Monday, 14 May 2012

Family, responsibility belonging and all that jazz

This post is a bit of an angsty brain dump. Thanks to anyone who actually gets to the end!

Recently, I went to Sydney to see some relatives that I don't see very often, my sister, her husband and children. My immediate family was complicated and I feel like the odd one out, sort of the fifth wheel even in my own family. My sister and I didn't grow up together. I was the only child in my house and she was the youngest child and only girl in her house.

We met at my grandmother's house with my aunt and a few others. All up there were 15 of us - with 8 aged 13 and below. I felt sorry for my nieces meeting up with people who were family by blood but who they had never met. We are very lucky that my sister and her family have been very gracious and are happy to spend time with us. For us it was a big day. We had 12 hours away from home with 7 of that on the road. But it was lovely and we hadn't seen my nieces since 2009. It was great to see them again.

While we were there my aunt and grandmother offered to look after Boy and Girl for a weekend later in the year. I was blown away. I even got tears in my eyes. I cannot remember that offer being made ever before. I'm not sure we will take them up on it, it seems to be an offer based on us possibly going interstate to see my sister for a special occasion later in the year. But if we were going to go, it would tie in with a conference Mr E. goes to. Logistically it would more difficult to get the kids to Sydney, then fly out of Sydney return for me but then back home for Mr E. after the conference.

It has made me wonder why this offer has been made. Why now? Why not earlier in the 5 years since my mother died? They are our closest family members. They have offered something I have been envious of other people for having and I'm not sure what to make of it.

The following day at a small fair Mr E and I got our eyes looked at by a New Agey herbalist guy. It wasn't iridology exactly but to a layperson (me) it seemed similar. You can find a description here. Somehow looking at our eyes gave an insight into our health, our birth order and Family Tree Dynamics.

My eye - the window to my soul?

I wanted to see if a non western medicine practitioner could find any reason for my headache. Apparently my eyes indicate I need some herbal stuff: mostly iris for my headache and some others or other stuff. Hopefully they will help my headache.

But it was the whole family dynamics things that made me unsettled. Apparently my name is strong and is generally given to the first born daughter. I explained that I have no idea what number child I am on one side and on the other I was not the first born, but the first (and only one) in that family. According to New Age Guy, I feel responsibile for things, I worry too much and I need to be careful that I get time out. I need naps sunshine and to spend time being silly, especially with Girl Child. Otherwise, she will become overly responsible as I have become, which was apparently due to me mimicking my mothers behaviour.

But I have tried so hard to not become like my mother. I don't want to damage my children as I was damaged. What if it's just fated that we repeat history? So far, I think we have done okay but one of my greatest fears is screwing up the kids. Damaging them beyond repair. I don't know how to fight that fear. I don't want to be perfect, I just want to be the good enough parent that they deserve.

So, I've been left pondering family (I love them very much) and where I fit in; responsibility and fate. I feel no closer to the answers. I've always felt you can change your fate by the choices you make. What if I'm wrong? What if I never fit in?

These are the things I ponder. I'll let you know if I come up with a resolution or if the headache miraculously improves.



Suzi said...

E. You are an AMAZING mother, you are kind, patient and you love, care for and believe in your children! History tends to repeat when we are blind to that history, when we can't see the behaviors that need to be changed - you know what your strengths and weakness are, you know what it is about your own up bringing that you don't want for your children and you are actively preventing it.
You can't choose your family, but you can choose how you react to it and you are doing just that!
I hope New Age Guys magic iris remedy helps that headache!
Take care xx

Sarah said...

Well, Suzi has said pretty much what I was thinking (alto I think she's probably put it better :).

The thing is E, you are looking for answers - I know, that seems like a pretty stupid thing to say really as you clearly say you are all the way through this post.

It's popssible you could have some of the answers if you asked your family but only you know if this is something you would be comfortable with.

I fully understand feeling envious of those who have a close extended family around them, it's something I've never had either.

The fear of making mistakes with your children is a natural one. It's the very thing that helps us to avoid making them hopefully and to do things in a different way.

Im so incerdibly tired right now that I dont know if Im saying what I really want to say.

I suppose what Im trying to say is, please don't spend too much time questioning yourself. There is no need.

I don't belive that patterns have to repeat thenselves just as I don't belive in fate.

I do belive that the fact that you care enough to question yourself probably means that there is no need to. xx

Leanne said...

I think you fit in right where you are! You are the piece of your immediate family puzzle that completes it. Without you things would be wonky and the picture wouldn't be nearly as sweet....

Keep me posted on those headaches!

Lee said...

Wow, what a complicated family you have. Being aware of family intergenerational issues is the first step to not passing them any further down the line. You are there already. Your kids will be fine. You are a great mum. x


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