Wednesday, January 23, 2013

One of the grievances

One of the things that came out of the big talk/cry/scream with Alex is that she's spent the last four years thinking I decided we were moving out of Aunt Elaine's. I am not sure how this happened, since it's not like Aunt Elaine told me privately, or Danielle and I had tons of secret, whispered conversations about running away.

Alex has spent the last four years thinking I made her and Dani leave just so I could "have sex all the time!" It was probably an overshare to tell Al that she and Dani interrupt so much that we probably only get to have sex about half the times we aim to. Oops.

It blew my mind to even consider that Alex would have wanted to stay with Aunt Elaine. When I told Dani that though, she pointed out Alex was the only one Aunt Elaine ever liked. But still. It's like being liked by a wild lion or something, that can't help but hurt you even in their enthusiasm over you.

So I had to remind Alex of all the shitty ways Aunt Elaine treated us and what our space was like. How cramped it was. Alex claimed it was cozy, that she misses all three of us sleeping together. When I reminded her about Aunt Elaine scarfing up food while we were at school and messing up our meals for the week, Alex claimed it was a fun challenge, like solving a puzzle. (I think this was around when the screaming started.) To think this was only hour two of a five hour marathon.


Anonymous said...

The food puzzle might not have seemed so great to her if you hadn't been around to figure out how to feed her after all the food was gone. And I'm sure Aunt Elaine would have moved mountains to make sure she got to attend the special dance school with all the special dance clothes. Maybe she can move back. If her resentment is so huge, then cut her loose and let her see how well she does surviving on the streets of NYC at 15. I predict she wouldn't last 15 minutes on her own. Of course, that would probably be your fault too. She needs a giant dose of reality that she discovers on her own.

Anonymous said...

There are times when I truly feel parenting is a thankless job ... must feel worse for you since you are not a parent and didn't choose to be one. Hopefully, this chapter in your life will be over soon, with everybody learning something positive from it.

Nina said...

Okay, I am totally on the Alex's-view-of-Aunt-Elaine-is-warped train. BUT it also kind of makes sense that it was warped. Because she was so young and it seems that Aunt Elaine gave her some level of love so in a (warped) way, she was attached to her. Kid attach, even to totally messed up people that hurt them; it's just what they do.

But also...I think she's a teenager. She's not going to understand why you made the decisions you made because everything revolves around HER right now. She probably won't appreciate all that you've sacrificed for her for awhile. But that doesn't change the fact that you made it possible for your sisters to have a life with more opportunity and more support and to have a childhood when your own was cut short so cruelly.

I'm so sorry Sam. This sounds so, so hard. But you and Alex will work things out as long as you are willing to at least hear each other out. You may always see certain things differently, but that's okay.

Anonymous said...

Every parent (and you have been her parent) has a total wrenching with the kid who is trying to grow up but is too young/afraid/uncertain. Yes, her view is warped. Totally. But beyond that, you are going through a rite of passage that will turn out fine, if you both agree to never let anything come between you permanently. I had a similar experience with my older daughter, to whom I am incredibly close, when she was a teenager. It hurt, I shook and trembled, and was afraid things would never be the same. And they weren't. But they weren't worse, either. Just...different. Hang in there. It's very, very hard, all of it.