I have a friend, whom I've known since I was 8. She was adopted into a wonderful family with 3 older biological siblings (much like my own sister's situation). Her adoptive family NEVER once said or did anything to make her feel inferior in any way. Her oldest brother went to college on academic scholarship, the second on athletics. Her sister was in a show choir, a dancer, a cheerleader. All of the family is warm, sincere, friendly, loving, kind, compassionate...
And somewhere along the way, she got this stupid idea into her head that she couldn't let go that she was less. She wasn't a top student. She wasn't on Varsity teams. She was in the choir and drama club, sings amazingly, plays piano beautifully, dances divinely.
Each of the boys are different in their hair and eye color - one favors their mother physically, but has his father's hair color. One looks like their dad, but has their grandfather's coloring. Her sister is blonde, and blue-eyed. Their mother is dark. She is dark-haired, brown-eyed. Exotic looks due to her biological parents being of Spanish descent with GORGEOUS naturally curly hair...
Somewhere along the way, she decided she had to be the rebel. She didn't want to go to Church (I get that, been there, had the same struggle within myself, but God doesn't have grandchildren! We each come to our faith on our own decision, not that of our families), so she started hanging out with a group of kids in junior and senior high that were rumored to be trouble makers. They skateboarded. They smoked. Supposedly, they were the ones to go to if you wanted illegal substances. I never knew them that way - they just enjoyed different music and clothing than I did. They liked the grunge look and riding around on a board attached to wheels. Not for me, but they were always cool - funny, interesting, just...people you know?
I also felt that way about those who were athletic (as I was SO not), or into other hobbies than I had. They were just people - I never felt as though I had to measure up to anyone else's standard.
Never felt like I had to be my brothers, or that my teachers or Church family expected me to be a certain way. If they did, I was totally oblivious to it.
Fast forward - my friend was married early on, has a 13 year old daughter who is beautiful and talented and amazing and smart (just like my friend at that age). She was divorced and later remarried a fairly good guy. I always thought he was sort of a schmuck, but she seemed happy and they seemed to complement one another. They had a son, who is about the same age as Princess.
Somewhere in the midst of the time between junior high and now, she discovered she is an addict. I don't know (nor do I need to know) details.
She went through some rehab after the second marriage fell apart. Along the way, she moved into the cool apartment her folks have in their home, where her widowed grandmother used to live...where her older sister lived for a time during some difficulties. Where her oldest brother and sister-in-law lived while they got on their feet after college. Where her second brother and sister-in-law lived EACH of the 5 times, they needed some assistance. That's just her family, you know?
Somewhere along the way, someone decided she shouldn't be taking care of her children, and her parents took them. Now, they are being adopted by her oldest brother and sister-in-law.
I realize how much that sucks. I cannot imagine someone telling me I was doing such a bad job with my life that I couldn't be a mom either...I've watched my own sister go through this. I know what it's like to lose a marriage, to feel like your family is judging you as a failure, is disappointed in you.
I know that it is truly awful...
What I don't get is how still, to this day, after all the outpouring of love and support and encouragement and love and reassurances, she can still sit there and say "it is all their fault."
Today, in fact, she posted something really negative on FB and I had to step in...I tried as hard as I could to be encouraging in my words - leaving nothing open to interpretation of anything negative or judgmental...
And after a short conversation, she posts "some people don't know what it's like to lose everything and they just don't get it".
I'm sitting here now, thinking, no, KNOWING that she's sitting there thinking about how perfect my life is, how I've always had everything handed to me on a silver platter, and I'm PISSED OFF about it.
I know that no matter what I say or do, she will ALWAYS feel that way about me. I know this, because my sister feels the same way. No matter what happens for the rest of my life, or theirs, I will always be this epitome of perfection, of something that they feel they can never be.
This past weekend at Church, our sermon was about Peter and his failures, his false starts. And how, at the end, Jesus basically said "Dude, I don't CARE what happened before. This is NOW! I need to know if you love me NOW, today on this beach, in this moment! Because if you do, then get out there and become who I want you to be NOW...not who you think you should have been. Be who I love in this moment, and forever. Because no matter what happened BEFORE - it's done. You can't erase it. You can only move forward from it."
I just get so angry at people who sit there think that they have no responsibility for where they are. I'm not talking about being in an accident or having some genetic issue that resulted in physical or mental delays or disabilities. I'm certainly not talking about someone like Inkling's friends who lost their husband and father in a crazy, ridiculously freaky accident...
I'm talking about the person who chose to pick up a cigarette, or a beer, or a joint, or a syringe, or a prescription bottle. No one held you down and made you do it. No one (in most cases) held you down and made you have sex with someone you weren't married to. No one tied you up and poured that drink down your throat.
In this case, both my friend AND my sister knew, had been told countless times that their biological parents were addicts. Neither of those households had alcohol around. In fact, I remember distinctly a conversation with her parents about their own choice not to have alcohol in their home and WHY they chose to teach their kids the same thing. I know my own folks' reasons for not having it around.
It still just amazes me how people can choose, and choose and choose and choose, and STILL blame their circumstances on the people around them...
Maybe someday, when I'm in heaven and can ask, I'll get it, but right now, on this earth, in this place, it just makes me want to scream...