We went retro this year and used The Peacemaker’s first Hanukkiah. Night 6.
I am so incredibly blessed to have both my boys home for the holiday season. I absolutely hate that I feel like I need to write this post, on Christmas. I try to write about the happy stuff too, but like Yelp reviews, I feel more compelled to write down the bad stuff. I am thankful for this space, to write out my frustrations. It helps me release some of the stress.
We, as a family embrace so many religions. I grew up Christian, baptized Episcopalian while also attending the LDS church every other weekend. I converted to Judaism at 25 years old. Blue Eyes is Jewish, and also embraces Buddhism. My boys consider themselves Jewish, but they have a lot of experience with Christianity through their four Christian grandparents, and I believe the Pragmatist’s girlfriend grew up Hindu. We don’t talk about it much as none of us are terribly religious at this point, but we all have a spiritual connection.
The night before last, as we were sitting around the dinner table while our oldest, The Pragmatist, finished off the Hanukah dinner of brisket, latkes and salad that he and his girlfriend were making for us, Blue Eyes started talking about his parents. I don’t even remember how the conversation started. His father turned 88 last week. His mother had sent an email to three people with a picture of BE’s dad on his birthday. She’d sent the email to The Pragmatist (our oldest), J, the grandson from their deceased son (the child we have not seen for years and who is now nearly 14 years old), and that grandson’s step father. BE’s parents have become quite close with the woman who they originally blamed for “killing” their son (he committed suicide in 2010) and her new partner as well as the child those people now have together, J’s little sister. It’s almost like they have adopted these people as their own children/grandchild. My guess is because these people don’t carry the baggage of being raised by these horrible people, and they are hoping to inherit money from them. At the time of the brother’s death, the grandson was 15 months old. I’ve written about this situation. The in-laws claimed they would never have a relationship with that child, but I begged them to… a link to their deceased son. Due to the fact that Blue Eyes cut contact with his family back in 2014, he does not have a relationship with his nephew. Blue Eyes has since reconnected with his parents and his sister, and that leads us to today.
Blue Eyes’ mother then, after the fact, decided to forward the email with the birthday photo of his dad, to Blue Eyes. Blue Eyes thanked her and mentioned that our younger son, The Peacemaker, might like to be on the email chain too. Blue Eyes’ mother sent back a scathing email saying she would not send anything to our son as he has never reached out to them and they don’t care to have a relationship with him. Truth be told, they have always been rude and disrespectful to our younger son. Really, it is absolutely due to no fault of our son. He was just born second. He is disposable to them. They adore our older son. It’s crazy and cruel and of course our older son will never understand what it feels like to be his brother, however, as their mother, I feel the pain of rejection that my younger son feels. My mentally ill sister also treated him second best. She has since tried to mend her ways, but the scars are still there. My son is an adult now, and I can’t fight his battles for him, but I encourage him NOT to have a relationship with Blue Eyes’ parents. They are horrid people. Toxic doesn’t even begin to describe them. It is not his fault they don’t have a relationship with him, and he is, frankly, lucky he doesn’t. But Blue Eyes keeps poking the beast. I’m really not sure of his motives, to be honest. His mother also went on and on about what a horrible son and uncle Blue Eyes is, blah, blah, blah… she’s actually worse than ever.
I still do not fully understand why Blue Eyes reconnected with his abusive parents. I have written so many entries about how getting them out of his life was crucial to healing from all the wounds they perpetrated on him. I didn’t think he was ready to reconnect, and I have not spoken with these people for a decade. I tried to encourage a more positive relationship by sending her flowers in his name, etc… but she was incredibly ungrateful. I wrote about the time she spent more time talking with the florist that I purchased the flowers from, while sending her son a brief thank you.
My bigger issue, however, is when writing back to his mother after her scathing email belittling both Blue Eyes and our son, he wrote her an email back saying SHE WAS RIGHT! That he shouldn’t have even asked and that he was sorry to have caused HER stress. And this is exactly why I never believed he was ready to have a relationship with them. It is completely unhealthy to have a relationship with an abusive narcissist if you are just going to feed their abuse. It’s flipping crazy. He read the email in front of the kids. Basically, he was saying to her that she was correct in being abusive to our younger son. This is where I draw the line.
It’s now me or them. I won’t have it both ways. If he wants to continue on with this incredibly toxic situation, I am out. I actually don’t need any excuses to call it quits. He’s done enough damage on his own and continues to fumble along in our relationship, one that is about to hit 39 years!
