Love From A Distance

I was asked recently what happened between my late brother, Stephen, and I, and why we weren’t in each other’s lives at the time of his death. At first I was a bit shocked by the inquiry because it is considered such a private matter. But, the more I thought about it, I began to think why don’t we talk openly about family dynamics. Family relationships are all different and there are going to be ups and downs in family relationships. Most of the time when families have a difference of opinions they work things out right away. Sometimes time and distance helps heal the relationships…but sometimes there are unseen and/or unspoken extenuating circumstances that stand in the way of healing a broken relationship. Sometimes what you see isn’t really what you’re getting…

When I speak to my family of my late brother, Stephen, there is no doubt that I love him. I will always love him. However, there were extenuating circumstances in my life, that Stephen, and many others were unaware of, that changed me and stood in my way of being the “peace maker” members of my extended family wanted me to be. For years I was the one who helped keep the peace within the family. A ” peace maker” was a title assigned to me, it was never a title I proclaimed.

I grew up in a family where I saw family members go for years and not speak to each other over something neither side could even remember. But, when something tragic happened, like a death in the family…, they would all “cease-fire” just long enough to make an appearance at the funeral…then, they would go right back to fighting and not speaking again…I never understood that. I still don’t, and right or wrong, I’m just not like that. I will make every effort to mend relationships in my life, but to me, saying “I’m sorry” means I will make every effort to not repeat the offence again…it doesn’t mean we “kiss and make-up” until the next big blow up… I just don’t want to live like that…I can’t.

My late brother, Stephen, and I had a huge disagreement that grew with time to a break in our relationship and I accepted that as best for both of us. Did that mean I didn’t love him? Absolutely NOT. I always loved him and I still love him, but because of my own issues I couldn’t deal with his anger and pain and the drama and hurt we caused each other each time we were together. So, I decided the best thing for me to do was to love him from a distance which is what I did. I was asked if I regret that decision, and if not, how can I live with it…? I can honestly say I don’t regret keeping distance between Stephen and I to stop us from fighting and continuing to hurt each other,. As I said when I delivered Stephen’s Eulogy, which I did because his son, Christopher, asked me too, “Stephen knew what was left unsaid and if he didn’t know it then he knows it now so there are no regrets”.

I have a estranged relationship with my daughter, Katie right now. Does that mean I don’t love her? Absolutely NOT. I love her with all my heart and I pray that one day we will be able to have a healthy relationship. I am always open to making that happen and I told her that in the last communication we had a couple of years ago. But, in the meantime, I will not allow her, or anyone, to treat me or my family with disrespect. I’ve always said I want people in my life that want to be here in a healthy way which to me means demonstrating love and mutual respect for each other always. I understand and accept that families will have disagreements but I will not accept that as an excuse to vent disagreements in a violent rage. I simply will not tolerate that ever again in my life. I would rather love from a distance than live like that. Some say that’s pride. I don’t. I say don’t make a judgments unless you know all the extenuating circumstances… That said, I know first hand things happen when relationships are broken.. lives move forward, and sometimes, people die… and I know for me, I’ve made every effort, I’ve kept the door open for discussions, I’ve loved with all my heart, and I have no regrets about our relationship.

What I do regret is why people don’t talk openly about what happens to divide families? Obviously I don’t have that problem…But, many do and I regret that so many suffer in silence. How can people/families heal when so many family issues are swept under the rug or pushed into the proverbial “family skeleton closet”… I pray someday all that will change…but for now…I will continue to love from a distance

Stay Tuned

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Debbie AZ
    Jun 10, 2013 @ 23:02:34

    I am sad for the things that happened to you, but thankful that you write about them. It lets all of us who live with the same situation, know that we are not alone. My family situation is similar to yours, that is why I have lived alone in AZ for the past 30 years, instead of back in WI with the rest of my family. I sent your other post, about limiting the time with your Mom, to my niece. My Mom, her grandma, is the same way. My Mom has replaced me with her & has tried to do the same things that drove me to AZ, to her. I was killing me to see my niece repeating my life of insecurity & pain. My niece is now, limiting her exposure to my Mom, and refusing to be sucked into the negativity. I treat it as a gift of being able to go back & talk to myself, when I was her age, and trying to help her live a better life.

    Reply

    • beyondcinderella
      Jun 11, 2013 @ 01:33:14

      Thank you Debbie for reading my blog and for leaving your comments. I so appreciate you taking the time to let me know your thoughts and if any of my experiences helps any of my readers then I have met my goals…if you ever need to talk to me send me a FB message and I will provide my phone number..Virginia

      Reply

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