Tuesday, 10 December 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like a regular chaotic Christmas

So almost a year ago my mother kicked off in spectacular fashion.  Inventing illness and drama and putting more and more demands on my sisters and I.  It all culminated with twin and I ending contact with mum.  So now we have gone almost a year without contact but the trouble never ends.
When I got home from work last night there was a phone call from the community rehabilitation team in our area looking to confirm our details because they have had a referral about mum.  I tried to phone back but the number I had was wrong and the switchboard had closed for the night.
Oh god I thought its all starting again, but before I settled into full blown panic twin called big sis.  Turns out that mum has started all the things she did last year with big sis.  Mum has a static caravan up were Big Sis lives but has been turfed out for the winter so had to return here.  She was also supposed to have Nanny staying with her.  As soon as she was turfed out she was in constant contact with big sis.  Starting with the usual that she is ill, that Big Sis doesn't do enough for her, that her illness was all our fault, that we are evil daughters.  Then she ramped it up by calling ambulances out in the middle of the night, saying that she had a stroke or some other imagined illness.  Then she would phone Big Sis to tell her.
In the end Big Sis insisted that Nanny went home, as if mum is ill she can't look after her, then mum managed to get herself admitted to hospital and ramped it up even more, look I am really ill you need to do more for me.  Then she did all the things that she did last year to Twin and I to Big Sis.  In the end Big Sis snapped and told her she wasn't taking any more of her nonsense so now she has reduced contact with the other mother too. She hasn't gone completely non contact and is still receiving lengthy texts from her but now she understands what we have gone through.
Big Sis had a year of being mums only contact and has realised how selfish and narcissistic she is.  She even apologised to Twin as she hadn't realised how bad mum could get.
Part of me is elated that Big Sis now realises how bad mum is but the other bit is scared because now mum is back here and back in her flat (Twin checked) and is probably gearing up to ruin Christmas for as many people as possible. She has probably told the community rehab team that her darling daughters will look after her and I am now faced with telling them the truth.

Monday, 25 November 2013

She's Back

So this weekend I found out my mother is back in town.  Turns out she has been kicked off the Caravan site were she was staying near big sis for the winter and has had to come back.
This was found out through an old neighbour of Dad who ran into Dad's Girlfriend at a coffee place.
The neighbour also said that she has decided to sell her flat.  This is apparently because she can no longer manage the stairs because there is something wrong with her back.
The neighbour, according to Dad's Girlfriend, was apparently very sceptical that there was anything wrong with her at all.  As am I.
In the last 6 months she has been telling anyone who would listen that there was something wrong with her ranging from cancer to MS.  Looks like she has decided that its now her back.
Twin checked Mum's facebook and has confirmed that she is telling people that its her back.
She has also confirmed that Nanny is coming to see mum for 3 weeks at Christmas.
Mum wasn't at her flat this weekend but Twin says it was on her Facebook that she was seeing Big Sis.
The problem is that now she is back in town Twin and I are in fear of running into her.  She has always changed things so that every place we go from the doctors to the hairdressers will become her place and it is likely that we will run into her eventually.  However whether she will cause a scene is what we are worried about, because no matter where it is she will try to make us the bad guys.
Twin was also wondering where she will move too if she sells her flat.  She can't move in with Big Sis as her house is too small, but she could buy a bigger house for them to share which would mean we would see less of Big Sis then we do now. Or she could just move nearer Big Sis.  It would be good for us but bad for Big Sis.
It did take her about 5 years to move the last time though so it may be some time before she goes but we will be keeping an eye on the flat and the property guides so if she does sell we know about it.
Twin and I are going to see Big Sis in a few weeks and I can only hope that she won't be there and that Big Sis has the sense to keep her away but its a risk we are going to have to take.
Twin has been having a bad time and doesn't need any more emotional turmoil just now but you never can tell what the other mother will do.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Hot Desking - The results

So this week we moved offices and it was time to enter into hot desk hell.
Luckily for me my arthritis proved useful for once as it meant I have been allocated a permanent desk while the rest of the team have to play musical chairs.

The moving of desks isn't all that bad the team have assured me.  The hot desks that can be booked are at the other side of our large office in a nice quiet area.  When it is their turn to hot desk they happily go over there and relax and get a lot of work done without other staff interrupting or our 1970's manager asking them to do a million and one tasks which he is perfectly capable of doing himself.

The new area however is a different story.  First it is extremely noisy.  We have packed the same number of staff into a much smaller area and the noise is mad.  Its going to take a fair bit of getting used to.

Second we are right next to the tea point and photocopiers which add to the noise but also have the side effect of people walking behind our desks and back to get tea and coffee and to use the machines.  In the past week I have had people walk into my desk, nearly spill drinks on me, and I have slammed my chair accidently :) into a number of people who have just got a little too close.  There are set walk ways but as with everything a lot of people just think the rules don't apply to them.  An email has gone round asking people to use the walkways but there are a few who persist.

One guy has continued to persist in walking behind my desk.  When I challenged him this morning he said it was ok because he wasn't carrying a hot drink.  I mentioned that I had nearly hit him with my chair and asked he not do it again.  This worked for all of 5 minutes and then he was back.  I have taken to saying don't walk behind my chair in a loud voice when ever someone does it but for this guy I am thinking of deliberatly aiming my chair at him every time he goes past (or I could just get my line manager to speak to his)

Well its only been a week and I suppose I shall get used to it but its going to be fun while I do.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Hot Desking - or my idea of hell

I work for local government and this post (rant) is about one of the lovely policies we are now dealing with
We will shortly be moving floors at work.  One of the buildings the council owns is closing and they are moving a lot of the staff here.  Those of us already here are being moved to a different floor to let the new staff move into the lovely basement where we currently reside.  We are glad we are moving away from the cold damp basement but their is a problem.  We are moving to an area smaller than were we are and there will not be enough desks to go round which means one thing - Hot Desking

The whole section ( and we are a large section) is getting 15% less desks.  Our small team which currently has 7 people (we should have 9 but thats a different story) is getting 5 desks.   We are now having to work out how to allocate the desks. Three people have hard drives that can’t be moved around. Four have lap tops which would make it easier for them to hot desk, however one of these has a health condition that means he has a raised desk and special equipment.  In my plan the people with lap tops would be the ones to do most of the hot desking but apparantly this isn't fair and we all need to take turns.  
What is particulary annoying is that we have just gone through an IT refresh and this was the opportunity to give more people lap tops to make this easier - but the powers that be decided not to.
As  we get closer and closer to the move deadline and are given very little information about how this will be managed I am getting increasingly worried.
First I do not know if I am getting my own cabinet or if I will be allocated a locker.  The lockers are smaller and it would mean me moving my equipment daily.  As I have arthritis in both knees there are days that this will prove very difficult for me but I am expected to put up with this.
Second we don’t know if the touchdown desks will have hard drives or not so if I am down to hot desk on a day I will need to find a lap top and then carry it to hot desk with my other equipment somewhere in the building not necessarily near my team. 
Third you can only book touchdown desks 24 hours in advance so if you are on leave or sick you may come back to no desk at all.
Fourth we may be able to work from home some of the days but we currently don't have the equipment to do this plus there is an additional cost which we have to cover ourselves (light, heat etc.
Fifth they have offered us compressed hours but the idea of 9 hour days fills me with dread, especially as I have an hours travel both ways.
Sixth and the final (and minor problem) - some people in the team and section are complete pigs and the thought of having to share with them and clean the desk and keyboard and mouse everyday is just gross.
I was originally willing to put up with this as we weren't moving till December and would have had lots of time to plan out the details but the move has been changed to just two weeks away and now we are panicking.  I also didn't want to place the burden of hot desking on the other members of the team because I felt this would be selfish, however as we get closer I have decided  to be selfish. 
I have requested a health assessment based on my arthritis to see whether is would be feasible for me to hot desk.  I am hoping it means that I will get my own permanent desk but because the timescale is so tight it will probably not be done before I move which means I am screwed. 

