Tuesday, May 3, 2011

No. I'm not going down this road.

I'm ranting today. Just warning you. If you came here for warm and fuzzy, you aren't going to get it. And I swear a little. So if you are offended, just skip it and go read something happy. I won't be offended.

I hate it when people blame their childhood for everything that is wrong in their lives. I mean I get it. Your childhood sucked. So did mine. And his. And hers. And pretty much everyone born after 1960.

Yes, being a kid sucks. Someone else makes all the decisions for you. And sometimes those decisions affect you negatively. Sometimes those decisions cause a chain reaction of negativity and suckiness. Sometimes those decisions cause devastation. Sometimes those decisions leave scars.

But as an adult, only YOU choose how those decisions affect your future. Only YOU choose how to move forward. Only YOU choose what to do with those scars. Do you learn from the mistakes of others? Do you pick yourself up and rise above? Do you let those scars make you stronger? More patient? More compassionate? Do you grow the flip up and take responsibility for your own actions and feelings?

Because your experiences don't define you as a person. They don't dictate how you react to the world around you. They may help direct your path, but that is it. Everything that happens to you, leads you to where you stand right now. But YOU choose who is standing there.

I have no empathy for people who refuse to take responsibility for their actions. Who refuse to be accountable.

Why am I talking about this?? Well..... Let me tell you....

I have a brother. We were not raised together. We are different. Very different. It was like we were raised on different planets. And the reasons we were not raised together are complicated and not really the point of my rant today.

The point is this, he has carried a huge chip on his shoulder into his adulthood and frankly it got old. I mean I tried, people. I tried. For years and years and years I struggled and pulled and fought to maintain a relationship. I fretted and I worried and I literally made myself sick over him. I wanted so badly to have some resemblance of a functional family relationship with someone. And I just felt he was the natural choice since we shared so much more DNA. I just thought that alone would give us some kind of understanding of one another. Something that would transcend all the bullshit that had been thrown at us. All the obstacles and excuses and decisions that were made for us because we were children and didn't have a say in which path we took at the time. I just thought that even though his path took him one way and mine took me another, we would still share something.

But really, we are strangers. We have nothing in common except blue eyes and freckled noses. And after a while, I got weary. I got tired of the struggle to keep the relationship alive. Because it was always on his terms. And that just wasn't fair.

Because it wasn't my fault. Like him, I didn't choose my life. Like him, I didn't get a choice. And it wasn't easy. My life wasn't any easier or any harder than his. It was just different. Different people, different places, different experiences. Different tragedies and different celebrations. Different.

And I know that's not fair either.

But mine was different because I chose to handle it differently. I chose to rise above. I chose to learn from the mistakes other people around me made. I chose to see the good in my life. To be thankful for the fact that it could have been so much worse.

Regardless of the heartbreak, and the struggles, and the fear, I was fed. I was clothed. I was loved. And he was fed and he was clothed and he was loved.

But I kept moving forward and letting the experiences make me stronger. I can't sit around and boo hoo and woe is me and all that because there is no place for it. If you can't move forward, there is nowhere else to go. And I refuse to sit still. And I refuse to move forward carrying all of your bullshit on my shoulders. I have my own bullshit. It's what reminds me of how I got here and why I should be thankful I made it.

So I stopped trying. I stopped fighting and struggling and worrying and fretting and I just let go of him. And I was totally okay with it. I had peace. And a lot of people who have close families may not understand that. But I am okay with that too. Because my relationship is not yours. My family is not yours. My heart is not yours. My view is not yours. This is what was best for me, and for him, at the time.

I haven't heard from him in 14 years. He has a son I don't know. I have three children he doesn't know. And it's weird, but it's okay.

And then out of the blue, this weekend, I get a Facebook message from some girl. She's engaged to him. She has been looking for me. I tell her that he and I have not been in touch in a while. She responds that he agreed it had been a long time.

And then she provides me with his phone number.

And it all came rushing back. The anger. The confusion. The hurt.

