Saturday, May 06, 2006

Family Drama (Lo's Lifetime Movie)

**Please scroll down to read about sperm! I really want any and all input about our options.

I need to pick out a Mother's Day gift this weekend, and that's not so easy.

My mother and my sister are not speaking to me right now. (So for immediate family, that leaves my dad, who is divorced from my mom, and is speaking to me. But he is very New England male [not to stereotype, some New England males are very warm, but it's a type], a distant character.)

My mother and sister both say I am manipulative and abusive and they can't take my negativity any more. I have discussed with my therapist, of course. I will be as honest here as I was with her. Here's what I have done: after initially expressing joy that my sister was pregnant, I shared my concerns with my mother and with my father (they both share my concerns, which are largely financial, and were not upset with me for expressing them). I did not tell my sister how I felt. I finally told her (I think twice) that it's hard for me when she goes on and on about her pregnancy and her anxieties about circumcision, because Co and I are in a place where we can't even *try* to get pregnant right now (since we're in the midst of looking for a donor/saving the $ for popsicles/going to doctors).

One of the times I asked her to be a little more respectful, a) we had just (the day before maybe?) found out that our original PKD was a no-go, and b) she was buggine me about my opinions on circumcision. Male circumcision is a hot button issue for me, as some people who read this blog know, and something I really, really, really, really don't like to talk about. I am not circumcised. I do not have any brothers. My father, since we are a Jewish family, is (I have been told) circumcised. And that is all I will say on the matter.

My sister and my mother both feel that my telling my sister my honest feelings was (as stated above) hostile, manipulative, and abusive. So right now they have chosen to distance themselves from my painful presence. I've been told this verbally as well as through email.

I do not WANT to be ANY of the adjectives listed above, and have done a lot of thinking about whether I did something that was, in fact, unfair and hurtful. I guess I don't think I have, so it's painful to me that my honesty has both of them so upset (I did try to express my feelings kindly and gently, I really don't want to hurt anyone; I can be a passionate person, no doubt about it, but I have not yelled at my sister; I admit that I yell at my mom sometimes, but mostly I just cry around her).

I've been clearly warned by both mother and sister that if I do not choose to "behave" myself (I don't know what that would mean, I put it in quotes because it's a word they both use), I may not get to have a relationship with my niece or nephew.

OF COURSE I want a relationship with my niece/nephew. OF COURSE this freaks me out. However, one thing my mom and sister don't understand is that as a lesbian with an alternative definition of family, there are already children in the world who I fully consider my nieces and nephews. So while it is certainly momentous to become a biological aunt, this is not the first time I have eagerly anticipated the arrival of a child to whom I will feel that kind of connection. I will not list names here....but Z. and N. and E. and R. and D. and A. are all my nieces & nephews in my heart. I don't mean to discount the importance of my sister's child, I really don't, but I'm hoping people in the community I'm writing for will understand what I mean.

So this weekend I need to pick something to send for Mother's Day, because it really would be hostile not to send her something (as I always have) just because she is kind of ignoring me right now. And that's not going to be an enjoyable task. I also have to pick a birthday present for my brother-in-law (sister's husband) for the same reason. And I am going to enjoy that task even less. Oh, the joy.

Plus I'm sick (no it's not allergies, though here in the Northeast the pollen is laying waste to much of the population), which is not improving my outlook on anything right now.


mermaidgrrrl said...

You MEAN MEAN MEAN lesbians, having actual feelings about something and daring to express them, when you know damn well you are just a second class citizen who should shut the hell up and be happy for the nice "normal" people.

At this point I would like to suggest slaps in the face all round for Mother's Day, but since you're going to be a much better person than I would be under the circumstances, instead I will suggest a really lovely picture frame, with a beautiful photo of you and your partner in it that she can look at and think about the fact that you are a couple with dreams same as any other couple. That's what I'm sending my mum! LOL

Brother-in-laws are difficult to buy for. Something stereotypically male? A car care kit or something? I think that gift says "I'm making a token effort, but not at all considering what you might really want".

bex said...

A tie, a tie! I think the picture frame idea is nice.

You don't really know me (I'm D's friend from Pittsburgh) but I just felt compelled to respond. You have to remember that oftentimes people see reflections of themselves in the world, instead of what's really there. They can't see the forest for the trees. This may not help you deal with them... but maybe it can make it less hurtful.

Also, I don't see how you could possibly be being "manipulative" - what is there to manipulate? Honestly, if they cared about you like they should, they would know that this stuff would be complicated and hurtful and be *sensitive* about it. your sexuality doesn't even need to be part of the issue - ANY couple having difficulty having a baby isn't going to want to obsess over the tiny details of someone else's pregnancy, that's just common sense!! don't let them hurt you too deeply. and remember what kind of love you deserve.

Trista said...

I'm guessing that you haven't been able to express your feelings towards your family honestly very often. So, your being honest about how you're feeling upsets the family dynamic of silent suppression and can feel very threatening. This is NOT YOUR FAULT. I am proud of you for speaking up. Stay true, stay honest, stay kind and open, and hopefully they will come around. If they don't, though unbelievably painful for you (oh boy howdy, don't I know it, which is why I think they'll eventually come around) you'll grow and feel better (eventually) and things will shift. They are the ones being manipulative with their threats and ultimatums, you just keep to your path and stay grounded.

I like the framed picture idea, too. And maybe, if it doens't kill you, a book on expectant fatherhood for your bil?

Lo said...

Trista, that's exactly what I sent bil. I picked this book that is styled to look like a computer's user manual because he is a computer genius (self-proclaimed). If that is everyone's signal that I've "come around" and can now "behave myself", then screw them. I have not, and I will not. :-)

Lo said...

Another self-reflective comment: though I like the framed picture idea (and it may be what she gets for her next birthday), I went with a necklace I had marked for her in a catalogue, earlier in the year.
But I will say this about pictures: she has a picture of me & Co on her fridge. She calls it her "favorite picture" of us. It was taken at one of my sister and bil's weddings. (Of course they had two; one was the LEGAL ceremony. Did I mention it was LEGAL? They did, a bunch of times.) I am pretty sure it is her ONLY picture of us, and she only has it because people were taking lots of pix at that event.
The weirdest part of all this is that my mom and I have always been really really REALLY close. But I guess I have gone just a little too far....

Co said...

I'm just verifying that Lo is indeed sick. How do I know? She gave it to me.

Sad sickies. We can join the less than exclusive club. It seems everyone's sick.

charlotte said...


These women ned a PFLAG meeting. I'm not kidding.

So sorry. Maybe y'all would benefit from some family counseling. Would they ever agree to that? I love you gals!!! Sorry you are both sick.

cliftomsmom said...

Hetro's who are easily able to conceive have no conception about what we have to go through to get pregnant. We share their joy, but they being your family really should be more considerate knowing your situation. Maybe you should put it to them to think of your partner and yourself as a couple who unable to conceive...Maybe they would be more compassionate.