Grab some coffee & relax, this is gonna be a long story.
Yes, I do!
For my entire life, I have absolutely adored my fabulously wonderful parents & the rest of my family (most days).
We are in no way perfect & have all had our issues, but when it comes down to it, we truly do love each other & we care what happens to each other... Typing that last sentence made me burst into tears, because I know what this blog post is about & it's heart-wrenching to me.
I have witnessed firsthand what it's like to come from an abnormal family. I've seen & heard it with my own eyes & ears...
I've felt the sobbing, broken heart, next to me & dried more tears than I ever knew I'd have to.
My hubby's family is quite different from ours. For one, they have only half as many kids as our family & none of them are girls... When my hubby & his older brother were in high school, they had to pay rent, to still live at home. Needless to say, they couldn't wait to move out. My hubby bought a car & his parents co-signed for him. His mom told him he couldn't move out until the car was paid off. Of course, that filled him with dread. He didn't want to be stuck there, forever, paying on his car... There were some people in his church who owned a used car dealership. He went to them & told them his problem, then traded his car for a motorbike, so he could get out from under the payments & the impending doom of renting his room at home, for the entire length of the loan. Brilliant!
We met soon after.
We only knew each other a few months when we got married. A year & a half later, we moved across the country. I will admit, that was the best move, for our marriage. We had been living that first year & a half with my parents, which was great. I was only 17 when we got married, he was 20, but even still, once we said our "I do's", my parents never told us what to do after that, even though we lived under their roof. We were good, honest, hard-working kids. We didn't need to be told what to do. My hubby's family was a little different (& I'm trying to be kind) & they did try to tell us what we should & shouldn't do. We knew moving would be much less of a strain on us than sticking around near them. We were wise beyond our years about that. As much as we love each other, I've no idea if our marriage could have lasted staying near them. It would have been a strain.
There was some fallout & I did receive some mail, through the years, addressed only to me that said, "For your eyes only!" & not to show my hubby (& Of course my hubby ALWAYS read them too).
It was an eye roller for sure!
The letters were filled with tongue lashings & I was also scolded when my hubby's older brother moved up nearby us, "& Now you've taken both of my son's away from me!", she said... Oh brother!
Early on, we got a house guest. My hubby's younger brother, who was 16, came from Florida to stay for a few weeks. He was only a few years younger than I was, but mentally he seemed much, much younger. He always acted like he was tough.
After he'd been with us a while, we had a dilemma...
One day, while my hubby was out back at his work, a police car stopped in the alley & asked my husband his name.
"We've got your brother. He was caught shoplifting a Mad magazine at Olsen's Grocery store & we were on our way to take him to the Denny Youth Center". My hubby agreed it was his younger brother from Florida & they released him into our custody. What was he thinking? He even had more than enough cash in his pocket to buy a magazine.
My first gut instinct reaction was, "Get that kid on a plane & send him back home for a royal butt chewing from his parents!"... We called his parents in Florida & told what had happened. They talked to him on the phone & he said he wanted to stay & they really didn't want to pay the extra money to change the ticket, so to my horror they said, "Oh, let him stay the rest of his time there, that's OK"... ARE YOU KIDDING ME!???
& So it began...
As the years went on, the younger brother got into more & more trouble. He was arrested multiple times, for various different things & bailed out by his mommy & daddy, time & time & time again.
Once when we went down to visit them in Florida, we stayed in the younger brother's bedroom & there was a pile of pills on the dresser & hard liquor stashed away in the closet. (Now, keep in mind, I worked at a convenience store & my mother-in-law chastised me horribly for "just working" where they sold cigarettes & beer.) My husband said to his mom, "Do you realize he has pills & booze in his room, under your roof" & her response was, "Oh, yes. He needs that, just to get by". SERIOUSLY!???
