist would turn to Faux and “translate”, basically dumb it down for Faux.

Faux is not smart. She’s also very immature and selfish.

Which made me bring up this question to Brother:

Do you want to be a parent to Baby Nephew and to Faux?

Faux is behaving like a child. Instead of coming to the conclusion that shacking up and seeing this other dude was wrong; she had to be told by her therapist to move out of this other dude’s home if she wants any chances at making the marriage work.

Sorry, but that seems like a BIG FAT DUH to any reasonable human! But Faux had to be told!

Faux also wants a laundry list of actions she can do to “earn back the trust” of Brother. She doesn’t seem to understand that even if she follows through and does anything and everything suggested; that trust may not ever come back. It’s like she moved out of the Other Dude’s house and expected Brother to just welcome her back into his arms and for everything to fine.

She forgets that she left my Brother emotionally for months before. Granted, Brother says that he “shut down” and “didn’t communicate” his feelings…I looked at him and said “Oh. Well. That makes you a guy. So what?” because it’s completely understandable for the situations he was going through that he would shut down and not talk to the one person who was supposed to be supportive unconditionally but was making the situation worse!

Brother has made it clear that he’s not going to make any rash decisions, and I support that. If it turns out that he and Faux get back together, it will be difficult, but I’ll support that too. Through gritted teeth.

My biggest concern is my brother and my nephews’ happiness. Because Brother can’t relate to nor have regular conversations with Faux, I firmly believe that they should part ways and accept that they were only brought together to create Baby Nephew. That they won’t be happy if they remain in the marriage together. They are too different. But it doesn’t mean they didn’t love each other at one time. It just didn’t work out. The divorce doesn’t have to be nasty, I just think it needs to happen for the sake of each of them.

Fast but Slow

No one ever tells you that when a parent dies; time speeds up and slows down simultaneously.

Let me explain.

Since the deaths of my Dad and Chatty, it’s been 23 days. But it feels like it’s only been a week. Because there’s been so much to do and everyone has been hurrying us up to do it. Brother has been the better one; he’s gotten little things done every day. Don’t get me wrong, within the first week I was all “I’ll do this and I’ll do that and boom – done!” but now; I feel like…I don’t know.

I don’t want to sound like we haven’t done anything. Brother and I have gotten so much done, met and planned the memorial site (both are being cremated and their remains co-mingled) and begun plans for the Celebration of Life. Brother and his best friend have been cleaning out the house where my Dad died (I managed to make it to the foyer the first time back, then I was able to walk through the house but not the kitchen) and found Chatty’s wedding set which my Dad had hidden (because “the caregivers may be able to crack the safe!”) in his sweatpants drawer. So I’m very happy that their wedding rings will be interned with their urn in the vault at the marker.

And I think I’m going to ask Brother to include Dad’s Eagle Scout card too. Initially I had asked to have it. But the more I think about it, the more wrong it feels to not include it in the personal items in the urn. Dad was very proud of being an Eagle Scout. He was a card-carrying Eagle Scout. Not even joking. When he would meet with new clients or anyone new, he would pull it out of his wallet and say “Do you see this card? It means I don’t lie.”

Now, unfortunately that couldn’t be true these last few years. But for the majority of my Dad’s life; it was true. He didn’t lie. His Integrity and his ability with Logic were his thing. That doesn’t mean he didn’t make mistakes in his life, but he didn’t lie. Not really. Not when it counted.

Back to the subject; the time space whack-job that’s been happening to me.

First, I went back to work too soon and now I’m convinced more than ever before in the 10 years I’ve worked here that I will be quitting The Cubicle Farm soon. Very soon. The sooner the better. Even though my having a steady job in an industry that was secure was very important to my Dad, I just can’t do it for much longer. I’m not and have never been a Sheep and this place has crushed my soul for the last time.

Because I came back too soon, I’ve been avoiding work. My birthday week/end time off had already been planned and approved, but then I couldn’t get back in there again. I took another bereavement day. Then another. Then a vacation day. Then Boyfriend got sick so I stayed home to take care of him and take him to the doctor, etc. The Cubicle Farm decreed that “because you aren’t married” I couldn’t get paid for the sick time. Whatever. I didn’t want to be there anyway, but it sucks that I can’t supplement my unpaid time with paid vacation time. No no, that would be the human thing to do. The Cubicle Farm doesn’t function that way. Then I took a personal day. Now, next week, I’ll literally be working Monday and that’s it. I managed to get two vacation days in as well as knowing I’ve still got 2 more bereavement days. So yeah, avoiding is the word lately.

