Sunday, April 2, 2017

Clearing the Air?

Hey, I know!  It's not always practical to speak up ... to say what you're really feeling.  
I've always been a sort of milquetoast; never one to stir the water.

It's pretty embarrassing, but I have to admit, there are big chunks of memory missing from my adolescent and teen years ..... not a particularly pleasant time.  Without sounding like a total drama queen - a fair amount of bullying went on.  (Except, back in the 60's, that wasn't a popular colloquialism.)

Imagine my surprise when, not long ago, I received a Facebook friend request from someone I vaguely remember as being one of my tormentors ... a "mean girl."  More curious than anything, I accepted C's request. 

OK, I was probably hoping she'd grown into a Real Hag.  No such luck.  C seems like an attractive, pleasant-enough soul; and in fact, she's commented nicely about remembering good times spent at my house and my "adorable" little dog, Pepper.   Would it be terribly rude to admit, I have NO recollection ... only the taunts, the put-downs.  Part of me just wants to know, "Why?" 

Conversely!  On several occasions I've attempted to hook up with one of my earliest play-mates.  After graduation we all scattered in differing directions.  But a few years ago, I spotted A's name on Facebook and sent a friend request ... a private message ... even a hand-written note to her address of record.  "For the good times."
As you can probably guess, there's been zero response.  I've considered asking our mutual friends, "Do you remember me doing something or saying something hurtful?"  If so, I'd really like the opportunity to apologize.  You know?

I'm guessing most of us recall past, unreconciled hurts we'd like to make right.  Loose ends drive me wonky!

Then again, to what end would any of that serve?

Well.  Rather than fret about folks I'll never have see again, I'm hoping to clear the air a little closer to home.  Because DH isn't entirely on board, I thought I'd use one of my 'lifelines' and 'ask the audience.'  

Tom's son is a really good guy.
Unfortunately, since he married, our interactions have been few and well, strained.   Coming from  a very large, uber-close family, I get that she wanted to buy a home in the immediate area where her parents and most siblings reside.   Because we don't belong to - or espouse - their (seeming) exclusionary religion ... they've never been especially interested in engaging with us.
Seriously awkward, each of the grand's birthdays. My heart hurts, watching DH try time and again to strike up conversation with her dad. 

Obligatory.  I get it.  I appreciate that son and DIL care enough to invite us to their home 3-4 times a year.

Their children are adorable, but really.  When you're 4 (or 5) (or 6), high on cake, tearing around the backyard with a dozen or more of your 'besties'  ... do you really want to sit and make conversation with some old people you don't really know?

Their parents?  They've siblings and buddies of their own drinking wine in the kitchen, manning the BBQ.
No-one's ignoring anyone on purpose ... I get it.  I remember.
Yes, I remember being that young woman who, so preoccupied, had little time for more than a smile at an in-law's elderly mother ... the obligatory guest. 

Grandson has a birthday coming up. 
Without finger-pointing or rancor, I'd like to say something like, "We appreciate your invitation, but." 
... and instead, propose a get-together at a burger joint like we all enjoyed on Christmas eve.  (Our place is out of the question because son dislikes our dogs and well, they live here, you don't.)

Before (hopefully) relocating next year, I'd like to clear the air. 
Or, do you think the risk of hurt feelings is worth it? 

Ma reminds us, today is National Reconciliation Day.
Is there anyone with whom you'd like to reconcile?
Life's so short!

* * *

As always, thanks for listening.  Have a beautiful week!

Hugs from Phoenix,



  1. I can relate to this post in so many ways. I recently reconnected with someone from my past who said not a word about all the hurt inflicted on me by them. Does make you question your sanity. I agree with you that the most important question was WHY did they do what they did? So I agree reconciliation is something worth delving into.

  2. I have found in the few encounters I have made from friends of the past that sometimes it is good to let the past be the past. Those that contacted or I contacted were friends, not the bullying type, but we stopped maintaining our friendship for this reason or that reason and in looking back those were probably pretty good reasons that we did so. Promises of betting together never materialized though we were mere miles from each other. Haven't gotten a friend request from a friend in the past in awhile but more prone these days to ignore it.

    Family is hard when there is a bit of a split. Definitely striving for reconciliation and getting along is a good thing, but at the same time it is hard to get past hurts. One can forgive, but that doesn't necessarily mean one needs to completely trust again.

    You can always accept the invitation for the party ahead, show up for a bit, leave the "obligatory" gift and after a bit say you must get going for this or that.

    Not a family member, but a friend at one time, there was a situation that caused great strife between us and another family. Son had a lot to do with it. A few years alter I tried to reconcile because I felt we would all be spending eternity together and it might be good to clear the air this side of it. When approached by a neutral side, they weren't ready for reconciliation and we moved out of the area a year later. At least I tried.

    I need to reconcile with someone, but I'm struggling with it. That person, in my opinion, was so wrong in what they did, but they feel so right in doing what they did, causing tremendous hurt to those I love. God does want me to forgive......but it is soooooo hard........ I will forgive, but it will never be the same.....


