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4.27.2011

Mending broken feelings

In the past week, for those who have been following the post comments will know, it seems that we've been airing some laundry between Debbie's family and our own. It's time to extend an olive branch and step forward, instead of reliving the past. There is a time to gripe and a time mend. Here are comment excerpts of Auntie's and Tish from yesterday followed by my own thoughts.

Auntie wrote:
1.Slamming my sister all the time is making her disease worse. Buddy refusing to answer the phone so that I, my parents, or sister can speak with him is also causing issues. Is Buddy raising these kids or not?! We don't know who to ask, who to talk to, or who is in charge. That is why there is so much confusion at our house. No one cares if you and Tish take the lead with them, but who the hell do we talk to? Who are we supposed to deal with when we do hear things...

When someone suffers from a disease, they need help. Help does not refer to public bashing, name calling, or harassment. Buddy and Debbie made themselves into what they are... and Buddy is just as bad. I'm getting sick and tired of being called a liar, of my family being bashed for no reason, seeing as ALL of this started with Marcia, Debbie, and Buddy. As far as I am concerned, there should be no fighting between the grandparents, or aunts and uncles... The negative and harshness is aimed at Marcia and Buddy, not at you and Tish. I just wanted to be clear about that.

Okay. Then Tish wrote:
I think the only way we can heal our damaged emotions is to draw a line and all of us need to stand on one side of it. The future starts there. What ever is on the other side is gone and we can't do anything about it. The greatest gift we can give each other is forgiveness.

I hear a lot of anger coming from you, Auntie. I also hear a lot of threats indicating that you know the score, and the rest of us aren't privy to this information, but we will someday. I don't find that helpful or necessary. Yes, people were hurt, people have been lied to, people aren't what they were at one time, promises were broken, and no one in our families has been spared the hurt and the pain that has come of these things. But,that is all in the past.

I am no longer willing to listen to a broken record of what happened in the past. We are either all to blame for how things are now or none of us are to blame. This is not the time to hold anyone to what they did or what they said in the past. To remain as we are will only serve to destroy the comfort and well-being of those boys we all profess to love and care for.

I am however more than willing to sit down with all of those involved with these boys and draw that line. I am willing to be on one side with everyone and never look back to the other side of the line again. It means being honest with each other, accepting each other for what we are, our strengths and limitation, our quirks and our foibles. We don't even have to like each other, but we will have to work together. And it will be hard work.

So who is with me? The boys future is in our hands.
--Tish

My turn:
So there we have it. Anger, frustration, hope and a call for forgiveness. It seems that both Auntie and Tish are calling for this at the end of each's note.

First, Auntie, let me explain how our house is managed. We are a collective. We all cooperate in decision making for the kids, pool resources and do what it takes. Tish gets them up, Buddy gets them to the bus, I meet them after school and put supper on the table. Most nights, Bud gets home in time to read Doc to sleep and I make sure homework, chores, good moods, TV and gaming time, are all kept in proportion. I tuck Kit in bed and see that Tio turns the lights off at his appointed hour. It doesn't end there, either. Toilets need scrubbing, tempers quelled, a million rides and appointments, etc., etc., but it all gets done and we don't quibble or fight over it.

Because our interactions with Debbie and your father have left a sour taste in our mouths, to put it politely, Tish and I have left all communication between your family and ours up to Buddy. Whether that's good or not, our plates are full and we chose not to take on that layer of aggravation.

You are perfectly fair in saying that flogging a sick person in public doesn't help. At the same time, how do we (you folks, us, the kids...) get Debbie to take responsibility if no one speaks up, or worse, enables her to behave badly? Someone has to say "enough" and after her last couple of episodes, I couldn't watch the kids go through any more.

So here we are. After we've all thrown stones at every head we can think of who played a part in this, where does it leave us? Is there an absolute truth that we can all agree on? Not a chance. Should there be? Probably not. There is too much history, too many perspectives, too many grievances, and too many deep hurts.

All that said, are we adult enough to reach out for a fresh start for the sake of three beautiful boys? Who wants to take the first step?