Friday, May 16, 2008

Feeling Better Than Ever... Seriously


This whole situation has actually brought to light, and completely illustrated for me (and for the readership), precisely why I have difficulty fitting into Mr F's family. Mr F and I had been certain that his mother was not reading the blog. We were, it turns out, wrong. I think there has been a pervasive feeling amongst his family that we did know and were writing things to be hurtful. That is not the case... and is in direct opposition to how I handle both my feelings and my relationships. In fact upon learning this morning that she had been reading I immediately wrote her a letter to address it.

His family holds the opinion that this blog is damaging, or could be damaging if it went on "unchecked", to our already fragile relationship. I don't agree. The thing that is damaging to the relationship is the complete and utter lack of direct communication. If you were reading it, and upset by it, it would have taken one conversation, which I would have willingly had, to explain the situation. And if that happened maybe the relationship would have been able to correct itself or improve in that area.

If I wrote something that was upsetting to my own mother she would either find a place for that feeling, discuss it with me, or in the unlikely case that she were so upset that she discussed it with my siblings they would have called me themselves to let me know. We communicate. Sometimes that means things are said you don't want to hear and that can be difficult, or uncomfortable, or infuriating. Sometimes you have to air those feelings in order to make room for a new way to perceive each other. We may have more drama and conflict but we also have a deeper closeness because of it. Even if my brother and I weren't speaking he's the first person (and was) to speed to the hospital to sit by my side as we watched vigil over Kid that terrible day and night. Conflict does not erase or negate love. In fact I find it is usually a sign of a desire for a deeper connection. And if you have the patience and insight to work through the differences you may come out closer than you ever were.

Having said that I highly doubt that will be the outcome. I highly doubt I will receive a response to the letter I wrote... as I have never received any response to my past attempts. And I'm okay with that. It has been nearly ten years. The relationship isn't better or worse. It, as Mr F so eloquently put it, "withers on the vine". The fact that she has been reading is her choice and I can't be responsible for her decision or how she has chosen to handle that decision.

So it's out there. It crashed and burned... and you know what? We all survived. And I feel lighter for it. So they've been reading. So they've been judging me. I'm not going to die or even be embarrassed about it. It was unfortunate, and not what I had intended, but maybe there is room here to grow. If this is rock bottom in the relationship it isn't that bad. I can sit here. And knowing where we stand, and what is what, and who has and hasn't been reading, is no longer a looming cloud. It is what it is. I am who I am. And I'm comfortable with that.

25 comments:

Sandcastle Momma said...

Good for you! I'm so glad you aren't letting the crazies get you down. Your children and your husband are lucky to have you and with a mother like you, those girls will grow up to be strong, independent women who live life on their own terms. That's the best gift a mother can give her kids.

Staci said...

This is why I LOVE TO READ Mrs. F!

YOU ROCK!

I feel like I can share...
I have had very similar relations with my inlaws. The relationship was VERY toxic. Not only for Mr. Staci & myself but for our boys. That was the breaking point for Mr. S and he broke off relations with his whole family. (of course...I am blamed for EVERYTHING...they believe Mr. S is run my me. Right there shows they don't even know their own son...sad but true)

My boys were very young and don't remember any of them...which is sad. But on the other hand, I shudder to think of what our home/family life would be like with them still in it.

It's been almost 8 years and life is GOOD. :)

Thank you for sharing your WHOLE life with us...makes me feel normal daily. :)

Enjoy the sunshine today!

Mrs Furious said...

Sandcastle Momma,
thank you because this..
"those girls will grow up to be strong, independent women who live life on their own terms."
is very important to me. And as messy as things sometimes get I think they'll be happier women for it.


Staci,
Thanks for sharing! That is exactly like our relationship. Exactly.
I'm sorry it has come to this point (for both of us) but really it is far more freeing to just let it go.

Mr Furious said...

What Mrs F didn't mention specifically is that it turns out my mom has been reading the blog, obsessively. For months.

[deep breath]

The initial reaction to that is one of horror and guilt that her feeling would be hurt by anything she might have read here—It is my mom and of course I love her, and would never want to hurt her.

But stepping back to view the big picture I have to realize that in the hundreds and hundreds of posts Mrs F has written very, very few have ever been written about my parents or family, and those (even the "scandalous" ones from this week) are not particularly cruel or mean-spirited, they are just honest.

That honesty is what is hard for my family to take. That people have conflicted feelings, or mixed emotions. We grew up always believing everything is fine. Actually believing it. Of course that cannot always be the case—things are NOT always fine. Sometimes people are mad, or sad, or disappointed.

