I feel like my entire family hates me

Avatar for ruthieb17
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-06-2003
I feel like my entire family hates me
2
Fri, 09-19-2003 - 4:13pm
I don't even know where to start.

My parents are deceased. And after my mom died, my oldest half sister (I have four) told me that the four older girls were against the marriage of my parents (our father and my mother) from the start, that they were convinced my parents were having an affair before my father's first wife died, and that the girls certainly hadn't wanted them to have kids of their own. My sister said that she was telling me this for my own good, because she had watched my mom's brothers and sisters immortalize everyone who'd died on her side of the family and get all bent out of shape if someone dared to suggest that the deceased wasn't perfect. And she said she was afraid that I would do that and in turn do it to my brother and scar him worse than he'd already been scarred by losing both his parents by the time he was 16. I don't think that'll make any sense to anyone else but I don't know how else to say it.

My mom's side of the family expects me to BE my mom now that she's gone (they did the same thing to my great-aunt when my grandmother died) and they get SO hurt when I do anything that's remotely unlike what my mother would do in a given situation. I suffer from clinical depression, which they should CERTAINLY understand, since so many of them (there are six left now that my mom has passed) suffer from it themselves. They think everything I do is in some way meant to hurt them or spite them or something. I sent a Christmas card to my aunts last Christmas, after one of them had kicked my brother out of the house (he was living there for the summer so he could work at the Saratoga Racecourse) and forced him to go live with his best friend's parents for a month, and called his cell phone screaming at him. And I got a letter back from them telling me how disappointed my mother would be in me because family was so important to her and that one correspondence a year was nowhere near enough. She was pissed as hell that my great-aunt (the one they all use as a substitute mother) had been up for a visit for her 85th birthday and we hadn't come. Sorry, we don't necessarily want to always be in the presence of people who are rude to us and scream at us and kick us out of their homes.

I don't know what they want. I can't BE MY MOM FOR THEM. And I really don't think I'm the inhuman seven-headed monster/screwup they make me out to be either. But I do think that it's not my job to make them happy all the time, because what would make them happy would be for me to be a carbon copy of my mom. The best I can be is me, and that's not good enough for them.

That's my rant.

Ruth

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2003
Fri, 09-19-2003 - 7:50pm
I was wondering if you describe more about this statement:

"And she said she was afraid that I would do that and in turn do it to my brother and scar him worse than he'd already been scarred by losing both his parents by the time he was 16."

Does this mean that your older half-sister would like you to talk bad about your own mother to your brother? How would not talking bad about your mother scar your brother? Maybe I interpreted this wrong.

I am sorry about your parents. You can only be you, you can't be your mother. Because your great-aunt put up with this behaviour your aunts are expecting you to do the same. This is very unfortunate, I do not like it when people expect me to behave a certain way whether it is positively or negatively. If they compare you to your mother again tell them, "I love my mother very much, my brother loves our mother very much, but unfortunately we will never know exactly what she would have done in this situation."

Good luck. Hope to hear a follow-up regarding my question.

Avatar for ruthieb17
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-06-2003
Sat, 09-20-2003 - 9:20am
OK, the best way I can explain this is to illustrate it.

My grandmother (my mother's mother) was not my grandfather's first wife. My grandfather's family was Baptist, and my grandmother's was Catholic, so my great-grandparents tried to keep them apart. My great-aunt Miriam (my grandfather's sister) brought her friends around to try to entice my grandfather to go out with them, and he got one of them pregnant. He married her to give the baby a name, and then quietly divorced her. When my brother was born, my grandmother and my aunt Janey were reading the birth announcements in the paper, Janey was joking around that Gram had gotten "stiffed" because some of the birth announcements mentioned grandparents' names, and then she found one where a sibling had been named and told me I'd been stiffed too. And I said, "Yeah, and so did Nancy (my next-oldest half-sister)." And my grandmother said to me, "Ruth, you're his only real sister." Fast forward to Christmastime, 1997 I think. My mom had decided several years before that she was going to get in touch with her half-brother, Jim, and didn't tell any of the rest of her family about it. That Christmas, my Aunt Mary was visiting from California, and Jim's wife, Suzanne, called to let us know that Jim had passed away. I said something to my mom about the whole situation with Jim making me understand better why Gram had said what she did. Pointing out my grandmother's imperfection made my aunt so angry that she stormed out of the house and didn't come back for four hours. And now that my mother's gone, it's not even my mother's actual legacy that I have to live up to in order for them to be happy with me...it's their perfectionized one. And my sister didn't want me perfectionizing my mother to my brother. I hope that answers your question.