Thursday, December 08, 2005

Forgiveness... What does it all mean? Can I get to that point? Am I at that point?


*This is a long post… It’s just that I’m trying to clear my head about a few things.

I had a conversation with a co-worker before Thanksgiving that had me thinking about a few of my ways. We ended up talking about the Thanksgiving Holidays, and what we would be doing, etc.

“So, is your Mother coming over for Thanksgiving?”
“Nope,” I said. “I really don’t fool with her too tough.”
“Awww, you should invite your mother over for Thanksgiving.”
“No, it’s not gong down like that.”

The problem is that I don’t get along with my mother. I haven’t had to deal with her much over the past couple of years because she has had a boyfriend, who eventually became her husband. And when she has a man, well, everyone else is dirt on the ground.

I don’t have a problem with that. Hey, it’s your life, do your thang. The problems begin when she don’t have a man. All of a sudden she wants to be around family. For years, it has been a vicious cycle that has really worn me out. Before this last man, she was Mother of the year. Just like before and after every trifling man.


I knew there was a problem when I first met (very reluctantly) this last man of hers. When he spoke, his breath smelled rank with alcohol. And not that little, “Oh, I just drink a little every now and then” alcohol breath. It was more of a “I’m a lifelong card carrying alcoholic” breath.

Then one day, when I went to pick up my little brother, she was all gussied up. She said, “Yeah, Lee, take the boy with you, and get him some stuff together so he can spend the night with you.”

Uh-oh, I thought to myself. Here we go again. Just when everything was alright, she hooks up with some ingrate with a WHOLE bunch of problems.

Again, I have no problem with this. It’s her life. If she wants to get involved with some fool, then she’s grown. Go right ahead and do it. But the problem is she wants others to validate her decisions. And sorry, I can’t validate her usual choices of men: those who are between jobs, on drugs, and alcoholics. What usually happens is that I stay the hell out of the way…

But I couldn’t do that this time. It was early April, and my brother and I had started a vegetable garden in the backyard. So I was basically stuck with going over there and keeping that up. At the same time, my brother, who was fifteen at the time, had a strong feeling that mother’s new man didn’t want him around. I only lived three miles away, so I made sure to stop by and spend as much time with him as possible. Mother had a new man, you see. Her kids became dirt on the ground.

I didn’t like Mother’s new man. Whenever I was having a conversation with my mother (whether in person or on the phone), he would butt in. He wasn’t a sorry wuss like mother’s other men. This dude was sorry, loud, and trifling.

Well anyway, my brother and I got the garden going good, and mother’s new dude, who had moved in with her, decided he wanted some tomato plants of his own. To make a long story short, he was trying to compete with me and my brother. We made sport of ignoring him. Mother didn’t like that. We were suppose to treat this man like his name was Jesus. That was not going down.

My brother made sure to keep the guy’s tomato plants watered and fertilized, since the guy was trifling as hell, and wasn’t really keeping up with his own plants. Soon, the tomato plants produced a bunch of tomatoes.

One day during the summer, my brother and I had been out tending the garden. It had gotten to a point where the garden was producing. We were picking vegetables on a regular basis.

“Get a tomato, Lee,” my brother suggested.
Boy are you crazy? I ain’t touching that dude’s stuff.”
“Shoot girl, we been using our own fertilizer, and watering his stuff. There are a whole lot of them out here. Get one.” He picked a tomato off the plant and threw it in my basket. We continued picking other vegetables.

Well, Mother’s man noticed that a tomato was missing. (I’m still trying to figure out how Oldboy spotted one tomato out of at least upwards of a hundred tomatoes was missing.)

To make a long story short, I got accused of stealing. I was thinking to myself, “Damn Ma, as much as I make sure you have extra money in your pocket, etc., you just turn on me and accuse me of stealing?”

I told my brother, “NOW you understand why I stay the hell away from here when she has a boyfriend.”

I think my brother gained a little understanding that day.

I lived only three miles from her, so I went home, got the tomato, and brought it back to her house.

She was still talking smack. That was cool. I know I don’t steal, so whatever. I ignored her as usual. I called my Aunt and let her know what happen, just in case my mother decided to drag my name through the dirt with the family. At the same time, I was very angry with myself for getting caught up in such madness. I full well knew that she treated her men as if they were God Almighty. And pure damnation to all who didn't do the same.

I would drive over to my mother’s house on weekday mornings to pick up my brother. He was taking summer school classes and he would catch a ride with me in the mornings so that we could catch the train together. The morning after mother had accused me of stealing, I stopped by, as usual, to pick up my brother. She was in the kitchen making a cake or something.

“Hey Ma,” I said while looking up the steps towards my brother’s room.

