I had to spend some time dealing with this first, before I could blog about it. I had a very bad experience yesterday morning but it reinforced a lot of feelings that I have about where my life is at.
I live in a small town. My biological paternal family lives in it, as well as my adopted family. Let’s just say that the town is small enough that some of my biological family has been married into my adopted family. Some events, like baby showers or weddings, I have to skip out on because of the chance that the biological family could be there.
I usually don’t even do any shopping in my home town. I have no problem driving the 30 minutes to the city to shop there. Because of my hysterectomy driving to the city isn’t a smart idea. We were out of milk and some other things so I had no choice but to go to our local grocery store. I had a bad feeling but I pushed it down.
I was just about done with my shopping when I ran into my adopted cousin who works there. We started talking about our kids and their IEP’s. He has a son with ADHD that is one month older than Matty. Though our sons don’t relate in education, his sons issues do relate to Rachel’s. So he was giving me some tips on some things that worked for his son and some things he had to fight for.
Out of the blue, my biological grandmother touched my cousins elbow and told him “Hi.” She was with my biological grandfather. I tried for years to have a relationship with my bio grandma but she felt I lied about the abuse at the hands of her sons. On top of that she started telling lies about me, behind my back, to my adopted relatives. I had my kids by this time and made the decision that my children came first and I didn’t need her to be around them. On the other hand, I have never had an issue with my bio grandpa.
I knew that someday there was a chance that this moment would happen. I expected my grandma to ignore me but I never expected my grandpa to not even look at me. We always had such a great relationship. I imagined that he would hug me and ask how I was doing. But it was like I was not even there. I was invisible. Dead to him. It crushed my heart and my soul.
My adopted cousin wasn’t aware of this family rift. When my grandma touched his elbow, he told her hi and then turned to me and said, “I know those people,” in a teasing tone. When he realized that they didn’t even acknowledge me he gave me a questioning look and said, “You know those people too. Are you not talking?” I wanted to go into details but I had that fight or flight feeling. I wanted to run and find a corner to hide in. But I couldn’t do that. I was in public and I had to be strong. I also didn’t want them to know that it hurt me that they shunned me.
My cousin had to get back to work. I finished getting the last couple of things I needed to get and headed to the check out stands. It appeared that the only line available was the one my grandparents were in. I swallowed my fear and my pride and headed to the line. I could stand behind them and ignore them just as easily as they were ignoring me. Praise the Lord, an aisle opened up right in front of me.
I came home and forced myself to put away the groceries. I was so numb. I climbed in bed and decided to play games for a while to avert my mind. It didn’t work. The thoughts of inadequacy kept running through my mind. Am I so hard to love? What have I done to them? I was the one who was abused so why am I paying for it? The tears began to flow.
Kevin came home for lunch a couple of hours later. He was talking to his best friend so he didn’t notice that I was in pain. I didn’t want him to notice. I tried to dry it up but I couldn’t. He got off the phone and came to kiss me and noticed that I had frozen tears. I tried to not talk about but I finally had to tell him about what happened. I’m glad I did. I love and trust my husband so much and I felt so much better afterwards. He thinks that maybe my grandpa ignored me because he was afraid of my grandma’s wrath. I’m not real sure about that because I remember him as such a strong man. But times can change.
A couple hours after my hubby left I picked up the little kids from school. I got Matty off the bus first. We had to wait for 20 minutes for Rachel. As I sat there chatting with my son I realized that I was staring at the most important thing in my life. My family. My husband and my kids are everything to me. They are gorgeous and wonderful. And they love me unconditionally. They are what matter. They are all that matters. And God didn’t do this to me…he did this for me.