There's a whole LOT more to the story, but you get the picture. Needless to say, this kid was always in trouble of one form or another. Multiple felonies. ALWAYS bailed out & taken care of by mommy & daddy, no matter how bad he was. Attorneys & whatever his heart's desire was, ALL paid for. Always rewarded for bad behavior. This kid has been treated FAR better than the man who raised him, who foot the bill for everything...
It's like they never cut the umbilical cord.
Fast forward to today...
Nearly a 50 year old man, still living at home with his parents. Doesn't have to work (we can't even remember the last time he attempted to hold down a job) (YEARS ago!) & doesn't have a worry or a care in the world. Has it made!... AND they pay him to do things around the house. Yes, it's true!! Lives there, rent free & collects money for chores. What's wrong with this picture?... Sad.
So... We are packing up our house & preparing to move it all.
Not by choice. Our landlord wants his son to move in here. We have NO idea where we will go yet, nor the funds to go there. This will be the fifth home we've lived in, since April of 2010 & not by choice... My husband is disabled & cannot work. He can barely walk to the bathroom... We don't depend on anyone for our rent, but ourselves. We live month to month, ALWAYS paying our rent first, above anything else. I bust my butt to earn enough money, to pay our own way through life to the best of our abilities. In my spare time, I care for my disabled hubby, for free & do some work from home as well, to earn extra money. When he first became disabled, we did have friends who dropped in & helped, bringing groceries or giving us gas money & such, but that is few & far between now & we have been making our own way through this hard, hard life of ours.
Today, my hubby decided to give a call to his dad, just to double check if there was any way possible they might be able to help us with some funds for our move...
I sat on the couch, right next to him when he asked me to. Immediately he was met with one excuse after another about where all of their money goes & "We had to buy new sofas for the house & we live out of town now, so it costs more to go back & forth & blah, blah, blah, blah"... & Then, after a few minutes of haggling & hemming & hawing back & forth, we hear him say that we should put our things in storage & go live in public housing. Um, hello!! My hubby was floored speechless, but he had enough wits about him to reply that they should have his little brother move into public housing, so they could save on all the money they give him each month. The response was, "Now, you're just being mean", to which my hubby said, "Oh, it's mean when I say "he" should live in public housing, but it's OK for you to tell me "we" should do it?"... & Then my hubby hung up.
The common response from my hubby's parents is, "Oh, sorry to hear that, son", which seems automated & with a lack of compassion.There is absolutely nothing good or normal about this situation... & I know, deep down, that these are a lot of the reasons my sweet, sweet hubby suffers from depression. He wonders what makes his brother so special that everything should be handed to him & even funds for drugs & booze. He is constantly mulling over & over in his mind, wondering why a convicted felon seems to do no wrong in his parent's eyes, but a hard working, now disabled man, by no fault of his own, is frowned upon for everything. They have even scolded us for getting chickens & growing a garden & raspberries & blueberries in the past. It makes absolutely no sense!
SOooo, the moral of this story is, if you are raising a family, try not to reward your children for bad behaviors. This world doesn't need any more full grown juvenile delinquents... & Folks, I'm here to tell you that your actions have the ability to cause deep, deep damaging wounds to your kids. They are not blind. They hear what you say & they see what you do... Please rethink your actions & the things that come out of your mouth... I live with the proof of the massive hurts & damages done & I have spent 35 years of my life trying to soothe & rebuild & uplift those hurts... It's no easy task.
Family... "A group of people, usually of the same blood (but do not have to be), who genuinely love, trust, care about, and look out for each other. Not to be mistaken with relatives sharing the same household who hate each other. REAL family is a bond that cannot be broken by any means." That is what the Urban Dictionary says is the definition of family.
Sometimes our chosen family of friends is more like family than our own family. Sad, but SO true... & I am super grateful for each & every one of our WONDERFUL friends!
I love my family... I am SUPER grateful for the parents I was given & I'm grateful for their sweet, kind, loving ways & their wisdom... Mostly, I am thankful for their blessings & protection ALL of my life & that they have never hurt me... I am SO grateful that I can still hug them every single time I see them.
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