She was quiet. She just looked at me. I sat on the steps leading up to the upstairs part of the house. My brother ran downstairs past me and into the kitchen to grab something to eat before we left.

She started in on me again. Just cussed me out. She could not just let it go! I snapped, and ended up getting loud right back with her (which is something TOTALLY out of character for me). To this day, I don’t remember what I said to her. I remember screaming back at her. She threw stuff at me. We tried to run up on each other. My brother had to get in between us. I ran upstairs to the master bedroom and went off on her boyfriend. It scared my brother to death. I remember calming down when I saw how upset he was getting.

My brother ended up grabbing me up and shuffling me out of the house before Ma got too crunk. (She was still trying to get at me.) We got in the car. My brother and I were quiet all the way to the train station.

She ended up writing a letter to me the next day. She said she was sorry for things getting out of hand, but I should stop playing games, etc….

Okay… this confused me. Like I have time to sit around playing trifling games…whatever. Why don’t I just stay out of her way? I had to still go over to help my brother with the garden, though.

Fast forward to now. I simply don’t deal with her. I can’t deal with the stress of having to watch what I say to her, or having to deal with her wanting me to bow down and worship her substandard men. Over this time, she has had a habit of dogging me out to my brother and sister, which I find a bit distrurbing. Yet she smiles in my face when she sees me. This again leaves me deeply disturbed.

But now, she has divorced that fool, after less than a year of marriage. And now she wants to act like nothing ever happened.

This is where my issues with forgiveness come into question. I’ve been through this type of scenario with my mother a few times over the years, usually all over some trifling man. (I remember, at age 21, packing my stuff in plastic bags and sleeping on a friend’s couch for the summer. Ma got an attitude with me because she felt I did not speak in the proper tone to her 26 year old boyfriend, who happen to be living with us. I never moved back home. I started graduate school and got my own place.)

I really feel that I don’t want her to be a part of my life, and I don’t want to be a part of hers.

Gasp! But Ladylee, that’s your mother!

I know that…

The problem is that I have had a lot of peace when not having to deal with my mother’s drama. She is a constant complainer, especially when she doesn’t have a man, and it just emotionally drains me. I've found myself depressed when dealing with her for any length of time. My life has been relatively crisis free, and she frowns upon that. I have to admit that all my life, my relationship with my mother has been superficial at best. I don’t remember going to her for help with anything I was going through on a personal level. I always confided in my friends or their mothers or my aunt. There were just times when I needed straight up help or advice with personal issues, and I didn’t trust my mother to take care of those needs.

I have always kept my private life from her. I remember one time, when I was twenty, she asked me if I was a lesbian. I was real happy that day because I was dating a couple of guys at the time, and I saw that I had done a bang-up job of keeping my love life a secret from her. That meant I could get my swerve on without her judgements about it. I never, to this day, discussed my divorce with her. And I think I had been divorced for a whole year before she ever found out about it.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m cordial. I spent half a day with her at my brother’s Army graduation a couple of weeks ago. Incidently, she had been whining to my brother and sister about how I should share a hotel room with her. That was out of the question for me. Why do you want to share a room with me? You care nothing about me. I expected her to throw a fit over it, but she didn’t. She just talked about me behind my back. So what…

She’s been to my new home. I remember her smiling broadly and saying, “Lee, I’m so proud of you!” And I remember looking at her and thinking to myself, “Stop fronting like you give a damn about me or anything I do.”

Around Thanksgiving, my sister and brother were a little puzzled by the fact that I wasn’t inviting her to my house for Thanksgiving. I’m already not the biggest fan of the Holiday season. My Aunt was coming by with her husband, and my Grandma was also coming over. (My mother and Aunt don’t get along AT ALL. And mother can’t stand the fact that we go to our Aunt with our problems, if we need advice, or if we just need to just plain outright confess some ish.) This has been our usual small family gathering over the past few years. Mother made a big deal out of not being invited, and I thought about just inviting her, and spending my time in my room. But I figured that I just bought my home, and I wanted to be comfortable in my own home, where I pay the mortgage. So I didn’t bother inviting her.

So I don’t know if I’m walking in unforgiveness. I don’t know if I am wrong for being cordial, yet keeping her at arms length. All I know is that I am simply being myself, who I am. It’s just that I can’t stand drama, and she absolutely loves drama. I feel like I would be a full fledge liar if I grinned in her face and acted as if everything was alright. I, Ladylee, am not a big fan of phoniness. I have no desire to do what my much younger brother and sister are doing: trying to catch mother’s love and attention while she is between men. (And trust me, they better catch it quick before the next derelict arrives on the scene.)

