Wednesday, October 12, 2005


I suck. I am a terrible daughter. A terrible sister. Why? I don't know. I must. My family wants nothing to do with me. When I speak to my mom, she's cold as ice. My sister didn't call me on my birthday. Neither did my Dad or brother. All I can think of is my birthday. I wanted to have a nice dinner at home with my family. My Mom said I shouldn't have to cook and I told her Marc would cook. She told me she would cook and bring it here. When I found out that my brother wasn't coming (I had to call him, 4pm the night before the dinner) he made some very lame excuse as to why he couldn't come. I told my Mom and she announced that we would go out. I told her that's not what I wanted and I was basically told "tough shit". Being my usually self, I agreed but I told her I didn't want fancy. My father called to tell me what restaurant and I told him I didn't want to go there. Again.. tough shit. Again, like a pussy I agreed to go. Service sucked, the food sucked and my sister spent most of evening on her cell phone. My mom busted on me (as she loves to do). I told her that I really wanted them to come over for cake and coffee. Half way through dinner she tells me she doesn't want to come over and that she'll come over the next day. NO! I want them to come over Saturday. The stayed for maybe 20 minutes at that. Long enough to have cake and coffee and out the door they went. Before they left I told my Mom I wanted to sleep in and not to all and wake me. She called at 11:00 a.m. the next day to wish me a very cold happy birthday and told me she wouldn't be singing to me because I asked her not to. I have no idea what is going on. I'm so tired of the passive aggressive bullshit. I'm tired of every little comment, every little action creating drama. Walking on eggshells so not to offend anyone. I can't relax, I'm always worried about upsetting people. I have a very highly developed level of guilt and I really need to get over it otherwise it's a legacy I will pass on to Dylan. Something I desperately don't want to do. To say I am suffering from depression is putting it mildly. The only way I have been able to hold it together has been with Marc' support and dreams of Dylan. First thing Monday morning I am calling my therapist. It's been years since I've seen her but I am having such a hard time dealing that I need to borrow some of her strength. This is why I haven't been blogging much. The promotion has taken so much of my energy that by the time I get home, I just want to eat dinner and go to bed. It's sad. I haven't been able to enjoy this time in my life. It's been something I've always dreamed of and I'm just miserable.



    These people are your family, yes, but thank the Lord they don't live in your house, right? That's what doors and locks are for . . . You were trying to be a good daughter/sister by obliging everyone else when it was YOUR birthday and they should have been doing what YOU wanted to do. Grrrrr.

    I am not going to tell you what to do in the future. I think your therapist will have some very excellent ideas on that topic and she knows more than I do. But just remember that you really do have control of the situation, should you choose to use it. It sounds like appeasing them doesn't make life better, so, why not consider a future of doing just exactly what you want, when you want, and with whom you want? It doesn't sound like it could be any worse.

    Aren't families great? Sigh. It's going to be okay. Sometimes you just have to reach your shit-saturation level (not my phrase--wish it were) before you discover the magic method that works best.

    This was just one bad day, but you have a lifetime ahead of you and you get to spend it with two people of your choosing who are pretty wonderful. How great is that. :-)

  2. The extent to which you had to bend over backwards on your own birthday to satisfy the needs/ wants of your family amazes me. No wonder you are exhaused and depressed. I'm glad that you were able to contact your therapist and hope that he/she is able to give you some good advice. I really hope that things get better!

  3. I'm sorry you are having such a tough time. Thinking of you.

  4. OK, now I am really furious! I wrote you a long supportive post and I don't know what happened but it disappeared after I posted.

    I am absolutely livid that your family caused you such grief around your birthday that you have been triggered into a depression. You are the nicest person on the planet, a woman who would never hurt a fly, and you are being manipulated by your mother for some agenda that only she knows.

    The bottom line is that it was YOUR birthday. As such you were entitled to spend it as you saw fit. You owe nothing to your mother regarding your birthday. When it is her birthday, she can spend it how she wishes. Clearly she has boundary issues and can't figure out where she ends and you begin.

    Well my friend, it is time for you to set boundaries. Either she respects them or you detach. Having been through similar with my narcissistic mother, I can tell you that you need to worry about yourself and not the narcissist who gave birth to you. Do what you want and need for yourself. Do not worry about making anyone other than yourself happy.

    Clearly you are sick and tired of all the drama and passive-aggressive bullshit. That is clear. And *this* is what is going on with you. This codependent pleasing nature of yours is tired...very tired. And I don't blame you. That always reacting to someone else is exhausting. My advice: stop it.

    Depression is anger turned inward. For codependents, part of the healing is getting angry with the actual root of the problem. You can be angry with your family for their treatment of you and you can be angry with yourself for allowing yourself to fall victim to it with the apron strings of guilt.

    Guilt is a powerful weapon and your mother wields it well. Resist it. It is not your friend.

    One day we can hope that your mother grows up and finds another means of expressing herself to you with directness and respect. But neither you nor I should hold our breath for this to happen. Instead you need to live your life and detach when your boundaries are not respected. They will live and so will you. But you'll live a lot happier.

    I am definitely calling you this weekend. And this post better not get lost!

  5. Everyone said it so well and they have such wonderful advice. I'm sorry you're having a rough time. I don't have the easiest time with my family and also have the guilt demon on my shoulder. I've found over the years it's best to detach as much as you can, stay out of the drama, and keep it all civil. Of course this is not the way I pictured my perfect mother-daughter relationship to be, but it keeps me sane and right now that's what's most important.

