Newsgroups: soc.motss
From: (peg boucher murphy)
Subject: Re: Dealing with the enemy
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 1996 22:41:47 GMT

ok, i'm hijacking this thread.  and this is a very very long me me 
me post.  quit now while you can!  

i've been reading the quilt/mourning thread, and have read and re-read
danny's post about meeting phelps (been there, done that), and i'm
looking for some connection, some understanding.  i feel as though i
am both dealing with the enemy, and mourning.  because i am.  

i've met the enemy, up close and personal.  they gave birth to me.

my parents are paul cameron right-wing sycophants.  i suffer from a
"psycho-sexual disorder".  there are "treatments" for it for people who
"really want to change" that have "some successful outcomes".  for those
who can't change, the only acceptable way of life is to "move away from
their family" and climb willingly "into the closet", so as not to 
"destroy" their families of origin.

yeah, this is from a recent letter my mother wrote my sister, apparently
disowning said sister for attending my wedding to barb earlier this
month.  (we'll see.)  

my father disowned me over 5 years ago.  my mother gladly joined him --
she has always told us "if you ask me to choose between my children
and my marriage, i will always choose my marriage" and has never been
proven a liar.  so, i lost my parents.  and i grieved, through all of
the stages.  it was not fun, not easy, and involved dealing with a lot 
of guilt and unresolved issues.  but i did it.  after a couple of years,
my father really was dead and gone for me, and my mother just a periodic
shadow (when she would contact my children).  

my siblings (all younger) blamed me at the time.  in our family system, 
i was "the problem", but only the youngest three (still living at home,
or on mom and dad's dole while in college) stopped contact with me.  my
other sisters informed me that they (youngest 3) had no choice, and i 
believe(d) it.  i didn't expect that they (youngest 3) would ever be
close to me -- big age gap and too many years of hearing that i am 
anything from "very disturbed" to "unable to think for herself/
brainwashed" to simply evil.  

slowly, the sisters started having reality checks and seeing that i was
not the source of all evil, especially when they started having problems
with the parents without me to be the primary target.  i learned that
my sisters loved me, but still weren't sure that i wasn't *a* problem
(if not *the* problem) and still couldn't deal with me "blaming mom and
dad for all of my problems".  they all still spent time with the parents
and had delusions of us all being a happy family again.    even
when they started to *see*, they didn't want to believe the reality of
the parents' beliefs -- even the other queer.  (she was never as much
of a problem as me, and was single, so her sexuality "never came up".)  

about 2 1/2 years ago (i think), my mother started hearing from aunts and
cousins "why did you kick peggy out of the family while d [openly gay and
pwa cousin] still comes to family gatherings [which my parents usually 
host]?"  mom was mortified -- this doesn't happen in perfect families!  
out of the blue, i got a phone call saying that i was never disowned. (!)
ok, well, i was but they were mad and didn't *mean* it and i should have
known it would blow over, and of *course* i am welcome at home, but i 
can't bring barb or ever *talk* about my life.    

my sisters were thrilled.  "see!  mom is trying!  you have to meet her
half way!"  so, against my better judgment, and largely because of my
sisters, i have actually been nice to my mother.  i have actually seen 
her a few times when she was in town, and have facilitated her 
relationship with my kids.  we haven't been to the family homestead, 
of course, and i not only talk about barb, i bring her along.    
she started sending birthday/mother's day cards again, (although the
latter have included "masses are being said for you..." cards).  

stupid me.
apparently, my childhood-and-on wishes to have *loving* parents aren't
dead.  here i was, with a teeny tiny alive (and growing) hope that my
mother actually gave a shit, and that there might be hope of a vaguely
normal relationship in the future!  i even had a dream where my mother 
showed up at my wedding!  it wasn't an especially *good* dream, but it
didn't feel *impossible*.  just shows how far i was deluding myself.  

she just wanted more access to her grandkids -- my children.  nothing
like that wonderful feeling of being an idiot and that you have allowed 
yourself to be *used*.  
and to top it all off, she (and my dad, of course) are using very real 
(financially -- my parents are *extremely* well off) threats to try and
keep my siblings from me.  
oh goody.  
here i am again in mourning -- for a totally delusional *potential* 
relationship, no less! -- all over again.  this *is* the last time,

and i'm afraid. my sisters and one brother are standing by me, but i
fear that my siblings will -- just as they have (to at least some 
degree) in the past -- make peace with my parents at my expense.  they
aren't showing any signs of it now, yet, but  i can't get rid of my fear
and insecurity.  over the years, we've really grown into healthier 
adult relationships.  i've gotten *used* to having a loving supportive 
blood family.  i *like* it, dammit.  

why am i such a fucking idiot?  the flight aspect of my "fight or flight"
reflex is kicking in big time, but i am struggling *not* to flee from
my sisters, to trust that they will do the right thing and stick by me.
but it isn't easy for me.

man, am i a mess.
any advice from people with fuckhead families will be greatly appreciated.  
thanks to anyone who actually finished this.  

-trying to stop being maudlin now.  
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