This is something I’ve prayed about, because I need a mother’s love. It’s just that it has never been my style to fake the funk with people, even my own mother. And I feel like she is doing that with me…

My brother and sister and I have discussed this at length. “My mother does not love or care for me, and I will not be sitting in her face saying what she wants to hear or stroking her ego. We all know if any of us say one thing wrong, a big fight will break out. And I’m sorry, I’m not going to live my life in that type of bondage to anybody, not even my own mother.”


"No Lee, that ain't true!!!!!" my brother wailed. They were a little upset with me, needles to say.

But that is the very gist of what I feel right now.

People say that I need to work on forgiveness. They say I hold grudges. I’m that way on the job. If you stab me in my back, or knowingly get me caught up in some craziness, and you don’t apologize, then I’m through with you. I’m cordial, and I’ll help you on the job, but don’t expect me to cheese in your face, and you’ll do good not to come fake the funk in my face. Don't expect me to be hanging at your house or sit down and shoot the breeze with you. Phoniness is not my thing. It's just not in me.

I feel like I have forgiven my mother (have I?), but I choose to keep her at arm’s length (like it has been most of my life). It would be phony of me to pretend that everything is alright, though. Like nothing has ever happened.

I'm not looking for agreement, ego-stroking, disagreement, or chastisement here. I'm just trying to work this thing out, get it off my chest, you know. Just writing my feelings out right now has helped me figure some things out...

Looking for the right way to go about things with myself... and with my mother...

Something I will continue to work on and think about…




24 comments:

  1. Ladylee,
    Without question, your history with your mother appears to have been long and troubled. Outside looking in, and having a totally different perspective in terms of my relationship with my own mother, I don't know if I can offer any real insight. I will say this, in any relationship, the most important thing be it a relative, friend, colleague, whatever, is to understand exactly what the other person is able and capable of giving to you, and expecting no more than that. Once you have figured this out, you then have to decide if what they are able/capable of giving is enough to satisfy your wants/needs. We often place unrealistic expectations on those around us based on our personal belief about what a person should/should not do/give/say by virtue of who they are to us (i.e. mothers, lovers, friends do/don't do that!). In doing so, we typically disregard the basic nature of the individual in question and in doing so, set ourselves up for disappointment. In an ideal world, this would be okay...but we all know how little about the world is ideal anymore, if anything ever was. I have found, that this approach allows me to dictate my own course in relationships of all types, and saves me significant amounts of heartache and pain, as I have already decided what I can count on from a particular person, and made a decision as to whether or not that is good enough to warrant keeping the person in my world. I must add, that if the value they are bringing is below what I believe to be useful to me, or they are basically toxic in what they bring to my life, I will cut them out like a cancer, without regard for who they are to me. Sorry for the length of the post, but a long original post possibly inspired a long response ;) (Well, maybe NOT...we both know I'm long-winded as hell!). In any event, maybe forgiveness is not the issue, but identifying and accepting the reality of the relationship in terms of what it is and potentially will be, will be the answer to your questions. All the best!

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  2. Anonymous5:17:00 PM

    I know you hate anymous blogger but I am very shy. You know, forgiveness is one of the hardest things to do. I was in bible study class, and one of the guys in class, is taking a religion psycology class. He stated that one of his assignments was to convince a girl whom was sexually abused by her father to forgive him using only Bible scriptures, of course he was seeking assistant from our instructor. I would really have a hard time forgiving someone I loved for hurting me like that, or anyone whom hurted my children in any way. I guess I am just a softy and hate to thought of someone spending the holidays alone (when I asked you about your mother). Don't listen to me being nice has caused me more problems than I care to tell anybody. I don't know why I always feel sorry for other people. I guessed because I know how God has blessed me, I am not talking finacially. Sometime I speak with you and Sunshine about things I learned at Bible study because I am trying to grow and I would like to get others take on what I learned. Maybe you have forgiven her but, you have not forgotten (which I believe is a good thing) therefore you keep your guard up to protect yourself from the hurt she has caused in the pass. I also agree with the Sharon's comments. I have actually thought about something you said to me that day about having peace in your home. This is the first time I have had peace in my home since I have been own my ow, it feels good. I have been singing a song, I am free (I don't know whom wrote it I learned it a church). I was almost about to give up my peace, because I felt sorry for someone, until the conversation I had with you, and another one with H. Me and you talked before about God using people to tell us something, you with your house and me with my peace.

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  3. "in any relationship, the most important thing be it a relative, friend, colleague, whatever, is to understand exactly what the other person is able and capable of giving to you, and expecting no more than that"

    Loved your comment, Sharon. I've been thinking on and about it all day (and feel free to be as longwinded as you like :) )

    I think that is the point that I'm at right now... Through writing this whole post, I've come to realize that my relationship with my mother has been very superficial all my life. She's NEVER been the first choice of someone I confide in.

    And it's probably not even an issue of forgiveness at that... Like I said, I'm cordial, I just don't see myself hanging out for any lenghth of time...it's more of an issue of something like you said, identifying and accepting the reality of the relationship...

