“Advice is what we ask for
when we already know the
answer but wish we didn’t.”
My family and I have been living in a duplex for close to a year now. It wasn’t perfect when we first saw it, but it was big, had a good school nearby, was reasonably priced and easy to move in. No, it wasn’t perfect, but I wasn’t prepared for what was to follow after moving in.
First of all, I was away when our move in date came, so my husband moved in and took pictures of all the previous damage left behind. The amount of dead roaches was innumerable. They were in kitchen draws, on floors, under the stove and refrigerator…anywhere you could think of. Of course, there was no walk through, so pictures had to suffice. He cleaned like crazy. Grease from floor to ceiling in the kitchen…it was disgusting. But, honestly, I had lived in worse places in college. But I have kids now, so we were determined to make this place as presentable as possible.
I can handle roaches, broken faucets and peeling tiles. We sprayed and hired an exterminator. My husband can fix or build anything, so small repairs were not an issue. We installed a couple of new ceiling fans, repaired door jams that were broken upon move in. I painted a room or two. It was mostly tile, so a few throw rugs here and there were fine. The bedrooms carpets left a lot to be desired. Even though I was informed they were professionally cleaned, the stains were clearly visible and the smell was distinct….pet urine. We scrubbed them to no avail. The peel and stick tiles throughout the living room were peeling up and breaking apart. They were stained and black….a magic eraser couldn’t even get the shit off.
But, you get what you pay for.
All of the cosmetic problems aside….I had no idea what we were getting into with the neighbors. There are four duplexes for a total of eight units. All of them were rented when we moved in. Jake is eight and there were plenty of kids his age here to play with. Big mistake. These kids were rotten….and I mean future orange jumpsuit wearing rotten. Jake is the first one to tell me if some kid acting like an ass. After a few incidents of bulling, other kids smoking and swearing and the usual bullshit, I decided that these were not the calibre of children I was comfortable letting my son play with. One kid used to come over everyday….even school nights…and stay all day, eat dinner and my husband ended up walking him home at 9:00 PM. I never even met his parents and they never came looking for him. I felt bad for him. Until the day he shot Jake and another kid with a BB gun. Then I called the police.
There were multiple calls to the police. These kids were always left unsupervised. No parent was ever around to keep tabs, make sure they were safe, or make sure they were fed for that matter. I was the only parent outside yelling at all these kids when they were all acting like assholes. I quickly became know as “the bitch”. I told a fifth grader who had been bulling Jake that the day I moved in was the worst day of his life. He didn’t answer. All the kids that Jake used to play with now wanted to beat him up. But, here’s where they underestimated Jake. He has had close to six years of karate. The kids were fair at first. Jake would come in and tell me that so-and-so tried to hit him and he punched them in the face and gave them a roundhouse kick. I have always told Jake not to be a bully and stick up for smaller kids….don’t hit other kids, but defend yourself if you need to. Well, he did.
Soon, he had beat every kid in this wretched neighborhood, no matter what size they were. That’s when they decided to gang up on him. They couldn’t beat him one on one, so they resorted to fighting dirty. I watched out of the window everyday when he played with one of the two good kids in the neighborhood (they were not allowed to play with the Manson Children either). Jake was great…never afraid….I stepped in lots of times. I saw the fifth grader pouring gasoline into a soda can one day. I took a picture with my phone….I am all about getting the evidence. Ted, my husband, went to tell his mother, as no matter how bad a kid is, it is always because of an underlying problem in the home and really not completely their fault. The mother quickly called her son on his cell and he denied it, so she said…”he said he wasn’t doing it.” Ok. Ted just said that when he ends up in the hospital with second and third degree burns that he had warned her. Thankfully, he never did do anything stupid.
They wrote “Fuck your mother” on my sidewalk outside my door. They told every chance they could that I was mean and a bitch. Jake just told them to shut up unless they were in his face…then he punched them. It took months, but these rotten kids finally realized that I was not going to stop watching their actions and that Jake was not a kid to fuck with….so they finally stopped.
That’s when the new neighbors moved in. Two domestic calls to the police later…not even by me…and I told Ted I had enough. We are preparing to move as I type.
Here’s what makes me so angry: These kids have no one to look up to. The parents are not around. If they are, most are usually drunk or just inside the house not giving a shit what their kids are doing. I have always believed that everything begins in the home. So, it was inevitable that these kids are the way they are. If you do not teach your kids values and morals early…this is what you get. I see a future of saddness and prison for most of them. I don’t care what they think of me…or the parents for that matter, but throughout all of this nonesense, I did try to talk to some of them and tell them to be kind and to be friends with everyone. It was to no avail, but I felt obligated to do something that they were not getting from their parents.
Once, Ted went outside and played football with all of these kids. They were happy, friendly, nice….not the little pricks that picked on my son. They were getting what they craved so desparately….attention.
It is amazing what happens when parents just pay attention to their children.