I don't want this. I don't want to get involved. I don't want a brother. I don't want to know this girl he's engaged to. I don't want to get attached to these people. Because I can't go through all of that again.

I'm not calling him. And how dare he use this girl to get in touch with me. She is 21. He is 38. What in the hell is he thinking? I am not doing this.

If he has something to say to me, he needs to be a man and get a hold of me. Because I am not doing this again. Do you see a revolving door in front of me? Because I sure as hell DO NOT.

You are not welcome to come and go as you please. Especially now that I have children who deserve better than that. You don't deserve to know these children. You don't deserve to know me. You owe me an apology. You owe your mother an apology. And you need to grow up. And grow some balls. And see past the enormous amount of bullshit you have been fed your whole life. There are two sides to every story. So stop blaming the entire world because your life was not ideal. I'm sorry you experienced so many of the terrible things you did. But I can't change it. And neither can she. And she tried. OHMYGOD she tried! You don't even know how hard this woman tried for you. You don't even know all the things she did to help you. You have no idea how much she loved you. How hard this has been for her. And you are a parent for God's sake. How can you not understand? How can you not see from her point of view? How can you still be so selfish? You are a grown man. BE ACCOUNTABLE. BE RESPONSIBLE.

Rise above.

And tell your child bride I'm not accepting her friend request either. This isn't the Oprah Winfrey Show. There isn't going to be a heart warming reconcilliation. This is Jerry Springer. And I'm kicking your ass.

13 comments:

Robin said...

Right on!!!!!!

kate said...

you rock. i love this post. and i relate to it on so many levels. just because we have the same "dna" as someone doesn't make them family. you don't owe anybody anything.do what's best for you and your own family.

Lo said...

I'm with you, kid.
I am all for taking responsibility and for saving yourself.

Chris H said...

Good for you.
I have pretty much done the same thing with my sister, who grew up in the same house as me and turned out so very different to me.
We may be sisters, but we are totally different people with a totally different slant on life.
And like you, I don't want to know her.

DutchMac said...

You sound very healthy about what is clearly a big 'mess' of emotion. And hey, just because this is what's right for you right now, you never know what might change for you in the future. Someday you might decide you want to be in contact again, and that will be what's right for you then. (and if not, that will be right too!)

Good luck!

DevilsHeaven said...

She is an idealist, little Miss 21. I can understand that she’s trying to come from a good place. So don't blame her for trying, but make it perfectly clear that a relationship isn't gonna happen. You spent 14 years running down a one way street and you are done. Send her the You Tube clip from the Khloe` and Lamar episode where Khloe` finds out just what a damn waste Lamar’s father is.
And yes, I watch that show, but that is so not what is at issue here!!!!

Caitlin said...

"If you can't move forward, there is nowhere else to go...stop blaming the entire world because your life was not ideal."

I want to mail this to SO MANY PEOPLE.


I big-time love you, April. I love that you have such a healthy outlook on what was clearly a difficult situation. I think it's a testament to your character that you've come out a better person for it. You are doing the right thing. At some point you have to draw the line in order to remain healthy. There are a lot of people who could benefit from that knowledge.

Chris said...

A big bad ass NY Yankee loving hug to you.

Joseph Lara said...

You spent 14 years running down a one way street and you are done. Send her the You Tube clip from the Khloe` and Lamar episode where Khloe` finds out just what a damn waste Lamar’s father is.

WILLIAM said...

Hi April.

Make sure you wear the correct shoes when kicking ass.

I am assuming you have a pair shoes for any occasion.

Paula said...

So, I found your blog b/c William recommended it. And I must say .... I couldn't stop reading. I soooo love your attitude and your matter-of-factness. And yes, I would definitely go on a road trip with you.

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Sue said...

Where have I been? Why did it take me so long to read this? All I can say is GOOD FOR YOU! Once again, I think you've said things perfectly, although I was hoping for a little more cursing. : ) I'm just glad you accepted my FB friend request....

You don't owe this guy anything.