speak to me no more;
These words, like daggers, enter in mine ears;
No more, sweet Hamlet!"
Hamlet Act III Scene IV
Words are war in the house I grew up in. We fought with words and we knew what would hurt. I know I misused words in ways that I will never be able to take back. This morning I was thinking about my cousin who was adopted from foster care. I was raging mad at him on the way home from my Grandmothers home. I shouted at him "At least my mother loved me and didn't do drugs!!" My mother I think was first shocked that I even knew the above information and then was further infuriated by the fact that I used it against him. I remember feeling immense guilt after the words came out because I knew they hurt. BAD. Another time I told him he wasn't my real cousin. I knew better. I really did. Those two examples of how I've hurt with words are just the two adoption related ones I was mulling over this morning as I painted the hall. I still feel regret for those words even though my cousin doesn't recall these conversations. They hurt me more now that I'm an adoptive Mom and know that those daggers can be thrown at my daughter some day. I hope she is strong enough for them.
This afternoon DH started to try to figure out the coordination of Christmas plan. Apparently his family made plans without us. Their plan was we were going to drive to DH brothers house to have Christmas since DH's parents home wont be finished being built. (the tentative plan to my knowledge had been that we would celebrate with them at his parents home if it was finished- I told them I didn't yet know what days I had off yet- this was a month ago). Since then plans were apparently set and I then learned I have off Christmas day- thats it. I work in a nursing home and well people still live there 24/7. I also took the day before Christmas off last year which means I get Christmas off. period.
The assumption was we were going down there. This is an on going challenge as DH's brother and parents live within miles of each other. DH brother and his parents don't have children. So getting into a car and driving isn't a challenge. Last year we also informed our families that we would ALWAYS wake up Christmas morning at our own home. Its a tradition that I loved growing up and I'm sticking to it. period. No wavering. Sorry. We however are one family and they are two thus the assumption is always that we travel there. So this year we thought we would insist on a dialog. Didn't go so well. I tried to explain that Wednesday is the worst possible day for a holiday as there are two work days on either side. Since I work somewhere that is open 24/7 there is little wiggle room for taking days off. If I take more then Christmas off I'll then have to work the Sunday before or the Sat after. DH brother responded "So your family isn't important enough to work an extra day off during the weekend to get a day off during the week?" I wanted to tell him "No not your family." Instead I took a breath and said that No i'd rather celebrate the holiday over the weekend. It hurt. There always has been this implication that my family isn't important to me though never so forwardly stated. My family lives far away and requires a plane ride. I'd rather take a week in the summer to visit when I dont have to worry about flight delays, winter weather and crowded airports. So instead on years that its "my families" holiday we stay home and enjoy it just the three of us. The implication that my family is "isn't important enough" was a dagger. It hurts. It makes me well up with tears just thinking about it.
The one other thing that we can't explain yet (as we have not told anyone of our plans to adopt again) is that I need to save my earned time. When Baby Girl gets sick I need days so I can stay home with her. I also dont get maternity leave so the amount of earn time I have saved up determines how much time I get to spend bonding with my little one. The definition of "my family" isn't the same as his. I'd lay my life down for "my family." I'd move to PA and essentially live in a NICU for "my family." My extended family has to take a back seat because "my family" takes priority. Sorry. I hope one day he has kids and can understand but I dont think he will understand before then.
I believe this cruel words are a) thoughtlessness and b) possibly a result of our verbalizing our disappointment that he didn't just tell us that he didn't want to help us with the plumbing issues we have been having (did I mention before we have a plumber in our family) rather then claiming he was "too busy". We didn't ask him for charity we were willing to pay him but it still would have been cheaper and easier on our adoption budget had we had DH and him complete the project.
Family is hard. Extended family is harder. My family operates differently. We are open and we will tell it like it is. I'd rather with kind words have someone tell me they really are not interested in taking the time to do something then to claim that they can't. We fight with words but we are able to call each other out on it. There is no passive aggressiveness. I have to remind myself that DH's family is different. I try to understand, but when the passive aggressive daggers are thrown I just sit here wounded.