    Thanks for your insight... It was helpful.

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  4. @ Anon...

    You know, I've been thinking about our conversation before Thanksgiving too, and I felt like I was being a little harsh, when I said some of things I said. But right now, I'm too tired to deal with a bunch of mess. But overall, like I said, my peace of mind, and peace in my home, is very important to me. I hate drama with a passion, while others run to drama, and that is where me and my mother clash. And right now, I feel like she is doing whatever she can to disturb my peace (via a lot of stuff I didn't post in addition to what I did post) and for me that is unacceptable.

    My mother is not spending the holidays alone. She didn't spend Thanksgiving alone--she spent it with my sister. And none of us were really sure if she has not been creeping with her trifling ex-husband. She says she wants to be around family, but i wouldn't have put it past her to show up on the spot with the dude (At my house? The horror!!!). (She has bought that dude around for the past couple of years... And it was a bit unnerving, since he is so loud and is a thief-- it's not a good thang having to watch your possessions while trying to relax with family :( I myself am not a big fan of the holidays, and would LOVE to spend some of that time alone, but I'll probably hang out with family and a few friends!

    Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for your comment... It gave me a lot to think about :)

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  5. Wow...
    I don't know you even though I've posted on your blog before. Your posts are often deep and since they are sometimes so personal, it helps be realize that we(the univeral we) are more alike in our experiences than different.

    So... My mother's mom abandonned her children and went on to have 7 more with another man when my mom was 3. This is a woman that left 5 small kids with their father( 6, 5, 3, 2 and a baby) to be with some man that had a fancy car. This is 1944 in small town Texas. Woman just didn't do that. My mother has struggled with abbandonnment ever since.

    I've met this 'grandnother' once in my 37 years. She called the house once that I can remember, said "This is your grandmother" and I told her she had the wrong number and almost hung up on her. See, the woman I knew as Granny(my mom's stepmother) had died a year earlier. This chick was a stranger... I'd forgotten she existed.

    Except that my mom has always struggled with "Why is she like that", "Why did she leave us", "Why didn't she want us", "How could she not care about us and want to protect us" "Why weren't her kids important enough to take with her?", "Why doesn't she ever write, call or reach out to me". She and my father would make a point to visit her when they went back to Texas and try to help her out. I swear my dad did more fixing of her house than the kids she "claimed" with her new man.

    Your mother seems to be cut from the same cloth. She is weak. I couldn't imagine a woman doing that. Her new man didn't want to be responsible for her exissting kids, but how could SHE do that???

    I'm giving all this background for a reason. My mother's mom died recently and my mother made the trip back to to Texas to visist at her bedside before she died. I disagreed with her decision to go. I felt that she'd been hurt long enough and too many times. The woman was NEVER a mother to that set of children. Why go when there was no relationship there?

    I got to talking about it to my Dad and his comment was that she should go. It was her mother and that as long as she was alive, it was never too late.

    Somehow, this time, I understood what he was saying. It is cliche, but ultimately forgiveness is for you -- not your mom. Do you sound like you've forgiven? No, you sound like your protecting yourself, and Frankly, you've had to because your mother wasn't protecting u.

    She is your mother and her 'triffling-ness' has effected to you and will probably effect your family should you choose to have one. But, to quote my Dad, it is never too late. Maybe, one day...

    OK... that's enough for now.

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  6. @sherri...

    "but ultimately forgiveness is for you -- not your mom".

    Yeah, that's a cliche, but that EXACT phrase has been on my mind real HEAVY for a few weeks now... because ultimately that is what it is all about. What a powerful confirmation you've presented....

    But I can't find the line. I feel like I have forgiven her, because I am not sitting around plotting how to run up on her and do physical or mental harm, but at the same time, I probably haven't forgiven her because I don't want her and her drama in my life... After all, don't I have a right to be at peace and happy? Like I said, I'm usually emotionally shot after just talking to her for any period of time.

    I understand your mother's struggles all to well... Not a day goes by where there are no "Why" questions swirling in my head. I mean, surely there must be some explanation for that behavior. There has to be. Every since I turned 18, my Aunt has really sat me down and talked to me about such things, which has helped so much with keeping me from going crazy... (She's definitely going to talk to me about this post and comments REAL soon.) But sometimes, I just want to hear things from my mother.

    I remember, before Thanksgiving, trying to explain my feelings to my co-worker "Anonymous" above. I had the same conversation this past Sunday with my best friend. I told her, say for instance I loan you a thousand bucks. You say, "I'll pay you back, Ladylee!" But you don't pay me back. And you don't mention it again. You just keep coming around acting like it's all good. "Ladylee, let me hold another thousand". Now, in my mind, I'm like "Dang, you didn't pay me back the last time!", but since we cool, I loan it to you again. You don't pay me back. You try to hit me up again for some more cash. I say "Heck no! You didn't pay me back, and I needed that money". Then you say, "Dang, you're holding what happened in the past (not paying back the money) against me, and that ain't right. You haven't forgiven me for not paying you back, and that is wrong!"