I think another thing that makes this tough for my family is the fact that they might feel this is exposing them or slandering them. It's not. For one thing, it's all anonymous. Nobody knows us. Not our names, and certainly not who anybody else tangentially connected us. The reason it hits home for the people involved is that they know who they (and we) are—but nobody else does.

The other reason is that it's true. The things Mrs F (or I) wrote are real, and based on our experiences. Those are the things that my family never share. Not all the way, anyway. Again, if you read this and it makes you sad, it shouldn't be because I said it, it should be because it's true, and we've let it be that way.

The people in my family, especially my parents, are not bad people. We don't not love them, We don't not like them. But we are all different. And that is what has made things uncomfortable for Mrs F in joining my family—she won't hide that.

--

That fact that there was a bad experience for Mrs F during the visit and she shared that, shouldn't mean we hate to have my parents come. If that were true, I wouldn't have called them and basically told them they had to come when they were considering postponing the trip.

It is important to me that they be part of my life. And it is vital to me that the be part of my kid's (their grandkids) lives:

Kid F positively adores my dad. Seriously. They have a great connection, and it fills me with joy to see it. Being able to see that and give her (and him) that is ALWAYS worth an awkward wait at a restaurant, or whatever...

My mom and Baby really hit it off, and she is kind of particular about "strangers" and when you only see people a couple times a year that's what it can be for a baby.

Watching my mom crawl around on the floor and build a fort or my dad run around on a playground...all of that happened and all of it was real, and it's why we want them to come. It's why we are going there in June.

--

Why isn't that what Mrs F wrote about? One, those are my feelings, but she shares them, and encourages them. She pushes me to work on and build my relationships. She has driven across the country by herself with Kid to visit my parents. She wouldn't do that if it didn't matter to her.

She wrote about brunch because that's what she needed to process. Those are the feelings she needed to express. Fun playground time? That was the objective. Mrs F needed to process the baggage. It may have presented a one-sided impression, but that is what this blog is—not a family album, but Mrs F's diary.

--

The whole problem couldn't be more perfectly illustrated than what happened this morning—it's all about the communication. Always. The fact that my mom (or anyone else) has read the blog for months and never acknowledged it is why this happened. Mrs F is NOT a mean person, she would NEVER intentionally hurt anyone. Had she known that my mom or relatives read, she would have done things differently.

My sister as known for months that my mom reads and never told us. Communication.

My mom sat in our living room for three days and watched Mrs F on the computer at times...never said a word. Communication.

Never said once on the phone "I saw your haircut on the blog, it looks great!" Communication.

That's the whole problem. That's what I've tried to improve. That's what Mrs F has pushed me to work on.

I imagine this "privacy" argument from Mrs F is a tough one from my family's POV, they probably feel like "you're talking about us, how is that invading YOUR privacy?" It's like this: to hold Mrs F responsible for what somebody hears when they are essentially eavesdropping is not fair.

To show up only for the car wreck and pass judgement, Kendyl, is not fair.

This blog could have been a vehicle to bring us all closer if you all wanted it to. Mrs F's regular readers/commmenters are invested in this family, and in many ways know us very, very well. But that's only because of the communication. They came here and visited. People who come here and keep it a secret, are not visiting, they are peeking in our windows.

And that doesn't give you the right to be aghast if you see something you don't like.

That's what Mrs F means by "her space" and "her privacy."

Do you not think it would have been exciting in February to get a comment from a cousin we didn't know was reading wishing Kid luck on her eye surgery? Of course it would have. And you'd've been welcomed.

If anyone ever wanted to be a part of this, all they had to do was comment, or email—come to the door and knock. Everybody who has enjoys the experience.

emmyjw said...

I hope the haters take heed and stop reading, and I am glad you are keeping your head up. Hang in there and dont listen to anyone who tells you that you are anything less than a devoted Mom and wife and also NOT ugly. You are obviously a person who cares deeply for your family and who wears her heart on her sleeve, I have loved getting to know you throught he blog and I really hope the negative element will have the class to walk away and leave it alone.

Mr Furious said...

The only thing I left out was "swalk."

I don't EVER want to know who you are. If you are someone related to me it is by chance, not choice. If anyone else knows who it is, keep it to yourself.

And if you ever show up here again or I see you in person, you better have the greatest apology in the history of the world at the ready.

swienick666 said...

Family is a tricky subject because family is merely a group of people that you are tied to by biology really and that doesn't always mean that you'll get along, just that you have these genetic bonds and in-laws.. whew.. that's got to be hard man because they aren't even your genes to tolerate but you've got to tolerate them because they're your husband/partner's genes.. lord.. that's got to be tricky..

I think you've handled the situation beautifully, and like you said this blog is YOUR space..

