Sunday, April 21, 2013

I Will Love You If...

It's not always easy when people leave your life.  Especially when it's by choice. That has always been difficult for me because I'm a communicator. I like to work through the tough stuff to keep relationships healthy.  However, both parties have to be willing to participate in order for it to have any resolution. 

Back when I wrote about Thanksgiving Day, I touched on how our day simply didn't go as planned. That was all I wanted to share at that time.

What ultimately took place was the ending of relationships.

In a very bizarre sequence of events throughout Thanksgiving day, it culminated with me being told my husband was no longer welcome in the home of some family friends.  After I attempted to reach out the next morning, asking for some clarification and offering my feelings of hurt and confusion, my words were met with silence. Nearly 5 months later, there has not been a response.

Andrew's 13th birthday was a mere 5 days after Thanksgiving.  It went unacknowledged by the people who said they loved him and treated him as family. I was extremely hurt by this.  It could have been very easy to send him a text to simply wish him a Happy Birthday regardless of what was going on with adults.  After all, it was simply my husband who wasn't welcome anymore, not my son, right?  

Andrew was unaware of the Thanksgiving Day details and only asked what had happened after his birthday. I made the choice to put aside my own feelings of confusion, hurt, and sadness to celebrate my son's life in the days between Thanksgiving and his birthday.

As an adult, I understand the difficulty in relationships.  As a boy whose dad left when he was little, half of his grandparents are deceased while the other half live in different states, and not being accepted as a grandchild by my outlaws because he's "not theirs, it's not as easily understood.

Making the choice to ignore a 13 year old boy's--MY 13 year old boy's-- birthday because you're mad at his parents is simply not ok with me. 

I posted this status on facebook the morning after his birthday: "Thank you for the birthday wishes for Andrew! Phone calls, text messages and emails too! Explaining why there were some who did not, well just sucked and as hard I tried, hurt and disappointment was still present."

My son was hurt and it was at that point he asked what happened on Thanksgiving Day.  I {age appropriately} explained and told him I was sorry he had gotten hurt in the process.

The status prompted me being deleted and blocked by the members of our family friends.   That was it. No replying to my message from the day after Thanksgiving, just deleting and blocking on facebook.  Nearly 20 years with family connection and apparently, that was it.  I was hurt.

Life goes on.

I worked through my feelings about it all in the subsequent months and after reflecting about the relationships, it was clear to me that the best choice for all of my family was to move forward and leave it behind. 

I have previously been on the receiving end of not being welcome and having my family attempted to be divided.  My husband appropriately refused the ultimatum given to him at the time and said about my son and myself, "Either we're all welcome or none of us are."   It was without question that if someone tells me my husband is not welcome, the rest of us are no longer involved either.  Families aren't picked apart.

Thus came my children learning about conditional love.

Ultimately, the crux of the entire situation was that my children were hurt in the process and that cannot be undone.  Investing in children and having them also invest in relationships, even at a young age like Lily, then dumping them is a lesson I wasn't happy about them receiving.  It is my job to protect them.

For months, we'd head in the car in one direction and Lily would ask if we were going to see them.  What do you offer a 2 year old other than "No, not today"?  I was grateful when she finally stopped asking. 

Shortly after New Year's, I received a text from one of their family wishing a happy new year, wishing the kids well and I was being thought about, but no reply was needed.   I simply thought it was nice.

About a month later, my mom and I talked about the situation and I was able to completely come to understand that what I wasn't willing to reopen was the fact that my children, especially my son, were hurt in the process and my son learned more about being loved conditionally.   I truly cannot express adequately how much Andrew learning that hurts me.  It wasn't an "outside" hurt. It was a lesson learned by people who told him they loved him and then dropped him like he didn't matter at all. I could never trust that wouldn't happen again. The door was closed for me. 

On my birthday I received another text from the same member of their family wishing me a happy birthday.  Again I simply received the text as was intended and pleasant.

Last week, I bumped into the same member of their family at a consignment sale.  We exchanged hellos and I was asked how the kids were. I said they were great.  Simply.  Pleasant.

As the person was getting ready to move on, "I meant what I said in your texts,"  was said. I acknowledged by saying I knew, however what happened with and to Andrew just couldn't be undone.  When I was asked what I was talking about and what happened with Andrew, I simply said, "He was taught about conditional love and more people leaving his life."  I was stopped and told, "We're not discussing this."

That was all the confirmation I needed that the conditions extended to all of us.  If it wasn't being discussed on your terms, then I didn't get a say.

And it was known what happened with Andrew because immediately after I posted the facebook status about his birthday being ignored, I was blocked and deleted.

Someone can attempt to hurt me all they want, but if my children are hurt, you simply can't uncross that line.

My husband was, of course, protective about how I was affected emotionally/stress wise as I don't need the stress while pregnant, but I assured him that I didn't feel any of that.  I shared I truly had moved on and had no desire to discuss all the details, examples or feelings throughout the duration of our relationships to explain my point of view.  I have two children and a baby on the way that are more important.  I'm not angry, I'm no longer sad, I'm just in a place of acceptance.  It is what it is.

I have left out so many details just as I said above to express my point of view, plead my case or whatever. I haven't written about this before now because it wasn't something I was sure I wanted "out there."   But decided, it is a part of my story and for someone who has always had difficulty letting go, this was a significant time in my life where I knew letting go was the best thing for me as well as for my family. There is zero longing on my part for it to be different or to go back.

I wish them well.


  1. Momma's always know best!! And life lessons are hard, especially when they involve our kids. It is a good thing your family is surrounded by so many people that care, in good times & bad.

  2. That stinks. I wish you and your family didn't have to go through this. I'm sure it's incredibly hard. I applaud you for letting go. I'm the type of person that ALWAYS caves and would just let them walk back into my life without really resolving the issue.

  3. Hugs. Letting go is not easy but your Mommy heart knows best!