How I really feel inside...

I really, really don't like sharing this stuff here, but for lack of a better outlet, here goes nothing...

So, it all started a couple years back when my grandmother died. My mom spent a ton of months taking care of her before that, even though my grandma would say the meanest things sometimes. Now, I wonder if that had to do with some sort of pre-frontal cortex damage or issue - that meant she just didn't have that internal censor that everyone else seems to. That's how my family used to always describe it anyhow. Now, I wonder if it was a scientific part of who she was. Part of me feels bad for not trying to be more accepting of it...

After that, my mom went on a last minute cruise to Greece, which I thought would be great for her, and I think it was, although she won't tell me anything but the good parts... so who knows? Thing is...she left my sister in charge of EVERYTHING. I even offered to watch her dog for her (which would have saved her a considerable amount of money,) and she refused. Even when I offered to drive the 25 miles to her house everyday to check up on the house and dog, she brushed me off like I wasn't capable of taking on the task. That really hurt.

Then, when my step-father lost his glasses in Greece - who'd they call to have another pair Fedex-ed over? Not me, it was my sister. Just like it was my sister who I had to talk to during the couple weeks my mom was overseas. And, I'd have to say, that was the beginning of the end of my relationship with my mom. All my sister would say is how much they talked on the phone EVERY day, and how she felt lost without that. Nevermind the fact that I was trying to do my best to be there for her, and she's never said thank you to me, for that once. Or anything else I've tried to do for her, or my mom this past year.

After that, she got pregnant (my sister, not my mom - I'm turning 28 at the end of the year!) And that was really hard news for me - because it wasn't long before we found out that it was going to be a girl - just EXACTLY what she was hoping for. I even went to Hawaii last year, and had a bit of escape from my family mess, but as soon as I got back, it went straight back into - "Let's put all of our focus on her, and not you." And, I really struggled with that attitude hanging in the air. But no one saw it, or recognized it.

Just to be clear, here - I've been trying to tell my mother these feelings for over a year, in fact, ever since my sister started trying to get pregnant; but to no avail. She dodges my points, makes excuses why she can't be there for me now. The tricky bit is - she was ALWAYS there for me as a younger child, and even though I'm older now, I literally feel like a bird who was just kicked out of the nest, and left to fend for myself. Totally alone within my family unit.

See - here's the other side of the story - my dad was always there physically, but not ever in an emotional sense. My parents divorced when I was 3 years old. That is to say, my visitations with him were sitting in front of the tv, not talking to him at all. In fact, I could say something, and he just wouldn't hear, or process it - to the point that I sometimes wondered if I'd ever said it all. This left me feeling pretty damaged and alone as a child, and the fact that I never felt my sister wanted me as her sister never helped. I just wasn't good enough of a daughter or a sister to either one of them, and I've felt shunned most of my life.

So, when I told my dad just how angry and upset all that crap made me (like at 25, a few years back,) instead of saying, "Kari, I want to have a rational, real conversation with you about this," he told my sister he disowned me. The dickhead didn't even have enough cahones to say it to me direct. He just said "I only have one daughter." - even though we're twins. Great parenting skills there.

So, at the beginning of this year my mom asked me to help plan my sister's baby shower, and at that point - I was just starting to feel like my jealousy was coming from a place of perspective - that I felt like the whole world was saying. "Yeay Jenn, you'r pregnant!" When I didn't have anyone telling me, ""Yeay Kari, you're following you're own path, even if it is non-traditional!" Well, except my husband, and one very, very close blog friends. Thank you both, from the bottom of my heart. You've kept me sane this year, really.

Oh yeah, and even though I stifled all of my feelings until after the baby shower, because i wanted my sister to have an enjoyable one, no matter the relationship we share - here's the kicker... my mom left for a week's vacation the day after the baby shower - without telling me she was even going. I had to find out from my sister - who I certainly didn't feel comfortable sharing those negative feelings with, especially then (she was 7+ months pregnant!) I really needed to be able to share my feeling with her (my mom,) that week, and she made it perfectly clear through her actions, that she wasn't interested in listening to them. Then, or now, (it's been 6 months since the shower.)

