Friday, October 15, 2010

The Quiet has helped me to hear...

For months we've been nurturing a rocky relationship with an extended family member. It blew up in our faces two years ago after sharing, in January, we were postponing our annual family trip to the coast from July until October. We were all going back to Wisconsin for my parent's 50th anniversary. It was also our preference to go when Krieg would be available as he'd missed the year before.

Apparently her family was ok with our decision as they chose not to go either but they did show up in October. Of course not without a great deal of drama from our announcement.

In a summer cleansing of My Spacebook account I removed people I don't regularly contact or respond to - including a couple of family members. I figured it was my choice and another blog perhaps as I await other's thoughts on this subject.

This opened up another chapter of drama in August. I got a very friendly request from this family member asking me to 'friend' her again and then 45 minutes later received an email telling me I was a horrible person and she couldn't believe the way I treated family - as no one should remove a family member from their Spacebook account. I guess I missed that rule - but coming from her was especially ironic as two years ago this same person removed Mike and I from her 'friends list' and hadn't 're-friended' us until last fall.

I emailed and apologized, explained why I had made the choices I made and hoped we would move forward. Her answers were not of the same sentiment. Mike was concerned about her friendly request vs her angry response in less than an hours time. He expressed his concern with her. I think he was genuinely concerned about her mental well being as she's had difficulty in the past.

I've emailed a couple more times asking if we could speak. Family is a BIG DEAL to me. I don't like animosity or hurt feelings. Especially when there has been a relationship before. I've said to myself "I'm going to move on" but my heart strings have been trying to pull her back.

This week I received an email response telling me how horrible and heartless I am for removing her from the social network because she "hadn't responded in awhile". She's upset her Uncle hasn't spoke to her in her exaggerated two years (has she tried to reach out to him since she accused him of things) and (probably rightfully so) upset about his comments regarding her mental welfare.

Perhaps the solitude this week opened up my ears to better hear my heart. I've answered her -"I'm sorry. I've tried". In fact I answered her the same way to her last two emails - both going on about how awful I am.

I feel at peace. Is that horrible? I finally accept the fact that I have reached out halfway - and then some - and cannot force her to hear. She has to open her heart and truly want us in her life.


Amy said...

Good. I of course NEVER practice what I preach but I know in my heart when I am following the right path and it sounds like you are too. I wish I knew you better, I admire you. And for those who are not willing to put aside past differences to enjoy time with family they must not be complete enough within themselves to love what they have had in front of them all along.

Deb said...

Thanks Amy. Right back at you.

Mags Shaw said...

There ARE issues here! We asked if the family was going to ocean with us last summer, and were told no, they couldn't afford it. Later we find she and her husband and kids were going to Crater Lake. I thought, "Why lie?" So, I wrote and asked. Was told she went there once with her dad and wanted that, because it meant so much. I thought, why lie when the real reason was so beautiful, and so meaningful. It is truly a sad experience to go through life feeling like that. But, it's not in our power to change it, it is something she must do.

Trana Family said...

I would be proud to call you family! Im proud to call you momma Shaw!!