So in two weeks we move and I will enter the hell of hot desking.  I will be monitoring progress and let you know how it goes

More mother related drama

I realise that I never updated after our dinner with Nanny and Uncle. Twin arranged through FB to meet them for lunch at a nice little place near us. Nanny and Uncle turn up (without Mum - thank god), we have a nice meal and everything is going well. We barely mention mum but have a really nice time.
Anyway after the meal Uncle suggests we go outside for pictures. At this point Nanny grabs me and asks me why I am being so mean to my mother. I try to explain explains that it is not that simple and that Mum has a lot to answer for, but of course mother has poisoned Nanny's mind I explains that she said and did some very hurtful things and Nanny says "She doesn't know what she did wrong" and "but she has apologised". The thing is that she hasn't though. Nanny then tells us we are killing our mother and asks if we will be happy when she is dead.
I can't take anymore and walk away. Which leaves Twin trying to explain to our 88 year old grandmother what mum did and why we had to make this choice. She won't listen though and we can’t make her but Twin stresses that mum was very hurtful and she made Twin very ill and that is why we have made this choice. Nanny ends up in tears we are both in shock.  I do get out of the car and say good bye but it is clear to me that Nanny will not believe us. Since then things have been quiet, however some things have happened that have made us worry again.

The first week I was back at work after the holiday I saw Mum out and about in Town.  I had left work for the day and was heading home when I look across the road and saw what looked like Mum heading down other side of the road.  I don’t think she saw me but I am 99% sure it was her.  She was practically running down the road but it was the same clothes, bag and haircut.  She went into a building and I went on my way. Completely freaked me out and I had to call Twin to let her know what had happened.  When we got home we checked Mum’s facebook (she has never changed the password) and saw that she had been in contact with lots of people, including Dad’s family telling them that she was ill and might have MS and that she may move up to where Big Sis lives.  Ok I don’t believe about the MS (but I was wrong the last time she said she was ill) but the fact she is contacting Dad’s family freaks me out.  She even spins out the old story about how Granda  (Dad’s father) loved her more than anyone else and said she would always be part of the family.   Now I was there when he was supposed to have said this and I know he didn’t.  Mum made it up and was completely manic at the time.

Secondly we are going to a family wedding (dad’s family) in two weeks.  On Friday night Aunt  (the mother of the bride) phones Twin.  She wants Mum’s phone number.  Twin gives it to her but the question remains why she wants it.  I hope to god she is not coming to the wedding because it would be awful.  We are both freaked out by this so the next day decide to check her facebook again.  She has posted a status that she does have MS and has moved up near Big Sis. We check the web but her flat here is not for sale as far as we can see. We also drive round there to take a look – no for sale sign and her car is still there.  Uncle also posts a picture of her near a holiday home in the same place Big Sis goes as well.  This makes me think she is up for a holiday but not to stay.  The weird thing is that Big Sis has not mentioned any of this (the moving or the MS).  She wouldn’t talk to me but I would have thought she would have said something to Twin.  However she also hasn’t mentioned that the parcel we sent littlest Niece has arrived nor acknowledged the birthday card Twin sent to her partner.

This sends Twin into guilt trip and depression.  She is sad because she misses the mum she used to have when we were little who she thinks did love us, rather than the mum we have now who only wants attention and slaves instead of Daughters. I am freaked out because now I will have to deal with whatever happens next and explain to Dad’s family what she was like and why we stopped talking to her.  Also if she comes to the wedding it will be very difficult indeed.  We are both agreed that even if she does have MS it doesn’t excuse her behaviour.  If she does move to near Big Sis, it won’t take Big Sis long to realise what mum is really like.  She always excused Mum's behaviour because as she lived away she didn't get the full brunt of it.

Twin spent most of Sunday night feeling miserable.  She didn’t sleep well and ended up going to work on very little sleep, feeling awful.  I have been having nightmares and I am jumpy and paranoid.  I am just waiting for the next thing to go wrong. Which given what is happening in work might be very soon but that is another post.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

And she's back - briefly

So on Friday night both the Twin and I had dreams involving our mother and grandmother.  Both involved Mum stalking us in some way and with us trying to get away.  Turns out these dreams were quite prophetic.
While we are out on Saturday Twin receives a text from mum - text reads as follows "Hi Twin Your Uncle is bringing up your Grandmother on Thursday and they are staying a while.  he will be chauffeuring her around as I can't drive.  They would like to see you perhaps on Saturday.  Contact me so that we can arrange something"
Its like nothing has ever happened.  Like I haven't stopped talking to her for 6 months and Twin for 3.  We are both freaked out and for a while can't decide what to do but eventually decide not to respond straight away. First this gives us a chance to calm down and second it takes away control from mum.  If we had responded straight away she would assume its ok to talk to us all the time and we would be bombarded with messages (has happened in past).
Looking at the text we see its about control, she wants to control the situation with Grandmother and Uncle so all communication has to go through her. We do want to see Grandmother and Uncle though so next day Twin Texts back that we will contact Uncle through Facebook and arrange something. This gives us control and means she will only know about plans if Uncle chooses to tell her.  Twin contacts Uncle and we agree to see them on Saturday but don't agree venue yet.
No further contact from the other mother so far.
Now there are a couple of things to consider, assuming Mum has told Nanny and Uncle about the situation we may have to deal with them harassing us to start contact with Mum.  If she has told them I can assume she has painted us in a bad light and will not have told them the truth. I think we are just going to have to say they don't know the whole situation and that we don't want to go into it and if they won't stop talking about it then we will leave.
However if mum hasn't told them anything we may have to explain that we are no contact with mum which is going to be tricky.
The other problem is that Mum may show up at the venue (when we decide were it is) and at that point I will be out of there and taking Twin with me.
I am hoping that none of these things will happen but I realise that is slightly deluded but I am not looking forward to seeing them because of this and that makes me sad.
It has also made me realise that there are things about mum that I don't miss.
I don't miss her attempts to disrupt my life every time something good happens - like the bombshells she would drop directly before or just after every holiday.
I don't miss her treating me like a servant
I don't miss being scared to tell her I had a day off as she would assume that it was so she could order me about.
I don't miss having to watch what I put on face book because she would demand every detail
I don't miss her attempts to control my life
I don't miss watching her emotionally drain my sister to the point of exhaustion and depression
I don't miss the lies and her attempts to change history in her favour
I don't miss the passive aggressive tactics and the little put downs she would slip into conversation to make us feel bad
I don't miss the 'accidental' destruction of my favourite things or the clothes that she would give away
to be honest I don't miss my mother.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Bus journey and sexism

I am not particularly fond of bus travel but its my way to work and back  however I had my worst bus journey in a long time yesterday in a long while and not for the usual reasons (crowing, bags on seats ect)

