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Garibay Soup: A Slice of Family Dysfunction

Monday, June 2, 2008

A Slice of Family Dysfunction

I thought I'd elaborate a little on an ingredient in my soup life that makes my family dysfunctional. As has been stated before, I have a dad that has 4 daughters with 4 different women. My father has been married 4 times. My current step mom is 2 years older than me. She's different and I find it kinda funny that out of all the women in my dad's life she's stayed with him the longest. From my calculations, they got together when she was 17 ~ yes, that would mean I was 15. I told you ~ DYSFUNCTIONAL!

It's situations like that, that make me happy I wasn't a big part of his world ~ or should I say that he wasn't a big part of mine. I'm working on things here, and she's a big issue with me. I don't really care for her, because she lies. She doesn't even seem like a girl to me. She acts just like my dad, and she's a drunk. She's drama and she loves to gossip, and those 2 things are definitely things that I try to stay away from.

However, she called last night. My phone rang and when I saw who it was I just stared at my phone for a minute contemplating what exactly I should do. I decided that if she was calling ME then if must be some emergency, because ever since I've moved here it's been a little obvious that she didn't care for me much. So, I answered it.

This is how our conversation goes....

"OMG, Amanda! You are not going to believe what Alyssa (my 15yo sister) did."

I sat there thinking - OMGosh is she seriously calling ME to gossip. Is she seriously that immature? It's been baffling me today and what Alyssa did is really what all 15 year old girls do - she went to the movies and had a boy meet her there.

I promise I really am going somewhere with this. I brought this odd conversation up with my husband and he told me something that I didn't want to hear. He actually told me to appreciate that she's trying to make an effort with me. Hmmmm..... Well, I really don't think that calling me to gossip is a great way to make an effort with me. Why is that he just can't feel how I feel and agree when HE'S SUPPOSED TO AGREE? I guess that's why I love him.

I never thought I had issues with my dad and his whole dysfunctional family situation, but I'm learning that I really do. I want to put up a brick wall and pretend like they don't exist, but is that really the right thing to do?

My friend Sam left a comment earlier that I've been thinking about all day. She made a point with my sisters that I don't have to replace Jessica with these girls, but form different bonds with them. Why is that so hard for me to do? Why is so hard for me to accept that I actually have other sisters out there and they actually would love to be a part of my life? It's not their fault that our dad is a loser. Yet, I'm still feeling reserved with this.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Shimmy Mom said...

Keep praying and take them all one step at a time. You will figure it out. They may have similar feelings that you do, you just don't know it because you don't know them yet. It may be that they need you and your example. Remember you have something that they don't and I bet they want to know why!

June 3, 2008 at 9:10 AM  
Anonymous Sammy said...

Each of your sisters will be different. And if you had actually grown up with them, they still would have been different. I think that the fact that you feel there is dysfunction already, it makes it harder to simply accept them.
Here's my story, and hopefully it will help:
My dad was married at 20 and had four boys, boom boom boom (two were twins) and then left for Vietnam. He came home, and literally, one day, told his wife and kids he was going to the store for cigarrettes and never came home. Yeah. So my brothers have all grown up together, and their mom hated our dad, and that's the impression they have had of him for many years. They all strive to not repeat it, and have gone on to have successful marriages, and three kids each. My dad then met my mom and when I was two, pretty much did the same thing. So now my mom is a single mom, and she moves 3,000 miles away from MY family, who I get to see in the summers. Since my brothers were all 11, 10 and 9 years older than me, by the time I started going out to see my dad, they were all gone to college or in the military. Then there was Lorenzo, who was born when I was four (1977), who I saw one summer, and then never again until 2001.
Fast forward to 1999. I'm 26 years old, single mother, sold all my worldly goods and moved out here to Sacramento to my oldest brothers house. I was fresh out of college, Zoe's dad was GONE and I was so poor. I wanted comfort, support, love....... And while I got it, it was not what I had expected. I wanted my brother's to protect me and take care of me. Instead I found out that they were struggling too, with their own families and their own problems, and they needed just as much help as I did. Our needs were the same, and yet different. There were days when I felt I had made a mistake, and that things were not going to be ok after all, and I hated giving all my money to them so they could pay the rent, and God, my sister in law is such a bitch, and why won't my neices and nephews respect me??!!!!
I don't know when things changed, but they have, and I think it's when I finally accepted them as people and not just siblings. We automatically think that we have to love these folks, or they have to love us, but the fact of it is, is that we are all just PEOPLE at the end of the day. They are not going to be Jessica, and they are not going to replace Jessica, but they are going to find their own little spots in your heart, as you will have one in theirs as well. You are the oldest of a group of girls and women that came to be from choices made by the parents during a good time in their relationships. Whatever happened afterwards, happened, but the end result is that you are here. You either continue the dysfunction, or you group together to form bonds and secure the future of your family. Do you really want Ella and Jayden to see their aunts as people who you resent or do you want them to have them in your children's lives as people who love them and cherish their future? There will be many cousins and family down the road that these girls will have for Ella and Jayden to learn to love and play with.
I know this is long, oh my gosh, but please take the time you need to figure out how you will handle it. Know that God does not give you anything you cannot handle, and He's doing this to help you grow and open up your heart to the journey He has put in place for you already.
"The Will of God will never take you to a place where the Grace of God will not protect you."
Gotta go, Jim's calling, but I LOVE YOU!!!!

June 3, 2008 at 10:25 AM  

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