Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Guilt Cards

I've been trying not to rant about my (adoptive) mom not being home for Christmas. I mean, as I pointed out, it's not exactly adoption related. Though, to be sure, it has its connections. But, in the past couple of days, I've gotten some Christmas cards, heavy on the guilt.

The first is from my mom's older sister. In it, she felt the need to tell me how wonderful my mom is for being their for their sister.

This tells me that my mom must have expressed guilt or concern about me being upset about her not being there. And her sister decided to rise to her defense. I couldn't help but think "if my mom's doing such a wonderful thing, why isn't my aunt going down to help out, too?" And the answer is obvious. She has family back home that needs her. That comes first. So as much as she might wish she could be there, she recognizes her own responsibilities. And that is what my own mother seems not to recognize. Far from making me feel better about this situation, it simply annoys me that she said something to my aunt, and my aunt decided to defend her to me, in a Christmas card for goodness sake.

Then yesterday, I got the card from my mom. In it, she justifies staying there because my aunt is sick. She thanks me for understanding and hopes that I'll forgive her.

Again, this is a Christmas card. A Christmas card. Who does this sort of thing in a Christmas card?

She assumes that I understand, which I don't. And she implies an apology. But I wonder what she's apologizing for? After all, she doesn't seem to be sorry. She doesn't think she's done anything wrong. She believes that she is doing the right thing. She may be sorry that I'm upset, but she isn't willing to do anything to make me not upset. She simply defends herself. Against a charge that I haven't made (except, perhaps, by my silence). That's not sorrow or remorse. She just wants me to not be upset. But she thinks I'm wrong to be upset.

The more this sort of thing goes on, the more certain that I become that she is wrong. That she doesn't even understand why she's wrong. The more she does this, the less inclined I am to try to find a way to forgiveness.

I hope she stops. I hope that she just lets it be for a little while. I need to come to grips with the fact that she doesn't prioritize me. I need to find a way to be okay with the fact that other people will always come first. Maybe I can find a way to do that. But not if she keeps this stuff up.

Families are hard. They're hard for many people (if not everyone). And I know they can be hard whether or not adoption is involved. I could just really do without this drama right now.

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