 Got on a bus at my usual stop but itwas quite crowded so I sat next to another woman who looked to be late twenties.  There were two teenage boys behind us, around 16 or so.  The boys were quite vocal, swearing quite a lot and playing off against each other. After a little bit is became clear they were eyeing me and this other women up.  Kept leaning forward and looking us up and down.  I was slightly creeped out but decided to ignore them.  Woman next to me was clutching her phone and texting. 
The seat in front becomes free so I move too it.  Within 2 minutes one of the boys sits down next to me.  Legs akimbo as guys seem to do and and tucked between over his groin.  Hands then become crossed but with the palms at breast level, that is at my breast level.  I start to plan what to do in case he goes for a grope.  I am steadfastly ignoring him but he is inching ever closer and his leg keeps slightly brushing mine. 
He then starts a conversation with his mate two seats behind.  Points over me, not touching and says I’d do that one pointing at a car but looking at me, then is mate says I’d do the one behind clearly referring to the women behind me.  I am seriously freaked out now and am pretty much ready to yell and punch if he tries anything.  Also worried about woman behind me.  He sits there for a while longer and then eventually gets up and moves back to his mate. 
The woman behind takes a phone call in this time and its clear she has arranged someone to meet her at the bus stop, so she is obviously disturbed too.
I eventually get up to get off and when I look up both boys are smirking at me and nudging each other.  I even stop and check when I get off to make sure they didn’t follow me. Now he didn’t touch me or even say anything directly to me but the whole experience freaked me out so much I was nearly in tears. I also felt I couldn’t say anything to them because it was so subtle and people would think me strange.   The fact that these two boys thought it was ok to do this to women and that we had to put up with it for fear of being labelled crazy or hormonal just makes me weep. 
I went home and shared this story on the everyday sexism website but I didn’t share it on facebook or twitter because I didn’t want to face people saying I was making a fuss or trying to shift the blame onto me.  Most of my friends wouldn’t do this but some of my family would and I didn’t want to have to deal with that on top of everything else.
The attitude of these boys is the attitude of a lot of people in society and this is the sort of thing we need to fight back against.  This is why I support the everyday sexism project and why I am a feminist. If anyone reads this I strongly suggest that you go look up the everyday sexism website to see what women have to put up with on a daily basis and if you ever see anything like this happening to a woman or to a man and think they need help - please help and show these people that their behaviour is not acceptable.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Annoying Manager

So after all my good intentions about writing here about the things going on in my life  - not just the drama I haven't written a single post since March.  However I now have something to write about and its not my mother (no contact since Christmas).

The subject of today’s post the annoying manager.
I work for local government (not saying where or what I do).  The team I am in has seven members of staff at my level and two managers. The seven staff members are all intelligent people with the ability to manage our own workload and do what needs to be done with very little supervision. 
The first manager, who has been here the longest. knows the team back to front, knows everything we do and is very supportive.  However he is also not afraid to give us a hard time if needed and to be fair sometimes we need it.
The second manager has only been with the team 2.5 years.  He was moved from another section, supposedly on a temporary basis, where he was surplus to requirements (first warning something was wrong).  We have been stuck with him since and it looks like he may now be here for permanently.  Since he arrived he has been nothing but trouble. He hasn't learnt anything about how the team works, the processes for what we do or even how we file things. Despite being a manager he refuses to make a decision about anything and tries to get us as staff to do it for him so if anything goes wrong he can blame us. He puts the wrong information in reports and then delegates it to someone else to fix, usually at the last minute and usually when they have something else that needs doing, then continues to pressure them to do the work he should have done.  If he needs papers for a meeting he will ask someone else to print them out even if he has time to do it himself.  He asks people to send emails for him, again he could do this himself and he won't arrange any meetings. He won't research information for himself (even if its in his email) and he forgets on purpose to do important tasks.  Not to mention he is rude to staff and clients.
This was annoying enough before but he wasn't my line manager so I could ignore (while supporting the other team members to stand up to him) however I have been assigned to assist him on an important project and I may have to kill him by the end of it.
Every day I have to remind him that I am not his secretary, that he can print things himself and that he should be making decisions.  Every day he comes out with some stupid notion that I then have to spend time correcting and I am currently not getting any of my normal work done as I am too busy sorting out the mistakes he has made, or working on the next random thing he throws my way.
Every day I get angrier and angrier and at some point I will lose my temper and tell him off.
I have come close and had to point out proper procedure on a number of occasions but have kept my temper so far.  The person who sits next to me is already sick of me ranting about this.
So if anyone actually reads this can you leave a tip for controlling my temper otherwise if you see a headline reading Council Worker Kills Manager that will be me

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Quiet very quiet

Since I went no contact with my mother my life has become quiet, very quiet.  There are still some issues with my Big Sis but they don't seem to be as bad as they were whilst Mum was influencing us.  This has led me to have a rethink about what this blog is about. 
Rather than wait for the next episode in the Soap Opera to kick off I have decided to use this blog to talk about other things that affect me.  This may end up being completely boring and I will have no followers but that's the price of blogging.
I have therefore renamed my blog to my up and down life.
This will hopefully reflect the periods of my life were the family soap opera rules and the the quiet periods were I can be free to talk about what I like.  From news stories to my ongoing rants about people who annoy me.
New posts will be appearing soon so stay tuned

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Mothers day and Snow

Sunday was Mothers day and as such the Twin and I were expecting some form of drama from the other mother.  Since we have both stopped speaking to her it has been quiet but she usually won't let that happen for too long before she pulls some sort of stunt to try and get us back into her control.  All day long we were on edge but nothing happened!  No texts, no messages to say I know we aren't speaking but you could have at least sent a card, no phone calls from Big Sis to say Mum was ill.  It was quite shocking. 
I know she is alive though because she posted on cousins facebook page - called her the wrong name too.
It got me thinking of mothers day's past.  When we were younger she would drop huge hints about mother's day.  We would make cards and things to give her but she expected to be spoiled the whole day.  Now I know you are supposed to spoil your mother on mothers day but the way our mum carried on about it, she seemed to expect much more than a normal kid would do for their mother.  Also if the slightest thing went wrong she would storm off to her bed in a huff after first telling us what a horrible family we were and how she did everything for us and was it too much to expect one day were we did something for her.  I even remember her being slightly annoyed when we would do something for our grand mothers on those days, because it was all supposed to be about her.
When we got older and after dad had left she got worse.  Now we were doing most of the housework and cooking but she insisted that she still did the majority of work.  She would then demand expensive presents for mothers day and god forbid if the card wasn't up to scratch.  I wouldn't have minded buying her a nice bunch of flowers and a box of sweets but that was never enough, she wanted CD's and books, kitchen equipment , perfume and things that cost much more than most people would spend for mothers day and if these things were bought she would then also expect the flowers and chocolate as well.
A couple years ago we stopped buying the expensive things and just bought the flowers and chocolate and there was always the feeling from her that this wasn't enough.
This year I am glad we didn't have to do anything and I am glad there was no drama but I don't think this is the end of it.
The other thing that happened was quite a lot of snow this weekend and that reminded me of some other things she used to do.  Whenever we had bad weather without fail we would get a text, usually quite saccharine, about how horrible it was and how careful we had to be.  Sounds nice doesn't it.  However this would always be followed up during the day with demands that we then brave the bad weather to get things for her.  So she wanted us to be careful and safe but only if it didn't interfere with her needs.  If we said no she would whine and plead and beg and talk in a baby voice till we gave in.  This was worse if there was a good reason for us not to go, for example the car had broken down or one of us was ill.  She would insist that we still had to do whatever errand she wanted us to do.  The annoying thing is that it was usually something that she could have arranged herself.  For example if she need a prescription picked up - the chemist delivers, if she needed shopping  - she could have arranged it online but she always waited till she was completely out before putting in an order so we would have to go.
So we would come out of a long day at work, get whatever it is she wanted and go to drop it off and then even though she knew we would be tired she would insist we stay to chat and then get offended when we wanted to go, of course before we could go we had to do 3 more things for her.  Usually all things she could have done herself.
But that is typical of mum and it was all about trying to control us and our lives.
So that's too areas of drama that I am relieved I don't have to deal with now we have cut her out but there are still danger areas to come.  Easter is at the end of the month and her mother is supposed to be coming for a visit and then its her birthday in August.  All perfect opportunities for a bit of trauma.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Team Meeting Drama

