I have been hesitant to use my blog since what happened with my family and I this past Christmas Eve. I feel like if my Aunt has wanted to see Stephen or hear about Stephen that this blog was not the way she was going to do so. Grandpa can chose to pass on stories or pictures mailed to him, but if the line of communication is closed, then so are my shutterfly mailings. I also thought that I would get to a point where I was less angry and that one day I would password lock this blog or use it for something else....Unfortunately, that part about being less mad didn't really happen.
About two weeks ago she finally contacted me. She seemed to want to say "let's move on from this," but offered no real appology and made it clear that she was only speaking for herself, not her husband. She also wanted to show me what I have to learn from all of this-- but appeared to miss what maybe could learn or do differently. She also said that this has gone on so long because we don't live closer, which really felt like another slap in the face. We have never lived close-- that had also never been a baring on our relationship.
I said everything I had wanted to say since Christmas Eve, and while I wasn't trying to go "bulldog", I am not about to tippy- toe. Just because I am younger in age does not mean that I am automatically at fault anymore. I felt like she tried to twist things and there were truck loads of excuses, but plain and simple: She's not really sorry and I'm not going to accept the "role" that I have been offered in my family.
Damn Italians; There's an old stereotype about the loud talking Italians bickering and scooping pasta and wildly waving their hands.... Let me be the first to tell you: It's a stereotype for a reason; That's MY family. The men rule and the women aren't entitled to opinions, thought they're known to talk and talk and talk. Men can do what they want, but a good wife needs to be the typical 50's wife and do as they're told.
That has never been my style and surely Josh didn't marry this fake wife that asks, "How High?" when he says, "Jump." Still, my family, who isn't known for sucessful and happy marriages, has expected me to kiss Josh's ass. And, for that matter, theirs. I mean, they are older....Respect your elders.....
I also want to note that I have always been the "black sheep" of the Chiperno family. Out of two boys and a girl, I was the only off-spring. I have a mother who was never part of the family, even when she was part of the family, and I have a step-brother and step-father, and I grew up across the states. I didn't grow up with fancy schools or housing and the strict catholic religion was not at all how I was raised. When I visited my Chiperno family during the Summer in New York, I was surrounded by older people, none of which had children or much experience with them, and if I spoke out I was going to be shown who was boss.
I never really grew out of that child role, though. I had a stigma that I just never grew out of. I could never be good enough or snotty enough or well versed enough. Everything I did was (which I will be the first to admit sometimes was) the wrong way. Everyone knew the way I should do everything and I could never win or be accepted as-is. Every darn thing I did gave someone the opportunity to say, "Well I told you not to do that," even if they hadn't told me not to do that.
Now, at 27, I am told that our relationship wasn't really that important because I live far away. I am told that she told everyone these fake stories of how everything happened because she was too embaressed to tell the truth. I am told that forgiveness is the path I need to take; But why should I chose to forgive if nothing has changed? If I can't get so much as an appology? Back before Stephen and Josh (and Sam!) I may not have had the self esteem and I may have doubted my actions and choices, but I don't now. On Christmas Eve I didn't do something wrong and what happened to me, my son, my husband, and my father is not okay. I wouldn't take that from a "friend" and I wouldn't let my mother do something like that-- why should I accept that my aunt and her husband did it? Because they're older therefor I should forgive?
Then it came down to what it always seems to come down to: Money. Inheritance. Gifts. It felt like yet another insult. If you cannot truly be sorry and honest about what happened, and we can't talk and we can't patch things, then why in the hell would you want to send a baby gift from time to time? What the hell for? There's that old famous saying, 'Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.' The message conveyed is that a gift should be appreciated for the thought and spirit behind it, not according to its value. Maybe it would have been the smart thing to do if I had said, "sure, send gifts still." I just couldn't say that, though. It boils my blood that after everything is said and done that no one will say they are sorry, but instead they would rather send a gift from time to time for my kids. You know, the same Stephen that was sent to a hotel at 10pm on Christmas Eve. The same Stephen who had no idea that Santa came and Christmas was over; That kid didn't need a Christmas, and I'm not going to say I'm sorry like I've told you a responsible adult should do all of those years, but instead from time to time I can send him a gift.
I feel like it was some attempt to buy me off and it's never been about the (while always appreciated) gifts. I won't act a certain way to make sure I'm written in a will. I also won't continue to be belittled and insulted by my friends OR family. I can forgive, but if you're not really sorry, then why should I?