Identifying who I am--ending part
by, 19-Jan-2011 at 18:14 (641 Views)
Paying my own way through college was tough, but my resolve had been set by the threats made. I refused to ask them for help, though my father was more than helpful and supportive of my decisions. My future wife and I met while I finished my degree, and we had our first two children before I graduated from college.
It should have been obvious that my mom and stepdad wouldn't like my wife, but I was young and not very world-wise. Now, it does not surprise me--my wife was not a choice they made, I didn't follow their desires. My father and his family welcomed her with open arms--that was not a surprise.
It took many years for me to finally stand up and stop the abusive nature of mom and stepdad towards my wife. It was something that was not helping our marriage, and the response at the time hurt, but now makes perfect sense. Phone calls and letters between mom and I revealed to me many things as the parent-child relationship degenerated and finally dissolved for good.
My mother came out and told me that she was sorry she gave birth to me. I gave her a number of chances to apologize, tell me it wasn't what she meant, or any of a number of ways to say it was not the truth. It never happened. Looking back at all the years where I was growing up and being berated for being 'just like my father', it shows how much her bitter divorce and the similarities in my personality and my father's was something she couldn't stand. Together with the way mom seemed to enjoy my dressing as a girl, I now understand that I was a constant reminder of the bitter divorce.
Their feelings about my departure from the military academy also came out in one of her phone calls: the government was paying for it completely for me, the monetary value of what I was walking away from was more important to them than my happiness and/or sanity. Of course the woman I decided to marry was just another way that my life decisions were not in line with what they wanted.
But it is my life, not theirs. The decisions I make, the person I am, is mine to define on my own. I can understand parents wanting or hoping for their child to grow up to be independent and successful. Being a puppet following their wishes and desires is not appropriate.
I've finally come to terms with who I am. I take responsibility for my choices, decisions and mistakes. I have also come to the realization that this life I now lead is mine and mine alone, and that because of their attitudes and inflexibility with allowing me to become my own person, my mother and stepfather would never be able to continue to be a part of my life.