My emotional state has been all over the map since October. Two months ago I was told that my son was dead. I had not seen him in eight years. I had talked to him on the phone maybe three times in those eight years and had exchanged letters a couple of times. Our relationship was strained. He seemed to embrace a lifestyle that I not only disapproved of, but didn't really understand. He was addicted to heroin and was participating in a methadone clinic at the end of his life. I suppose my lack of understanding comes from my non-addictive personality. I have never smoked and never been dependent on alcohol. I like being in control of myself.
That is not to say that I am always in control. I am not a control freak and don't want to control anyone other than myself. But, even that is not always possible. Just as when my mother died; I can't control when a wave of grief will knock me off my feet. I try to remain standing, but am not always successful. Today has been a really down day. Seems to me that I have been hit from every side today.
Tomorrow morning I will board a plane and wing my way to Minnesota. My children need me. They were unable to attend the memorial service for their and need to achieve closure. My girls need me the most. Happens to coincide with Christmas, this trip and because the airline I am flying has free luggage I have spent the day stuffing presents for the little ones into the two pieces of luggage I am allowed. I am sure that I will no doubt forget something, but there are stores in Minnesota.
I should be in a festive mood and I am looking forward to seeing my children...... but, one phone call absolutely did me in today. And I was the one to make the call.
Have you ever known someone that made you feel like you were not as ..... I can't find the right word, I want to say good..... but that doesn't encompass it. Like you aren't deserving of their attention is as close as I can get in words. My husband has only one sibling, a sister, and she has always given me the impression that I never quite made the cut, so to speak. Nothing she would ever lend voice to and it is intangible, nothing overtly critical, but it is there. I am not the only one to have felt it.
No easy camaraderie between us, no particular sense of family other than the obligatory communication. She only calls my husband's cell phone and in the almost 6 years we have lived here, other than today I have only spoken to her on this phone twice. When our son died my husband made several attempts to call her and finally just left a message. I sent her an e-mail and after two weeks she responded saying she had been so busy and that she was sorry to hear that Bobby had died. No personal phone call, no inquiry about any services....... nothing. I wasn't particularly surprised or even bothered by it until today.
Today she called because she needed us to help with the cost of her mother's prescriptions. She called her brother, not me. I overheard his side of the conversation and asked about it a few hours later as he was getting ready to go to work. Off-season is always tight for us and with the unexpected expense of our son's burial expenses we find that we aren't able to send the amount needed. I offered to call her and try to find other avenues of help.
Having worked in a pharmacy before I know that there are samples tossed each month by doctor's offices due to expiration. They sometime bring them to pharmacies to dispose of. I suggested this and to look into some free programs that are offered by the pharmaceutical companies. My suggestions were not well received and she then went on to say that she felt that we weren't providing enough financial help with my mother-in-law. It escalated and words were spoken that probably were better left unsaid. We could then continue the superficial relationship of before.
Seems she was upset that we went to Georgia and only spent a few hours with my mother-in-law as opposed to the two nights spent at my Dad's house after spending two nights at our cousin's house. We stayed there because of the close proximity to the service. Given the fact that I had not heard from her after learning of my son's death, I guess I assumed her to be disinterested in the details. Apparently I should have notified her with the information about the service. I honestly thought that she would know about it from talking to her brother. I was dealing with a lot and said as much and went on to say that although I knew she didn't particularly care for my son that I was still grieving. To this she said "don't even go there" and hung up.
I was more mad than hurt and chose to vent my frustrations to my buddy (to whom I can say anything). I was going on with my chores and the phone rang........ love of my life wants to know "what the hell is going on". She told on me!!!!! No she didn't! She left messages on his phone, so I gave him a brief description of the phone call and let him go....... he was at work, after all. And as far as I was concerned it was over and I was done.
She called back to apologize. She was having a bad day. It might have been alright had she not taken on her condescending tone and told me that she knew how I felt. I lost it and told her that she did not know how I felt and furthermore did not care how I felt; that she didn't even know me and had never cared to know me. Yeah, I was mad and should have edited my thoughts before they became words. She then told me that it was the other way around and that I had always found fault with her family and with my mother-in-law. She was mad. In that state she proffered the apology again. I told her that I couldn't talk and then I hung up.
Food for thought. I suppose I need to search my memory for these transgressions that I seem to have committed against her and her family. Not tonight. My head hurts and my heart hurts. I thought that it would become clear to me with the writing, but the fog is not lifting.