Thursday, January 12, 2012

Guess Who's Picking Your Nursing Home, Evil Parents?!?!?

It seems like parental relations is one of those universal areas that everyone can relate to. Even if you've never met them or you were adopted, nearly everyone's got some kind of opinion about the people who took care of them in childhood. If no one took care of you? Surely you're pissed at someone for dropping the ball there, right?

But as you might long to meet your biological parents or had to fend for yourself, there's still people who had objectively "good" parents who are miserable.

Take the case of the parent who's too strict. This is the world my sister & I grew up in. My mother, as you should have already read, was MEGA strict. She's also a religious conservative despite other things she has said & done in life. I still haven't asked about that whole sheltering a pedophile thing but man, I've got more ammo to use on her now.

You may recall my mentioning her attitude on children born outside of a marriage (she's so against it that she told me & my sister that the first one of us to have a child that wasn't out of wedlock would get the doll my grandmother had as a girl). You may also remember me talking about my sister being pregnant.

Despite my disagreements with her and having a very different mindset (maybe I'm the Terminator of my family because my mother & sister refuse to debate on issues or stand up for themselves on most things), I do actually speak to her & would care if she lived or died. Seems my mother has been going on her little judgmental digs lately. I don't really get it from her since I think I long since established that I'd cut people off for it but apparently, she felt it was okay to diminish her own grandkids by telling my sister that this baby would be the first she'd have that wasn't out of wedlock & saying it in a judgmental tone.

She's also apparently called my sister a breeder b/c this would be her third kid, claiming this was her fourth pregnancy. Never mind the fact that she lost the second one, her oldest probably wouldn't be alive today if she'd had him in wedlock and that the laws are such that it was more beneficial for her to stay single instead of getting married and impoverishing herself while her intended was not employed.

I also learned that my uncle apparently made such cracks about her kids' origins in front of them. That is totally uncool in my book. Kids remember shit like that. I still remember a long deceased aunt telling me and my sister that she loved us less than our male cousins. That happened over 20 years ago.

My sister apparently asked my mom how our grandmother would be if she were alive today (she died when I was 5 of cancer & I don't have any memories of her being a bitch to me). My mother apparently said that she would have more to say than she would.

Wow!! Way to make me be happy that my grandmother died before she could ever disapprove of us! Way to make me happy she's not around to vote some sexist ticket for the presidency! I wonder how happy she was with her daughter marrying an abusive alcoholic who disrespected her and made her grandkids feel like crap. Under that logic, she'd be calling me a slut and probably evil or a corrupted victim (which would piss me off as I was angry w/my father thinking of us as mindless robots when I was about 10 & felt he was an idiot for not getting that we had minds of our own & could see how he treated our mother, which we didn't approve of).

I also think grandparents tend to dote more on their grandkids & give them more latitude than they would their kids. My husband actually had a great relationship with his grandparents and they were actually the people who cared and supported him on things he wanted to do in life.

I've not heard my mother speak this way in front of me.

Maybe you'd say "That's because you're 'The Angry Redheaded Lawyer'/'The Avenger'."


Maybe it's also because I've said in no uncertain terms that for instance, being nasty to my non-religious husband or making him feel unwelcome or uncomfortable in any way means you don't get to be in my life.

Maybe it's relevant to my being the highest educated person & not wanting to piss off the only attorney/film executive you're going to have meaningful access to.

I'd grant you all of this. I also stood up for myself a lot in college, even pointing out where my mother wanted to get uppity over my doing the very things she said to do. I'm also the person who told her she wasn't a supportive or comforting parent so she shouldn't be shocked at being the last to know about my sister's first pregnancy.

I was also the one who told my father that he should be glad my sister had a husband who stood up for her when he decided to get in her face & her first husband got in his face. I could see her current husband do the same thing & I would hope that he would as a man. My father ended up agreeing with me after being mad at my sister's first husband.

Let's consider something for a moment: who do you think will be dealing with elder care for these people when they're too old to be self-sufficient? I live hundreds of miles away, work in an industry that doesn't travel so well & have a husband who absolutely wouldn't live in the South. My sister lives a few minutes away.

Give up? My sister. Might be in my mother's best interest not to be a jerk to my sister, don't you think? I might end up making more money but I'm not going to be a physical presence or doing those in-person visits at the same level as my sister.

And people wonder why I'm of the school that family is what you make, not who you're born to along with why being "family" doesn't automatically mean much to me unless you're a sorority sister or part of the One Way family i.e. a member of a family I chose for myself?

My husband, in fact, has joked that he will be sticking his parents in the world's worst nursing home. He may actually do it based on some serious things going on in his past & his mother's behavior in particular. I already told him that I have no say on it because that's his choice. He most likely feels the same about mine. Neither of us was there for childhood with the other's parents so if the one who lived it feels their parents need to suffer for being an ass, then it's not the place of someone who came into the fold as a grownup and much later in life to make those decisions.

Karmic justice. I wonder how many people do this. Ever think that maybe some older people were real jerks to their relatives & that's why they don't visit them at the home? Could be a viable explanation but I can't see that many elderly people being unrepentant scumbags. Then again, it may very well be a case of being on the outside looking in.

As for me & my husband, we intend to have the money for good care later on or be dead first. Not being self-sufficient is, for us, a form of death. I'd rather not be alive if I had no quality of life; husband agrees. Hence, no life support for us.

God, see how stressful it can be to work in this industry? I now have to think about which relationships I'm kicking out of my life due to toxicity. I'll take being alone over being abused; liberation is better than companionship at any cost. There are a great many people in the world and I know you can find some gems if you look hard enough.

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