July 8, 2009

BlackSheep...


As a child I tried to be independent, happy and carefree. My parents were unhappy with each other and not such great parents, which tends to happen when you get pregnant at sixteen and were forced to marry! They are both better off married to the people they have now!! To be honest that start, and things that happened to me through my childhood, good and bad, have shaped the person that I am today. Things could have turned out a lot worse for me, and they would had if I had not had some very special people take an interest in pulling me out of the downward spiral that I was in.

I was therefore colored as the BlackSheep of the family. Frankly I think that even as a 3rd grader the signs of Bi-Polar were there, but they didn't know much about it then, and still won't diagnose kids that young now. Looking back though, it was all there.

So, as I said because I was a little "off", I became the BlackSheep. If I was around, things got blamed on me, even if I didn't do them. We spent a lot of time living with relatives after my parents divorced, due to the fact that my dad was in the Army, and constantly off "defending" his country. I call it running from single fatherhood, but you know how the "greats" never do anything wrong.

As a teen I became overweight, hated school, and for the most part hated life. I attempted suicide several times, and was depressed most of the time. I ended up in residential treatment programs several times due to my depression and attempts to end things. Those places were what changed me. I became aware that the issues that I had weren't really mine, I mean they were, but they stemmed from the things that were done to me as a child. Sexual, physical, and mental abuse can ruin you if you let it. I made the choice not to let it. Of course by then it was to late, things had been set in motion that had labeled me in the family.

I still made some dumb choices... you know like getting married twice just because I could.. that ended badly both times. By the time I met Clark, I really knew what I wanted and needed in a husband, even thought I was only 19. I was still married to #2 when I met Clark, but he knew all about everything and chose to take me on with all of the issues that I had. He saved me, and I do mean that in the figurative and literal sense of the word. I think that had he not entered my life when he did, I wouldn't be here today, or if I was, I would be in a very different place. He accepted me for who I was, no questions asked. I have never felt good enough for him though, just so you know, those pesky little self esteem issues refuse to let my brain accept that someone could love me for me, not what they could take or get out of me. He really is the most amazing person I swear!!


Ok, I got off track.... Back to being the BlackSheep.... So, things in my extended family have never been easy for me. I have always felt uncomfortable when I go back home for big family gatherings, but it really has pained me when I didn't go. I felt like everyone was watching and waiting for me to do something stupid just so they could say that I hadn't changed.

I have not shared a lot about our infertility with most of my family. Those closest to me know what we had to go through to get the Turtle. The main reason I kept quiet was because I knew they would judge me and blame what was now a physical problem on some of my past indiscretion's, even though they have nothing to do with my IF... you know how families can be.

A few years ago before IVF and the Turtle, I went to a family gathering with Kent, and it was all some family could do to not be openly rude about the fact that we had adopted a handicapped child... I said fuck them, and I still do. I love Kent with all my heart, and I don't see him as that poor little handicapped kid they all seemed to have seen.

I promise I am going somewhere with this....

So after all these years and struggles, I have gained a lot of the family back that I lost when I was little. Most of them tell me how proud they are that I made something good out of what started so bad. I have a wonderful life, an amazing husband, and 2 beautiful children. I really have come so far from that scared teen of just 17 short years ago.

So, it really hit me hard and out of the blue a few weeks ago when I found out that my favorite cousin "D" had been telling people from the day Turtle was born that she didn't think the Turtle was my biological daughter, and if we had admitted that we adopted Kent then why couldn't we admit we had adopted her.


Yeah I know right... she put me out there, and I have really struggled with this news every since. I have drafted a hundred letters to her in my heart and in email... none of them sent of course because I worry. I worry about what people will think if I react so strongly to her accusation. Will they think it is true. Not that I give a shit about what they think, but I don't want what I say to affect the families feelings about Turtle. She is my biological child, I mean hell the kid is the spitting image of me really, and most of you here know what I went through to get her here.

I am angry and hurt that this cousin would say such a thing, she was the last person I expected this from, and honestly it has really cut me very deeply. I don't know what to do about it, as I will most likely see her in a few weeks when we go on vacation, and I am honestly not sure I can keep from beating her ass!! I refuse to let her take what I went through to get where I am today with my girl and trash it. I just won't do it. At first I was hurt about the whole thing, and now I am just plain angry. I mean this woman has a husband who is nice, and 4 beautiful children so why in the hell does she need to pick on me??

