Saturday, February 17, 2007

How are you at forgiveness?

Because me? Yeah. Not so much.

I've been struggling with my inability to forgive for about three years now. Because, I know it's hard to believe, but in general I'm basically a forgiving person. My ex-husband? The one who walked out on me while I was pregnant with twins? If anyone doesn't deserve forgiveness ever, ever, ever, that would be him?

Yeah. Forgiven.

I feel no ill-will towards the man, seriously. I do feel extraordinarily sorry for him because he's missing out on the lives of the Girl Child and the Boy Child and anyone who has 1/2 a brain in their head knows that they? Are not something you want to miss out on. If he were hurting my children, then I would probably have a hard time forgiving him. But they never knew him and don't miss him. So he's a non-issue.

I guess that's my main problem. Once again, I am guilty of having my heart walk around outside my body. If you hurt my child...if you hurt my are dead to me.

Sorry. That was way dramatic. I've been watching The Sopranos lately. My bad.

So, not so much dead to me as a source of great stress in my life.

I've mentioned before, probably more than once, that my husband cut off all ties with his family when we moved here. This was a source of great stress for me for about the first six months we lived here. Because, well, that's his family and all. I mean, granted they treated me and my children like complete crap and like we were so far beneath them and whatnot, but still, I really hated that my husband had to do that. It goes against my faith, it goes against what I believe, it's just not me.

Still, it was the correct thing to do. I don't doubt that now.

Basically, this non-talking, no contact thing has worked pretty well for me. I get a little antsy around any kind of gift-giving occasion, because I just never know what will show up in the mailbox (except around MY birthday, because it would be a cold day in hell before I would get a gift or even a card). Still, since Christmas came and went without anything, not even the requisite, Jason Ourlastname and Children card in the mailbox, I thought maybe we were in the clear.

But no.

Jason's birthday was Thursday and nothing was in the mailbox and I again thought we were in the clear.

But no.

So there's a card Friday, and I resist opening it and/or throwing it in the trash. Because even though I want to? It's not for me.

So he came home from work. I'm in the bedroom, folding laundry. I hear him greeting the children. I hear him opening the mail I lay on his placemat. I hear him laying his keys on top of the microwave, like he always does.

He comes to the bedroom. We talk. He doesn't mention it.

We talk more. We laugh. Everything is good.

We come out to prepare dinner. I notice the card laying on his placemat. He notices me noticing and tells me he left it there so I could read it.

I open it and out falls photographs of him. Him as a small boy.

I had never, ever before yesterday seen a picture of my husband prior to his Senior year photo from 1994. I literally had no idea what he looked like as a child, as a baby, or anything between birth and eighteen. Also, I know almost absolutely nothing of his life before I met him. A traumatic childhood coupled with a serious fall which resulted in a coma and a brain injury have pretty much demolished his memory. I've said before that it's like he just dropped onto the planet the day I met him. There is nothing before it at all.

These pictures were proof, though. Something tangible, I could hold in my hand. This was my husband. This is what a little boy that my husband and I would have together would look like. If I weren't, you know, infertile.

My hands were shaking so badly I could barely hold the photographs. I then noticed a letter. And I began to read.

And then, I got angry.

Because the letter? Said this person still had no idea what happened and why Jason doesn't talk to them. Which is not true. Maybe this person doesn't want to accept responsibility for what happened, but I'm quite certain that this person knows exactly why my husband doesn't speak to them.

I wanted the letter to say, "I'm sorry I hurt your wife. I'm sorry I hurt these children that you love like your own. I'm sorry I never took the time to get to know your wife because I want to understand why you love her so much. I'm sorry I treated your children, not HER children, YOUR children, like they were second class citizens."

I wanted that stupid letter to say all of those things.

But it didn't. It was more denial.

One part of the letter specifically referenced the photos and the fact that they were for me. I had mentioned to my husband's grandmother several years ago that I had never seen a photograph of my husband as a child. I forget what context this conversation even took place. I think she and I were looking at my scrapbooks one day. She loved my scrapbooks and how I put things together and how focused on my little family I seem to be. The letter said that copies were made specifically for me, because I wanted them.

So are the photos a peace offering? Or is it more manipulation? I honestly don't know. Which is why I'm so freaking sad.

What all this really means is, I can forgive these people for the horrible things they did to me, the horrible things they said to me, and the horrible things they said behind my back.

I can't forgive them for treating my precious children like they weren't good enough.
And I can't forgive them for hurting my precious husband and forcing him to choose.


Emma in Canada said...

I wish I had something smart to say. I think if it were me I would send a letter saying thank you very much for the photos. I don't know what I would say about the letter. It's a hard one when someone doesn't accept your children. It is their loss though. They sound like fantastic kids.

M said...

Cod I hate her so much. I hate her so much for being able to send something like that.

It wasn't a peace offering. It was b.s. like it has always been. A sane person? Maybe peace. That horrid hag? Just crap.

I'm sorry she is crap and you must compete with crap. Ignore it. She's worth no more than that. Let Jason do what he wants. She mentioned they were 'for' you? Good for her.

One day I will find a magic wand and see and my hag in law will disappear to the land of denial together where they can wail and howl about the horror which is the lack of their relationships with their sons due to those evil hag bitches they married.