So I have had little family drama in my life for the last fortnight but just to compensate it seems like the drama at work is getting a little worse.
I am not going to say what I do or where I work because I would rather not get sacked but I am going to talk about things that are currently causing me stress.
The thing that did it today was my team meeting.  My team meets fortnightly and the majority of meetings are productive but can be long.  However occasionally we have a meeting that puts me in a bad mood for the rest of the day and today was one of those days.
We have a rota for minutes and who is chairing.  I set this up at the start of the year and the team are supposed to check to see who is down.  They never do and expect me to remind them.  I am not their secretary or their mother so I am now refusing to do this. Today the person who was supposed to be chairing didn't check the rota so didn't find out till just before the meeting.  This was apparently my fault for not telling them.  Next they forgot to bring minutes of the last meeting, which is the chairs responsibility, so the meeting was delayed while they went to get them.  Another member of the team had reminded them of this so there wasn't really an excuse.  So the meeting starts and although we have a set agenda the chair kept asking what was next.  I was starting to get grumpy by this point.
Through the entire meeting the chair then proceed to question every little thing that was said.  Now most of these things are ongoing work and the process and decisions have already been made so there isn't really any point having discussions but the person who is chairing has a habit of wanting to prove that they are morally superior to the rest of us and that they know the job better.  I personally got fed up of explaining things again and again and I am pretty sure other team members felt the same.
Next I raised something that had been agreed since the start of the year to give an update and a member of the team who is usually on my side started talking like they knew nothing about it and then tried to palm a lot of their work off on me as I knew about it.  It was sorted out but really annoyed me as I had been talking about it since before January and they all should have known about it.
Finally one member of the team repeatedly asked questions about things the rest of the team have known about for some time.  Now I know you are thinking well they should have been told, or maybe they didn't know but the annoying thing was there has been emails sent round about a lot of the things and we discussed the rest at the last team meeting which this person attended.
It just annoyed me as it made this person look bad and didn't really reflect well on the rest of the team.
Anyway it was a minor drama but I came out in a really bad mood and just wanted to shout at people. Its been a major effort for me not to snap and growl at everyone for the rest of the day.
I know I have anger issues ( I can go into rants that last for days and I do take my anger out on others that don't deserve it - I am trying to stop this) but team meetings like this just seem to wind me up more than usual.
I need to start thinking of ways to start off calm before going into a situation that I know will wind me up so it doesn't have so much of an effect on me.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

relatively calm

So the last week has been quiet ( I realise I am tempting fate here).
Twin had one text from mum, supposedly forwarded from Nanny, trying to make her feel guilty.
We just ignored it and kept on.  Big Sis has been quiet - even gave suggestions for youngest child's birthday and Dad is still seeing other two kids without much hassle.
Twin is very stressed at work but took two days off this week to recover/ mitigate the stress and I am doing better myself. 
I had been drinking quite a look in the evenings and kept saying I was going to cut back because it was making me feel awful, yet I never managed it.  This week I did cut back.  Monday and Tuesday no drink at all and I felt so much better.  Last night, after a rubbish work day I did give in and have a bottle of wine.  Today the old feelings are back and I wish I never drank it.  However what is done is done. What would usually happen at this point in the past is that I would give up all my good resolutions for the rest of the week and say I will start again next week.
This week I am not going to let that happen.  I am determined to keep cutting back on the booze, not come off my healthy eating plan and get some more exercise.
The reason - the two days I didn't drink I felt great.  I got enough sleep, I felt positive, I managed to tackle a lot of things I had been putting off and I ate much better than I usually do.
This morning (after wine) I woke up tired, I felt sick, I was grumpy and angry and the last thing I wanted to do was work.  I much prefer the positive feelings.
So its back to the positive for me.

Monday, 11 February 2013

And the drama continues

Last week was pretty hectic at work and stressful with the situation between Big Sis and Dad so I was looking forward to a nice weekend. I almost got away with it too (if it weren't for those meddling kids and their dog!),
Actually started out well.  Went out for a couple of drinks after work, had a lovely time but didn't get drunk and came home at a reasonable hour.  Managed to get up in time to go to the farmers market and the library.  Went to the cinema, Wreck it Ralph was very good, and another nice evening in.
On Sunday Big Sis's two oldest came through with dad.  They had their dad's permission but Big Sis didn't know,knew it would cause some trouble but actually didn't care.  Twin and I saw them for lunch and then she went off to see Mum while I stayed to play.  I had a really good time and we were joined by out adopted nieces too so it was lots of fun.  Twin however was not having fun.
Twin was at Mum's for ages well over an hour and a half.  Mum spent the entire time haranguing twin about how dad was to blame for everything in mums life and how horrible he treated her and how he beat us and her up.  She did make a few things up here.  And then she said she still loved him.  Bear in mind they have been divorced for over 20 years. Then Twin got every detail of mum's supposed illness, even though she didn't want to know.  Including how she was never manic and probably not even depressed. Then it was all about how Big Sis was right about everything and Dad and us were wrong.  Twin was going to lose it at this point because mum wouldn't even accept her point of view but she had to leave then if she wanted to see all the kids before they went home.
When she arrived at dads Twin was upset but kept it together for the kids.  When she told me I was really angry but again kept calm so the kids wouldn't see.  At this point mum phoned dad about the big sis situation even though Twin had begged her not too.  Dad didn't answer the call and later deleted the message.
Later when we were at home and had finally relaxed for the evening Twin gets a phone from mum.  She is coughing up blood.  Twin dashes out to get her to the hospital.  Now before anyone panics there wasn't anything wrong. She had a nosebleed earlier and that's when she coughed up the blood - quite clearly it was from that.  While Twin is round at Mum's I get a call from Dad.  Mum has left a message on his answerphone again, saying she knows the kids were here and that Twin had lied to her  Dad had phoned to warn us about retaliation.
It becomes clear this is what the hospital drama is all about.  This is Twin's punishment for daring to disagree with her and for not telling her about the kids.  I text twin but she is now stuck going to the hospital with mum.
When Twin gets there the ambulance men are clearly sick of her and the doctors and nurses don't know what to do with her.  Twin has to hang around for hours, mostly because mum won't let her go home.  She doesn't get in till near 11 and is so tense she can't relax.  Neither of us sleep well and we don't go to work today.  The whole day is spent waiting for news about mum.
I do a lot of house work because I half to do something.  Mum doesn't even bother to let twin know what ward she is in or anything.  Finally about 4 Twin gets a text Mum can leave can Twin come and get her.  Again no details about where in the hospital she is.
Twin is now off to collect her and bring her home.   Looks like there isn't a damn thing wrong with her.  If you ask me this was all a big ploy to get attention and to punish Twin.  If it was me I would drop her at her door and tell her to go to hell but Twin is much nicer than I am.
The thing that really annoys me through is through the whole thing Big Sis hasn't been a bit supportive and just spent a lot of time having a go at Twin.  Twin did tell her to eff off at one point but its like water off a ducks back.
I hope Twin makes it home soon without having to kill Mum 

