Family Curve Balls

My life has been turned upside down a couple of times. The ending of a major relationship, death of a parent, having children, losing jobs and it’s no doubt that I haven’t seen the end of it all. Life is going to throw you some curve balls and you just have to learn how to hit them out of the park to get past them and move on.

One huge curve ball for me was the death of my mother ten years ago. Her death was profound, and truly was the making of the woman I am today. The strength, resilience and fortitude I embraced from her death will hold me in good stead for the next curve ball I guess. Having said that, her death was the catalyst for other types of curve balls.

Watching my father move on with his life has been difficult at times. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t hard seeing him with another woman, it was hard watching him push himself out of his little circle and into another. He didn’t notice the changes, probably still doesn’t but that’s really not what this blog is about. It is what it is, and I have moved past that.

This is about the personal growth I’ve had to push myself through in order to keep him in my life. It’s not been easy either. I walked away a number of times, because I thought my opinion or feelings on a matter weren’t important enough to even run past me, and then when I was heard, my opinion wasn’t even considered. Decisions were made because he made them, and that’s the brunt of it. But that’s okay. I won’t bend to being anyone else but me, and my opinion does count, even if he doesn’t want to hear it, and to get my feelings heard I just went around him and went about it another way, because trying to get him to understand that every decision he makes effects everyone else wasn’t working.

Earlier on supporting him in moving into a another relationship after Mum’s death was easy. I wanted for him to be happy, to be loved and not lonely. I encouraged him, even if he thought I wasn’t or didn’t. I advised him when he asked and would say what everyone else was thinking but didn’t have the balls to say. In the end that was my worst move! I agreed with who he was seeing, and never have I told him that I disapprove, simply because I always approved. Other people have their views on what I did or didn’t do or say, but not one of those people actually approached me and asked what I was feeling or how I was. To them I say FUCK YOU!! Mind your own business and keep your opinion to yourself, because if my feelings don’t matter to you, then you’re feelings don’t matter to me. Fair is fair. Even now, I still support his relationship, I never stopped and to this day, I just cannot grasp why anyone thought I didn’t.

Living a distance from him probably hurt the whole situation marginally, not being involved daily or weekly is not easy, you miss out on simple events like a Sunday roast and table conversations about sport and growing vegies, even just normal relationship stuff like helping change a tyre or babysitting. None of it was happening and dysfunction set in. I stopped calling every second day because I never got that call back, you get past that point of trying and trying and I began to believe that I was not important anymore. That really eats at you, and it poisons your soul. I was broken there for a while I’ll admit. I couldn’t even fathom being around him and my skin crawled at the fact that I felt so alienated. The ideal had disappeared and I now had no relationship with my father, the man who I loved with all my being, the man I still loved. It’s been a while since I felt this pain. I’ve worked really hard at getting my head and heart right. Moving past the hurt that he didn’t even know he was projecting. I don’t believe he has done any of this to hurt me, he is after all male and a simple creature.

Over this period of a couple of years a few events happened that I regret I wasn’t part of. Whether it was because of my own self pity or something else, it really doesn’t matter. What matters is that I hope I have mended some of that damage by being the bigger person. Some of my actions hurt me as much as others, probably more and for that I will be eternally sorry. I tried my hardest to not involve others, but in the end there is always collateral damage.

This curve ball, I believe has been hit maybe not out of the ball park, but at least against the park fence. I’m doing my best to try to fix the damage. Perhaps a long way to go, but at least I am trying.

I didn’t want this blog to be just about the shitty stuff. For me it’s more about celebrating what I have coming out of it. I’ve thought long and hard about it and I am truly grateful for a number of things. Life without my sisters would have been intolerable. They have been understanding and supportive on my darkest days, and even at one point they just left me alone to do it. I’m sure they were confused at the time, but on the other side of it they are still here. I love them both dearly and will never forget all they do for me. I also have a new sister… yup a 22-year-old one. While I was ‘away’ the adoption of my step mum’s youngest daughter went ahead. My reaction to the news that this was happening was not ideal, I know this, but I hope I have made the right moves to mend this relationship. I’m looking forward to building a strong relationship with not only her but her other three sisters, my three step sisters. Yes essentially my dad has seven daughters now… it’s really quite a thought process to fathom seven daughters. My new sisters aren’t quite so new, I have known them almost all my life, so getting to know them isn’t what it’s about. Its more about looking at them and them in turn looking at me in a different light, like family. Including everyone in birthdays and celebrations because you want them there, not because your obliged, that sort of thing. I’m hopeful that my efforts will be rewarded with a strong uniting, this I want more than anything.

I can also say that I now know where I stand with family coming out the other side of this. Clarity has been important to me, and transparency, people with no agendas and who mean the very best. I thought I was important to a number of family members, but it seems I was wrong, really wrong. Those relationships I will not be trying to fix. I am happy where I am now and that’s all that matters to me. I am grateful for the family that’s actively involved in my life, and they aren’t all blood I can tell you.

I’m excited about the future. Building my relationship with my father again, and the hope of building a bond between myself and my step mum; hopefully seeing their pub in the footy off-season and spending some quality time with them. I’ve put the right foot forward and hopefully the left foot will follow? Fixing bridges on your own is hard, and at some point you have to meet halfway. Just writing this blog has been a huge step for me, to allow people into my thoughts and feelings, the place that my soul and heart reside. I dearly hope that any reaction from this blog a good one, as it’s coming from a place of my hopes and dreams and that place is a good place. To understand my hopes and dreams you have to understand the lows associated with it and without explaining those, all of this growth and accomplishment is worthless.

Anyway, what will be will be, and I hope that we all meet at the right place. Celebrating family is important and with my fortieth birthday just around the corner, having all of my family there means the most.

P.S. Happy birthdays to three of my sisters for today… Lana, Ash and H… mwah mwah mwah.

Make sure you turn the teapot twice clockwise and once anticlockwise!


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