It’s amazing how life can come back at you in circles sometimes, ready to haunt. I guess I can’t expect any less when my family is involved. Something has just come up that will test my strength and resolve.
My mother’s birthday is next week. If you have followed my blog, then you know my family is in multiple forms of estrangements between several family members, parents and siblings. My mother and I, once estranged, are on speaking terms now, mostly by a rare holiday phone call. It is difficult for me – she hurt me greatly. She is not the mother I once knew and loved dearly. I know that sounds cruel, but you would have to know and understand the whole story. She is in her later years now and in poor health so I make myself maintain a relationship, mostly for her but a little bit for me too. (A Heart-Wrenching Letter To My Mom)
She lives near my brother and his wife now and they help take care of her. My brother, who molested me when I was a little girl, and I are on brief speaking terms, but we hardly ever talk. It’s usually just texts regarding our mother. Well, I text them yesterday to see if what I wanted to send my mom for her birthday was okay. I had planned on making a bunch of healthy jarred dry soup mixes so all she would have to do is add water and boil. My sister-in-law, Lori, told me that it wasn’t a good idea, as my mom is in stage 3 kidney failure and has to watch her diet very closely. No problem there – I can easily do something else for her birthday – but was anyone ever going to tell me about her kidney failure? She has an autoimmune liver disease and I know her health is poor in general, but no one ever told me about this! It was frustrating – same old family shit.
It did get me started thinking though. I have never know how I would react to finding out my mom was even more ill. At first after all the family drama and estrangements, I was so hurt and bitter that I thought I would be fine if news came my way, and I had even once considered that I would not go see her when it happened. But, time and a certain amount of healing has changed me I guess because I felt the pull to see her when I found out about the kidney failure. It surprised me a little actually. Perhaps I am further along in my healing process than I knew. And so, yesterday I booked the flights and rental car for late September, more than half the country away. I will have to go on my own because my husband can’t get away from work right now. So far, everything seemed doable – until…
My sister-in-law texted me and wants me to stay with her and my brother. I was taken off guard and accepted. Honestly, there wasn’t really a choice for me. I don’t want to create family drama or upset my mom. And they also just found out yesterday that Lori has cancer – it’s just not the right time to decline. The thing is – it is a major problem for me! The last time I ever stayed at my brother’s place, he hurt me, once again molesting me. I was about 10 years old. It’s a long story that I have already written about. (An Unsent Letter To My Brother)
This trip will take more strength than I am sure I have. I am already a little anxious. Just thinking about changing clothes or being nude in a shower in HIS house creeps me out beyond even my own recognition. As well, the last time I saw my mom was a terrible visit and left me emotionally bruised beyond comprehension. (A Daughter Denied) But this time I will be staying for a few days for sure; I can’t just drive home like last time. She will want me to go to church with everyone, she not knowing of course that I no longer believe in God. It’s something I never want her to know – I am ashamed of it but can’t help what everything that happened did to me, how everything caused me to lose my faith. Being in a church will test my anger and bitterness issues, and how well I can hide them.
I have truly come so far in the last few years, from once suicidal to now stronger than I think I have ever been. Losing your religion is a lonely place to be sometimes though – who do I ask for strength and support now?