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

My sister breaks my fathers heart

So as I mentioned before Big Sis has major issues with Dad - they revolve around things that happened when we were growing up and she has never managed to get over it and move on.
This resulted in her stopping two of her kids, who live with their father, going on the trip of a lifetime to Disney World with Dad and his girlfriend and her family.  Now Big Sis has decided that these two kids can no longer stay overnight with Dad.  She has blackmailed her ex husband into agreeing with this.  Knowing Big Sis she probably threatened to take the kids away from their father if he didn't agree. Big Sis is extremely manipulative and controlling and would stoop to just about anything to get her own way.
Dad found out yesterday from the kids father.  The kids father didn't want to do this but he is terrified of what Big Sis will do and feels he has no choice.  Dad understands this but is devastated.  He loves those kids and would never do anything to hurt them but he is being punished because Big Sis can't stand that he has a better relationship with them than she has.
Apparently after seeing the kids on Monday (which he does every week) Dad came home and spent all Tuesday in bed.  His girlfriend is worried about him and so are Twin and myself. 
I am furious with big sis.  After everything that Dad did for her when she was drinking and everything that he does for those children this is how she repays him.  Dad is now scared to argue with her in case she stops him seeing the kids at all.
She hasn't been in touch with Twin or me yet but when she does she will get an earful. Not that it would make any difference.  
When we found out last night my reaction was anger I wanted to go up to Dundee and punch her.  Twin was really upset and burst into tears.  Big Sis is so lucky to have those kids and family support yet she doesn't appreciate it.  She treats all her kids like property and will exclude or ignore anyone who has a good relationship or who her kids show any preference for.  She even told me once that her kids were none of my business, cause I am just their Aunt.
My major problem with the whole thing is that Dad has never once put those kids in danger, the only person that has is big sis.
She was the one that choose to keep drinking and not get help when it was needed.
She was the one that choose to abandon her children and move to Dundee knowing that she wouldn't see them as often.
She showed up drunk to important events in their lives or choose not to see them at all after raising their hopes. 
She doesn't contribute to their upbringing despite that fact she is their mother.
She emotionally manipulates them and that is going to cause them problems in later life.
She has already told the boy that when he comes to stay with her he will have his own room. She is clearly going to go for custody despite not having the resources to support them.  If she takes them to Dundee we will probably never see them again.  I have already decided to support her ex husband if it comes down to that.  I would stand against her and give evidence that she is an unfit mother if needed.
In contrast Dad contributes to their upbringing. Dad was the one that bought big sis a house in the village where they live so she could see them.  Dad shielded them from the worst of their mothers behaviour and Dad was the one that dealt the most with Big Sis and tried to get her help but Big Sis conveniently forgets that.
I also suspect that my mother is behind some of this.  She had been having a right go at dad before she got sick and has probably been spewing venom about him to big sis and encouraging her to go ahead with this.  She is out of the hospital after having her gall bladder removed and has already started making demands on Twins time. She has also conveniently forgotten the reasons for the fight and what she said to me.  Usual rubbish she either denies it happened or doesn't remember so doesn't have to deal with it and just expects me to cave, which isn't going to happen.
Twin is speaking to her today and is going to ask her about the situation with big sis.  If mum says she agrees or has been helping her make the decision Twin is going to stop all contact. 
Looks like major family strife for the future

Friday, 1 February 2013

Am I an evil daughter

This morning the twin got a call from Mum.  She is in the hospital, no not the mental hospital, something to do with her gall bladder.
My first thought - she's faking it
My second thought - she couldn't stand that Twin has bruised her ribs and is getting attention so she had to make something worse up.
My third thought - she's had a month without attention so she has to pull one of her stunts.
It was only after I thought all this did I consider the possibility that it might be genuine.  Then I thought Oh god does this mean I might have to apologise. Does this make me an terrible person?
After thinking about it for a while I realised that it doesn't make a difference to me.  Even if she is genuinely ill it doesn't excuse her behaviour before and after Christmas or throughout the rest of our lives.  I think I have reached my limit now and because of everything we have been through I have to stick to my decision not to see her anymore. If people see me as a bad daughter because of this then I guess I am just going to deal with it.
Of course if she is not really sick and ends up in the mental hospital I will be totally vindicated.  I will also be stealing her car as Twin thinks the clutch on ours has gone again as she drove into her work car park this morning and if mum is going to be in the hospital she won't be using it and we have a key :) - obviously this will just be till we can buy a new one. 

Twin got text from mum to say that the doctors were sending her for a scan as they didn't know what is was (not your gall bladder then mum).  Again my first thought was , yes because you are making it up for attention.
Later she texted a very long text to Twin to say it was unofficially confirmed as her gall bladder (because that's what she has diagnosed herself as) and that her own doctor (when did he speak to him) had reduced her dosage of antidepressants because they were affecting her liver function and her CPN was supposed to speak to her about it today but of course she was in the hospital.  Well the alarm bells went off for me.  Not only has she stopped her anti psychotics but she is now taking about coming off her anti depressants.  Also no doctor would just reduce like that you have to do it very gradually over a planned period or there are major side affects.  My thoughts are she has decided to come off all meds and is using this illness (which may be made up) to do it.  PANIC STATIONS - batten down the hatches.
Twin is supposed to go and see her in hospital to find out what she needs, then go and get it and bring it to her.  Twin is going to borrow her car to do this. Big Sis had said she would come down but then said she wouldn't as littlest niece is sick leaving Twin to cope with everything.
I feel bad for Twin and will help as much as I can while avoiding Mum.
My only hope is that while she is in hospital the Doctors will notice shes nuts and send her off to the mental hospital instead.  

Monday, 28 January 2013

just when you think things can't get worse they do

So with everything that has been going on you would hope that we could have a break but no of course not.
First Twin has had a rotten cold that has been going on for weeks.  She has already had antibiotics for a chest infection and conjunctivitis, but has been left with a cough.  In the last few days she has been complaining of pain when she coughed.  However this Sunday it got wore and it began to hurt even when she was breathing.  Dad and I ended up taking her to the hospital on Sunday night.  Turns out she has bruised her ribs by coughing.  There is nothing she can do about it but take painkillers and wait it out.  She posted what happened on facebook and Mum got in touch to ask what was wrong.  Well what she actually said was I know you asked for space but I am really worried whats wrong.  The implication here is that Twin is being selfish by making mum worry because its not about Twin being sick but of course its all about Mum.  Twin hasn't replied yet and is dreading it.
Next we have been having trouble with the gear box in the car.  It has been really tough to get it in gear and we were actually considering buying a new car as this is the end of a long list of troubles with this one.  However on the way to work this morning Twin was driving and couldn't get the car into gear at all.  She is now sitting with car and breakdown truck waiting to see if it can be fixed.  Twin thinks its the clutch cable which snapped before but it might be a misaligned gearbox which would be about £700 to repair, if it can be repaired. Its just one more thing on top of all the trouble we have been having that is just pushing us closer to the edge.  I am in work as I type this and I just want to cry.  It just seems like nothing is going right just now.
Doesn't help that my horoscope said this today - this is not the best time to move forward - - in fact you may need to struggle a bit just to remain in place!
Just sums everything up!

