My family is coming. By that I mean my younger sister and my eldest sister, her husband, and 3 adult kids. Here. For real. It’s like some sort of Twilight Zone episode. I knew this was going to happen when I made a vow to heal my family and now they’re coming. Now, don’t mistake me, I don’t think I can waive my juzu beads at them and make us one, happy, close-knit family. Oh, no, I’ll leave that to someone with a big enough ego to actually think that’s possible. I’ll settle for not letting them make me go nuts.
I’ve said before that we’re the type of family that just leaves things unsaid. We report, we don’t confide, we don’t emote, we don’t demonstrate physical affection. We barely hug. It took me years to get used to my husband’s family constant hugging and kissing goodbye even when they were just going to bed. It used to make my skin crawl. My husband often gets annoyed when I don’t kiss him in public or kiss him before leaving the house. He doesn’t get it when I can barely kiss him goodbye in the mornings when all I want is a coffee and 10 more minutes in bed. It’s my fortune that he does both of those things constantly and after 10 years now, I now look forward to PDA. In fact, if he didn’t hold my hand in public or kiss me goodbye, I’d think something was wrong. Though I could still skip the in-laws kissing me goodnight.
I love my sisters but I have little in common with them and who they have become over the years. But they want to see me, mum and the baby, so that’s positive. I suspect this is my niece’s doing. My younger sister cannot believe their motives are pure, since my eldest sister barely communicates with either one of us, unless it’s to tell brag about her kids sending her on vacation or to bitch about something family related. She does not enquire about mother at all. She did come once when she was first in the home (which shocked me) but since then, nothing. No offer of assistance, no Christmas gifts, no emails, nada. Hubby doesn’t understand why I tolerate her at all and why I haven’t called her a selfish, cold bitch to her face. Well, she has her reasons for being how she is, I can’t help that, but as the official “nice one”, I’ve always been civil with her. The nicer I am to her the more it seems to piss her off, so that gives me satisfaction.
The one thing that Buddhism has taught me is to endeavour to understand first, try not to judge but instead offer compassion. I even have the example of Bodhisattva Never Disparaging. Well, er, I do disparage unfortunately. Of the various gifts that infertility has given me, an intolerance for people who feel they can say just whatever stupid thing that comes to their minds – is one of them. Yup, they don’t call me Buddhist with an Edge for nothing. If somebody says something stupid about adoption (count on it), I will gladly put them in their place. In that compassionate, bitchy way I have. I don’t like injustice, I don’t like cruelty, and I have had it up to here with people who feel it’s okay to slip me a shit sandwich and tell me it’s Nutella. You get my point.
So this is my problem. I want to act in the most compassionate way with my family, though they have often disappointed me. Frankly, they have no idea that they did. I never told them. That is not their fault. That’s mine. I want this to be special for my mum, cause I’m damn sure it’s going to be the last time she sees her grandchildren from her first daughter. I want this to be a new beginning in that I don’t want to simply report things to them, but to tell them the truth as I see it. The thought of making myself that vulnerable to people who could equally hurt me just as much terrifies me. We’ve never had a big blowout because each of us in our own way skirt conflict furtively. We work very hard on not being blamed, or found lacking.
I don’t want to be like that with them. I’m not that way with anyone anymore. No, that’s not true. But I’m seeking to change that part of me. I work hard to tell the truth to my friends, to my husband. It’s hardest with him, I know. But I work at it every day.
Sure, there’s the part of me that wishes I owned where I reside, that it had more “decor”, that my car was a brand new import, that I was 30 lbs lighter and I had Beyonce hair. And I might have had all that, who knows, but when IF took over our lives, well, we sacrificed some things. And other things became meaningless. You may know what I mean. New car or adoption fees? A car can’t fit in your arms, right?
I guess I want it both ways. Sigh. Daimoku, rinse, repeat.