My parents had five children in six years.
|I was the oldest|
I believe at one point my Grammy (maternal) sent my mom unsolicited information on birth control after Katy was born (middle child). Obviously it wasn't something they talked about, but something that could be dropped in the mail. People were much more respectful of boundaries. My parents divorced when I was around seven years old. I remember the day they told me that Dad was not going to be living with us anymore. I ran outside to be by myself and digest this information. (I am famous for running from uncomfortable news, sad movies, anything with endings I don't like...even today). What I don't remember is that this wasn't the first separation. Divorce was not common in the sixties but the problem my mom had to face was alcohol - and it was not going away. And drink had a hold on my dad. As small children, we were not aware of this issue. As we talked about this, I commented that sometimes love isn't enough and she replied sometimes love ends up being wishful thinking. There is a lot of truth to that.
The excuses people hear today are the same ones my mom heard back in the sixties. The only difference is my mom shouldered this burden alone. Well, as alone as you can be with five small children to take care of. She didn't talk about it with her parents, she didn't share my dad's shortcomings with her siblings and she certainly didn't publish the problems on any type of social media. And while she now acknowledges they certainly must have known (the examples are painful), they didn't bring them up with her either. It was not that kind of world. She dwelt with it as best she could until she could find a solution. I am a lot like my mom in "dealing with things" so I believe I understood why. Part of that "why" is because "anything said aloud causes problems with the perception of the person struggling going forward FOREVER" There can be no chance of reconciliation without recriminations from family. And.....why air your dirty laundry...family business, etc. It takes me back to my baggage blog. IF (and sometimes this is a big IF - that person ever is going to want to change, the stigma of the past is covered ALL OVER THEM.
Not to mention the boomerang effect. If I share an ugly opinion when bad things happen - publish for all to see and then a few days later am BFF's again with the offender, what does that say about my judgement and character? This is a tough deal because from a biblical perspective, we are called to forgive, and we should. But we are NOT called to continue to lay down and be a doormat just because someone can't (or won't) wipe their feet before they come inside.
As me and my friend Gomer Pyle always say - Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice - shame on me!
Until next time,
Act in haste -
Repent in leisure.
P.S. love you, MOM!!!!!!!