James W.D. Stewart

James W.D. Stewart

Embrace "The Suck"


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Let me start this with a little back-story…

I've been estranged — or, rather, alienated — from my family for the vast majority of my life.  My entire life, for as long as I can remember, both parents have — significantly — favoured my sister over me.  Between ⅔ and ¾ of mothers have a favourite child — in my family it's, without doubt, my sister.  I grew up in a somewhat abusive household.  Primarily, my father being abusive with my mother.  Moreover, my life had taken an unwarranted — and, wrongful — turn for the worse, as a direct result of my sister's actions.

/blog/2017/06/13/estranged-father-diagnosed-with-terminal-cancer/

https://forces.army/blog/2017/06/13/estranged-father-diagnosed-with-terminal-cancer/

Estranged Father Diagnosed with Terminal Cancer

Count Words — Reading Time
by James Stewart
Published: 
Updated:    Grammar
Location:  The Donovan, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
 

 

Let me start this with a little back-story…

I've been estranged — or, rather, alienated — from my family for the vast majority of my life.  My entire life, for as long as I can remember, both parents have — significantly — favoured my sister over me.  Between ⅔ and ¾ of mothers have a favourite child — in my family it's, without doubt, my sister.  I grew up in a somewhat abusive household.  Primarily, my father being abusive with my mother.  Moreover, my life had taken an unwarranted — and, wrongful — turn for the worse, as a direct result of my sister's actions.

For me, my family relations have been rather toxic; at best.  The dynamics of my family metastasized into a toxic resentment.  Over the years, I've made several overt efforts to rebuild some sort of a relationship with my family.  However, nothing ever really changed…  At least, not for the better anyhow.  Hell, I'd gone as far as moving back to the same city as my parents.  And, while they didn't hesitate to spend 20+ hours a day at my sister's, they couldn't even be bother to call me — let alone, actually come to visit me.

I'd listen to my parents when they told me that they wanted to reconcile with me, that they were sorry, etc.  But, their behaviour towards me never changed though.  Each time, I set myself up to get further hurt by them.  While I'd given my sister an open-invitation to contact me whenever she saw fit, it never happened.  My mom once told me, that she'd told her it was because she was afraid of getting close to me, for me to move away again.  Although I can't speak to whether or not my sister had actually told my mom such thing, if she had, quite frankly, I'd say it's a load of fucking shit.  I'd think that, more than likely, my sister feels guilty for — undeservingly — destroying my life, as she had, all those years ago.

Eventually, I came to a point in my life, where I decided to simply sever all ties with my so-called "family".  I know what I know, have facts to go on, and made my decision.  I've never looked back.  Admittedly, it wasn't the easiest of choices, but I've always felt confident about it nonetheless.

 

Over the years, people have often asked me if I'd ever considered trying to rebuild my relationship with my family.  Neighbours, parents of my friends, my in-laws, and even my wife (when I was married) have at one point asked me this very personal and rather insulting question.  Insulting, because by their asking, would seem as though they thought that I'd made the wrong decision…  I know that I didn't.

In recent years, I've not considered forming even the tiniest of connections with my family.  I've not felt as though I was missing out on anything.  Hell, I'd even go as far as saying that they're not people whom I give a damn about.  Moreover, it wasn't until 08 May 2017, when a former friend contacted me via Facebook, that I'd given any thought to them.  His message to me was:

Hey just got a message for you
 
 
Hi Oscar,
If you are still in contact with Jamie please have him call home.  Karl is not well and time is of the essence.  Our phone number is ×××-×××-××××.  Thanks

Although my sister had also sent me a message via Facebook Messenger on 10 May 2017, I didn't readily notice it, as it had been filtered to the "Message Requests" part of Facebook.  At the time, I didn't have the Facebook app istalled on my mobile device.  So, I wasn't aware of her message until just a few days ago.  Her message to me:

Hey Dad has terminal cancer.  He wants to talk to you.  Their number hasnt changed.  Please call him

 

Until the last few weeks, I didn't dwell on the things that my family had chosen to do in their lives.  After all, we were estranged, and lived on separate planets.  Recently, I've thought about and picked apart all of the horrible things that my family has done as people, as members of society — but, most importantly — as family, with renewed eyes.  Their negative actions have taught me so much, about how not to be as a human, that it fuels me to be as good of a person as I can be.

For this, I'm thankful.  By no means am I perfect, and I may not always get it right, but I get up every morning and I do the best that I can with a moral compass.

 

Realistically, I don't foresee anything good coming from dashing-off for a "death-bed reconciliation".  Life's hard — all around.  I've got my own immediate problems and shit to deal with and/or work-out.  Things don't always work-out the way that we'd like…  So, be it.  With that said, I've got some mixed emotions.  I suppose that I should feel something — expectations dictate that I should.  Perhaps, I should go see him before he dies.  Why though?  It hadn't mattered before.

In all honesty, it's fucking annoying.  My life interrupted, for this announcement, just enough to stir-up long since buried and made-peace-with issues.  Just enough, to remind me of my family loss.  Just enough, to raise questions within my heart again.  Just enough, to remind me of what I'd not had.  Just enough, to piss me right-the-fuck off that I — for the most part — never really had a family.  Just enough, to remind me how envious that I am of those whom had family and really mourned their passing.

He's sick.  I'm sorry to hear it.  Hopefully, he feels better soon — I don't, particularly, wish him any ill-will.  But, that stranger walking down the street — they're sick too — and, I wish them equally well.  They could have been in my life, but in their actions, they'd chosen not to be.  I wish that I could put into words how I truly feel, but the words escape me though.

By this point, I don't even know one way or the other…  He may be alive, he may be dead…  He may be in remission, he may have already been buried or WTFever.  My parents have both been blocked on Facebook, for quite some time now, and I'd proceeded to block my sister upon reading her message.

 
Categories:  Health, Medical, Parenting  
Tags:  Family, Opinionated, Relationship, Self, The Stupid, The Suck

 
Syndicated to:

 
References:

  1. Estranged Parent Dying of Cancer
    by Otis Published: 
    Referenced: 
  2. Loss of an Estranged Parent
    by eCondolence.com LLC Referenced: 
  3. Why Siblings Sever Ties
    by Sara Eckel Published: 
    Referenced: 

 

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Creative Commons Licence :: BY-NC-SA James W.D. Stewart by James Stewart is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.  Based on a work at https://github.com/jwds1978/jwds1978.github.io.