Friday, May 29, 2009

Wisdom from Anaïs Nin

We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are. -Anaïs Nin

Everything is starting to make more sense to me now. I have always had family as my number one priority. For my in-laws, it is money. That explains the disconnect. It seems so obvious now.

I could never understand why they put more value on me bringing in a paycheck than raising our kids. For me, your kids are only young once. You have to spend that time ensuring that they are well taken care of.

I remember once I told the fourth wife a quote I had heard from Dr. James Dobson about how a children’s personality and entire being is shaped by the time they are 5-years-old. She strongly disagreed with me. Oprah reiterated that a couple months back on her show and I found myself hoping my in-laws were watching. (They often watch Oprah and Dr. Phil together.)

I feel that the best thing you can do for your children is to have one parent stay home and nurture them. I have always felt that was extremely important. And I told my husband I was willing to do with less to make that happen.

I could see my worth going down in his eyes as I began to bring home less money. The way he drilled me about when I was going to have a check again.

My husband always gets irritated with me when I talk about my passionate views on literature, politics, the war… I could never understand why he didn’t like to discuss these things with me. I see now that he has never been interested in me or my opinions. I was just supposed to be someone pretty to smile and stroke his ego.

I tried so hard to push a family on my in-laws.

I remember my first Mother's Day, about a month after my son was born, I had a special function for everyone at my house. I had included the fourth wife and had a gift there for her, as well as food prepared for both of them. They didn't show up. They didn't call. I was so offended.

It turned out they had wanted to play golf instead. Since they play golf at least 3 times a week, I don't know why that was so critical. They could have at least let us know they weren't coming. I was working 60+ hours a week and taking care of a newborn, but I still managed to pull this event together.

I remember once at my in-laws house in the desert, she started talking about a certain country club down there and I mentioned that my uncle was a member there. The fourth wife narrowed her eyes at me coldly, and said, “What uncle?” in a tone that could only be recognized as – who the hell in your family could ever belong to any country club?

I felt my face get hot with a blush as I explained which uncle it was and rambled on about how he was also a member at our club at home.

The thought of the scene now makes me angry again.

I have never felt like any less of a person because I did not share their wealth. And I have always felt very proud of my family. Because we are a family. We support each other. We love each other. And all the money in the world can not buy that.

I have been trying to interpret my husband’s family as I see the world, and not as they are. And it has been killing me for 7 years.

1 comment:

  1. I can so sympathize with you on this.. It is a daunting task "trying to measure up." I spent years attempting to do exactly that, with a basketful of explanations about my life, my children, my choices and then one day I just said, f**k it, it's not worth it, "they're" not worth it. I, like you, am grown. The only people who matter in my life, the only ones I feel I must "measure up" to are my children.
    It's so miserable that you went out of your way on your first Mother's Day and "they" couldn't even so much as pick up the phone and call. They're rude, bitter people - from the sounds of it - and all the money in the world won't fix that. Therapy might help but "they" would have to admit there's a problem and that the problem lie within themselves. I don't see that happening.
    You are all you will ever need to be in the eyes of your children and they truly are the only ones who matter.