    So am I walking in unforgiveness because I didn't loan you more money? Or am I just protecting my finances? Am I wrong for trying to protect my finances?

    I know it's a terribly jacked-up analogy, but that's as close to what I feel as I can possibly get. I have memories as early as the age of 3 of being caught up in some mess with my mama and her men, and I am 35 years old now, and I want it to stop... that's all I'm saying.

    "...you sound like your protecting yourself, and frankly, you've had to because your mother wasn't protecting u." And I agree with you on that, Sherri. I haven't heard it quite put like that before, but I think that is probably what's going on with me. Thanks for bringing that up.

    Thanks Sherri, for the comment... It was very deep and has been quite cathartic for me...

    LadyLee

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  7. sunshine7:49:00 AM

    Wow! As I was reading your post, the "peace" that you talked about is very important. I don't think you are walking in unforgiveness. You should remember that just because someone gives birth to you does not mean they are capable of being a mom. If keeping your mother at arms length gives you peace, then so be it. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (NIV). You know I am always trying to find the good in people and maybe there are some issues that your mom is dealing with from her past that makes her the way that she is. I am all about the peace and try to live a drama free life. Sometimes I find myself breaking away from people that have that constant "drama" factor. I don't have time for it. If this situation is not causing you to toss and turn night after night and you really have peace with the way things are, then I think that says a lot.

    Sorry for the long post. You know I normally just read and make my comments to you at work.

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  8. Wow Ladylee!!!

    (Now you got us making long post, so here I go ;-)

    That was a deep and powerful post. I can certainly understand why you would be so frustrated. Some of the things you mentioned in this post were just down right petty and to be getting upset with over a fricking tomato that you and your brother helped grow…..now that is just so stupid.

    This type of relationship with my mom would bother me to. The funny thing is that I had a dream about my mom’s ‘significant other’ last night. Dreamt that while I was there visiting him and I got into a huge argument….cussing, fussing, and the whole nine. In the dream she took his side and I was ready to pack my bags and come back to Florida.

    I do not have the best relationship with him either because he gets on my nerves. Always thinking that he KNOWS EVERYTHING! They have been together for a long time and can remember a few times when I was in high school and in my early college days, he had my mom thinking that I was the biggest slut in town when in reality I was still a virgin. Why he did and said the STUPID things he did has caused deep rooted issues with me and my mom to and I definitely can’t stand him!

    I still think about those terrible days when I was still living at home with her. GRRRRRRR! The worst of my adult years. Girl she had me under lock and key up until the age of 20 when I finally moved out. This is when my relationship with here finally started to heal. ~~Sigh~~

    Girl I could go on and on about it, but my point is that I have TRIED to get past most of the issues with my mom. We still talked at least weekly on the phone and my sisters and I go to visit her on holidays and such, so I guess its not too bad!

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  9. @Sunshine...

    Thanks for the comment, Sunshine...
    Doggonit, all of ya'll have had some really powerful comments that have helped me immensely...

    You know, breaking away from dramatic people is one thing, but when it's my mother... I'm wondering if anything between us is salvageable. And my Aunt has been more like a mother to me anyway. She's who I can be myself around. She's been there to protect me since the very beginning. She's who I can't wait to see, and who I am peaceful with.

    But I'm thinking too about what Sherri said in her comments...

    "It was her mother and that as long as she was alive, it was never too late."

    I agree with that also. Hopefully one day, we can have a heart-to-heart. Don't know if that would happen anytime to soon...

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  10. @ Nic, i.e., NSO Ecstasy...

    You see, Nic, I understand where you coming from. And I can see from your story that you and your siblings were putting up with your Mama's man for her sake, out of respect for her. Why else would you be around a dude like that? But how does a mother let a dude just say and do crazy stuff?... That is something that boggles my doggone mind!

    My mother and I didn't halfway get along until I moved out, and we got along better when I was living in New Orleans for a couple of years, i.e., distance was key. My sister has this issue to. It is still an issue of us having to watch what we say. (my sister is the ultimate pro at this... I am not). If you don't say what she wants to hear, then there's a problem... It is stressful and a thing of bondage for me. And so, so SUPERFICIAL and PHONY.

    That day, I could not BELIEVE that my mother was trying to call me everything except a child of God over a tomato. She always (and still does) tells my siblings "Lee just don't want me to have a man", and I think it has more to do with that. I know it was deeper than a stupid tomato. But I don't know how deep...

