…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.
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.