Many times a year I get visits from people who love me and my wife, and now my family in healthy, equal, and unequivocal terms. While some of these people repeatedly rain upon of bags and boxes of toys and clothes and other oddities, the most important girt that they bring is themselves and their love of just being with us. I am so grateful for them and having them a part of my children's lives.
But they aren't always visiting. I also get visits from others who leave in a whirlwind of drama, stress, aggravation. Those are the visits that leave me exhausted, on edge, and having a little less will to be happy. They often want to suck me down to their level of unhappiness whether they realize it or not. Maybe it's unintentional and they don't even realize they're doing it, but I've also seen it ugly and deliberate, and I hate them both.
The key to both of these types of bad visits is nothing more than perspective and truth, but truth us the key. Without being honest to me and even yourself, you're just asking to take your unsolved issues and either snare me into their net with you, or you try to tie them onto me so that the guilt will way me down. My mother is a great example of this.
Part of the problems come from the fact that they don't truly respect me for the man I am, instead the treat me as a scapegoat or as a callous, arrogant target. It's not even worth listing they various reasons because my point is that those closest to me don't see what I have become, what I've accomplished, or what I've had to overcome. Their perspective is wrong because they've decided to let themselves view my not as I am, but as their fears, envy, and shortcomings have allowed them to paint me.
Instead of having a great ally who will give and sacrifice his time, his energy, and his knowledge to their advantage, they choose to condemn me with small words that sting but hold no ability to cause me any anquish on their own. What this does is looses them someone who could help them and support them. But I am lied to and often told portions of something that is supposed to be proof, but it's been so mangled and twisted that they think I would see the lies, or how they are building to manipulate me.
It hurts. It hurts more than most things I've ever gone through, because deep in my heart I've always wanted a big family that I could help them through their hard times.
It sucks. It's so unfair and yet it really is the family "treasure" that I will inherit some day. Unlike others in my family, I will make sure this doesn't get exposed to my children. They're going to know to trust their family no matter who they are or how messed up their lives may be. I will do whatever I have to to make sure my children aren't exposed to this.
My life and childhod were screwed up enough; I don't want this for my kids.