Well I'm back. My trip home sucked. I spent most of the two days I was there crying. I don't know why I bothered. I suppose I was hoping for some kind of acknowledgement of my loss and the deep hurt that not having family support caused me. Instead of the apology I was hoping for, my wounds were torn open again when my grandmother told me I had wasted my money buying my son a headstone. I was aghast when she said it, saying that he didn't need it and that it was a waste for us to have gone to the expense of a funeral for him. She also told me that my "religion" was pitiful, that there is no God or Heaven and that religion is just a crutch for people who can't handle the truth. She critisized almost every area in my life from the way I raise my children, to being financially irresponsible, to my weight and Georgia's weight and the fact that it's time I cut my hair and act like a grownup. I sat there sobbing as she told me I was making my baby fat and that I needed to stop buying my kids toys for Christmas because they were going to be spoiled. My poor mother sat there in her wheelchair, unable to say much because her speech is so bad other than to say "Don't cry...please, don't let her make you cry." I couldn't help it. I cried out of hurt and anger and frustration that this woman who has never been to my house or seen how I live could critisize everything about me. Attacking Georgia's weight really pushed me over the edge. Yes, my baby is chubby but she is a BABY. Lorelei was chubby too but thinned out alot when she started really running around. To have my grandma tell me to stop feeding my baby so much made me so angry I was shaking. And all I could do was cry. I hated every second of being there. While she railed and yelled at me for not visiting my mother as often as I should, I felt myself shutting down. When she finally left to give my mom and I some privacy, I told my mother that the reason I don't visit as often as I should is because of grandma, that she's so fucking mean to me that when I think about going down for a visit that knowing that I'm going to have to listen to grandma's tirades about everything that's wrong with me, I simply avoid it by not going. In the beginning, when it was just Shane and I and we would go for a visit, he once packed our bags and we left as my grandma screamed and yelled and told me what a failure I was. He told her to never talk about me that way around him again and when he is with me, she doesn't. This time I went alone so I was fair game I suppose.
Because I have struggled with weight issues my whole life, my weight has always been a sensitive subject with me. As an overweight child and teenager, my self esteem suffered horribly. I was insecure in my body and tried many times to lose weight to please people around me. My grandmother has always had a huge hangup about weight, every visit from the time I was ten or so involved comments that hurt. She would say horrible things to me about my body and the way I was "squeezed" into my clothes and "aren't you worried you'll never get a husband". When I did manage to lose most of my weight she was overjoyed telling me for the first time ever that I was beautiful. Every visit after that involved her scrutinizing my thighs and arms looking for extra pounds. On one visit she told Shane to stop carrying in all the luggage and let me do it, "Aren't you afraid she'll get fat again?"....Well I did get fat again. I got pregnant and packed on the pounds with Lorelei. I was still fifteen pounds up when I got pregnant with Georgia and Calvin. I was terrified that she would berate me during my pregnancy about weight issues but she managed to leave it alone until after the babies were born. For me, because I had felt so much hurt over the years because of comments she and others had made about my weight, having her suggest to me that I was making Georgia fat hurt me most of all. As a mother who loves her children more than anything in the world, fat is the last thing I would want for my daughter. I would never wish for my children to suffer the pain and low self esteem I had growing up and although I have yet to conquer my own weight issues, I make sure my girls eat nutrious, healthy food and not much junk. As I sat there bawling at her vicious remarks about my beautiful baby girl, I couldn't help but wish hateful things on her. I hate feeling like that, so full of hurt and rage that I actually wished she would just die and leave me alone.
The night before I left to come home, I tried once more to talk about Calvin to her. I brought out his book and showed her what we went through. She saw the pictures of him dying in our arms and of him lying in his tiny casket. After an hour of reading the book, she closed it and looked at me and said, "Do you read this all the time?" and when I answered no she said, "That's good, because it's pretty depressing." Really? No shit it's depressing. It's the reality of what we went through with Calvin in vivid colour, all there in front of her so that there was no denying it. She didn't have anything more to say about the situation than that. No "I'm sorry I didn't come to his funeral", no "I'm sorry I wasn't there for you", no "I'm sorry that saying his marker was a waste of money". Nothing. I was so eager to get out of there I was in bed by nine that night and up by five am so that I could hit the road. I couldn't get home fast enough. All the way back I had to choke back tears remembering the horrible things she had said to me in front of my mother who was helpless to do anything to intervene. I thought about Georgia and her smile and Lorelei and her bright blue eyes and Shane and how his arms feel around me as I drove, willing the negative stay behind as I headed towards the loves of my life. I wish I could say that I truly left all the hurt behind but the disappointment still sits behind my eyes and my chest feels heavy. Although I knew it would probably not turn out the way I had hoped for, that little bit of hope inside had made me go and take a chance that my feelings would matter this time. They didn't and so the topic of my son is something I will no longer discuss with my family except my mother. I just hope that I find the strength to go back again for her sake. Thanks for all your wishes of support for me, how wonderful I do have the support of my bloggy friends here, it means so very much to me.
It Takes a Village
1 day ago