Friday, June 18, 2010

Dysfunction...does it get more dysfunctional than this?

Do you have anyone dysfunctional in your family? Are there enough dysfunctional people in your family, and their acquaintances are dysfunctional enough, that everyone thinks their completely bizarre behavior is NORMAL?

Like my family, for instance. Two years ago I had a distant-by blood, living distance, and visting "contact"-call our states Child Protective Services and file a complaint...filled with lies, because she has never liked me, even as a child and after a few years of counseling my therapist helped me understand and embrace that my home is my sanctuary...and I do NOT have to let people in it just because they are relatives...and in my "family" that term is VERY loosely used...every ex-spouse, in-law and outlaw is "family."  CPS came out the next day, unannounced, caught us just coming home from the grocery store. They came in, the house was clean but I admit it was cluttered. I am one of those "artists" who hates to put away a project in progress, LOL! The women were impressed, none the less. They took mental note of the groceries we purchased, that I allowed the kids to help put things away without getting stressed, were impressed with the fact that I had given up my bed to the girls while we were waiting for their new bunk beds to be delivered and that I could instantly show proof of purchase of the beds when asked, impressed that I had turned a large, semi-useless room into two good sized bedrooms, one for J7 who was 5 at the time and one for B10 and A5 who were 8 and 3. A5 doesn't really remember the whole thing, but one woman talked to the kids separate from us in their room and were impressed with what they were told. Long story short, we have nothing to hide, they found that the claims made were blatantly false, and actually laughable...mostly because A) we live on a farm and B) we are off grid; all our power comes from the sun with propane for cooking and heating water. Here is a short list of the things that were claimed to make my home unsafe and me a bad mother:
  •  There were chickens living in my kitchen cabinets. Yes, I have chickens. No, they never have and never will live IN my house...they have their own 8' x 6' chicken house separate from us. 
  •  There was supposedly no bathroom. What did I spend 14 hours and $450 two days before renovating, then? The neighbors bathroom? 
  • I was heating the house with an electric stove-the oven, supposedly-with the door wide open and the children unsupervised. See B, above, for the laughable explanation to this. 
So, the case workers found this all to be blatant lies, we willing signed releases for them to look at our medical records to see if we were on prescription narcotics (nope, neither one of us) or had debilitating mental illness...another no. Case was closed, with "No concerns or reservations. ALL claims made by informant found to be completely false. This report appears to have been made maliciously to harm Mrs. McGarry, who is an exemplary mother. Appropriate interactions observed between mom/stepdad/children and no statements were made by the children to raise any alarms or cause concern." 

To illustrate the statement about "relatives," my "maybe" grandfather's brother's (who is also another candidate to be my grandfather) wife's half-sister's husband is my "uncle." He and his wife have NEVER visited my home in the TEN YEARS I have lived here, unless my grandfather, who raised me, is visiting from California, and then their home is the neighboring lot. So they have NEVER visited my home. Yet when my ex-husband took me to court for partial custody he was called as a witness, and quickly disallowed...because he is also my ex's landlord!

I have chosen to break off contact with my family because of the things that have been done...identity theft multiple times by my only full-blood sister (that is, we have the same two parents); her boyfriend has been allowed to burglarize my home with the assistance of my grandfather because he was lied to and told some of their belongings were in my home. Papa later apologized and offered to replace the missing items, but you cannot replace the memories attached to photo albums, or the clothes that my mother- and sisters-in-law spent thousands of dollars on to replace my kids' wardrobe when their father, my ex, burned everything in a fit of anger when I served him divorce papers. The sickest part is Papa either A) sees nothing wrong with their actions or B) just doesn't care how they hurt others. He enables it by giving out money every time they ask. So, today's Amazon Recommendation are:

All of these books are fabulous and really helped me on my way to healing, forgiving, and enabling myself to do what is necessary, even though it can be painful, to break this cycle in my family. As children we were spoiled but at 29 I am finally secure enough in my faith and trust the Lord fully to provide for me and mine that I no longer ask my dad for money. In fact, as much as I dream of having a laptop I told Papa not to buy one when he offered. I am the one that let coffee get spilled on mine, I replaced it with my student loan money but got a desktop instead, and I am happy with it. Forgiving Our Parents, Forgiving Our Selves did the most good in my case, but all were excellent books.

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