Sunday, January 27, 2008

Family Feuds and Daily Drama

I have a fairly simple and drama-free life. I eat non-gourmet meals, I sleep on a standard queen mattress, drive an average car, have an uncomplicated hairstyle (I have a pretty simple "beauty routine"), my house boasts rather basic decor, I don't freak out about parenting issues (though I try my best to stay informed), I seldom if ever fight, much less even argue with others (be it stranger, friend, or T), I love to have fun, but you probably won't catch me jumping out of planes or climbing mountains. Things get exciting, but nothing over the top by any stretch of the imagination. There are few surprises in my life--and I'm OK with that.For the most part I love to live life simply.

Unfortunately, once you throw my family into the mix--all HELL breaks loose.

This passed weekend I went home to visit my family (they are about 400 miles away and have been about that distance--and at times farther-- away since I've been married) to see my little brother's new baby girl. Seems undrama-like enough, right? Yeah, right. Totally wrong. There were hang ups (as in someone hanging up the phone on someone else in anger--and it wasn't me doing the hanging up--I HATE when people do that), there was anger, shouts, tears, accusations and then the real "fight" began!

Without going through all the details, I led a rather unconventional life growing up. There were plenty of story lines in my life that would easily fit into the Lifetime Movie formula. I'm betting that a bunch of you feel the same way about your childhood.

Well, nothing has changed except my geographic location.

I go home and I instantly revert to my childhood self. Don't get me wrong, I think I am still a happy, caring, positive person . . . but other things creep back in. The frustrations. The anger. The hurt. The battered self-esteem. It all comes bubbling to the surface. I lived (and my husband would argue that I still do) for my family--my siblings especially. Ugh. Boo hoo, me. Poor me. I hate feeling sorry for myself. HATE IT!

When the drama happens in my family I am deeply impacted, as is my little sister, (we'll call her B). Unfortunately, other family members can pour on the drama, but minutes later act as if nothing has happened. Meanwhile B and me are tucked in a corner, folded in the fetal position, crying our eyes out. OK, that was an exaggeration (but really, not all that far off), but I'm sure you get what I mean.

I've been trying to "grow up" and "let go" for YEARS. I have these crazy dreams about having a family that just has a hint of normal. But, as I am quickly figuring out, normal just might not exist. So in the meantime I've decided to love on little J and pray that I can give him the childhood that I had always hoped to have. Simple. Drama-free. Full of love.

J is looking and laughing at me now . . . I just read him my post . I think he just rolled his eyes as if to say, "Let go and let God." Good advice my little man. Good advice.


Lindsey said...

Lifetime could have made several movies from the family drama I have endured through the years. I believe, though, that b/c of this drama I am a better parent. At least some good has come from it, right?

Normalcy does not exist...everyone has some sort of drama/problems.

Let go and let God seems to be fabulous advice.

I know you are thankful to be home. Enjoy the "distance"!

Lindsey said...

I realize that being consistently boring is SUCH a good thing.

P.S. My life could have also been an after-school special:)!

Cynthia said...

Girl, I got family drama like nobody's business! I know where you are coming from. I'm starting to think it never goes away. I like you, chose to move away. Here's to hoping we find the "drama free" for our kiddos!

Cynthia said...

Wait, I hear Lifetime calling;)

Michelle Kemper Brownlow said...

I loved this post - sounds like you have the makings of a novel in your mind! WRITE GIRL, WRITE!!

Thanks for stoppin' by my blog - I just bookmarked you!

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

I am dealing with some family drama right now and it's tough because it's with an older sibling who should know better but continues to be the drama queen. And she wonders why she is alienating everyone in our family!

Being normal and boring is such a nice alternative!

just jamie said...

Come on. If families were "normal" we'd have nothing to write about. Nothing to read. And nothing to watch on TV. (he he he)

Don't mean to make light of your situation. Just know, we *all* have family issues. That's why we try so damn hard for our own kids to have an easy-going ride, right?

welcome home.

Amy said...

So sorry about the drama! All you can do is be the best mom you can for your little one, sounds like you're off to a good start :) I like to think I'm doing okay, but with four daughters, wow I shudder at the years to come.
Thanks for stopping by my blog, I hope to see you around!

Momisodes said...

Oh honey...nothing crawls beneath my skin like family drama too. Family relationships are tough. I am like you and revert to my childhood like self too. And I too have moved out of state.

And hubby's family....well, lets just say Jerry Springer may have several show slots suitable for them....we just moved 3000 miles away from them...

Pam said...

I do feel like this about my life! I feel like when it is me and my children I am one person. Put me back in the family I grew up in and I am this whole other person. I hate it. I hate the way I quickly fall back into that position. I hope my children grow up and feel differently then I did. That is my goal!

Laski said...

Oh Sandy . . . 3000 miles seems awfully nice :)

You are just far enough for them to appreciate you and close enough to the nearest airport (with your return ticket in hand).

Lindsey--I am so for "consistently boring." That goes right along with my "thriving in anonymity" motto.