Go MRS. FURIOUS!!

-SawSaw

Andrea said...

You look I dont know refreshed on the video Im glad you feel better and happy that your not going anywhere. You are an inspiration as a mom, wife and human being my hat goes off to you!

Mrs Furious said...

Andrea,
Thanks.
I actually honestly feel relieved.
I've done what I can do and feel like if they choose to read now they're doing so "at their own risk".



SawSaw,
hey thanks :)

Marilyn said...

Yay! I'm glad you're able to keep this all in perspective, and keep on blogging. And I love the addition of music to your videos! Nice touch. ;)

Mrs Furious said...

Emmy,
thank you. You know I've enjoyed getting to know you too.
"and also NOT ugly"
Ha!

Julie said...

Hi! That's all I got right now. You know I love you guys.

Mrs Furious said...

Marilyn,
lol... yes Kid has been in another Little Mermaid soundtrack kick! It's all LM all the time around here. Even Baby is now trained to immediately drop to the ground and roll around like a mermaid.

Mrs Furious said...

Julie,
I love you too.
I know this has been nearly as draining for you... sorry.

sengalove said...

hmmmm....it doesn't sound like Mr. F's parents are bad people, it sounds like they want to be a part of your lives. Family dynamics take all shapes and sizes but we only get one family and sometimes families need to agree to disagree. I hope it all works out in the end.

Mrs Furious said...

senaglove,
No not bad people... just an awkward relationship... one whose moments can be humorously tense ...to me... not, apparently, to them ;)
And yes I do think they want to have a relationship but just don't know how.

Gigs said...

You're awesome Mrs. F, don't forget it. A great comment from Mr. F too. We had a recent clash with one of my SILs and I wrote a long, well-thought our letter to her, which my husband read and said "You know you can't send that, right?" So I didn't. As you say, Communication. Cheers to you both for supporting each other and keeping it real.

Gigs said...

that's well-thought out, not well-thought our. aarg.

P.O.M. said...

You're awesome.

My family culture is the same way - get it all out there and express it and feel it. THEN get over it.

SO glad you're feeling better and NOT going to censor yourself even with family reading. Your honesty is so refreshing and frickin' funny.

Mrs Furious said...

Gigs,
Yeah I always send my letters... for better or worse. Sometimes I regret it but mostly I just risk it. If they don't like me for who they "think" I am as it is... they might as well not like me for who I really am... right? ;)


P.O.M.,
" get it all out there and express it and feel it. THEN get over it."
word.
Our upbringing always seems very similar.

Kiki said...

Mrs.F, I am so glad you said that part about "repeating the bad parts and its like purging them from your thoughts" or something like that, I am reminded of how Ken says to me, that he doesn't understande why I have to recap and entire night back to him. I tell him that's how I process what happened, its somehow helps me understand the whole thing better...anyway, I'm glad today is bright and shining for you...all the best.

gooddog said...

Mrs. F-
I am just so grateful that i stumbled on your blog a month or so ago and hate the drama you've been through lately. I, for one, am thankful that you are an out-loud-processor because that's what i love about your blog! you processing real life and encouraging others to do so by example. As a fellow socail worker I am proud to see you so incredible self-aware and comfotable with the messiness of relationships. Thanks girl and keep it up!

Deb said...

This entire things has been hitting very close to home, because my own mother is visiting this weekend, and it's incredibly tense. I've been grinding my teeth for two days, and now that she's here, I'm overwhelmed by how silent it feels in our house. Our house is boisterous and fun. It's loud. Everyone is stifled and even the air feels heavy. My problem is that I can't figure out how to blog about it, which would provide me with an immense and necessary outlet, so like I said a few days ago, Mrs. F, I really admire you putting it out there. You're inspiring me to figure out a way to make it work for myself, with the understanding that she is going to read what I say. I'm getting there. Thanks.

Mrs Furious said...

Deb,
Oh God... I feel for you.
This:
"I'm overwhelmed by how silent it feels in our house. Our house is boisterous and fun. It's loud."
Yes. I don't even have words to describe how that feels. But you know.

Mrs Furious said...

Kiki,
I know a few readers (or a lot who knows?) felt like I am giving the "bad ones" too much attention... but I need to release it or I'll play it over and over again in my mind. I really do feel like the negative comments sitting in the comment section is in my space and when I put them in a post it's like I'm sending them back out. Kooky... but it worked ;)


Gooddog,
Thank you. I can't say that there haven't been moments in the last few days when I haven't questioned some of my choices... but in the end I really do think that we all have a right to speak our own truth. And that there is a difference between gossiping and sharing how you feel about and in a relationship.

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