UPDATE - Turns out its the clutch pedal that's worn.  The nice man from the breakdown service tightened its and its fine but we will need to get it replaced at some point

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Letter to my Mother

This is what I wish I could say to my mother .

Dear Mum,

I am going to say a few things to you about my childhood and how you treated me and I want you to listen and not interrupt.  I want you to understand why I feel we can’t have a relationship anymore.

You have always said that you are a good mother and you raised us the best way that you could but know I am an adult I want to tell you why you are not.

  1. A good mother defends her children and will stand up for them – When we were kids and Dad would go into one of his rages at us you were never there.  You would run away, or you would ignore what was happening and leave us scared and hurt.  You even let us take the blame if the anger was directed at something you had done.
  2. A good mother allows her children privacy – You didn’t.  You opened our mail, you went through our things, you insisted on knowing every detail of our lives.  You would tell everyone you knew our news even if we asked you not to and the worst part was you acted like it was your news.  You would burst into the bathroom when we were using it and insist on using the toilet, you were usually naked.  You would even pick the lock to get in rather than using the one downstairs.
  3. A good mother doesn’t make up stories about her children to get attention.  You told everyone I was anorexic, that I was a lesbian, that twin had psychological problems and that big sis had AIDS – none of which was true.
  4. A good mother doesn’t bad mouth their children’s father to them – you would always start with I would never say anything bad about your father and then we would get 30 minutes of how horrible he was.  I realise Dad wasn’t perfect, in fact he was a nightmare, but you don’t do that.
  5. A good mother takes care of her sick children, she doesn’t act like its an inconvenience to her.  When ever we were sick you always treated us like we were faking it.  If we had to stay home we would be abandoned in a room and told not to move while you went out and saw your friends.  It was worse when you were working.  I didn’t expect you to take time off but I would have liked to be left food or something.  If we took sick when we were out somewhere it was worse. If I had a migraine I would be put in a car and left for hours on end. Once when I had an upset stomach and needed to be taken home you took me to your new boyfriends instead and then wouldn’t even let me use the bathroom.
  6. A good mother takes care of her children’s possessions – she doesn’t throw them out or destroy them or give them away.  We are not talking about things that were done or broken but things that I loved.  My favourite mug would be accidentally dropped and smashed, my cashmere jumper was shrunk in the was, I was told my favourite jeans made me look fat and when I went on holiday you would go through my wardrobe and give most of my clothes away without asking me. When I would ask were things were I was always told I thought you didn’t want it.
  7. A good mother will listen to both sides of a situation and act fairly. You always said you would do this but it just wasn’t true.  Your boyfriends, or second husband were always believed over us even if we had evidence.  You believed your friends before us and you would even favour there kids before us.  Even now you will always take Big Sis’ side before us.
  8. A good mother tries not to favour one sibling over another and treats them all the same.  You don’t, you love to play us off against each other.  You would make big sis and me pay more to the house while letting Twin off with paying nothing.  You would allow big Sis more freedom to go out but when we reached the same age we were denied. You gave lovely presents to me and trash to Twin and then the next year you would switch.  You had your ‘secret’ with me but would gloat about it in front of the other two.
  9. A good mother gives her children appropriate chores to ensure they learn responsibility.  What you did was gradually have twin and I take over all the chores from the age of 9 and up.  By the time we were 13 we were doing all the washing and ironing, cooking all our own meal and doing all the cleaning.  You even expected us to cater your dinner parties.  Yet you would tell your friends that you did everything.  All you did was leave a mess for us to clear up.
  10. A good mother does not unload all her emotional baggage on her children.  From the time Dad left you began to do this. You would talk to us about your love life, your troubles and your medication for hours on end.  It got worse when big sis left home.  You would wake us in the night to talk and would sit on our beds till we listened.  When we went to uni you expected us to call at least 3 times a week so you could talk about you.
  11. A good mother makes her children’s birthdays special – you made our special mum, special for you.  Like the time you turned up to our 18th with your new boyfriend without telling anyone or even asking if he could come, or the time you held a party for us on our 21st to which you invited all your friends and none of ours and then held court in the living room while we hid in the conservatory.
  12.  A good mother does not assume her children are there solely to look after her.  As far back as I remember you have been telling me that you only had kids to look after you.  It must have come as a hell of a shock that we had thought and feelings and desires of our own.

There were times in our lives when you were a good mother, when you took care of us and we had a good time but over the years they have become few and far between.  Now all you want is for us to do everything for you, to cater to every whim and give up our own lives.  You still try and control us and to take what freedom we have.  You never ask but only demand and if we dare to stand up to you or say no then we are punished with emotional abuse and blackmail.  I can’t take it anymore I want to get on with my life and I am going to try and do that but that means I can’t deal with you anymore.  Even if you get help and accept that you have a problem I don’t think you can ever get back to being that good mother which is sadly why this relationship is at an end.