Because I’ve had the time, I’ve noticed that it’s been going faster. Going to therapy, trying to sleep, trying to do anything has gotten difficult. Even Pole! I’ve skipped THREE classes this week, and I’m supposed to be training for competition! It’s all really gotten away from me. And that’s bad.

I just can’t seem to get it together again yet. I’m really hoping that once the Celebration of Life is done, my life will normalize again. Not zoom forward or slow to a snail’s pace like it has been. When I need it to slow down, like when I’m trying to sleep or trying to cuddle with Puppy or Boyfriend, time speeds up or becomes so much more limited, but when I’m in The Cubicle Farm or home by myself (with Puppy, but she can’t talk so it’s not like I can have a conversation, sheesh!) time seems to run almost cruelly slow. The other day I took 2 baths, 2! That’s an excessive amount of baths for one person in one day! And I did it because I had the time. As lovely as I smelled after, bath bombs are my JAM right now, I didn’t enjoy myself. Not like I should have given I took 2 FREAKING BATHS, ugh.

I don’t know what it’s going to take to make everything feel more normal again. Probably more time, just depends on the speed I suppose.

Oh Brother

Brother has been holding out on me.

Turns out that Faux actually left him, right before Christmas. I wish he’d told me, but I understand the embarrassment he felt and the fact that he didn’t want me to hunt Faux down and rip her face off with my bare hands…figuratively, I think. I don’t know, I’m not one for violence but that girl left her husband AND her baby right before Christmas…she could use a bit of a unleashing of fury. Maybe. I’m not 100% sure yet.

Don’t get me wrong, I think she’s heinous and I’m afraid that she only wants to “work things out” with Brother now that she knows there may be some inheritance coming. Which goes back to her being heinous; but she’s also not very smart. So I don’t think Brother will fall for it; but if he does then I’ll welcome her back in to the family, with no venom.

But I’ll be watching her.

It’s a miracle? Yeah, OK!

Right before Halloween, I got a call from Brother. I was expecting it because Faux had invited me to bring Puppy Trick or Treating with Baby and Chatty. So I knew there would be a pre-emptive “hey here’s what to expect from her this week” call from Brother about his wife.

But this time, Brother had a different kind of news for me. Apparently, Faux has come to the conclusion that she needs some counseling and maybe medication for her mood swings.

IT’S A MIRACLE! This is the break I have been wishing for Brother! He might not have to divorce Faux now! It sounds weird, but I really was hoping that Faux would actually discover her behavioral antics herself and realize that something’s off there and make moves to get some help.

And even just having the conversation with her husband, my Brother, is a massive step in the right direction!

I really hope it leads somewhere good, I want Brother and Baby to be able to be happy.

Concerns All Over

With the problems going on with Faux, naturally I talked to Brother and then had a visit with Chatty.

Poor Brother. He sounded like a man at the end of his tether. Not necessarily defeated, just so tired of having to deal with Faux. He told me how the whole scenario came about, and just as I suspected. He and Faux had been having a casual conversation when she made some snide comment about our family and how we “don’t show up” for stuff. In defense of our family and in an attempt at getting her to THINK for once, he mentioned that even “my own sister is uncomfortable and can’t come over here to help without it turning into a catfight!” which spawned a whole big fight. As Faux started texting me, Brother looked at her and said “Seriously??? You want to get into a War of Words with my sister??? You are going to lose!”  (Bless him) Of course she viewed this as him taking my side of things and it only made her want to challenge me further. It didn’t work. She still looks incredibly stupid and awful.

More so, I told Brother he needs to get Faux into therapy. Group. ANYTHING. It’s getting out of hand! He confessed that she’s “daily” using the I’m going to leave and take this baby and you’ll never see us again or How did I end up in this family?? baloney at him. That made me angry. Brother is sweet, smart, caring and an amazing father. HOW DARE THIS P.O.S. SAY SUCH THINGS TO HIM?? I told him, flat out. THAT is abuse and will ONLY get worse. He tried to throw his hands up and say “Well, what am I supposed to do?? I’ve got this kid now…” and I stopped him COLD. “Because of that baby you NEED to get her into some sort of therapy. I do not care if you have to lie to her and tell her you want to be a ‘closer couple’ or whatever, but GET HER INTO THERAPY!” That made him think a bit more and start contemplating church groups and the like. 

