Sunday, July 13, 2008

It's been a while

It's been a while since I've written. Sorry about that. Ian's been keeping me quite busy. And I think I was going through a struggle or two for a while. You know, I try not to look back on my experiences growing up. It can be quite traumatizing to look back. I try to look back only enough to make me realize how much the Lord has done for me, but not enough to throw myself into crisis.
Fortunately/ unfortunately I've had a few experiences over the past little while that have forced me to look back and try to make sense of it all. In November and December, my blood sugar hit the dust again. My hypoglycemia is something I have struggled with since I was 19. (arguably since 13). I spend most of my life with my blood sugar in the 50-70 range. It creates for me very real and distinct physical limits. I've pretty much just learned to live with them and enjoy life anyway. It's tough for me when I hit the dust again however.
Our whole family got the flu the day after Christmas and it took all of us a couple of months to pull out of it (me -even longer).
Why is this a big deal? Well, to be honest. I'm 31. I have a disorder of the pancreas. My mother was 32 when she died. Her pancreas exploded. (She also had a significant prescription drug problem which factored in significantly.) Cognitively, I know that it's all ok. (I'm not going to die or anything.) But it does cause me to stop and ponder and occasionally worry just a little bit.

So- I pulled out of that in Feb sometime. Then at the end of February, I get a call from my Father. About the time I found out I had been dropped by my health insurance because of my hypoglycemia. Apparently my grandmother (my mother's mom) was getting married (for the 6th time) in the temple (for the first time). Since I am the only grandchild who is temple worthy. She wanted me to come he said.

Well. In order to understand my response, you will need to get some background info...
When my mother was alive, I had an entire network of people who cared about me. My mom had 5 siblings. I had 13 cousins, all who lived within 30 miles and got together quite a lot. My mom had 2 best friends and we spent a lot of time with them as well. All of my grandparents were an active part of my life. My mom was active in the PTA and I always got great parts because of her support. We had a lot of connections--- at school, at church, family connections. We spent every holiday at my grandma's house- all of us cousins. I loved it. We were your typical middle class family. (plus a drug addicted, but otherwise amazing mother).

Well, my mom died and within 2 years- everyone disappeared. My aunts, uncle, cousins, grandparents on both sides, my mom's best friends and everyone at church (we were largely shunned). We were no longer invited to Christmas at my grandmothers. My father had offended them all. At the time it didn't bother me. I was a pretty independent soul. That was 3rd to 5th grade.

But life moves on. When I was 18 (give or take), I drove down there from Abilene with my brother Chuckie. We were visiting my father and my aunts (who we hadn't seen in close to 10 years). We decided to go see my grandma. Well, when we got there they barely let us in the door. My Uncle Ricky yelled at us for 4-5 minutes before they let us in.

That's right, I hadn't seen her for almost 10 years and she barely let us in the door. And that was the ONLY interaction I had had with my grandmother since I was 10. So when my Father called and she wanted me to come to her wedding in Arkansas (which would have cost me up to $1000 for flights and hotel), my immediate reaction was some combination of feeling hurt (because they were so Rude), feeling betrayed (dumped, abandoned), feeling pissed that she would expect so much from me when she treated me so badly, and overall used that she only wanted me there because she just wanted to have a family member at her wedding and I was the only one. I immediately said "no". But it was pretty important to my father, which caused me to feel quite conflicted about the thing. She was a member of the church and should have someone at her wedding. And I was her granddaughter (supposedly).

It caused me to take a good hard look at why all of these people disappeared and what I could do to ensure that my son would NEVER be left alone like we were. WE were in serious poverty, basically inches from the streets for years before my father dumped us at my Aunt's house. Where my cousin smoked crack in my front yard. I had a friend who took me to church and mutual every week (Thank you Melissa Crockett). Simply going to church kept me protected from a lot of what was going on around there- kept me from being taken advantage of--- too badly at least. My brother wasn't so lucky.

The combination of these things and the pressure to have another kid. Ian's 2.5 now, so every other day someone asks me when we will have another. I think it's rude!!!!!!!!

Anyway- I think I've recently made peace with all of this. At least for now. But If I've been quiet, that might have something to do with it. Dave and I have been working hard to get our life in order. We're doing great! We've come a long way. In June, we conquered the last bit of our credit card debt- which was HUGE a year ago. (Roughly a mortage payment worth each month.) Now we are saving and using that mortgage payment worth to pay off our cars, student loans, and house. We'll get there. We're doing great! Life feels a lot more secure now.

1 comment:

  1. WOW! Congrats about getting your finances in order. With Reed's new job this spring we were finally able to get out of our debt. It wasn't much but well it was enough that the very very small payment we had to make was a stretch.

    About the kids....seirously, I love that the church handbook says that children/birth control/whatever is between husband, wife and God. Of course there are the stupid rude comments but its nice to at least know the church isn't yelling at you.

    I think you did the right thing saying no to your dad. (I know nothing about anything except what you shared in this post) There was a huge opening there for you to try to spend all that money in hopes of getting her approval. And it sounds like history has shown that you would not have gotten it and been disappointed and hurt all over again. Talk about a hard decision.