leuk[Friends Only] Difficult, personal, etc

For those that aren’t aware I am highly estranged from my immediate family. I have not spoken directly to my mother in decades. I interact only with my sister on occasions when she comments randomly on facebook that I should be in their lives. My mother saddled me with years of emotional and intellectual abuse as a child. She would have added physical abuse but I was too large by the time the abuse began.

My father had had a stroke at the age of 39 in 1979 and it devastated our family. I was 11, my sister 4. We lost everything; he lost more. My father had lost control of not merely have of his body but half of his brain. He had no common sense, self control, and even less ability to really do anything for himself. This is what pushed my mother over the edge. She became domineering, mentally abusive, and above all else utter paranoid that everyone was out to get her. Mentally, she was most abusive to my father. I would watch her humiliate him at home and publicly. At home he’d be often reduced to tears at her onslaughtght of his now being a ‘failure.’

College for me was an escape from the hell that home had become. I was in college I was unaware that my grandmother was supporting my education. It wouldn’t be until years later that I’d discovered that he was draining both my grandmothers financially dry. I learned this at my paternal grandmother’s funeral. One of the few times I saw my father’s side of the family. His brothers treated him like a pariah. On one level he deserved it. By this time he wasn’t working anymore. He’d lost his license under accusations of sexual harassment in the workplace. A concept that I personally thought I understood.

Alcoholism ran rampant on my father’s side of the family. I sometimes thought that maybe we’d been lucky and missed the gene. I discovered that substance abuse or reliance doesn’t always require a drug of some kind. Some times it can be the support of others. Around this time I’d learned that my mother had divorced my father for “Financial Reasons.” The belief was that she could better take care of him if her earnings weren’t at risk. In truth she was trying to make sure she wouldn’t go down with a sinking ship.

I made the difficult decision to tell him to find help from a social worker. I was living in California. I was between jobs having been laid off myself. I didn’t have the means to get out East let alone offer any help. I told him how much I loved him but how he couldn’t just live off his mother-in-law. Amazingly and painfully, he took my advice. At first he was in a shelter. But they cared for him. Then they moved him to a Jewish Sr. Centre and his V.A. benefits paid for him.

But he was no longer capable of caring for himself. And heavens knows his wife and daughter who were local didn’t. He got an infection in his leg and had to be taken to a hospital. It was determined that he’d have to lose his leg. I was called by my girlfriend’s mother that my mother needed me back in town because my father was in critical condition. My mother needed me back in town because as an ex-wife, the doctor’s wouldn’t listen to her and she realized that she could order me to do what she wanted.

That visit was one of the most horrible experiences of my life. It was obvious that her statement my entire life was going to be the one she’s stand on. “You are not my equal, you are my child and will do what I tell you.” She wanted more tests run, I disagreed and signed off on the amputation. In the waiting room she told me how horrible a person I was. How I never did anything for the family. How I was the one responsible for my father’s health and condition. How his death would be on my head.

I lost it. I’ve posted about this in the past. I used language on this horrible person that should have had me committed. Decades of resentment and abuse. I just wanted to let her know how much I hated everything about her. I used words that I don’t use even at my angriest. The line had been crossed. I didn’t have a mother. I had an angry and disgusting person who I had to symbolically and biologically acknowledge an attachment to.

Six months later I found out from a great Aunt that my sister had informed her that my father had died. I was cold. I was hurt. It didn’t hit home for a very long time. A week later I contacted one of my father’s brothers to deliver the news. He told me that he’d chatted with my father a few days earlier. My sister had lied about our father’s death. A few months later he actually passed. This time it didn’t effect me.

My sister made unnecessary arrangements for my father and explained that his VA benefits would pay for them. I should have recognized that as one of the stories my mother and father would tell me about how things would be paid for. A month later I had the funeral home calling me as kin that I was financially responsible. I explained that they had no contract with me or any signatures from me and that my sister was the one wholly responsible. I did explain that I would attempt to reach her though I was not in touch.

For the next 2 months though the power of the internet my sister tried to convince me that she was being held against her will in a hospital by her mother for an attempted suicide. This whole story was a lie to distract from the fact that she was avoiding telling me that the Funeral wasn’t going to be paid for. I won’t even start with the other lies I’ve had from her in the past. But with this one. I’d be fairly publicly humiliated by trying to show that I did care. I was done.

Within a few years I was married and then with my own child. I was going to try to get right at least some of what my parents got wrong. Heaven knows I spend more than one day, evening, night, convinced that I am as big if not a bigger failure. That I’m ruining his upbringing. Time and time again I see my own problems buried in him and try to figure out how to help him with them before they become to defining.

I moved back to Pittsburgh. For a while I was 3 miles to the tenth from the house where my sister and her mother live. I haven’t seen them since I have moved back to the city 7 years ago. There are times when it is hard. I remember my mother always keeping me away from my father’s side of the family. She never had a nice word for any of them. I’ve always wished I was closer. I’m not. I barely know them. Facebook helps a little. I find myself wondering if I am doing the same disservice to Aiden giving him only one grandmother.

My sister routinely comments on my public facebook posts. Usually it’s not relevant but more a demand or plea that I just forgive and move on. How I’m horrible for not responding to family. How much dad would have wanted us to move on. I don’t know if I’m waiting to see if she’s actually apologize for anything she’s done (there has never been one) or if I’m just so numb to it all living in the fear that getting close will only open wounds that will hurt me again.

So why now. Why am I reposting this for friends.

About 2 weeks ago she made yet another one of the unrelated comments. This one was a notification that her mother has been diagnosed with Leukemia.

Everyone who’s already thought, “Well, she’s still your mother” has obviously gotten to this point by the TL;DR method. Those that have read and still don’t know why this situation isn’t anything beyond a no brainer haven’t realized that the above is only a snapshot of 50 years.

I don’t know. I honestly don’t know. All I know is that I can still believe that I am a terrible person who is no better than his father. I don’t know if this is a true report or not. All I know is that every fiber in my system is fighting against having my strings pulled. And it feels wrong no matter what.

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