Yesterday Blue Eyes’ sister called him to ask if he had said something bad about her to their parents. OH MY FUCKING GOD!!! So not only are they continuing to verbally abuse Blue Eyes and through him, our son, but they are also pulling the same trick on their daughter. Now, the sister is not my favorite person in the world (and which I have written about that), but she spent most of covid lockdown taking care of them… bringing them food and groceries, picking up their prescriptions, anything they needed or asked for. Well, now that things have somewhat gone back to normal, they have completely forgotten about what she did for them. CLASSIC! But the bigger issue is that she is asking her brother if he stabbed her in the back. He has LITERALLY NEVER stabbed her in the back. He has never said anything derogatory about his sister to his parents. Ever. Why she just can’t believe that they are evil and that is why they are treating her badly, I just don’t know.
So, I am done. I wrote the following letter to my in-laws, but like the letter to my husband’s whore all those years ago, I will probably never send it. My guess is Blue Eyes will not send anything more to his parents and will just in fact stop communicating with them, like he did before. Not sure that totally works for me, but they won’t listen to a word either of us says (or writes anyway), so who knows.
I have been silent long enough. I frankly just don’t understand the level of hate perpetuated by you. I am speaking to the email you recently wrote to Blue Eyes, your one surviving son who has tried so desperately to understand you. You have been terrible to him. You have been downright mean with your words. Why? After six years of intense therapy, he has tried to have a relationship with you and you have once again treated him so badly.
You have a wonderful son and TWO amazing grandsons. The Peacemaker has never done anything wrong. You have created a fabrication in your mind filled with lies you have concocted in your own twisted brain that somehow The Peacemaker has wronged you. He hasn’t. You have never been nice to him (even when he was young you treated him disrespectfully) and you have NEVER reached out to him. You claim you called him, you didn’t. We have phone records going back 15 years. He is a sweet, kind, gentle young man who carries a lot of S’s traits and it is sad, for you, that you don’t know him at all. We tried to plan a trip down to LA for last December so you and The Peacemaker could be together and you rejected the idea outright. Frankly, since you are so mean and disrespectful, I did not advocate for it, but Blue Eyes and The Peacemaker wanted it. I doubt they want it anymore.
I have known for years that you try and manipulate people because of your desire for control. Once children reach adulthood, you lose some of your control (unless they are solely driven by the thought of your money?) and that must make you angry.
Due to the level of manipulation and deceit perpetrated by J’s mother years ago (she accused me of wanting to steal J after your son died, which is insanity) I have personally chosen not to have a relationship with her. Blue Eyes chose his own path. Years ago S and S dropped J at our house for convenience so they could go to a party in Portland. He was very ill and it took hours of coaxing before he would even speak to us. It was very selfish on S’s part. Prior to that, since S had such a horrible relationship with you and your daughter (mostly due to your son’s will and legal battles), she would reach out to us whenever something bad happened to her, like when an internet boyfriend stole her wedding ring and a bunch of cash from her. She wanted us to track him down. I don’t want a relationship with someone of her character. Unfortunately J belongs to her.
I find it ironic that you verbally beat Blue Eyes up for not having a relationship with J. After your son died you blamed S for his death and said you would never have a relationship with J. I begged you to reconsider as he was your one link back to your son. Now you want to punish Blue Eyes. So strange. And wrong. J doesn’t know Blue Eyes. That is his mother’s doing. The thing is though, just like J, The Peacemaker is your innocent grandson, caught up in your lies and hate. It makes me sad, for you, that you don’t know him. I raised him with love and he is an incredibly loving person.
I know you think I somehow turned Blue Eyes against you, but I did not. No matter how mean or disrespectful you were to me, I would never try and turn someone away from their family. Blue Eyes had a nervous breakdown in 2014. He spent years trying to figure out what had happened and how he could have a less stressful life. He made a lot of changes and is on a much better path than he was before. Unfortunately, you are not making things any better. I’m not sure what your end goal is with your son, but from my point of view, you are trying to destroy any relationship that was there. No one is in competition with you. No one wants to be treated badly.
I’m hoping for a more peaceful 2023. I will be making some changes in my life to help reduce some of the stress that is threatening to take me down. I won’t let it happen.
Beach House Christmas Tree, 2022
Merry Christmas to those who celebrate. We had planned a trip to a fun town not far from Portland, with a lavish multi-course dinner at a local winery there, but all that went by the wayside when an ice storm hit Portland Thursday night. We were lucky not to lose power and we have had a cozy weekend with just our little family. It should have been perfect.