Family. What a strange concept, huh? People we spend the most time with, that we love and care about the most, or are "supposed" to, yet somehow end up always being the ones we hurt or who hurt us the most.
It's hard to understand.
I have family issues. SURPRISE! ;)
I have extended family that are very lost. Confused. Wandering. In many ways. Hubby and I have tried countless times to help, to support. What ends up happening is we are turned on. Lies have been told, family relationships severed. It breaks my heart. I have tried everything, talking until I'm blue in the face, kind gestures and words, giving it time, apologizing for anything I can think of. Nothing has worked. My kids ask me about this person, where is he? I thought we had an Uncle too?
And then there's my sister. She is suffering from some pretty serious health issues, unemployed, with no car or driver's license, living with her boyfriend who "can't afford her," and wants her to leave. She's so in love that she is willing to stay in a state where she has no family and little support to try to make it work. I know she is letting her heart lead, but it kills me. I want her closer, I want to be able to help her. We've offered for her to stay with us and help her get things sorted out and get her on her feet. She just won't leave until there's no chance left with her current situation. I understand love, I do, I know that she feels like he's her whole world and how can she walk away from that?
But I also know just a tiny bit more about a couple things. I know that living there is making her health condition worse. She is constantly stressed which aggravates things. I know, well I guess I don't know, but I think that if he truly "loved" her and wanted to marry her (what she's told me) that he'd be more willing to help her work it out. I can see her heart being shattered and I just don't want to.
I have learned my lesson before with my sister, she's not one that I can speak my mind bluntly with. If she disagrees, she takes it as a personal attack and gets very angry and emotional. So, rather than telling her that I think she needs to end it now and move on, I've just been asking questions. Partly with the intent of opening her eyes, partly hoping that she'll have a great answer that I hadn't expected and that I'll be wrong. Well, the last time I talked to her and asked her questions, she lost it. Completely blew up, started crying, and hung up on me. Awesome. =
I called back but she had plans and was busy, so I text her and told her that I love her more than she knows and that I just don't want her to get hurt. I told her I will always be here, when no one else is. I asked her to call me when she had time. Nothing.
I'm overwhelmed. I'm frustrated. I'm sad and disappointed.
My parents live pretty far away.
My in-laws are not in the greatest health.
I want that big, happy family. The one that meets on the holidays and roasts marshmallows long into the evening. I want long conversations, phone calls to my kids. I want my kids to beg to see their Auntie and Uncle, I want them to get special dates with them, to have a relationship with them that will last a lifetime. I want cousin sleepovers and big family dinners.
What kills me the most though, is that the feeling is just not mutual. At least not at this time. My kids don't have Aunts and Uncles who want to be a part of their lives. And there's nothing I can do to change it.
How can one thing be a source of such great joy and yet, so much pain?