Letting go is not an easy thing to do. For most of us, it’s that harsh reality that if we did we would no longer have that issue clouding our lives. A swift cut of the threads that bind us and we no longer have any expectations. What about when that cord is cut and the relationship is gone forever? What then?
I’ve learned in my lifetime that relationships although steadfast at times, rarely continue on that path. They falter, people get busy, and time passes and if there’s any distance whatsoever, a giant gap begins to creep in. Before long, everyone is sore with each other.
I’ve said in another blog that I think it’s because when people are always together there are little things that offend them that they don’t really talk about because there’s generally better about the relationship than the bad. BUT when you move away, the bad is all they remember. The good isn’t something that sticks with people and they begin to feel that you’re just not worth the trouble anymore. Call it hurting from the abandonment they feel, or whatever. Try leaving and you will see what I mean.
Recently, a very violent and troubling hurricane ripped my town apart. From the moment in began to come into town, my in-law family was on the phone telling me to evacuate. Hell, even a woman I haven’t seen in a decade was telling me to get out of there. I decided to stay and posted my apprehension on my Facebook page. Days passed and my power was out so I couldn’t post anything. What I didn’t get to post was concern. Then after the generator breaking and other issues with trying to stay bubbled up, I decided to hit the road through the rain and head to Dallas. All of which I did post on my social page. I didn’t write on the page for a few more days and when I got back home after the holiday I posted that I had indeed made it back safely.
Maybe it’s because I have a laundry list of offenses, but I noticed that my siblings hadn’t called, or posted, or even acknowledged any concern for me. So while I was updating on Facebook I went to their pages. They hadn’t been on their pages. My brother had and he sure posted often, but didn’t show any concern for me. No comments on my posts. Nothing. So, I thought at first, Wow. Maybe they’re watching my FB Page and keeping up with it there? My sister had not been on though.
I go out to lunch and I begin to talk with my gal pal about it and she tells me that they could have at least acknowledged it. She said that if they don’t even do that then I’m not on their minds at all. Out of sight, out of mind. She said that they’re not really trying to hurt me, it’s just that they’re busy enjoying their own lives. They don’t think to call. It’s not about me.
I mulled that over in my head the rest of the evening. I don’t know why that hurt me, and I needed to understand why that hurt me; and how I was going to compartmentalize that so that aforementioned laundry list wouldn’t get any bigger.
I thought long and hard about why the absence of their affection meant something this time. After all, I see my sisters and my brother laugh between them, share things and generally exclude me all the time. I see my youngest sister who had the gift of my father her whole life post about her “sister” and not her “sisters.” It doesn’t bother me that I sent a birthday and Christmas card every year of her life and my father didn’t send my kids that many. It doesn’t bother me that I stood in a funeral procession line after his death only to realize that 150 of his “closest friends” didn’t even know I existed. It doesn’t bother me that I have visited a dozen times only to have them visit once. All that is just part of living, right? It shouldn’t bother me. So I tell myself.
Two years went by and I hadn’t called my brother. I didn’t hear from him in that two years. So the conclusion if you will, is that unless I make the calls, cultivate, organize and plan the meetings they won’t happen. But that didn’t bother me…
I planned surprise birthday parties, I went to a wedding where the best man was my ex-boyfriend and the man who slapped me was one of her closest friends. I went to my brother’s wedding, and to the christening of his son. For the proudest and most celebrated moments in their lives I was there. I made it happen. Alone or not I was there. It meant something to me to be there because I showed them that I love them. Regardless of all the past, the love that I had surpassed it all.
Last year when I went to my father funeral. I suppose that’s the deal breaker. That’s the notch in the list I cannot overcome. How do that many people not know about me? Not one photo of me in his house. He never spoke of me. Nobody knew about me. It wasn’t the past any longer. This was my present. This was a huge wake up call to me.
They don’t even know my name. My brother’s children have no idea who I am. My sister’s kids act like they’re scared to death to talk to me. It’s like somehow I have been labeled. I cannot for the life of me figure it out either? Is it truly about my posts on a Facebook page as my mother says? What is it? I don’t know, but all I feel is the sting of the rejection that comes from the emotional turmoil of it all.
Many tell me it shouldn’t bother me. This is my family! I ask why not? Why shouldn’t it hurt that they don’t care enough to reciprocate? I have spent my whole life waiting to matter to them. I’ve shown constant love, commitment, action and general support. I guess what I realize is when it all comes down to it, I am just not a part of their priorities. Honestly it’s so sad to say because it’s pretty pathetic that I care so much, but it does hurt.
When I was young, and my mother would take me out of my bed and beat me I used to dream about my father rescuing me. When my mother broke my jaw and cracked a bone in my arm, I used to dream about a family that didn’t do those kinds of things. I guess that the vision I have in my head is certainly a whole lot different than the one I see now. I guess that’s perception. It’s like every so often I get a clue and I realize, “Rebecca, you’re just not important enough for them to think about you.” And I have to accept that. Feeling the discontent…