When he mentioned the whole “how did I marry into this family” thing; I started to fume again. (You know what? Yeah, my family is jacked up, but it’s not like they are lighting your house on fire, Faux! Things just aren’t going the way Faux wanted and wants them to go and she’s throwing fits like a 4 year old!) Brother then confessed that he has NO IDEA how he married someone who can’t think things through!!! It was all I could do not to remind him of the time he and I talked while Dad was in the hospital and he told me that he couldn’t have a “real” conversation with Faux and was he “supposed to spend the rest of his life with someone he can’t talk to?” and I TOLD HIM if he couldn’t carry on a conversation with a woman to END THE RELATIONSHIP. That it wasn’t fair to either of them and would only end badly. Then a few months later he proposed to Faux. So then there’s that…

Anyway, the next day I went to see Chatty. Chatty asked me to read her the conversation, and I did. I tried to keep my Story Voices in control, but it was hard to read the utterly petty and pathetic attempts at burns to me in any other voice than a snotty one. After hearing it all, she did her best to scribble on her iPad board “She’s a B*TCH” which made me laugh and then feel bad for laughing. I talked to her about what I think needs to happen and she wrote “divorced in 5 years”. I thought for a moment that she meant that Brother thinks they’ll be divorced in 5 years; when I tried to clarify she nodded “yes” but didn’t write any more to expand. So I don’t know if that means that Brother has told Chatty that he wants to leave Faux, honestly. I’m not certain that wouldn’t be a bad idea. Chatty wrote “She yells all the time” and “not good for Baby” so there’s definitely solid evidence to be concerned about.

I really want Brother to be happy! I want him and Baby Nephew to have a warm and loving life. If that means they have to do it without Faux, then so be it! But it’s going to hurt Brother to pull that out of his imagination. I definitely don’t want that.

 

 

Aaaaand she’s at it again!

Once again, Faux has reasserted herself as “mean girl from high school”.

I’ve expressed concern to Brother, telling him that I won’t just drop by their home unless invited. Faux is too unpredictable and it’s uncomfortable for me. 

Well, apparently he told her this. Or something along the lines. Probably to deflect away from her yelling at him or something. Whatever, I’m sure it wasn’t on purpose. As she began her tirade, I tried to text my brother with a picture of the beginning of the conversation, my attempt at engaging him so he could make her KNOCK IT OFF. But alas, she got ahold of his phone and started responding to the texts I’d sent to HIM in the original conversation. So that means either he showed them to her, or she was snooping on his phone. Which is just…well it’s gross. 

Either way. She and I got into it in a big way this morning and I feel very….I feel lots of things about it.

I’m angry because it’s not right. I’ve done nothing to her and am entitled to my own feelings that are a direct result of her actions towards me. I dealt with mean girls all through growing up, I’m experienced. 

But it still hurts on some level. 

In a blatant attempt and example of Mean Girl, she asked me “How Weight Watchers is going?”; I retorted with “I’m not on Weight Watchers, shows how much you care to know about MY life.”, yes I know. I opened that door and she walked right through it saying “Maybe you should.”

At that point, the little girl inside me remembered all the times I was bullied and didn’t get the chance to say what I’d wanted to, and she fought back. “Wow. Congratulations. You’re a mean girl from high school again. Way to grow up.”

She went full on rant and listed ALL the things she’s “accomplished”, her degree, marrying my brother, travel, my Baby Nephew. 

I went on “I’m not going to argue what it means to be a grown up with someone who tries to win an argument by calling me fat. All that stuff looks great on paper, but obviously you are unhappy with your life if you have to resort to threats and ultimatums. You can look up ultimatum at dictionary.com. And yes, that was me making fun of your vocabulary.”

SOMEONE PAGE THE BURN UNIT!!!

And then I realized, I was participating in this. So I sent this as soon as I realized it. “And it was out of line. I’m immediately regretting sinking to that level. I would like to diffuse this argument because we are family. But because we are family, we are arguing. So I don’t know what to do.”

She tried to throw a few more weak-armed barbs, but I didn’t budge. I just sent “I hope you WILL reach out to me when you’ve calmed down and realize I’m your family too and I care about you.”

In a last ditch effort she sent “…Doubt it.”

Always trying to get the last word and be the better person, I sent “I have faith. You aren’t an awful person, you are just as human as I am.”

KEEP IN MIND THROUGHOUT THIS WHOLE CONVERSATION I’M BAWLING MY FACE OFF BECAUSE I’M ABSOLUTELY BASHED UP INSIDE.

I’m still furious and hurt and disgusted at her. But unless my brother divorces her or vice versa; I’m stuck with her. 

Brother still has not responded to any of the texts I sent. Including the ones where I figured she was reading from his phone so I directed them at Faux. 

I desperately want to talk to Brother.