    What has really been a sucker punch to me is having to watch my sister and brother go through changes with my mother, yet they, being so young, are still in that stage where they are "reachin'" for her exceptance. And she says all kinds of terrible stuff about me to them. My siblings come back confused, with all kinds of questions, and it just breaks my heart to have to talk with them about what she says about me. (This is going on right now, too.) I tell them "i'm content with being the black sheep, the good-for-nothin' child." and "Lawd, I hope ya'll don't end up not giving up on her like I feel I have.."

    But there is always hope... isn't there??

    Thanks for throwing your 2 cents in, girl.(We are posting LONG, aren't we?)..

    I surely do appreciate it!

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  11. Anonymous12:48:00 PM

    LadyLee
    As long as there is breath in your body, there is always hope. You don't want to have any regrets concerning this situation. I want to share a story with you. My grandmother and I did not get along for anything. My grandmother shared in our raising because she lived with us for a very long time. We just could not see eye to eye on anything. It was as if we hated each other. I could not wait to go away to college. Once I left home, as Nic stated, our relationship started to heal. We were cordial and then it got to the point where I actually looked forward to seeing her. I did not visit her as often as I should and I have regretted it ever since. When she died, I acted a fool at the funeral because I knew I was guilty for not doing what I was supposed to do.

    I hope and pray that you and your mother find a way to work out your differences. I hope writing was therapeutic for you.

    Sorry for the anonymous but you do know me!

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  12. @Anon...

    Not sure who you are are, Anon, but it's all good... good point, and point well taken. I'm floating around at that cordial stage, and I agree with you, that there is always hope...

    Thanks for stopping by...

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  13. Ladylee-All of the comments seem to be well written and thought out, but it's too much for me to read right now. Of course you know that I've had a rocky relationship with my mom as well and now with my sister. While I realize that I can't expect too much from my sister, it still bothers me. I know I'm supposed to forgive and get over especially since she's my sister. But sometimes relatives can hurt you the most. Anyone else can just be forgotten, but a relative can't. I haven't prayed about the relationship bc I really want a time out from all of the stress right now. However, I do think that in the future, once some time has passed, I'll be able to hand it over to God and ask that he change my heart. Maybe you should do the same. In your own time that is.

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  14. Ladylee,

    I have to agree with Sharon. Sometimes we place expectations on people for things they just are not capable of doing or being. That sounds like your mother.

    My mother has a very contentious relationship with one of her sisters. She' mean, spiteful, and just plain evil. And my mother feels bad because they don't get along. Like there is something she can control or do about it. We've talked about it so many times. But, she has always wanted that "ideal" relationship with her sister.

    My mom is finally coming around to where you are now. Being cordial, when she can and keeping her distance. Luckily, they live 500 miles apart, so it's easy to do.

    There really isn't much more that can be done. Otherwise you will have no peace in your home and a ton of drama.

    We MUST have peace in our homes. And that is what you have to fight for.

    Keep praying for strength, and guidance.

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  15. @S23...

    Yeah, I have read about how things have went down between you and your sister... I put me in the mind of how things are between me and my mother, at the time I was reading your posts.

    Something you said really stuck with me... "While I realize that I can't expect too much from my sister, it still bothers me." That's how I feel. I can't expect much from my mother. And it really bothers me that it's that way. I've prayed about it because I need to know, as a daughter, what I'm SUPPOSE to do... Right now, it seems that I should just sit tight, do my part to be cordial, and move forward. Maybe, we just need some time to pass, and then things can change.

    Thanks for the comment, S23...

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  16. @bballmom...

    I think that's what I'm looking for... the "ideal" relationship. And I feel like the best thing to do, when I'm not all that sure of what to do, is to be sincerely cordial... I mean look bballmom, look at your mother. Now exactly what IS she suppose to do about a mean and spiteful sister?? Is it her responsibility to do anything about it? It's such a hard question and I know it has taken a toll on her mind at times...

    I'm a little bit past that "feeling bad" mode, because I see that there is not much I can do to control the situation, short of kissing up to her, like everyone else does. That can last for only so long, you know, and it is definitely not the permanent, honest solution to the problem...

    Peace is of the greatest importance to me right now. Peace of mind and having peace with myself over the situation.

    I will continue to pray, in an effort for a little guidance and in an effort to make sure that my heart is right in this situation...

    Thanks for your comment, bballmom...

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  17. Yes Lee, there is still hope. And I do hope that things will get better. I don't know, but situations like this just always seem harder than usual to deal with around the holidays.

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  18. @ Nic...

