It seems that every family gathering has a level of insanity as each person brings their own history to the party. And it is especially mind boggling when the family members have been abused by another family member.
I planned a simple birthday party for my youngest kiddo and invited all the fam – minus the abuser. My one brother says he already had plans to take his son to an amusement park that day. I bristled a bit, as I couldn’t help but think they go every week to this amusement park with their season passes, would it kill the boy to spend a day with cousins instead? But I didn’t say this, and really wasn’t angry, as the party was thrown together last minute, just a few days notice. So whatever, let it roll off.
My other brother calls and says he will come with his many kids, and I was very happy. He has so many kids that it is an instant party wherever they go! But then he wanted to talk. Ugh. OK . . . But I am making a cake . . .and thinking happy thoughts today . . .
He was upset with the other brother choosing to go to the amusement park with our dad. Wait, back the truck up. Did you say with our dad? Oh, funny, 1st brother neglected to mention that part. Not a huge deal, but it just shows how they leave things out all the time, and nothing is ever as it seems. He knows I do not approve, so leaves out the part with dad to avoid confrontation. The really troubling part here though, is that my mom had been planning to go too. And brother 2 is worried that both of them are under his sick, scary power again, since dad moved in with that 1st brother about a year ago. Ewww, and double ugh. I am worried too.
OK, the plot thickens. My mom has been telling me for months that 2nd brother’s kids have been helping her clean her house, and she was overcome with gratitude that they love her so much. I was happy too she was getting help and seemed to be spending some nice days with them. But yesterday I find out my mom has been paying the kids to help her. Which is fine, but why didn’t my mom add that to her story? Because without it, the kids are there because they love her so much, and she needs this affirmation, so that is what she tells everyone.
Then 2nd brother goes on to say that our dad found out about the arrangement with mom and has asked if he could have the grand-kids come help him too, that he would also pay them. He said it now takes him 2 hrs to change the sheets on his bed, he has to rest so often, the emphysema has his lung function to about 12%, and his heart function about 35%. So my alarm bells go off, and I scream a bit louder than I intended to my brother, “You are not considering this are you? Do you have any idea how much he would enjoy watching your girls make his bed? Even if he never touched them, he would be thinking so many things, and this would open the door. You CAN NOT let your girls go over there – PLEASE!” He said he wasn’t going to let them, at least not when dad was home. And he thought maybe he’d send his 6ft tall 16 year old son instead of his daughters.
But the truth is, I am powerless here. I can scream, warn, jump up and down, but in the end it is up to my brother’s to take my advice or not. That 1st brother has 2 small children in his house, and he lets a sociopathic pedophile move in with him. 1st brother was typically ignored by my dad, or ridiculed for not being brilliant like me and 2nd brother. So we think he is enjoying this attention from dad now, and feeling like a hero for taking in a sick parent. Problem is, dad is so sick, not just emphysema, and his sickness could really do some damage on his little family, which is already so vulnerable since his wife left him 2 years ago. I can see so clearly that my dad is preying on him in a time of weakness. But we can’t get this brother or my mom to see reality. They see a weak old man in a wheelchair and think he could not possibly hurt anyone. But I know better. He is already manipulating them and changing them, so slowly they can not see it for themselves.
But the realization yesterday, that 2nd brother and I are approaching sanity, and keep getting closer to some semblance of a sibling relationship – well that part is quite good. It all started with this brother and some wake-up calls last year.
And wow how different my life is now. How different I am. And I love it. Life is good. It will just be better when the emphysema finally wins and their is 1 less abuser in the world. Only then will we all truly begin to heal I think.
- Do you become Abusive, or are you born Abusive? (roots2blossom.wordpress.com)
- Extended Family Dynamics for an Abuse Survivor (roots2blossom.wordpress.com)