Letter to my Older Sister

This is the letter I wish I could send to my older sister

Dear Big Sis,

I am upset about your recent behaviour in regards to your two older children and their relationship with Dad.  I realise that you feel you are justified but I don’t agree and need to explain why.
You have decided that Dad is a threat to your kids and you are actively going out of your way to prevent him from seeing them, even when this means denying your children opportunities and stopping them from seeing their friends. You refuse to see Dad has changed and I hope this letter shows that he has.
I understand your issues around Dad.  He wasn’t a good father to any of us when we were growing up.  He was constantly angry and we were terrified of him.  He would shout and he was violent.  He put a lot of pressure on you to do well at school, even when that meant missing out on spending time with your friends.  But Twin and I also got a lot of the flak.  He and Mum would argue all the time and we all hated that, especially when we got banished to our rooms.  We all thought this was normal until we spent time at other people’s houses and saw it was not.
When he and Mum split up we all thought things would get better.  You decided not to see him anymore and Twin and I eventually did the same.  He was still scary when we saw him and it was too much for us all.  What you may not know is that Mum put a lot of pressure on me to do it.  She used to wake Twin and me up in the night to discuss our behaviour and she always tried to blame dad. You may have missed it as you spent a lot of time away from the house.
Even though Dad had left there was still a lot of fighting.  Mostly between you and mum.  Eventually you left for Uni and even though it was in the same town we saw very little of you. However whenever we did see you wouldn’t talk about our childhood except to blame dad.  It became very easy for you to blame whatever problem you were having on your childhood.
Eventually you did start to talk to Dad again. Then we all went through a lot of crisis including Mum kicking Twin and me out.  Mum was seriously manic at this point  and you were having your own problems including a scumbag boyfriend who beat you. We all stayed at Dads at that point and during that time you tried to kill yourself, more than once.  I got you help one time and I know Dad had to step in too.  All we wanted was to help you but you still tried to blame your childhood for everything and you never got the counselling or support you needed. You acted like everything was fine but it really wasn’t. 
Eventually you seemed to have sorted yourself out.  You had a job you said you loved and you found a good boyfriend and were getting married
When you did get married Dad paid for it all. I don’t remember you thanking him but you did was complain that he was interfering.  When you had your first child Dad was over the moon. He loved that little girl the moment he saw her and it was the same with the second child, he absolutely adores the little boy and would do anything for either of them.  He didn’t like your husband but he made a big effort to get on with him and he tried to be the best granddad to both those kids.
Then you started drinking heavily.  I knew you had always drunk a lot since high school but then it got out of control.  Your husband didn’t know what to do and Dad started to spend more time looking after you and the kids.  You would disappear and we wouldn’t know where you were or if you were dead for days. Each time this happened it was Dad who would go to look for you.  Twin and I tried to help as much as we could but we still had to go to work.  Mum would try phoning but that was all. You lost your job, even though Dad tried to step in and help and eventually your husband said you had to leave.  Once again it was Dad who stepped in to help.  He found you a house in the same area as your kids and got you moved in.  He arranged access to them, but he had to be there as your now ex husband wouldn’t let you have them unsupervised.  You thought this was unfair but you had been drinking when you had them and had passed out more than once when you had been alone with one or both of them.  He even tried to get you a job but you refused all help there.  You would be sober for a few days and then get drunk again.
Eventually you managed to get a new job but you hadn’t stopped drinking.
You coasted along for a while even picking up a couple of new boyfriends but then the drinking got too much and you had to leave that job too.  All that time it was dad who looked out for you.  He came looking for you, he helped look after your kids, he arranged fun stuff for them when you flaked out on them because you were drinking and he covered for you with them when they needed to know what was wrong.  This included when you turned up drunk at your Daughters birthday.
He would even bring you through here when you needed to sober up for a few days. You had to stay at Mums because she had the space but dad would deal with most of the problems.  Whenever you had a problems while at Mums she would phone Twin and I to deal with it and she spent a lot of time on the phone to us complaining about you and how she couldn’t cope.
Once again you seemed to get yourself together and we moved on,  Twin and I weren’t sure it would last and we were convinced you would soon be drinking again.  Still we got on with life and went on holiday only to get back with to a text from mum saying that you were pregnant by a new guy. We were worried but you expected us to be overjoyed, especially Twin.  I was upset because I could see you putting another child at risk but Twin was devastated.  All she ever wanted was to have kids and here you were about to have another despite everything you had put your other two through.  You even had the cheek to get angry at her when she didn’t instantly respond to you.
You had the baby and it wasn’t long before it all started to go wrong.  You were travelling between the town were the baby’s father lived and the town were the kids were all the time but you were talking about selling the house dad bought you and moving permanently in with the baby’s father .  You expected to get all the money from the sale of the house, even though it wasn’t yours.  We all tried to persuade you not to move as you wouldn’t be able to see a lot of your other kids but you ignored us.  Then you started drinking again.  We started to get calls from the baby’s father saying you were drinking and then Dad would have to find you.  You would be passed out and the baby would be looked after by her little brother and sister (both who were under 7).  Once again Dad stepped in and looked after things till you sorted yourself out.  You finally started going to AA consistently and the baby’s father forgave you.  You did decide to move and you were upset when Dad said any money from the sale went to him.  You seemed to feel like you were entitled to it even though the only payments you made to the house were through benefits. You started to complain more and more about dad.
The house was sold, mostly due to work Dad and his girlfriend did to clean it up, and then you were living with the Baby’s Father. Dad then began to spend more time with the two older kids. He would look after them after school and contributed to the cost of raising them.  He also began to take them during school holidays to help their dad and other grandparents and because he loved them.  Never in all that time did I see him treat them the way he treated us.  He learned his lesson when we wouldn’t speak to him and he got counselling and managed to change.  However you resented the time he was spending with them and began to complain.  You couldn’t understand why you ex husband wouldn’t let you see them unsupervised, you had put all your kids in danger and we simply couldn’t trust you.  You decided that the only reason the kids were coming to Dad’s was for you to see them.  Dad began to let you but he didn’t tell your ex.  If your ex husband had known when the visits started he would have not let Dad have the kids any more, so you Father had risked a lot to let you see your kids.  The time you had when you were down wasn’t enough for you and you began to complain every time they did something without you, like seeing their friends or even spending time with me and Twin.  You repeatedly said that their time was all for you and nothing else was important.  Dad tried to be reasonable about it but all he got was abuse from you and from Mum. Mum had decided to the visits were about her and you spending all the time with the kids and no one else.  She also began to abuse Dad and his girlfriend in front of the kids and you would join in.
When we all were at Dads you were openly hostile to him and his girlfriend.  You would accuse him of shouting when all he was doing was trying to get the kids attention and meals became a battle as he tried to get the kids to eat and you encouraged them to ignore him. Then when it was time to go you would take the kids aside to say goodbye.  I don’t know what you said but kids who were only slightly upset about leaving would come back in tears.  Dad would then have to spend the journey back to their home calming them down.
So the visits went on and gradually you got to spend more time with them by yourself.  However you still wanted to come for every visit they made here.  You would rant and rave if they came here and you weren’t told, even if it was for one day. You would blame Twin and I even if we knew nothing about it.
You also managed to upset the kids friends here.  Two little girls under the age of 10 who wanted to know why you didn’t like them.
It just got worse and worse and then Dad had the kids down and didn’t tell you.  All he wanted was a visit with them without everyone else taking over.  He didn’t even tell us.  You had seen them the previous week so he thought you would be OK but he was wrong.  Then you found out that he was taking them to Florida and you freaked out.  It was actually your ex husbands idea not to tell you but you blamed dad.  Now you have decided that he is a danger to them and are actively trying to stop him from seeing them.
The only person in this family who is a danger to those kids is you not dad.
You abandoned them when you were drinking and when you choose to move.
You emotionally manipulate them and you treat them as if they are belongings not people.  You are now trying to separate them from people who love them.
You need to sort this out.  You have to get counselling and talk this through and you need to do this with dad so you can both sort out your relationship issues.  I wish you would do this but I doubt you will.  I wish you wouldn’t drag me and Twin into this but I know you will.  I don’t want to fight with another member of the family but if you don’t stop this I will.
Big Sis – Please get help.

