Thursday, June 20, 2013

My Mothers Estrangement from My Paternal Relatives

In my last post, I talked about my paternal relatives, and how I felt uncomfortable living in their home during my early childhood. After leaving their home to live with my mother and father, I stayed in regular contact with these relatives up until I was about thirteen years old.  My mother developed a strained relationship with them once she had the opportunity to observe their behaviors and how those behaviors affected other people. She realized that these were people she did not want to be around very often.  Before that, she had naively thought of my father's family as people with whom she could have possibly had a genuine familial relationship and that my paternal aunts would have been like sisters to her.  My mother did not have a close relationship with her own parents or most of her siblings, so she thought that my father's family might have been able to fill that void somehow.  But once she observed their love of gossip, manipulative storytelling, and AM's subtle negativity, her notions of becoming a member of their family, quickly changed into her not wanting much to do with them.  Our contact with them became limited to certain occasions, but not really for regular social calls.

When I was fourteen, my mother and father's relationship had deteriorated past the point of no return due to my father's abusive behavior, which had occurred all throughout their relationship, and his gambling addiction which started when I was about eight years old. At this point, they had me, my younger sister and brother, and my father was hardly ever around because he spent most of his time at casinos. With my father's addiction and perpetual joblessness,  and my mother's low income as a NA, we eventually had to sell our house and move into an apartment.  During this difficult time, my father was not around to bear any of the burden and my mother had to make all of the difficult decisions and support the family.  She was used to not relying on her family for any support, and she barely had contact with my father's family, so we were on our own.  If she had reached out to my father's family, they would have helped, but their motivation to do so would not have stemmed from a genuinely helpful or caring place.  They would have helped out in order to get the satisfaction of being needed and to revel in my family's hardships, and my mother refused to give them that satisfaction.

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