  3. Wow, you've written a loaded blog post. Since my profound thoughts are few, I'll try to be brief.
    Some people will NEVER admit to the wrong or hurtful things that they did in the past. In their own restrictive minds they would rather conveniently forget it - - or (most likely) pretend that it never happened. My father was a master at doing that.

    You have every right not to accept an invitation (you can always feign an illness...) - - or make the suggestion that it would be nice to have a get-together at a burger joint.

    I've always been glad that I never had siblings, spouses, or makes life a little more simple. Sometimes.

  4. Life is messy. It's tough navigating through all the relationships we form.
    If I realize I've hurt someone, Imtry to make it right. But that's not always possible.

  5. Righting wrongs isn't always possible but moving on, letting go and starting over is. We can only try.

  6. My best friend has tried for years, 55 years, to get me to go to our high school reunions. No is always my answer. I hated school and my high school years were the most awful of them all, and like you I have only bad memories, I can't dredge up a good one at all. so why would I want to meet people from that time.
    each person is different, all I can say is what I would do in your place. I would leave things as they are and move on.. not try to FIX things. I tried once to FIX a problem with my DIL and that went BAD.. I find I am happier now that I have no contact with them except through FB messenger with my son.

  7. Oh, dear friend, I know what tense family times feel like. Truly, I have no wisdom on how to clear the air, but like you, I like it all sewed up too. Sookie's dad, Robin, visited with her on spring break last week. This is about the third time we've spent the day together with him and her (always at her request) and because we follow Carrie's lead here to forgive and move on for Sookie's sake, it has been very pleasant. He's really an awesome dad to her so I look for the good. But there has never been any closure for us or for Carrie. Call me crazy, but I believe there will be someday. Relationships cannot be placed in a box and when the time comes...when the pride falls...etc. things will heal divinely. But for now, we forgive and embrace him. Gee, I hope this helps. Sending loving hugs your way.

  8. There are times we get something on our minds and just cannot shake it. It takes lots of courage to look at all sides before you leap. Unless you have a signal of some sort, It could hurt.
    We reconciled with an ex-daughter in law and it worked great. I tried with a nephew it got worse.
    Some memories from teen years,outside the family were so bad, I would have smiled at a bully's obit had I seen it.

    Anything that I KNOW was my fault I want to make right, it at all possible. Others depends on chance and circumstance.
    YOu have really brought up a subject that so many (most) share.
    Also well written.

  9. That is one tough situation you have. I would go to the party but also set up a meeting at a burger place soon after. The one on one time is important. I feel bad that you have this going on. ((Hugs))

  10. How amazing that I landed on this post today of all days. My friend, I got a call in the middle of the night, (just this past night) that my middle brother, Fred, had quietly died in his sleep. Fred and I had not spoken a single word to each other in almost three years. Such a trivial thing between us. Now, never to be mended. I don't have any guilt in the matter. It just is what it is. But I hate that the last memories of my brother were over a spat and not over the good times. I say mend the fences before you leave the area. Meet at the hamburger joint and throw a bit of a party so your husband can have a bit of time with his children. All you can do is try!!!!!!!!! Love you lady!

  11. Since you're leaving the area in the near future, why make waves now? If you're invited to their home, I say go. Bite your tongue, keep your sense of humor, and try to enjoy the experience as much as possible. BUT I think you should also suggest getting together with them at the burger joint or some other neutral place. At least there, you have more of an opportunity for some decent one-on-one interaction.

    I can't think of anyone with whom I need to reconcile. Before my father died, I managed to take care of him and to be there for him. That wasn't exactly forgiveness or reconciliation, but it was the best I could do, and I have no regrets about it.

  12. Relationships are so very complicated. I have had a strained relationshipship with a brother. Recently, on the 32 anniversary of my dad's passing, my friend Jacque gave me a copy of a baseball photo our dad's were in long before we were born. Anyway I copied the photo and sent it to each sibling. I will wait and see but I tried and that is what matters.My hubby has zero conbtact with an older sister and younger brother. Both used us terribly before ignoring us and the brother left us with a $1000 phone bill that took us a long while to pay off. I am always grateful my hubby was able to speak to his older brother before his passing. I often mention hsi older brother in a kind way because I saw the pain in my honey's eyes with all this drama and controversy. The saying you can choose your friends but not your family is so true. I would RSVP to the doings at your SIL and mention you have other plans that day as well. Then I would celebrate at the burger joint on neutral ground. Sometime I get hurt feelings, two very popular bloggers just kicked me to the curb! I tried and tried without success and decided their loss not mine. I did nothing that could have hurt their feeling etc. and figure they just got into a large click that they do not feel I belong in. High school revisited. U G H ! Not my cup of tea anyway. Anyway whatever you do you have to feel good about it for yourself. why people get in clicks and circle around ignoring others makes me mad. CHildish behaviors belong with children. Sorry for this situation and I feel badly for Tom.


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