Thanks for the comments so far . . . It is so good to know you are not alone when it comes to nutty families and reverting to our former selves.

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

That truly is good advice. I have the same family drama on the IL side. I hide from it. And dread it all the same.

*le sigh*

girlymom said...

I know you like the American Idol- so I thought this was appropriate. Listen to Carrie Underwoods song "Jesus take the Wheel" it's on her website. I was having a hard time and listened to this, really took in the words and it hit my heart. I am very happy that you have YOUR life, YOUR simple life, YOUR happy life- live it the way you want YOUR life to be. At least you know you want it different for your son- enjoy his smile- it was meant for you.

Unknown said...

I can kind of, sort of relate in the sense that I am raising my children completely different than how I was raised (in a dysfunctional family). But then my mom raised me totally different way (another form of dyfunction) than how she was raised.

Family drama is hard, but I think it exists in most families in some form.

jennwa said...

My husband and I moved away from our family to remove our selves from the "drama." And I have never regretted it. And every time we visit we get thrown right back in and can not wait to leave.
No one has a normal family and there are a lot of people who feel the way you do about their families.

Laski said...

Ah-men, ladies! It is just a warm and fuzzy feeling to know that so many can relate.

I'm wondering . . . just where the heck to they get those families for those darned commercials? You know the ones. They sit at the large dinner table, a large meal sits in the center. Dad asks how the kids are. Mom smiles gently as she serves the meatloaf. The dog sits at little Suzy's feet. Oh yeah . . . they are ACTORS. Not real . . . not at all.

In my family the meatloaf would be used as a weapon, mom and dad would be at each other's throat, and I'd be cowering with the dog under the table. Now that's reality!

xxxx said...

Ohhhh but letting go is so hard sometimes! I totally get it!

Allie Boniface said...

It's amazing, isn't it, how quickly we can revert to those childhood roles and childhood feelings? Good thing you live 400 miles away. Definitely a good thing.

Jennifer said...

That stinks. I hope you at least got to enjoy seeing your new baby niece. I hate drama and even more than that I hate family drama. My family, although we aren't perfect, we are pretty good. :) My husbands family, on the other hand, is totally out of control. Crazy. Liars. Backstabbers. NUTS. I have never met such a family in my life. I have fought with so many of them it is unreal.
I have decided to just step away and let things take their course and try not to get involved. It isn't worth it. I have a hard time letting go of things, actually letting go of anything. So I know where you are coming from with that. I think letting it out is a huge help though. So maybe just by posting it will help you feel better. :) At least I hope you are feeling better. :)
Lots of hugs being sent your way!! {{{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}}}
xoxox Jenn

Lindsey said...

I'm glad you are back. I missed you those days you were MIA! I'll be MIA this weekend. We are going to Louisville, Kentucky for my mother-in-law's wedding. Yes...just a little family drama. My father-in-law died only 16 months ago. Oh well! I'm sure to partake in an adult beverage after all is over:) (which is not the norm for me)!!!! It is going to be such a long drive with 2 little ones. YUCK! I'll be out of my "home" comfort zone.

BTW, have you thought any more about working next year?? I sure have. I just don't think I can do it.

OHmommy said...

Oh I love watching Lifetime dramas. Hate actually being in one. That sucks! Every family has drama.... I am just trying to make my own family drama-free. Better to work on the future then always dwell in the past. That should be my motto.

Beth is wfg said...

I happily live drama free most of the time. Some sections of the family have more than others, but I do my best to be one of the drama free parts!

Glad you're back!

girlymom said...

I'm going to hold you to my challenge...get that camera out and post away!!! :)

Cynthia said...

I hate to be a bother...but I am dying to load your template. I think it looks great and want to load me:)

Anonymous said...

I'm the B in that blog ... and sis, may I just say (and you already know) that I agree 100% with your words. That fetal position is oh-so-appealing whenever we head back. I actually feel my body starting to curl as I approach the town ... defenses getting prepared for sure.
All I can say is I'm glad I got you! Let's keep that pact of not going "home" unless the other is there. Got it?
As for everyone who goes through this ... hate the madness, love the people as best you can I guess, right? And keep the visits short and the glasses filled! Haha!
Love you tons and tons sis!

Angela DeRossett said...

Ahh...the reason we also live so far away. I love going home to visit at times but am always ready to get back to drama-free.

Misty said...

I think I'll just send a ((hug)) out your way!

I think, by thinking it through, and praying -- that works, I think you'll find the resolution you need.

It's hard to recommend a solution because we all are effected so differently by our families.

I mean - look at me - - I decided to drop the hammer on my parents. Reliving the abuse isn't worth it.

You'll know in your heart of hearts what should be done - - even if you just need to find a different coping method.

**easier said then done**

xo Misty

L. Lemanski said...

Oh, B--I luv ya babe! You are my strength. No more going home without the other!!! Never again . . .

Misty--oh, how we could probably talk for hours--you, B, and me. We have so much in common. Kindred spirits.

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