Families!! just venting frustration.

I haven’t written a new blog for a few days but not because I have been lazy, well I have but not for laziness’ sake. I have my eldest son and granddaughter staying with me  for nearly  week. They came over from Switzerland for an extended holiday to catch up with the family that is spread across the south of the UK and ended the last part of their journey with us in Gosport. We live in a small house and have converted the study into a bedroom for Amanda with the aid of a rather good camp bed and lots of blankets and David took over the lounge as a bedroom. It’s a bit like sardines but I wouldn’t miss this for a moment. It has been around five years since I last saw my son and seven my granddaughter, she was half the age she is now when the family came over before. I know a lot of people would say ‘why don’t you go to Switzerland?’ but I am not a traveller, I have no passport even. For many years I suffered from agoraphobia and was unable to even go outside the front door. That was a nightmare time I can tell you. I gradually conquered my fear over many years to the point when, about three years ago following the death of Harry’s brother, Harry gave me the courage to actually get on a plane to fly to N Ireland to meet his family. No mean feat for me and we didn’t need a passport at that time, next time we will so maybe I will be able to travel to see a bit more of the world, courage prevailing, that is.

Another phobia I had and still have to a degree, is the telephone. I laugh when phone companies call me trying to sell me a contract phone and ask ‘ how much do you spend a week on calls?’ I just love the momentary silence on the end of the phone when I tell them about five pounds a month. It sort of throws their sales pitch out. My home phone is much the same and unless I have pre arranged a call, I rarely use the phone as my children will tell you. Bless them they are good and I do catch them occasionally on MSN . One very sad thing in my life is that I have recently been absolutely slated by another newly met member of my family because I don’t get in touch very often. This person knows nothing about me and with cruel words and disbelief of what I say is trying to bully me into feeling guilty about not getting in touch very often. Why should I change? I am very busy and have little time for chatting on the internet or for phone calls, people close in my life understand this and we have all adapted to each other. I am afraid I have recently learned an important lesson that has changed my way of thinking and I refuse now to take on other people’s inadequacies, indiosyncracies and expectations. Anyone that has bothered to get to know me accepts me for who I am, they know my status on truth and lies and they know I am here and feel happy about getting on with their lives without any interference. Other family members who come into my life later, seem to want to demand a lot of me and greedily try to lay their expectations and personal habits on me whilst manipulating me to feel guilty. I have been there and done that before and refuse to go there again. Why are families so demanding? Why do people judge others on their own inadequacies, lackings and failings? Surely it would be better to go into any relationship with out any expectation to get to know the person and their values and appreciate what they do share together. Never would I dream of saying ‘you are so like ….’, as a means to try and hurt someone’s feelings, never would I say anything intentionally to hurt anyone nor would I lie, ever. I have brought my children up with those values too and I am proud of them. I am not going to change now so I am afraid there are some relationships in my life that will not work although I would never give up on them, I just leave the choices to them. I am prepared to adapt as a relationship develops, I am prepared to accept other’s differences but I am not prepared to compromise my values and the person I am.

Well I feel better for getting that off my chest. I have until tomorrow to share with my son and granddaughter and I have dedicated this so short a time to them, I have not even written anything which is unlike me. It is wonderful to see Amanda, just five years younger than my youngest daughter with the same ‘teenage’ attitude Tabitha had just a sort time ago. The difference is, she is on her best behaviour because she is a visitor and I secretly laugh. Teenagers are wonderful. What is equally wonderful is seeing my son teach his daughter the very same values of respect and acceptance that they were taught and seeing the creative genes that were passed on from my grand father through the generations. I spent a great time with Amanda and playing with different art mediums, she is hoping to go to an art school in Switzerland and has a really excellent eye for art. That along with her music too makes me a very proud Grandma.

So even though I cannot please everyone all the time I know that those close enough to me to know me and my family know that they are never judged, that love doesn’t mean constant communication nor expectations. They accept one another’s differences and so far have never fallen out with each other so I am very proud of them. Those that cannot accept me as I am, I am afraid, I will not bow down to. We are equal in status but different in life experience which makes us all interesting people. There is no jealousy, regret nor indifference, but, apart from the occasional trying to get Mummy on a plane to go to another country, we all know who we are and where we are. When families can be so difficult, how great it is to be able to choose our friends.

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    shardaws said,

    The first thing that came to mind when I read this is “quality not quantity” It’s not the amount of times you phone someone that counts – it’s the quality of contact that is more important – you mean the world to me and you’re one of my dearest closest friends – because you’re accepting, honest, non-judgemental and just the most easy person in the world to talk to! Don’t ever change!!! XXX


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