Then you and I can sing ding dong the witch is dead and toast the occasion with virgin pina coladas. xoxo

If it makes you feel better that song about open the door get on the floor everybody walk the dinosaur is on tv. Bet you could get real funky to it with the kidfolk and forget that hag even exists. Welcome to 1988.

frannie said...

you are forgiving when it comes to yourself... you've been treated like crap alot in your life and you move on. you are too dear a person to let the ones that you love and care about be treated that way. that's one of the wonderful things aobut you... how protective of your family you are. Jason is the same way... he couldn't stand the way they treated you and HIS kids... that's why he moved on. He did the right thing.

I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. You are too beautiful a person to have this in your life!

Tonya said...

I'm so sorry you are going through all of this.. I am not great at forgiving so I don't have any wonderful words of wisdom but I can understand how this would be really confusing with the photos and all :(

Dreamer said...

I wish I had something funny or witty to say to cheer you up. But, I don't. I just....I'm sorry for you. and your hubby. I am.

Alpha Dude said...

I know what Jason is going through. I know how he feels and I know of the pain he feels each he is reminded of the hurtful things that were said to him and about him (concerning his amazingly wonderful wife and his children).

I know how it feels to have the people closest to you, who for most of your life considered you to be their "favorite", refer to you as the only one they could truly trust, who were supposed to love you unconditionally, suddenly turn against you, choose sides against you, believe lies about you that they know couldn't possibly be true (and are NOT). Yeah, I know how he feels.

I made a choice too. I moved away too. And, just like Jason, I traded UP.

Gerbil said...

I LOVEloveLOVE how AlphaDude put it.

She's not worth the effort of even trying to analyze her motivations. Just take it at face value - you got the pictures, Everything else gets sifted away.

Take a healthy dose of your family (and Ginger the Wonder Dog) and Her Nibs can just pack sand.

Shanilie said...

Hi! I came across your blog today for the first time from Ellie's blog. Congrats on your *weekend wink* I love it. Your blog is so beautiful, I can honestly say it is probably the most beautiful blog I have ever laid eyes on. I'm serious...good job.

In response to your post....I completely agree. You remind me of myself in ways. I am usually a forgiving person, but when it comes to my son.....I'm like a roaring lion protecting their young....I know...odd metaphor lol. Is it wrong for a mother who has so much love for their children want other's to have that same love?

I couldn't help but feel rage build up inside me when reading this. It really sounds IDENTICAL to the relationship (or lack thereof) I have with my husbands family. He's from MB I'm from NS + after 1 year of being married and living near his family we moved to my hometown and haven't had hardly any contact since. They don't want to have anything to do with Jacob and that really frustrates me and they hate me because they feel that I have taken their son away (not like I took him by force!)and about forgiveness...I have known some people I really disliked but the in-laws, I find they are the hardest people on earth to forgive....there have been countless things just like your example I could write a novel about it. Manipulation is almost worse than blatant in your face loathing. It is good to have the support from your husband...though as much as I love mine, his family has been the source of a lot of our arguments in our house.....Anyway, I could go on and on, but this comment is getting long enough and I am a complete stranger lol. Thanks for sharing. Please pop by my blog some time!

Anonymous said...

I do not forget or forgive easily. I do hold a grudge for a long time. I probably should work on that.

heiresschild said...

hi chick, i just left comments on your other blog, and didn't know there was another one until i saw someone's comment saying so. i left congrats on the other blog, but want to do it here too. CONGRATULATIONS!!! on being ellie's "weekend wink." great honor. i love your blogs, and i'm adding you to my favorites. i've read so many great blogs just thru following links. congrats again!


Brown Eyed Girl said...


You have the photos...and even though in Fantasy land they might seem like a "nice gesture" I believe they are nothing more than a "see Jason I'm not ALL that evil that i would pictures to your wife" ploy to get him to open the lines up again.

Enjoy the pictures but you can only do that if you don't give the "Rest" of it a 2nd thought.

I love you.

Debbie said...

I've only just started reading your blog (thanks for stopping by mine), but I admire your husband for taking a stand against his parents. There are too many mama's boys out there who wouldn't do that. Ya got yourself a man there - not a boy. Good for you!

CPA Mom said...

ok, when it is not tax season you and I are going to talk. Same situation here. No talking, no contact, except occasional guilt cards. It's too eerie. And it will be nice to talk to someone who really knows what we are going through.

Kelly said...

I'm sorry you have to go through all this! It's sucks and your right they should be apologetic! It's their loss...but in a way your family's loss too! People can be so mean when they want to be....

Alpha Dude said...

Jason - For the Love of God....

Four-year-old Jason was visiting his grandparents. Grandpa was in his study intently reading. Jason walked in carrying a peach, said something Grandpa didn't catch, and handed the peach to him. Thinking his wife had sent him a snack, Grandpa took it and ate it. Just as he swallowed the last bite, Jason, with lip quivering, said, "But, Pap, I didn't want you to eat it. I just wanted you to get the worm out!"

(Sorry - but I was in a hury and I put this on the wrong post before. I thought you might like this since you are interested in knowing more about Jason when he was a kid.)