I have had many friends…more like acquaintances…come and go throughout the years. All due to life’s circumstances, be it a job change, moving, leaving college…whatever. But there are a lot of people, come to find out, that have family members come and go throughout their lives. And I am talking about the same ones every couple of years.
As I have written before, my family issues are no secret. I don’t get embarrassed by much, as long as it’s the truth. And one person’s version of the truth is not always the same as the other person’s…but that’s not what I am writing about.
I looked for a couple of friends from about ten years ago on Facebook a few days ago. I found them and sent a message, which was returned immediately. A chat started on line, then emails were exchanged and the next thing I knew….we were on the phone like no time had ever passed between us. Our parting ten years ago was not pretty, but that was ten years ago and I figure, who gives a shit anymore….so now we’re talking about getting together on the weekend. We never even mentioned why we didn’t speak for so long…it was just two people catching up.
This morning I was writing my daily quotes on various websites and found myself on Facebook at the same time a family member was. This is an individual that I had talked to everyday, multiple times a day for over seven years. Now, we have spoken about four or so times in the last year and a half. No chat was initiated by either of us. I have tried in the past by email and phone to communicate, but it is obvious that some of my family are still not willing to meet me half way…or any way for that matter. So, I have done what I can. I am not going to beat a dead horse.
So, how is it that two people that were so close and related by blood for the rest of their lives just not speak? I didn’t kill anyone. I have apologized multiple times to many people…many of which didn’t even require or deserve an apology, as they were not involved in the matter. I made huge mistakes, but how long am I going to be held in contempt for them? How could someone just flat out ignore someone they claimed to have loved and still do?
Is pride such an important issue?
Sometimes we have to just let go of things and leave our pride to the wayside. In the grand scheme of things…..I wonder how it will go down?
Maybe this is an example of one of my family members waiting to get into the pearly gates:
God: “I know all that has happened between you and Alex. What is the reason for never forgiving or speaking to her?”
Family Member: “She has made so many mistakes. I just couldn’t be around her any longer. ”
God: “So, was it worth it?”
Family Member: “Yea, God, I am sooo glad I never spoke to her again. “Do I need a ticket or something to get in?”
Ummm….yea…it’s sounds really stupid when it’s laid out there like that doesn’t it? I guess this is what my father will be saying on his deathbed….
“Man, I am sooo glad I stopped talking to my daughter and grandchildren. It fills my heart with such joy that I took my wife’s advice and wrote her off. I have never felt better.”
That’s pride….one of the seven deadly sins.
Another Blog worth reading:
I write everyday. On line, in journals, on napkins…anywhere I can. It has always come so easily, naturally…effortlessly. I have never been someone who was at a loss for words. I have always been the one with the quick comeback, funny joke….cute little quip. Right now…..I’ve got nothing.
I have so much to write about. My mind is full of so many things that need to get out that I am just overloaded. It’s not writer’s block…it’s anti-writer’s block. I don’t know where to start. I don’t even want to start most days. It’s like I know my mind is going faster than my fingers can type or write. I know it will be a nightmare to try writing, so I don’t even start. My head literally hurts. I know it can be potentially explosive.
But, I have been sick for a couple of days, so I have had time to think, sleep, puke and relax.
I have written about my family in past blogs….about their choices and mine…how I now know where I stand (or fall for that matter). After two weeks of unanswered phone calls, I finally got in touch with my grandmother on her cell phone at “the home”. She sounded so defeated, broken….just not the woman I knew before. I know she is going to 89, but ones life circumstances changes a person…and I don’t believe that she is happy…no matter what I am told.
Anyway, she said my father was having some tests for his heart….that he “wasn’t feeling well again”….her words. Last year he had the same issues and was tested for heart problems. He claimed to be fine, but I don’t think he would really tell me if he were not. So, I wrote him an email asking if he was OK. I can’t call him, as he is only allowed to speak freely when alone…without the presence of his wife. I am waiting to hear back from him.
This is what bothers me. No matter how my family feels about me, why am I not privy to any information on anyone’s health or well being? I sometimes think that some one will be dead and buried before I am informed, just because of the grudges that are being held. It has been over 18 months and no one has budged. I can’t imagine how this is still happening, as it took my mother’s death to bring my family back together at one point almost nine years ago. I can say all day long that I have to move on, let it go….they have seemingly got on with their lives, what is holding me back?
It hurts. It is a completely devestating feeling to have so many individuals in your life…and your child’s life….for almost a decade and then…..gone. It is like a death….there is mourning, anger, regret….all of the same feelings as a death. So, I guess I am to assume that when any one of the members of my family are to pass during this silent treatment, that I have no more emotion to feel?
Have I done it all already?
Everyone’s family is dysfunctional in one way or another. No one has the perfect set up. But when dysfunction turns into total alienation it is a completely different feeling.
I sent an email to the most important members of my family last Friday. I told them I loved and missed them. I said I wanted to say it while I still could…while there was still time…before it was too late. I said I didn’t expect anything…I just wanted them to know.
I received no response from two of them, one sent an Obama joke and the other a TMZ video.
This brings dysfunction to a whole new level.