While our Memorial Day weekend was lovely in the simplest of ways, I, not so silently, mourn the reality of my “family” situation. They– are more situational than family. ( hahaha) But seriously, special days are now, a new kind of hard. My ex-husband and I worked beautiful healing miracles after our lengthy and litigious divorce, to move our family cross country, together. My motivation for this post: Invitation to bbq at my best friend’s home caused me sadness, sad that asking my ex to join is no longer appropriate. For my boys to enjoy occasions with both their mom and dad, as we had before leaving CA and our first few months here was amazing for them, us too. The consequences of my sister’s initiatives are tough to bare. No amount of recovery allows me to comprehend her condition- no compassion or forgiveness for her…which is just as well, as she is not sorry. Initially, I had requested that invites and communication for him, come through me (which in my opinion should go without saying, given she had no contact/relationship to him, prior)– in order that it appear as though access to “the family” was hinged to US getting along, working together. She feigned confusion over my request, then resigned herself to value Magda, Judith, and Jilan Ghoneim family unity over her awkward crushy connection to my ex-husband. On more than one occasion, varying versions of: “Oh mah gahd, a man who can shoot a gun and bake a pie”…(gag emoji here)
In 2015, I initiated EX-H to go 50/50; to split all responsibility and costs for our children. Right?? Doing and paying more than half of all things for our young children single-handedly for 5 years had me burnt out. Efforts to collect child care and support for them was frequently ineffective. If we were 50/50 for all necessities, this would cease to be an issue for us. He responded: “YES BUT, ONLY if we relocate to an area where I can afford a home.” With barely a pause, I refused “absolutely not”. I– had a well paid job and security and owned MY home and those were the ONLY things I could count on.
A week later, word of my mother’s fluid filled lungs and stage 4 ovarian cancer diagnosis came. Unable to fly back and forth or to anticipate a timeline or process of what was to come— I returned to my ex with a unilateral offer that–we move– to Charlotte (the place I fled 27 years ago)- ASAP–elderly mother, Stage 4 Cancer, end of school-year, hot housing market. Right? He was reluctant to hurry. To me, all signs said go now. In barely a month my sons, dogs, and I were relocated. We welcomed him as a family on his day of arrival, 3 months later. He rented a room and enjoyed 6 weeks of learning the area while seeking and awaiting the “right job opportunity”. I assured him financially, that we would be ok while he looked and waited, to holdout for the right opportunity. We were a team…right?? The best for our family of four. divorced, but a family.
I invited him to dinners, happily included my him in gatherings with friends, provided him a key to my home and vacated 3 times/week for his visits with our boys, without me, until he nailed down a place of his own. Because we were a team…right?
My sister persisted in being connected directly with him and arranged dinners with “family” that did not include me. In response to me asking why, she in the most diminishing words told me “why” via email and copied all in support of her campaign. In the email, she did say “you are welcome to join anytime, though highly doubted someone like you can function in a loving family”…Oh…Ok.. She has divided our family in unfixable ways, costing my boys innocence and hope for holidays and special occasions with both mom and dad. Who does this? Who unleashes this on children? For a year she has persisted, not in the loving Glennon Persisterhood-Bigger table type of way.
My being wounded, offended, and fearful of that behavior and the apparent consensus “confuses” my mother….She insists that I have opted out of the family. It is me being overly sensitive, and besides I deserved it. Ha! I only opted out of abuse….again. I get to do that. My ex, (who savors his position in all of this) and I stand no chance of resuming wholesome partnership in co-parenting, so long as Catherine Ghoneim Whitney continues her campaign/victory/dominance (while avoiding looking at her issues and treatment of me for over 40 years). Their connection has re-kindled resentment we had put behind us. What a fucking bummer. I wonder when I will stop being surprised by how sneaky, mean, dark her heart is. I guess wearing white, 365 with that stiff smile helps her to see herself differently.
If my ex were less physically attractive and she had no money and and there was no shared rage over an inability to control me, there would be no connection between these two. GUARANTEED…or if she possessed a sliver of the high morals she means to imply by her wearing angel white 24/7. Oh dear Lawdy, please bless them and change me… or change them and bless me, just make it be fucken different. It s too difficult to accept. Without the shared bond/frustration of me, there would be nothing between them. Ever, he would describe her as an awkward, uptight, pretentious troll with caterpillar eyebrows and she would judge him as beneath her, but hot— uneducated, blue collar redneck.
I am dying for peace and kindness. My mother is dying. And my sister is a piece. I know, this post reflects neither wholesome nor badass thinking, but my name/claim is about my commitment toward striving to be wholesome and badass. I am a work in progress.
If you have a similar experience, please share in the comments. Sharing is caring and totally wholesome and badass. Healing is messy and looks at first like destruction, but it is beautiful…like surgery a little, you must cut into the healthy parts to get at the disease and root it out. It will be painful and leave holes and scars. I share about my holes (hahaha) and scars here. Well , maybe not all my holes.