    You know Nic, there is always hope. And bottom line, God knows my heart, better than I know my own heart, even... And I agree with you, these things get pretty hard around the holidays. That's probably why this has been heavy on my mind for the past month. There have been a few holidays in the past 15 years where I ditched spending the holidays with my family, and spent it with friends instead, all because I got caught up in some mess with my mother and her men, and my mother was not speaking to me at the time... And honestly, Nic, I don't want that to happen anymore.

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  19. Hi LadyLee...

    I am late with this..but u know me...I'll send an after the fact comment...

    I think this goes back to the problem of no communication between the two of u...I know you are unable to forgive...because she hasn't confronted her wrongs...if she were able to acknowledge her behavior and its affect on her children...then perhaps you could sincerly let go of the pain she causes(d)...but since your mother is unable to do these things...it won't be a normal relationship...I'm sorry for that...I pray that the Lord will move her heart...and open her eyes...no you are certainly not to blame for holding your pain...she has never given you the proper respect or forum in which to fully express it...and until she does...well..she'll be "Unforgivan"

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  20. Essie S.11:56:00 AM

    Can you tell me what peace is? During all the drama, can peace still exist according to your definition? I've come to your blog often you talk about it alot, but I think you need to go back to the Word and make sure you have a clear definition and not a made up one. It seems you've allowed bound your past and someone else issues keep you bound when you don't have to be.
    Everyone goes through life with some baggages that extend as far as a childhood along while picking some up along the way, but what you do with that baggage determines your own happiness or better yet joy. Those baggages can either teach you or create more issues for you and those around you. Trust me, put this bag down. I learned the hard way, it is not worth the sweat, tears, and loss of sleep. Stop trying to forgive your mother your way and forgive her the right the way. It is not okay that you feel lonely, abandoned, frustrated, hurt and I am sure you can go on. If your mother were to come apologize to you this very moment would you forgive her? I will answer that for you honestly, because you won't, NO! You would not forgive her because you are still holding on to the hurt. I am not saying forget what has happen, but forgive what has happen because you cannot control anyone but you. If you know that past before is a good indicator is present and future behavior, then don't act surprised.

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  21. @DJ Diva...

    See, that's another problem that I am perplexed about. If the other person does not acknowledge their wrongs, can that person be truly forgiven? I don't know. All I know is that I don't sit around having vindictive "get-back" thoughts of my mother, etc. I only wish for her to get whatever she's searching or hoping for. Things are just so incomplete, un-finished. I wish that she and I could sit down and have an honest heart-to-heart talk about things, without her pitching a fit. If she was outright honest with me about things then, with a little time, all would be well.

    This has taught me one thing. If I've wronged someone, I am QUICK to run up on them and say, "hey I did such-a-such wrong, and I am SO sorry". It's hard as hell to do, but something that I must do... I've realized, over the past few years, that you never know how your actions affect people.

    Thanks, DJ for your comment...

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  22. @Essie S...

    What a loaded comment. And one I surely do appreciate, because it makes me think about things from a bit of a different perspective...

    You wrote..."Can you tell me what peace is? During all the drama, can peace still exist according to your definition?"

    Personally, I don't think that there is a universal definition of peace. Your definition of peace (which you did not give, and I would like to know what that is, by the way), could be TOTALLY different from my definition of peace... And if you look at the various biblical definition of peace, then it is VERY RARE to see anyone with total peace. I myself don't claim to have total peace. I consider myself to be a person under construction all the time. But looking at the changes in my life between here and five years ago... I got a whole lot more peace of mind, by many orders of magnitude, that's for sure.

    Peace and drama can't exist in the same place with me. If there is drama, there is no peace. I'm quick to squash my own dramas. And I don't tend to deal with dramatic people.

    The definition of peace for me is a WHOLE lot of things. I'm not really sure there's any such thing as a "made up" definition, either. Everyone is different. Peace of mind for me is not being bogged down in my mind about things. Not being depressed, disturbed, worried, etc. Peace for me is being happy. Peace for me is not having the burden to be a "people-pleaser", not being manipulative or selfish, but just be confident in being me. I'm at a point in my life where I don't worry about money, etc., because I know God has a plan for me and my life, and he has never forsaken me. Peace for me is knowing that I can pray about a thing and get answers. Knowing all that, I can have a little peace.

    No these may not be your definition of peace, but they are mine. (Wow, do you have the right to tell me "No, Ladylee, you don't have peace."-- Wow, that would be something. But according to your definition, I probably don't.)If you have a problem with that, then well, you just have a problem with that... Not really my concern. I'm just appreciating your comment.

    No I am not at peace about me and my mother's situation. That's why I blogged about it, because I wanted it to stop taking up residence in my mind. It helped me whole lot to write about it because I needed to know where my heart is on the matter. I want us to hold hands and skip off into the sunset, if the truth be told. But I am at peace with the direction of my own life and where I'm heading in life... I don't want to get mixed up in anything that will cause me any unwarranted issues.

