Forgiveness in family

Families are not perfect at least mine is not, actually it’s far from it. Our dysfunctional is functional that’s the way it’s always been. In some cases as in mine the Rolls are reversed. With my mother for instance it seems as if I am the parent and it has always been this was as far back as I could remember but I never realized it until my daughter pointed it out in a conversation we were having. She said “mom, have you ever realized when it comes to grandma its like you’re the mom”. And it made me stop and think and I realized she was right.

My relationship with my mother is not a typical mother daughter one. She started her own family very young had my brother and a year later had me. For whatever reason she did not keep me but instead left me to my maternal grandmother. She then had my two younger sisters a few years after me. Over the years I have felt unloved, forgotten and heartbroken. I have always been guided by my closeness with God to forgive. I don’t hold it against her in fact I try to embrace her whenever possible but it’s hard. She is an emotional wreck, legally disabled and she is only 52. She takes a lot of prescription medications and I don’t like to be around her or for my children to be around her when she is on them so I keep my distance and so does she. She is not really involved in our lives, she does not attend my children’s events or holidays. She will call occasionally and sometimes daily for brief conversations. She saves me coupons and since she lives in my neighborhood I frequently take her some cooked meals and groceries when she does not have food. She makes me very mad sometimes.  I miss her the person she was before all of this. About 15 years ago before she hit rock bottom she was an alcoholic. Sadly I’d prefer to see her as an alcoholic than the way she is now. At least when she drank it was only at night and she was more involved with the kids. But she does not want to change she is resigned to live her life this way. I wish I had a normal relationship with her. You know, the kind where we would hang out, go shopping together and just be friends. But that was not in the cards for me I guess.

My youngest sister was recently sent to rehab for drug use and she prefered that her daughter be placed in foster care than to stay with me. That broke my heart. She is still trying to grow up and trying to raise a child at the same time. I have tried to convince her to allow me to raise my niece but she refuses. She is out of rehab and has my niece back with her. I told her I was heart-broken with her decision to have her daughter placed in foster care rather than with me and disappointed in her that she continues to put her needs before her child. But the good in me wants to forgive her. I hope the conversation we had a few days ago finally got through to her. I hope she does get her life together but I left the door open at any point if she decides to allow my niece to come live with me. I had my niece over for this past weekend she said she did not want to go home but rather would stay with me. For my niece’s sake I will do my best to forgive my sister.

My family, we have a LONG and Complicated history. We are not close despite my many attempts. Everyone is too involved in their own lives and do not have room to share it. There is a lot of jealously and anger amongst each other and since I have chosen to separate myself from it I am labeled as the “goodie goodie”. I don’t want my children growing up in the same environment I did, I won’t do that to them. Some of us do not speak to each other and even living minutes apart sometimes months pass before seeing each other. I miss them but have realized there are a lot of toxic relationships in my family and I have no room for it in my life. I have been betrayed, attacked and shot down but even through it all they are still my family and I forgive them. The only one that can judge is God and we all have to answer to him one day.

Having traveled the difficult road of my life it has made me a stronger person, a better mother and a more forgiving human being.

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