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Sunday, 15 January 2012


For bold and beautiful Suldog, yes, my father out-law ran himself over in his own car by doing the following:   Dropping my lovely sis-in-law off for her Christmas 'do', he got rather disoriented and lost in a town he doesn't know so well.   Panicking about having to get back to look after his five year old grand-daughter (the man is over 85 and she was sitting peaceably at home with her very capable seventeen year old brother in any case), he drove into an industrial estate where he found a taxi-driver sitting in his stationary car.

He did a lightning manoeuvre to drive up to this man to ask directions before he drove off.   He jumped out of his manual car, not applying the handbrake before getting out, and then slipped on some ice so he was under the back of the car...   Calling to the taxi-driver, while holding the car back as long as he could with one hand, the car proceeded to slowly run over his ankle.

The taxi-driver rang for an ambulance, pushing aside my pa-in-law's stupid insistence that he was all right.   He was many hours in A & E.   I don't know if my sis-in-law left her 'do'.   I'd suspect not.   He was eventually released with bad bruising.   He was in fact very lucky.   He is, and all evidence points to it, an idiot.   Again, we were informed about this accident, rather casually by said sis-in-law, on New Year's Day.   Not when it actually happened.

In similar circumstances, when she was in hospital pending the birth of her daughter - My niece - She had been abandoned by her then-husband, I was anxious for news.   I had to resort to ringing her work-place, to actually find out whether she'd had the baby, or not.   What does that tell you about our state of family affairs, mes bloggy silver birches?!   Hein?

Disfunctional, that's what!

I've very little sympathy for him.   Or even her.   After years of mistreatment at both of their hands.   Christmases ruined.   Accusations and anger - Theirs.   Madness and selfish behaviour - Theirs.   Fulsome neglect of his own grand-son - My son.   And making lots of efforts to put things on some kind of track with them - All mine.   A few years back, I decided to put my own mental health first and I try to be dutiful, but I don't feel anything towards them and their idiocy now.   I don't.   They're not worth it.

Am I bitter?   I was.    I would have wanted some kind of relationship with my nephews, my niece.   I would have wanted to be an aunt to them, like mine were to me...   I valued them so, being an only child.  

Instead, I am a distant auntie.   They have some relationship with my son, admittedly - My nephews at least.    But, even he tired of this family's antics some time ago.   He has both our surnames - My son.   Out and about in life, he chooses mainly to use mine.   He had a magnificent relationship with my father, for which I shall be eternally grateful and thank the stars in the firmament for it.

It is a hard lesson to absorb for a teenager, I fear.   To learn that your grandfather is no hero, but an idiot.   And that your aunt is feckless, self-absorbed and a bit of a waste of time.   I waited for him to form his own opinions on all this - He rarely heard a word from me on the subject.   What he witnessed was enough for his young and fertile mind.

I started to write this post this morning, full of the stuff I have been doing lately, which has kept me from blogging for a time.   Some very positive things that are helping me move along somewhat, after years of treacly grief and 'being strong' for others and neglecting myself.

Maybe I just needed these few moments, to mourn the passing of what might have been with them, and get this bile out of my system...

Sorry but, for listening:



Anonymous said...

I feel for you and your son. My in-laws are very difficult people, and we had an outpouring of anger from the Small Boy Wonder on the beach in Cornwall last year as he explained how he had realized what a fool his grandfather is. I suspect his cousins will go through the same process before long. But however much you tell them it's not, kids do think that some of it is their fault. You definitely need to put yourself first in these situations, although that can be easier said than done.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

What a superb post. What is it they say, you choose friends, not relations. I know the feeling!

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Fhina:
Families really can be a great trial and we feel for you over yours, particularly regarding the way that your son is treated by them. That is, perhaps, the most difficult thing to bear.

Eventually, and surely now you are at that point, one must recognise that there will be no sea-change and things are as they are. Better to recognise this and move on in your own life and concerns. It is far less stressful all round.

Gigi said...

Some family members are really difficult - in all families. And eventually, the children come to the same realization as you - without you having to say anything. It's terribly sad that families are fractured by certain people; but they've brought it on themselves. There is no good reason to expose your little family to the insanity any more than necessary.

Expat mum said...

I'm pretty lucky with my family, on both sides, but I've never really understood the idea that you must put up with them no matter what they do. Why? Being "family" doesn't give people the right to treat each other badly. Good on you for being strong and also for allowing your son to reach his own conclusions. That must have taken some self control.

Ink Spiller said...

Some of us are not gifted with great families and perhaps it's up to us to create our own great families out of people who are not related to us by blood but but by heart, soul and/or mind.

I know how you feel and allowing your son to make up his own mind is the right thing to do. I've had to do the same with my daughter.

Canadian Chickadee said...

I feel for you. My husband's sister was a carping critical b----. She's dead now, but it doesn't really make much difference to me, because I still have to listen to others in ihis family tell me how wonderful she was and how much fun! And maybe she was with them. But definitely not with me.

I just try to ignore it all and "Keep calm and carry on." Not easy.

Take care of yourself and try not to even think about these dreadful people. Hugs!

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

Oh join the club hon!!! There's always room for more of us at the Disfunctional, Hopelessly-Selfish, Bollocks- to-Them-All Support Group. I'm the youngest of seven with 18 nephews and nieces and do you think anyone bothered when I had two nervous breakdowns in quick succession, hospitalised in the looney bin three years ago? No. You're not alone and perfectly entitled to vent like mad on your very own blog - l've chosen my family loyalties very carefully and I'm afraid the list is minute!!! Big hugs to you hon:)))) xoxoxoxoxox

BadPenny said...

I wish I could adopt a really good grandfather for my two- they've lucked out on this relationship due to the drinking habits & death of my father ( whom they never knew ) & the lack of any kind of decent relationship with the other.

I too have invested in myself in the last few years resulting in the fading of friendships of very self absorbed friends. I laugh more, I look better & I'm happier.
I admire your honesty. ( Do they read your Blog ?! )

Anonymous said...

I've yet to meet the family like the one's in the Enid Blyton books...I suspect that they really don't exist.

I always felt, and still feel, short changed in the family department.


SueAnn said...

And bile it is...to you! Glad it is working out of your system. I too had some bile to remove!! Still working on it!
Hugs to you dear friend

Suldog said...

Thanks much for the explanation! Perhaps he received a bit of karma for past deeds? In any case, you're damn nice. I can tell that by your blogging, and I try very hard not to keep jerks on my sidebar. If you're there, you're doing something right. So, glad to hear you're not trying to make them happy at your expense of health, mental or otherwise. Sometimes, it is best to stay out of the mix!

Scriptor Senex said...

What can one say, Fhina. I'm amazed at your patience in even keeping contact. I'm afraid I'm the 'give them up as a bad job' sort when people give me such grief but then I have had a great family to fall back on. Perhaps not quite Enid Blyton but I never cease to thank my lucky stars for my small but wonderful little clique. I just wish you could all share my good fortune in this regard.

PerlNumquist said...

Blood is indeed thicker than water but only if you mix it with oxo and cornflour.
Dear oh dear, the kind of ineptitude that allows one to run over oneself with their own car surely has to be trained for and cannot be just a natural "gift".
Sometimes the best thing to do is to shake your head and turn away to regard something or someone more worthy of your attention. And then think no more about it.

Something I wrote earlier...

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