Friday, 18 January 2013

And the fights continue

Last night Twin and I get the following text from Big Sis
There seems to be a divide appearing within our family, mum and me versus you and dad.  It used to be that the 3 of us kept our neutrality between our parents but no longer it seems and this makes me sad (note Big Sis only remained neutral when it suited her ends and she would always try to force us to take her or Mums side when it suited)I could give a hundred examples of why I think this but I will keep it to a few.  Dad's assessment of mum seems to be the one you have most sympathy rather than mine.  Dad's attempt to exclude myself and smallest child from niece and nephew seem to include you.  I am sure you will say it has nothing to so with you but you are clearly happy to have conversations with dad which include information that is extremely important to me but you tell me nothing about it (not my place they should talk to each other). The most recent Florida farcial nonsense being one (didn't it occur to either of you just how much risk that would put my children at, you grew up with our father as well!!!)
I know that you both feel that my problem is with Dad and that both of you should remain neutral but I feel completely betrayed by your silences.  I honestly hope that I can appeal to you to be forthcoming with me in future and prevent this divide becoming a permanent situation.
My response was as follows - The assessment I have of  Mum is based on my experiences with her and no one elses.  Before the fight we spent more time with her and had a better idea of what she is like in person as opposed to how she presents to others.  As for Dad while I agree he was a nightmare when we were growing up he has changed and I don't think he is as bad as you think, however I know you don't agree so we will have to differ.  If i ever thought he was treating those kids badly I would be the first to step in and stop him.  The fact that you both can't communicate is not my problem and I am hurt that you think I need to act as a spy and report back on what he says about the kids just because you are both to bloody stubborn to talk to each other.  I am not doing it and I will not be made to feel guilty about it.  I am not trying to cause a divide between us and I hope you can see my side.
Big Sis responds by ignoring most of the text and just asking why I think dad has changed.
I explain my reasons which she totally ignores and states her case and why she thinks her kids are in danger.  I refrain from saying they are more in danger from her than him.  She then states that dad has not changed, that the kids are only objects to him (not true, Big sis treats them more like possessions than he does) .  She says dad is manipulative and conniving.  Also not true, it is Big Sis who is extremely manipulative.  He has no empathy - actually Dad has empathy but he does have no sympathy with Big Sis.  He cannot forgive her for her behaviour when she was drinking and how she neglected and abandoned her own children.  She says he is selfish - when it comes to those kids I do agree he wants to spend time with them and make sure they get to spend time with their friends and he selfishly guards their time so they can do that.  Then she says that I idolise him.
I respond by saying that her judgement is clouded by our childhood and how we had to treat her when she was drinking ( she is still very resentful that we didn't just pander to her and that we made the kids a priority over her).  I say I don't think that I am going to change her mind but that I will not be made to feel guilty or be abused just because I don't agree with her.
She then says that basically she is right and that Twin and I aren't acting like adults about this and that she hasn't abused me and that I am not to talk to Dad about it.
I respond by saying I hadn't planned to talk to dad bout it and that I am acting like an adult .  I also say that just because I don't agree with her accusing me of not being an adult and idolising dad is abuse to me  and that it also doesn't mean I don't see the situation.
Big Sis says she was simply explaining her point of view (not!) and she was only asking me to put myself in her place.  I say she is not simply stating her opinion, that she is accusing me of not being an adult  and of idolising dad.  That she is not willing to listen to anyone elses opinion unless they agree 100% with her and that I don't want to talk about it.  She then says that accusing me of stuff is not emotional abuse (yes it is!)  and what was my point of view ( I think I already stated it).  She then says she doesn't want me to spy and then asks me to spy to protect her children's safety and then says that it is me that is ignoring her point of view.
I reply that I do see hers but my original points still stand.  That she hasn't listened to me she has just ignored it and said I was blinkered and not acting like an adult because I don't agree with her . I agree that the kids safety is the most important thing but I truly don't believe they are in any danger.  I say that I am not talking about it any more as its turning into a major fight and we should just drop it.
She replies by saying the well being and safety and emotional health of my children is a priority of ex husband and myself ( She finally remembers the children's other parent who is happy for Dad to see them and has raised no concerns, and since this is the parent they live with I think we need to take his views into account) .  I hope you never find yourself in the position our father put me in (nope because I don't plan to have any kids and I am not an alcoholic who repeatedly put my kids in danger). She then says she is not asking  me to spy and then asks me to spy again.  I only hope you could respect my position  as their mother over someone who has already royally f***ed up their own children. Good night
This just upsets me I mean I know Dad was a total nightmare and I know he contributed greatly to all our problems but so did mum and Big Sis just absolves her of guilt. Also Dad has changed but Big Sis is just so resentful about him that she can't see it and does tend to blow stuff up.  She also forgets that she has had a major part to play in the whole situation.
Poor Twin who has been having a reasonable conversation with Big Sis (because she hates confrontation and makes peace for an easy life - sorry Twin but its true) then has to put up with a major rant from me and I breakdown into tears.  She tries to fix it with Big Sis by telling her how upset I am and how I am worried she will try and stop me seeing the kids (which was the implication of the first email).  She does this without telling me and it actually makes me even more upset because I would not have asked her to do that but its too late and once I calm down and apologise to Twin, it seems a little better  The Big Sis sends me picture of littlest niece and I calm down some more.
However the situation between Big Sis and Dad is still ongoing and if Big Sis tries to make me take sides again I won't be backing down but I am unsure of what will happen next.
While I do sympathise with Big Sis I also understand where Dad is coming from and I think they both need to sort this out.  I would suggest they have some sort of relationship counselling if they weren't both so opposed to counselling of any sort.
The only saving grace is that Mum has so far stayed out of it and hasn't contacted either Twin or myself.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

And Now for Family Crisis - Mark 2

So just when every thing goes quiet with Mommie Fearest (Mostly cause we are not talking) a new drama emerges to keep us on our toes.
This time its with Big Sister and Dad.  
Big Sister is a recovering alcoholic and as such does not have custody of two of her kids. They stay with their Dad.  My Father spends a lot of time with them and looks after them one day a week and also has them through to stay with him quite a lot.  This also involves them spending time with his girlfriend and her nieces (who are very nice).  Big Sis is very resentful of this time as they tend to see more of Dad then her, and see hates Dad's girlfriend.  Big Sis also has major unresolved issues with Dad due to his behaviour when we were kids.
Because of the alcoholism and the way Big Sis behaved when she was drinking Dad does not trust her with the kids.  Big Sis has been sober for a year, however the last time she managed this she had a major relapse so most of us don't really trust her fully yet (apart from Mum but that is another story).
In the last year Big Sis has taken to invading with her littlest daughter whenever the kids come to see Dad.  She then tries to monopolise their whole time and gets upset when other plans are made.  Now I realise she is their mother and does have a right to see them but she treats them like property and doesn't accept they may want to see their friends here and do other things.
Recently Dad had them down to stay and didn't tell anyone until the last minute (including me).  He thought he would be ok as they had just spent a week with their mother.  Big Sis went spare.  She wrote him an email about how he didn't care about her and how horrible he was to deny her access to her kids.  He did respond and try and refute some of the allegations but Big Sis is rarely willing to listen to him.  She usually won't even call him or answer phone calls.
Now it turns out Dad is taking them to Disneyworld at Easter.  I knew he was going but thought that the kids Dad had said they couldn't go.
Once again Big Sis has gone off on one.  She is saying she will stop him taking them as she has visitation rights that week. She has also told me she is hurt because I didn't tell her about this.  Now I explained that I knew Dad was going but that I thought the kids weren't and didn't know that the plans were changed but she still insists she is hurt because I didn't tell her at the time it was a possibility. She has also accused Twin of the same.  I have not replied to her because I would lose my temper but Twin just replied - I am sorry for not telling you about something I didn't know about.
If I had replied I would have said that it is not my job to report anything that Dad says about her kids that may or may not happen and that Big Sis and Dad both need to grow up and learn to talk to each other.
So now Big Sis will get to tell her Kids that she is stopping them going on a trip of a lifetime with their friends because she is selfish and wants to see them instead.
She ignored them and neglected them when she was drinking but now she wants all their time and to deny them a relationship with anyone else -solely because she is their mother and they belong to her.
Before anyone kicks off I do acknowledge that she does have a right to see them and that both kids do love her very much but she has to remember that the situation she is in with them now is because of how she behaved and that it is going to take time for all of us to trust her again.  She also has to remember that they do have other relatives and friends who also love them and want to spend time with them and that she can't just ride rough shot over everyone solely because she is their mother.  They are children not possessions and they have rights too.
We will have to see what happens next but I hope she doesn't deny the kids the chance at this wonderful holiday.
Slight update on this - BIg Sis has now emailed Twin
You knew he was considering taking them. How else would you know Kids Dad had vetod it in the first instance?
Thanks for being so genuine in your apology!
Twins Response
I knew he was considering taking them a year ago but then he stopped talking about it so I assumed he had changed his mind.  I knew Kid's Dad had vetoed it initially cause Dad told me just before you called.  I’m really not trying to hide anything from you Big Sis, and I am hurt you would think so is all.  I got enough of that from mum last week .  please don’t be cross, just speak to dad 
so far no response from Big Sis