Monday, August 07, 2006

On Broken Homes, Etc.

Hey folks! A real email from a real long-term friend...thought I'd post a little real stuff today... he has been a friend almost all my life, a great guy. I will post his email, and then my reply.

TO ME, From Longterm friend:
I read your blog stuff, and thought I might write. Now, remember, I’m your friend, and I’m coming from a friend place, so don’t hate me for long. :) “I need to know that my daughter has a whole home...I need to somehow make myself believe that is possible....with divorce, you see...a kid casualty is just more than I can live with.” Are you saying that because my sister is a single mother, that she doesn’t have a whole home? Are you saying that my nephew is some sort of casualty? What the heck?! I know you’re suffering right now because a lot of stuff in your life is either hurting or falling apart. And I know you are trying to remain optimistic in the face of adversity. What’s more, I know you yourself are also the child of a divorced couple, so I’m not trying to preach to you. But half the time, when you go on about the divorce and your daughter, you talk like it’s the end of the world. Knock it off! You think you’re the first person to go through a divorce? You keep talking like you need the stories of other survivors, to tell you it’s possible. Knock it off! Of course it’s possible! And you can’t go around saying that a divorce is going to ruin a child’s life. I won’t let you say that about my nephew. His father wants no part in his life, but I wouldn’t DARE say he has less of a whole home, or that he’s some victim or casualty. Now, is your situation different, in that (husband) will be involved in her life as she grows up, and possibly influencing her (along with his family) in negative ways? And is it also different that you worry you’ll make mistakes that your parents made, and (daughter) will turn out similar to how you turned out? (Um, not that there’s anything wrong with how you turned out.) :o) . But just because it’s different, doesn’t mean it’s not survivable. People have had it worse, and survived, and prospered. So knock off your whining. Just do what you need to do to protect your daughter. Love her, and take care of her. And THAT makes a whole home. (And yes, I know you can’t watch her AND work at the same time, but you catch my drift.) Just do it. Take care of her, and do what’s right for her and yourself. And of course, lean on your friends and family. But don’t worry yourself sick about how screwed up the situation is. Just do what needs to be done. And this— THIS is why I don’t post comments on your blog. Do you realize how many other bloggers there would LYNCH me for posting all that? I know I’m probably out of line for saying some of that, but I figure you won’t kill a good friend for a rare blunt opinion. And as always, HUGS. You know I care about you, and I know it’s tough on you right now. You and your family have got a permanent spot in my prayers. (And I say that hopefully to make you feel good, not freak you out.) Write me sometime, okay?

–(My good long-term friend)

From Me to:
(longterm friend)
hey do you mind if i post part of what you wrote, anonymously?
oh btw of course I'm not saying your nephew is a kid casualty! I was a kid casualty! I have had a hard time in case you didn't notice!! (but I DO appreciate your response ENORMOUSLY, friend)
MY honest opinion is that a kid stands a better chance with one devoted parent than having to deal with two who cannot or will not agree on anything for the child's best interest! THAT is what I'm truly afraid of, you know me!! It would be one thing if he'd just leave and didn't show any interest, but he is fighting for what seems like dear life! He cannot even cope with the reality; that doesn't help me much, but I cannot have that kind of energy to constantly fight it all the time. It is EXHAUSTING...
I am TIRED. Very tired. It eats away at me. I want my space, but I HAVE to deal with him, and he will not cooperate!! I cannot fight it all the time.
I know what I went through with MY parents. He's doing the same kind of thing my mom did, and that tore me up!!! I don't know what the best thing to do is! I'm afraid I don't see a good option anywhere! I know that my mom manipulated and controlled, and through our loyalty to her, she made us afraid to connect with our dad... I don't want him to do that to her!
We needed both of them. She needs both of us. Anything that harmed my mom harmed us, because she was not mature enough to leave us out of things. I do not see the kind of maturity needed, in him, so I am afraid for her. Do you understand? I don't know what to do! I'm devastated, really. Broken up, feeling helpless, hopeless...there HAS to be a way! I just don't know yet, what that is. I WISH I could explain this better to you...
THANK YOU, though, for all of your encouragements. You have put up with a lot of my whining, I know. I appreciate it. You've always been an amazing friend. Thank you, thank you...
Love and Hugs,

JUST TO LET EVERYONE KNOW, this very mild-tempered friend of mine always cracks me up when he tells me something that he thinks will upset me. No, he's a good guy, and I know it. We differ about a lot of things (good for him, you're probably sayin' :O) but I know he comes from a place of genuine love and concern. And he is probably tired of this middle ground place I have been in for so long now. I can't imagine being the friend of someone conflicted like me and having to hear the same crap over and over again! I understand, and no apologies are ever needed for stating your opinions on that! That kind of thing helps me, anyway, to clarify and set boundaries in this grey place where I'm living. devoid of clear meaning...see, I really don't like it and I AM in a funk, a bad funk, but apparently marinating in it with no resolutions in sight! THAT'S a disgusting thing to see, I am sure...

Does it really look like the answers are easy, from the outside? See, that's what I'm trying to get a glimpse of, because from in here, it's all complicated and messed up and every decision is mixed with a new ethical dilemna...

I know I'm probably making some people mad...WHO would put up with me for long, I really don't know. I guess I probably wouldn't touch me with a ten-foot pole if it weren't that I were stuck BEING me...

I NEED HELP!!! I will admit that. I need some external structure!! I don't know where "home" that first night on campus, when I ended up drinking and bonding with my new roomie, and somehow didn't know how to find my way back to OUR room so I was knocking on the boys' side because it was the equal and opposite version of our side!! I thought IT was home...nope. one more embarrassing story to put in the books for me!! I don't know if I told you about that (longterm friend). I probably did.

(this is just to help me think about something else, i know, tangential). My new roomie and I were playing a game, asking questions, bonding, at the university I went to (close by). I apparently had one shot too many and all my memories faded out from that point in the night on. It was bizarre...still the ONLY time I've ever reacted that way to alcohol (It was only a quarter of a pint of vodka...okay...odd) well she took off my pants and put me to bed (I always wished she would have left those on...) at least my panties matched my shirt! ha. I get out of bed and go wandering through the building, accruing numerous bruises all over. I was told I did sumersaults on the concrete and fell down the concrete stairs at one point....then tried to find my way "home", knocking on the boy's side of the building that looked just like our side. All these guys show up with their girlfriends, and I am there doing sumersaults on the floor in my panties. HOW EMBARRASSING!! That is the only drunk memory I don't have besides another experience in which I fell asleep but never got that drunk... I had to be told about this...

one day i walked into the cafeteria and a table full of guys said, "hi, (my name)!"... I sheepishly said..."so I've met you" and laughed, telling them that'll never happen again! we all laughed and I tried to contain myself and be totally calm, but I was thinking to myself exactly what did they see that night!! I am afraid to know. But at least we were all cool with each other...

Fwew! no more excitement, please, I'm an old lady now...I am just so glad I was in a locked dorm (we should have NEVER been drinking there, true!) and nothing bad happened to me! Thank goodness! I have never done that again...I have drank a little but I know I am a lightweight and will not ever have much at all.

ok ok so that had nothing to do with the previous topic...except the funny "where's home" thought... I apparently cope by distraction. and humor, if there's no other way I can think of.


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