Dear sweet Internets, I really want to cause her bodily harm for tarnishing such an amazing part of my life with her big mouth. I will not though because that is what would be expected of me. You see I learned a very important lesson this week.... No matter how you change, grow up, and become a better person, people will always judge you by your past.


So, it still seems as though I am and will forever be the BlackSheep no matter how much I change, and as much as that sucks, I really don't give a shit anymore, because I have what I have always wanted... A Wonderful Life!!!

14 comments:

Kristin said...

Oh man...I would be so pissed off. How utterly maddening.

Tracey said...

I am so sorry you've had to deal with this. Ugghh! God bless!

Tutu said...

You are absolutely right...what other people think doesn't amount to a hill of beans. But I know it's still hard when family feels that way. My sister is the "black sheep" of my family. I see my parents still expecting her to make the same mistakes she made in the past, and I know how hard it is on her.

I'll be praying for patience and restraint for you when you see your cousin. Personally, I would want to punch her in the face, but that's just me! :)

Rhonda said...

Having your family disregard you probably made her look better. That's the image she is trying to keep up, for her own sake. Don't let it get you down. Those are her issues, not yours, no matter how maddening and hurtful!!

Oh, and when no one is looking, trip her when she walks past you with a full plate of food from the buffet. Tee hee.

My Reality said...

Let me guess - you faked your entire pregnancy with her, too.

I don't even know what to say, Rebel. But the nerve of some people. . .

Lorraine said...

I;ve been trying to teach my daughter to ignore all of the emotional components of being hurt or pissed off by what someone says and to TRY to remember to maintain a neutral attitude and ask "Why would you say that?" But it's so hard not to be defensive or combative or even just pointedly hurtful in those situations.

I hope this cousin figures out that these would be awful things for a child to hear.

Amanda said...

Sounds like your cousin is just not happy with her life or who the hell knows. Why do people feel the need to open their big fat mouths and be rude? rawr. :) And to the last part... RIGHT ON! You have made a great life for you and your family and that's all that matters. Some people can't see past their own nose.

Lost in Space said...

She isn't even worth your time, Rebel. I'm sorry you have to deal with her at all...

From Here To Maternity said...

Well from one black sheep to another I think you're pretty damned amazing. Mind you I'd be tempted to kick her ass but maybe a nice stern slightly sinster chat might do the trick.

Poison Ivy said...

You are awesome! I am so lucky to have you as a friend.(((big hugs)))

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Erin said...

I would be furious with her. It would be none of her business even if it WERE true. I don't know that the fact that it's not true matters much beyond that.

But still, I would confront her, in private and in person if possible. I would tell her that I'd heard this and would like to hear her side of it. And then I would let her talk. I suspect she'll try to bluster her way through it without admitting anything at first. From talking with my students, I've found that they'll basically hang themselves if you don't say anything when they first stop talking. They'll say something to fill the awkward silence and ultimately it will lead to the truth.

Then I would explain to her that you're shocked. That you thought your relationship was good enough that she would come to you with any concerns she had about YOUR family, not talk about your family to others behind your back. I would focus the discussion on her gossiping and the breakdown of your relationship. I wouldn't even address the issue at the heart of her statements because she won't believe you no matter what you say (and it still isn't any of her business). And ultimately, it really doesn't matter to anyone but your family.

I would definitely do it in person rather than via e-mail, because e-mail will only give her something to forward to others as "proof" that she was right.

If Turtle ever hears what she's saying, you can simply roll your eyes and say that Cousin D has always believed whatever she wanted to believe, regardless of the truth.

Families can suck sometimes. They have the power to hurt us more deeply than anyone else, because they matter more than anyone else.

momofonefornow said...

People suck, pure and simple.

Did you get the email I sent? I was planning on sending you those coupons but I need your address. Just shoot it to me at kcsstrohm at gmail dot com.

Anonymous said...

what?? She has the PROBLEM sweetie NOT YOU...geesh...and duhhh pregnancy photos are proof you didnt adopt...people are stupid...sorry but they are. Jealously is all it is... they are jealous your life turned out so good and you have a wonderful family. Dont let it bother you (i know hard to do) but seriously God has given you a wonderful life today, dont dwell on anything in the past. Your loved. ~Lisa