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There Are Always 3 Sides…

…To every story. Something I haven’t talked much about is my relationship, or lack of relationship with my parents. I was talking with Rhea the other night when I said I think it’s time to finally just write about it. I’m not even sure what has been holding me back. She suggested that maybe I had hoped things would be different by now. And I think that’s probably the case. So, here goes my side of the story. Hopefully this will prove to be therapeutic or something.

Here’s what I posted on Facebook as my status yesterday:

Now before someone gets confused, I wasn’t saying I’m happy with the situation that I’m in with my  parents, I’m saying my marriage in general is the best decision I ever made and I’ve been so happy married to Adam.

Backing up the story a little, I had a “normal” upbringing. As normal as you can get when you’re a military brat. I was apparently conceived in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. My dad was posted to Victoria, British Columbia (my birthplace) then we moved to Argentia, Newfoundland and then Elmsdale, Nova Scotia. Growing up I realized that I was really lucky. We stayed multiple years at each posting. So, yes, I changed schools and it sucked, but I was fortunate that my dad generally moved around different areas of the bases we were at instead of picking up and moving every 2 years. This doesn’t include however when my dad would have to go on course or exercise for months at a time.

My dad and I… Killer glasses, Cheryl :p

I had always been a Daddy’s girl. Looking back, I realize that my mother and I really didn’t get along until I moved out for university. We would have the usual mother/daughter spats, plus my mom was with me most of the time. I was a pretty good kid growing up (at least, I think I was). I am an only child so my parents were pretty strict on me. I had a 9pm curfew (even sometimes when I came home for university!) and I hung out with the good crowd in school, I didn’t drink/do drugs/sneak out, etc. I guess others in my family were wondering if I would ever rebel in some way… The thought crossed my mind more than once, but figured it wasn’t worth it in the long run.

 June 1999. High School Graduation Day

When I left for university, our relationship was good. Great even. I came home regularly because I had a slightly crazy room mate and I was home sick. Things just seemed to get better and better. After Christmas of my first year, I moved into another dorm and that’s where I met Adam. We were just friends at that point. But we spent A LOT of time together! We finally became a couple during the 1st week of school during our 2nd year of university.

Adam was my first long term boyfriend and I’m sure it was evident to even my parents that I was pretty serious with him. Adam proposed on January 1st, going into 2004. And that’s when my relationship with my parents became strained. When Adam first proposed, we were at his parents house- spending time and being there after a medical crisis with Adam’s sister. My future mother in law danced me around the kitchen and then hit Adam for not telling her he was going to propose. She suggested I call my parents and tell them, but I wanted to tell them in person. In hindsight, I wish I had have called!

Adam’s a shy guy. No denying that. Plus polite. He really only spoke to my parents when they spoke with him. I was mortified when we went in to break the news to my parents. They were in their respective chairs, reading, so I decided to interrupt them with our good news. My mother immediately gets a scowl on her face after I made my announcement and said that he should have asked permission. We were no “traditional” family by any means. Adam wasn’t going to ask them for permission to marry me, it’s my decision. I was an adult and could make my own decisions. Strike 1, I guess. My mother then says she wished he would have asked because she would have said no. Then proceeded to say that he might be an axe murderer (no way could I make this up) because he’s so quiet. Plus, him being so quiet was rude. (How so exactly? well, she said it’s because he never initiated conversation…However he did answer/speak when they talked to him). I honestly feel that my mom wouldn’t have been happy with anyone I brought home. And from then, our relationship took a major nose dive south.

It’s now been 7.5 years since I’ve spoken or seen my mom. 2.5 years since I’ve heard from my dad. Now that the girls are learning family structure in school, they are beginning to ask questions about my parents since they know Adam’s parents and see them as much as we can. I vowed when I had children I would never lie to them about my parents or speak ill about my parents in front of the girls. So far, I’ve kept my word and I’m sure the questions will keep on coming.

 Over the past 9 years, I’ve heard “…they’ll come around…” or “it’s their loss” often. That’s the thing. After holding my breath for the past 9 years, I’ve decided that I can’t dwell on it anymore. What ever happens, happens. As for their loss? This is partially true. They’re missing out on the two most beautiful grandchildren that they’ll ever have. We can’t get those 9 years back, unfortunately. I still wonder if my parents would still be proud of me, now that I’ve grown up. Guess there’s really no answer there, but I still wish for the relationship we did have even though it’s impossible to get it back now. I also wish the girls could have a relationship with them too. What probably hurts the most because I had such a great relationship with my parents, I was totally blind sided when our relationship went south.

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. I’m glad you wrote the post. If anything, others who are in the same situation will know they’re not the only one out there. Many relationships between parents and their adult children are so destructive that you have to wonder if they’d be better off not having contact. I think you’re a pretty amazing person and it saddens me that the people who should be your biggest fans have not been there for you. Fortunately you have a pretty wide network of those who are. Including me. xo

  2. This breaks my heart Cheryl. I can’t imagine ever going that long without talking to my kids, no matter who they married.
    Cat Davis recently posted..Technology for the Family | HP Envy 23 TouchSmart AiO #HPFamilyTime

  3. I am still in shock that parents could do that to their child – especially when you had such a healthy family relationship. My heart hurts for you, it isn’t fair that they’ve done this. :(
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  4. It’s crazy to think it’s been 9 years already! Or that we’ve known each other that long! Lol But Cheryl it truly is THEIR loss. I mean they are choosing not to know the awesomeness which is Miss Jillian and Miss Lauren. :) Try to lighten your soul and fly… (You know, metiphorically. I don’t wanna be scraping you off the driveway cause you took a flying leap off the roof) :)

  5. Cheryl this moves me to tears, thankfully you’re in my life and I can’t fathom why anyone wouldn’t want you in theirs. Ultimately you and Adam have a marriage, a partnership which probably isn’t perfect but it’s built upon a strong foundation which is what we’re taught is a good thing.
    There’s no crystal ball but man o man I hope somehow your Mum and/or Dad get a chance to read this to see once again how loving you are. I’ll be praying for a reconciliation…..
    Cuz you’re kinda a big deal to me
    SoberJulie recently posted..Maple Leaf Monster Jam is Coming To Toronto – Win Tickets Here

  6. Dorothy Williamson says:

    Cheryl, I’m very proud of you for writing about this. I love you!

  7. I don’t know your parents, but I do know you. And I have to say that I am SO proud to call myself a friend. You make the world a better place and you should be really proud of the person you are and the way you live your life. You don’t know what will happen in the future, and as you said it’s not wise to live in the past. Your acceptance of the way things are now is the best thing for you. Thanks for sharing. xo
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  8. Cheryl I am so very sorry your parents chose to behave this way. As a parent it is difficult to imagine missing out on so much in your child’s life.
    My parents were idiotic when I told them I was getting married, but this story takes the cake. So sad, their loss to miss out on seeing you be such a great mom to your girls.

  9. ((hugs)) Cheryl I know how that is. I’d finally got tired of my mother’s crazy and realized it was in the best interest of Owen and myself to just steer clear of her. It wasn’t worth the tears/pain I felt when she’d be her “normal” way with me or treat Owen different than my nieces and nephew. Owen asks sometimes but never too often. He sadly doesn’t seem to even miss not seeing her, just because he never really did when we were talking either.

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