I am very greatful to have all of my grown children with me this Christmas. All in all the holiday went well in spite of the mine fields we had to side step thoughout the process. Beth came to two family dinners. The first one she arrived late and left early. We agree that this is not a big deal. She comes and goes as she pleases to adjust for her anxiety attacks. If she feels good, she stays if she feels bad she is free to go home or go to another room to rest. This approach has helped her a lot. She comes to more family gatherings this way though she does not usually stay very long.
Tonight , she arrived with a big bag of Christmas presents in toe. She sat and chatted with her sister and boyfriend at length, she greeted everyone and seemed greatful to be included. She gave out her presents and thanked her aunt for including her in the festivities. This is big progress for her. It also means that Christmas happened to catch her on a good day for her mental issues. Crowds give her anxiety. Even family gatherings give her anxiety.
Beth gave her brother a present. He acted like a jerk. He did not say thank you and he did not give her anything. He has totally disowned her. If not for the fact that I will not let him live with me if he will not say hello and goodbye to her he would not do that either. This is disturbing to me though I certainly aknowledge that her addiction nearly distroyed our entire family. She did horrible things and we all suffered. I have talked to my son about this many times. I want him to forgive if not forget and to be her brother again. We even went to a family therapist who said that it was his choice to cut her off. According to the counselor that we paid for such sage advice, siblings do not have the same kind of love as parents to children and that is ok.
I do not think that this rejection is ok. I pray that one day he has the compassion towards his sister that he seems to have for his friends.Last year, he would not have stayed in the same room with her so there is some miniscule progress there. It was our first Christmas all toghether in 5 years. It was our first Christmas without POP POP. I can't help thinking that some of the progress that has been made is due to POP POP up there in heaven doing his best to lobby for us and get some of this mess straightened out. He always wanted the best for us. He told me that he thought we were very good parents. He could not understand the trouble that we had with Beth and sometimes our boy. That was kind of him.
My younger daughter brought her boyfriend with her. He seems like a nice young man. They were delightful to be around and also very kind to Beth. As the evening went on we held back some tears for POP POP, we were greatful for the progress we see in Beth and we laughed and laughed over some good shared memories. The food was great, the house was beautiful and we shared memories from many many happier times that we have had together. All in all I would say that it was good.
Merry Chritmas to all and to all a good night.
On Being Afraid
1 month ago