But, it doesn't 't help alleviate the pain I feel that my family thinks baking a baby is more valuable than trying to define for my OWN self what's going to make me happy. Can't I be my own person, with my OWN desires and goals, and aren't they just as valid as everyone else's???

Maybe, it will be a child someday, I can't say it's something I'm totally disinterested in; but after this experience, with my family that I get to say on paper is my family - even though I barely ever felt, and now I totally don't feel - a part of them, in any way. I've said to my mom that I feel extraneous and worthless, in my role as her daughter, and she won't/ or can't address it as a point - which makes me feel like my feelings are completely invalid, and wrong.

She wants to talk in person or on the phone, and basically said that she doesn't think we can work on anything regarding our relationship through email. But, I'm a very guarded person with my feelings, and if I keep trying to share them with someone who I don't feel is listening, or really hearing what I have to say... I don't know any other coping device than to shut down, and pre-reject them all, because rejection is all I've felt from them for years. My dad, sister, and now - most painfully of all - my mom.

Mom - I can't see you, or talk to you on the phone right now. I NEED it to be through email, because I'm so hyper-sensitive to everything you say, and every inflection in your tone and body language. I know you're not trying to take your life stresses out on me - but that's what it's felt like for a long time. You always made a point to make the other twin feel special when something great was going on in the other's life... but where are you when I need you? When the whole world is cheering her on for something almost every woman on the face of the earth is doing - whilst I'm toiling, trying to find my own meaning of happiness and fulfillment. Why is that less valuable to you? Why can't you show me the support I need, especially right now? And, especially in the way that I NEED it, instead of just the way you're willing to give it to me...


  1. *hug, hug, hug*
    You are so articulate and express your feelings so well, it's hard to understand how family doesn't respond. I wish I could bake you a cake and have you over for tea and sympathy! *hug, hug, hug*

  2. A big hug from me also. I so feel your pain and wish I could do something to help you feel better. You are such a talented, wonderful gal. It is their loss that they do not recognize you in the way you deserve to be recognized and loved. I am thinking about you and praying all will turn around.

  3. I'm so sorry. Families (in my experience) are almost always full of emotional complexity, and it sounds as though yours is exponentially so. Keep knitting -- you'll feel like you're accomplishing something.

    xoxo to you.

  4. Darlin'
    I've been there. Families suck.
    The best I could accomplish was not expecting anything from any of them. Yes, I have one sister who talks to mom daily & more - the other every other day. Me, it's every other month or more at the behest of duty. I try to live my live well despite the criticism and crap. I look to God for my patience and strength. I know i can count on Him. And, I went for short-term counseling to get my head straight that I would quit losing it. You have to remember we're all broken people. Started back with the parents of our parents, etc....they have parent wounds, too, hard as it may seem to wrap our heads around.

    Yes, knitting is therapy.
    Feel some hugs through the air, love...and be gentle with yourself.

  5. i cried reading this. parts of my dysfunctional family have left me in the cold too many times to count and it sucks to read that the people closest by blood to you are basically emotionally abandoning you one by one.
    I don't usually comment on your blog (something I should do far more often because you are such a rockstar), but I just had to let you know that you deserve better and are worth so much more than that. So very much more. *hug*

  6. I just came here from Spoonflower - I LOVED your fabric design. So I was checking out your blog - and just got down to this post. I'm sending you a big hug now. It sucks that you have no safe place to be heard in your family. And it's even worse that they don't recognize what a beautiful life you have created with your talents and skills. We all create in our own way, and your way is GORGEOUS! So I'm sending lots of loving kindness your way. (And I'm not in your same boat, but I can really identify with a lot of your feelings.)

  7. Wow, I totally have compassion for your circumstances. I've heard similar experiences in Al-Anon (www.al-anon.org) and how people have strengthened their relationships with themselves and family. Some say they find a place where they belong, after feeling as outcast from family and everyday activities.

    It sounds as though your family has limited skills and you want more! Good for you! Yeah for expressing that and seeking more! That's your own path, listen to that voice!



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