    Hang in there and do call the therapist.

  6. I too come from the land of massive guilt trips and passive agressive family members. All previous advice has been brilliant. I'm sorry you were treated like shit on your birthday, and I'm sending along some love and joy.

  7. Anonymous7:47 PM

    Hey Julie, Dummy here. This post saddens me. I know your therapist will get you back on track! Take care of yourself because your son is counting on you, and you deserve to be happy! Happy birthday!
    Dummy :-)

  8. Julie - I'm so sorry this sucky ass stuff is happening to you. Families...ARRRGGGGGHHHH!!! I agree with everybody else above, especially about setting boundries. I hope the therapist is helpful to you. Take care of yourself and let your wonderful hubby take care of you as well. I'll be thinking of you.

  9. Ugh- I'm sorry you are having such a tough time. You had seemed quiet lately and I wondered what was up.

    Families are a pain, aren't they? Don't really have much great advice to offer, but I'm sorry you are going through this and I hope you feel better soon.

  10. For the Love of PETE!! I am so sorry that you have got so much on your plate...And that you have people in your family that are not acknowledging the AMAZING person that you truly are. It saddens me to know that you are sad. Talking to your therapist is a good first step. Im here..only a call away..if you need to vent or cry. God knows Ive done it enough to you.

  11. Sing the P/A song with me, now!

    ~You are a passive/agressive bitch and I ain't gonna talk no more.
    ~A passive agressive bitch and I ain't gonna talk no more
    ~Oh, you ruined my birthday with all your shit
    ~and I ain't gonna talk no more no more

    Sweetie, I've had 15 years of on-and-off therapy and I still have boundary issues with my parents.

    Hang in there. They are crazy. You did nothing wrong. Any good therapist will help you learn to say to yourself, "Whatever, hosers. Call me when you've decided to stop being a twat."

    Practice your cussing. It's good for you.

    Seriously, hang in there.

  12. Delurking to say families suck sometimes. Passive-aggressive shit gets me too. My mom will do that occasionally, and I can feel my blood pressure going up just thinking about it.

    Krissy's right - sing the song, call someone to talk to and practice swearing.

    Best of luck.

  13. What crap on your own birthday. We do some of the same crap here, though. I hope your Dylan dreams can keep you going.

  14. I'm really sorry you're birthday turned pear-shaped on account of your family. That truly is sucky in extremis.

    The therapist is a great idea. I always find they can get me centred again when my world starts getting too crazy.

    Take care of YOURSELF.

  15. Don't worry J! You're not the only one with a passive aggressive mother. I think there's a plague! I know it's easy to say and hard to do but try not to take it personally. Just take a deep breath, refocus and think about what's important in your life - your husband and your new son. Don't let the family shit cloud your enjoyment of what's good in your life. Reading your post was like Groundhog Day - I've had so many similar experiences with my family. That's just family shit for you. The Brady Bunch are fiction!

  16. I think the combination of new work load and the stress of waiting for Dylan might be an awful lot to take right now. Plus hurt from family is the worst kind of hurt. My mom kicked me in the ribs on Saturday... I'll have to blog about that tomorrow.

    Take care! Kisses and hugs from your California friend.

  17. You are not terrible, but you do have an awful lot on your plate right now. Time to take care of yourself and find a way to move forward and deal with these issues. Sounds like you are on the right track.
    {{{{{BIG HUGS}}}}}

    Would you like my house full of water as the cherry on top??? J/K

  18. Oh the wonderful world of families. My entire family is passive agressive so I know exactly how it feels. It sucks and it hurts. Remember we love you! Hang in there.

  19. I'm sorry that your birthday turned out that way.
    If it helps any at all I have a pretty wierd family too. I think most people do.
    You can take relief in the fact thought that your little boy will be raised differently!!!
    Take care and I hope things are looking up for you very soon!

  20. I'm so sorry. You deserved the birthday you wanted. It is not a reflection on you, and take comfort in the fact that you'll get to be the kind of mother you want to be. Thinking of you.

  21. Hey Julie,

    Sorry to hear about the family drama - that stinks! My family can be a little nutso too. I think you said they read your blog (maybe not) - maybe they'll see what they are doing and try to get their act together.

    Thinking of you! (ps, glad you got to say hello to my friend - I hear it was a nice break-fast)

  22. Geez louise. First off, honey, it ain't you - it's ALL them. YOU were the bday girl & everyone knows, as it's universal law, the bday girl gets to do whatever the hell she wants to on her bday!!!!!!!

    I am so sorry this has been so hard on you. But remember, you are allowed to act & feel & be true to yourself. If they don't like it, as they say in Paris, tough titty.

  23. Oh boy. Feel your pain. My mother is coming to visit on Thursday and I'm a dreading it! Guilt is the main motivator in our family so I understand that part.

    Call the therapist - it always helps. And when Dylan gets here, you'll be surprised at how much easier it will be to stand up for yourself. He will make you stronger - I just know it.

    Hang in there.

  24. If I didn't know better, I'd swear we were from the same family. My brother pulls the same crap as yours does, never letting me know if he's coming or not until I have to call him last minute. The HH's just passed by and I didn't hear a word from them. Nothing. It's like we don't exist. I just give up. My poor kids have no relatives that give a damn about them and there isn't a thing I can do to change it.

    Hang in there. Dylan will be home soon and you'll make your own family to love. If your biofamily can't be there for you, that's their problem. Don't allow guilt to make you take on the tsuris they're shelling out. It's not your problem it's theirs.