Daily Prompt: Use It or Lose It

Prejudice reared its ugly head in my family this year.  I have never been a prejudiced person and did not raise my daughters to be prejudiced.  Therefore, I was at a total loss when my oldest daughter and her three daughters showed up at my house in June to attend the annual Birthday Party of my middle daughters son, and as soon as my youngest daughter and her boyfriend, (who happens to be black), drove up, (with his 2-year-old daughter from a previous marriage), my oldest daughter proceeded to pack her daughters back into their SUV and drove off.

My youngest daughter was very hurt and mad.  My oldest called her later to try to justify what she had done, but the youngest told her she had nothing to say to her right now.  My mother was also at the party.  She had ridden down with the oldest, but my husband told her he would take her home later if she wanted to stay, and stay she did.  Our 4-year-old grandson just stood there looking and asking why the girls had to leave.  It was a terrible event that left months of horror in its wake.

My oldest called me later to explain her actions, “I just don’t know if it is right or not, but I don’t want my daughters subjected to it and think that mommy and daddy condone it” was her excuse.  I still had respect for my oldest, but had lost all faith in her husband months before, but that is a different story.  I tried to understand her view, but as the weeks went by, my oldest had turned things around to where it was all my fault, I was an awful mother, and lots of other hurtful words.  This, of course, sent me sliding down the familiar slide of deep, dark depression.  Nearly into the abyss, but my husband and my friend caught me.  They managed to help me turn those hurtful words around and to understand that it was not my fault and I certainly wasn’t doing anyone any favors by going where I was headed.  With their help, counseling, and prescription medications, I came to a point of middle ground.

That was a big improvement for me and probably the one I’m most happy about in 2012.  I talked to the oldest and the youngest and told them I loved them both and was bowing out, leaving them to settle it between themselves.  Months went by with no communication efforts made between them.  The Holidays were approaching fast and I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle it, but somehow managed to make it through Thanksgiving.  We had lunch with the oldest at her home and dinner at my home with the youngest.  The middle daughter and her son came down from Kentucky and celebrated both with us.

Now, Christmas was looming, and I was feeling good about it.  We would just have two gatherings again like Thanksgiving.  My mother, on the other hand, was not handling the situation well.  She took a dive and talked with the oldest, which resulted in the oldest calling the youngest and apologizing for everything.  Youngest accepted the apology but felt that there was still a lot to be worked out between them.  Due to work schedules, other engagements, and just life in general, it so happened that none of us were together at the same time anyway, but just knowing that the lines of communication had been opened was a very big Christmas blessing.

We have come a long way since June and I thought we’d never come back from that one.  2013 is looking promising and my youngest is planning a wedding as she is now engaged.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/daily-prompt-use-it/

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8 comments on “Daily Prompt: Use It or Lose It

  1. Leisa says:

    Family energies can be tricky and tangling, I’m so glad you were able to get on top of the depression and you had the loving support around you!
    For me I feel there is such alot of pressure to be so connected to family..when sometimes its just over.
    It is my hope this year that people will have courage to do what really feels right for them and to not feel they must do what the family wants, we are such individuals, and we must honor this..and when we do..it comes full circle and the connection of oneness is created and lived

  2. grafixp2012 says:

    Your husband and friend are right. As parents we tend to accept the responsibility for our “adult” children’s behavior and we shouldn’t. They’re old enough to know better, as the saying goes. As individuals they are not necessarily going to think about things the same way we do or even the same way that we brought them up. It doesn’t mean we love them less…just that we respect them enough to let them have their opinions. Whether or not we agree with those opinions is another matter.
    I appreciate that this situation would have been a shock to you, it certainly would have for me. Perhaps it was a knee-jerk emotional response from your oldest and if she’d taken a little time to consider what pain her reaction might cause she wouldn’t have done it? We’ve all said or done something we regret but the wheels have been set in motion and sometimes there’s just no graceful way out.
    As for the sibling differences, they have to work it out. It sounds like your mum got them started in that direction but the bottom line is they have to want to sort it out for themselves and, unless they ask for your input, it really is best to bow out.
    My son and daughter are occasionally at odds although not over anything as big as this. I’ve been asked to take sides and I won’t. I’ve been told by one to talk to the other…I won’t. They’re adults and each has a different personality and attitude even though they were raised under the same roof. Their one common trait is stubbornness. It’s sometimes difficult to sit back and watch the events unfold but I’ve found it’s the only way.
    Happy New Year and congratulations to your youngest and believe that your oldest will come around. It sounds like 2013 will be a good one.
    Mike

  3. “I just don’t know if it is right or not, but I don’t want my daughters subjected to it” I’m not even quite sure what she was trying to say there. Black people exist in the world as do tons of mixed couples. She can’t hide it from anyone, it’s everywhere.

    • Sorry that the drama has you feeling down. I cut out many of the people that were causing tons of drama from my life a long time ago but it’s not something I’d want to have to entertain when it comes to my own children.

  4. Eileen says:

    Wow! Bless you. What a trauma. Thank you for your honesty about your pain and struggle. Many, many of us can relate to that kind of heartbreak as parents.

    Families are often a tiny village with respresentatives of the whole world of personality types. As different as we all are, it’s a miracle any two people can stay committed, never-the-less whole families with all their individual differences.

    Prejudice comes from fear. It sounds like your oldest fears the risk of her children doing something that might get them rejected by anyone. Some of us seem to be born with the need for everyone in the world to admire us and our children. Of course that possibility is a delusion, but it takes some years and pain to outgrow it.

    My five children are so diverse religiously, politically, and in sexual orientation, if they weren’t related, I doubt if any of them would be friends. They see each other mainly at Christmas and manage to ignore the differences. I do believe they would rally for one another in times of disaster, and maybe that’s enough.

    Shall lift your family in prayer. It sounds like you are not only loving, but are becoming flexible and able to be creative in your relationships. Hang in there. Give it time.

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