    Herein lies the problem... I'm happy, just bought a home, doing well, meeting a few goals I've set for myself over the year, etc... and here she comes, with her DRAMA, trying to turn my brother and sister against me, etc. (there's a bunch of DRAMA I haven't written about here). Misery LOVES company. I can see it stressing out my siblings to keep mother content. I don't need the baggage of all that. I rather just be content right where I am.

    And you asked if she came to me and asked my forgiveness, would I forgive her? Hmm... let's see...my mother is NEVER wrong and she never apologizes sincerely about anything. But if it was hearfelt? Don't know if it would be something that is heartfelt, though. I would. Do you trust someone automatically though. Nope. That takes time.

    I place any relationships in my life into 2 categories-- those that build bridges towards my destiny and those that hold me in bondage... There is no in between for me. And my relationship with my mother is one of mental bondage... That right there is why I choose to keep her at arms length, yet remain cordial. No, I refuse to sit around and stroke her ego, listen to her complain about her problems, etc... But all in all, she is still my mother, and I must remain cordial.

    Thanks, Essie S., for your comment... it's good to see your perspective on things.

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  23. Just getting all that out in the open is your road to true forgiveness. Forgiveness is definitely for you and not the other person. You can only control how you feel. However, often we say we have forgiven, but when presented with the same situation over again, we act the same way as before. Forgiveness and peace don't come through avoidence. Peace that passes all understanding comes when in the midst of trouble, you can still smile and deal calmly with a situation no matter whose around. It's easy to think we can cut people out of our lives. If that were true, there would be no need to even address forgiveness, "out of sight, out of mind."

    I have a dead beat Dad who has a wife and 3 sons. His youngest son is 6 months older than me, you figure it out. Between 17 & 19 my Dad had 4 kids, and just recently married the boys mother about 9 years ago. I'm the youngest and only girl, and my mother's only child. When my mom got married when I was 12, he disappeared for 7 years without as much as even a birthday card. I was so furious, when people asked about my real dad, I said he was dead. That was better than dealing with thinking he doesn't love or care about me. After all, I was his baby girl. When he showed back up, he apologized, I forgave him (so I thought), and I thought it was time to meet my other half of my family. I was sadly mistaken. It was like I was his mistress or something. When he saw me, it was only us, and we never went places that we might run into anyone. It was like that for 10 years. I thought I had forgiven him, but every now and then that thing would pop up, and I had no peace about the situation at all. It wasn't until I wrote him a letter on legal paper, back and front about 5 pages that I truly forgave him for a bunch of mess. I had to lay out all the feeling and emotions that were pinned up inside for so many years. Even from way back when I was 12. Things I couldn't say to his face. Dead beat or not, he was still a parent, and I still had to respect him. Even his wife felt sorry for him. He had no idea that I felt all those things. Now, 8 years later, things haven't changed much on his end, but I have changed because even with the scattered phone calls, and meeting up on the fly when I go home to visit, I am at peace. It's his loss, and the way he treated me is something he has to live with and years he can never go back and reclaim. Between 12 and 19, I became a woman and he has forever missed it and has nothing to do with the person I am today. I said all that to say, that people are in your life for a reason. If the only reason was to bring you into this world, then their job is done. It's just harder. Parent are just people. Expecting them to give something that they may not be capable of giving may be asking for to much. Getting blood from a turnip is the phrase I believe. Being honest about your feelings makes forgiving easier, and you will be at peace.

    You are not alone. Thanks for sharing. I really didn't mean to be this long, but couldn't help it.

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  24. @ Blessed One...

    I think I see where you coming from... and I have to say, no, I am not at peace with this particular situation, because of so much peripheral stuff is going on around it. What's added to this is seeing my brother and sister suffer in the process of trying to keep my mother happy (something I chose not to blog about)...

    I've tried to go around my mother, etc., during past holidays, and things went terribly wrong... So yes, avoidance is an issue, and like I said before, I am an emotional basket case after dealing with her and her stuff, to the point where it's like "Man, I should have just stayed away"... For me, it's the same as with other people who are dramatic... I stay away from them...

    And as I said before, all my life, my relationship with my mother has been superficial at best, which I didn't realize until I wrote this post. That's why I wrote this post and titled it the title it is given: so as to get some things out in the open, and off my mind... to gain a different perspective of everything.

    my mother has come by a couple of times in the past week, to see my sister. She gives me a "Hey baby, how are you? la-la-la" and I'm cordial, etc. But approaching her with my feelings would ensue a little violence from her... and I don't want to deal with that. I like your idea of a letter (no telling what that would cause), but it is a beginning...

    Thanks. Gave me a little something more to chew on!

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Slap the *crickets* out the way, kindly step up to the mike, and SAY something!!