Wednesday, July 15, 2009

All Alone and Left Out

(this was the catalyst for the last post)

I'm the "let's all keep in touch" one. I email. I reach out. I call. In 2001 I received a bonus in the form of being able to use the company time share. I thought carribean first. But, knowing my Nana would probably not live much longer, I arranged to travel to NH. I invited my sister and her family to meet us up there. We had a family reunion, of sorts, and celebrated Nana's birthday. Husband & I stayed a bit longer, and visited more with family. That was really the last contact until Nana died.

When Nana died, all the calls went to Sister. Sister is not one to mince words and she'll call a spade a spade. So she talked harshly about Dad and his behavior at the funeral. I was more "smooth it over" and "don't ruffle feathers." I could tell my aunt didn't really want to hear all the bad stuff. While she didn't support dad's actions, he was her brother. Still, it was Sister that dad focused on and cursed out in his nasty message. It was sister that everyone consoled.

I've gotten a few emails over the years from that side of the family. A few cards. IF I initiate. That is it

No one called me about Dad's death. I left my aunt a message. My Dad's family never called me back to tell me about his death. They called my Sister. My one uncle called is all -- to tell us not to come to the funeral. I've emailed several family members but no responses. My sister has gotten lots of responses - she forwards them to me. My Sister met up with two aunts when they drove down for the funeral - understandable, she is local and I am not.

My step-brothers, Alex and Adam have not emailed me. I've emailed them. No response. They've called Sister. When we met, they were more interested in
keeping up with her. Sort of understood - they knew her more. I emailed them after we returned and invited them to meet up with us for Tgiv. No response.

My Sister has gotten several phone calls from the aunts and uncles. Emails too. She tells me about them. My uncle who called her asked, "now do I need to call Enola or will you talk to her?" Sister said she thought I'd like to hear from him. He did call - a week later.

My aunts email my Sister. On emails I'm not even copied. I wrote a long email to my uncle and attached pictures -- no response. And I thought we had a good relationship. He is the one
I stayed with the summer I lived there. And visited several times when we were up there in 2001. He's emailed Sister though.

So Sister, Alex, Adam and I were chatting about going up to NH. I mentioned I probably couldn't go until next summer. Sister just called me. I invited her down here for a few weeks in August. That way she and the kids can get away. Sister doesn't work in the summer. Kids are off. BIL's room rental is just through July 31st -- then he has to make alternate arrangements. So Sister thought she would take the kids somewhere, let BIL stay in the house, and then he'd move to the house in the city (available then). I asked if she wanted to come here.

Sister just called - she is going to NH. For 2 weeks - over 3 weekends. She asked if I could fly up. (no) She asked if I would be mad or upset if she went. An aunt called her to chat and Sister made arrangements. Aunt asked if she should call me. Sister said I might appreciate it. No call though.

I am not really mad at Sister. I'm upset and hurt that this big reunion is going to go on without me. I'm missing out.

I don't get it. I know Sister is funny and sarcastic and blunt. I like her. So I understand why they'd want to stay in touch with her. But why not me? What did I do? Why do they ask - oh do we have to call Enola?
Is it a chore?

I know a large part of it -- I was distributed to Mom's side in the divorce. Sister was sent to Dad's side. But then I spent the summer up there. I returned to Mom's house though. So maybe they saw that as choosing to go back to Mom. My dad was hurt that I "picked Toilet over him." He saw it as personal. My Sister chose to go live with Dad and then was kicked out. Then Dad reunited with Sister, calling her every day and visiting every weekend. I got to see him 1x and talk maybe once a week. So Dad's side sees Sister as "theirs" and me as choosing mom over dad.

Also, Sister has been open about her struggles and I have not, as much. I just can't. I know they will say, "well why didn't you come live here?" Or "Why didn't you go live with Dad?" Putting me, once again, in the defensive position.

So once again my inability to talk bites me in the ass. Once again I am not the chosen one. Once again every one else is chosen over me. Even though it is my sister chosen this time, and I love her, it still hurts.
I'm the crazy one. The one that didn't press charges. The one that stayed - that didn't leave. The one that "chose" toilet over Dad. The one that had Toilet (not Dad) walk me down the aisle. And sure I could defend myself - but at what cost? And why should I have too?

So, flights are too expensive and no vacation time. Do I borrow to go? Stay home. Insert myself? Not? I hate this. Once again I am --

And left wondering what the hell s wrong with me that no one wants ME?


Anonymous said...

You's very difficult for people to see relatives for who they are. They usually see what they expect to see regardless of what is real.

Expectations are always realized.

Colleen said...

I am sorry for what you are going through. There is nothing wrong with you. You have done nothing wrong. It is not your fault. Please believe that. Hugs & prayers.

lawyerchik said...

What Colleen said - from me, too. [[[[[[[HUGS]]]]]]]

Anonymous said...

Hey, hope you're doing better this morning. We're praying for you. D and M

Casey said...

Dear Enola...mssc54 is right. For years, I placed expectations on my relatives. I am like you in many ways, and I suppose I wanted and believed they were the same. It is not true, and I have been hurt and left out many times. Ridiculed and humiliated for my interests and emotional side laughed at....and nobody tells me anything.

I have pulled back now...and other than my children, the only family I concern myself with are my brother and his family...I have written about him.

It took me years to get to this point.

You are a fine and wonderful girl Enola...I hope you know that.


Casey said...

I know I just posted...but it was all so surface. There is so much I wish I could tell you...we are so similar. We have lived parallel lives...but you are miles ahead in terms of healing I think. I hide my pain...pretend at being ok.

Can I converse with you via email?


Enola said...

Laurie - my email is enolasemail @ gmail . com (no spaces).

bdreamer said...


I understand how torn you are by all of this. Feeling like the odd man out hurts, whatever the circumstances. I feel this way when my mother is in town and everyone in the family gets together, except for me.

I don't think there is anything wrong with you, but of course you feel rejected by your relatives' lack of interest in you. I know too how it is to have a sister you're close to who has relationships with certain family members that you yourself are not able to have relationships with.

I hope whatever decision you make about the NH trip, you'll be true to yourself. You don't have to defend or explain yourself. Do what seems best for you, bearing in mind the possible repercussions of whatever choice you make. (Will you feel more resentful if you don't make the effort to go on this trip? Will it be too much for you to bear if you do insist on going, and again you meet with rejection?)

I wish you the best in dealing with this. It's a tough situation to be in, there's no getting around it.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry. I'm a bit of a black sheep, too; but the rejection is fairly mutual. Sometimes I am envious of the get-togethers and apparent camaraderie, but some of the time I see that I don't really want to be that close to them.