So we are taking off tonight for Texas, but I don't want to leave everyone hanging, wondering what the heck I wrote back to E.T. I gave myself plenty of time to think it through and decided that my opportunity for airing any greviences is over. I have done that and at the time I was ready to move forward. So this was my best attempt to convey what I have been feeling without drudging up any more anger or hurt or whatever. In her e-mail back to me she asked "have you forgiven us Natalie?". To which I decided I don't need to directly respond. I kind of think this is a funny thing to ask a person. I know there is that whole "forgiveness helps you get past something". But in all honesty, I haven't found a way to forgive them. I have found a way to move past it and be a part of my Dad's life even with her in it. To me, that is the most important thing. I feel comfortable where I am in the situation and the only person who will feel better about me "forgiving" them, is her. If someday I get to the point where I can really say "I forgive you", I plan to let her know. But until then. I will not be pressured to say something I don't mean.
I think responding to this e-mail was really helpful for me. I started asking myself "what exactly are you feeling...angry and hurt...why?". And here it is in a nutshell. It has to do with me and my nuclear family. At this point I will define "my family" as Andy and the dogs, but in the coming years it will hopefully expand to include some human nuggets. And there is where my issue originates, with our future spawn. I think the biggest problem I had with E.T. becoming my Dad's wife is that it somehow means that she now becomes grandmother to my kids. It doesn't bother me that she comes to our family reunions, or over to grandma's house when my cousins are in town, or even that we all go skiing together. But the idea of her having any part of my potential pregnancies, births, and subsequent lives of our kids just makes me crazy to a point of no explanation. Well there is an explanation...I don't want her in the place where I so badly want my own mother. The visions of her holding and rocking them or being at their school plays or football games or whatever just makes me a little crazy. But then it dawned on me! I don't have to do crap! She and Dad can do whatever the hell they want, but it doesn't mean I have to let her into my life any more than I am comfortable with. Once I realized this, I don't need to be bullied into something more than what it is and I can set the limits, I instantly felt better about the whole situation.
I think it would be only fair to copy and paste what she wrote to me after my too short response to her "invitation". You will quickly realize she does have an eerily good way of dealing with this situation considering the horrible way she entered my life. I am appreciative of the fact that she is overly sensitive to my feelings and genuinely seems to want me to share things with her and dad that might upset me. I can say everything that I want about her and perhaps you would instantly take my side, but in the interest of fair reporting, I should give you a chance to join her ranks too.
"Maybe first though… How are you feeling now about everything?.... are we messing up (me and or Tom) in any ways? What can we do more or less of to meet your needs…things like that? Just want to ask…find out if there is anything that is helpful to share, air, talk over…? And, Natalie, if this is difficult and there is a chance you don’t want to be a part of this weekend and would prefer for it to happen without you there ...that is something you can say to us… Of course Tom and I both want it to be a fun and happy time for everyone. Please say now if there are things that need to be considered.
I’ve notice (My Big Butter) frequently ask about our wedding plans and shows interest/support. He says the weekend plans sound fun. I have no real doubt that he wants to be there. It hasn’t been that way with you. I have no doubt (E.T.'s Son) wants to be there…he asked if he could plan it. He also told me he does NOT want (E.T.'s Ex-Husband) and I to get back together…he can see we are happier now and that it is a good thing. So I’m asking about you because I’m not sure.
Even though we did a lot of work to share feelings, it feels like we should ask if the door of the past is closed or not. Have you forgiven us? Perhaps there are things left to say that didn’t get fully resolved. It would be better to go further now, than something to fester and blow up later. As always, your feelings will be respected, no matter what they are. Let me know more O.K., before we go any further with reservations and plans."
Okay there it is. Pretty nice of her to inquire and all that. I can't explain why if feels kind of pushy, but that was the reaction I had to it. That is why I think it is so critical for me to take lots of time before I respond to her e-mails like this. I can clearly see what she wants me to say back to her. But this is what I needed to say in order to let her know what I am feeling about the situation but without saying anything hurtful or that I might regret someday. Because let's face it, I could change my mind about her someday. Best to keep the window at least open. Definitely the door is not closed.
"As to how I am feeling, well, I am not entirely sure. I am not going to lie to myself and you both by saying that there aren’t some feelings. I think I and we are in a good place and obviously don’t feel like your plans need to be changed or not include me. To be honest and candid, which I think is what you want, I am pretty sure I will want to be there when the day comes, but I am not quite there yet.
It is ultimately your decision and therefore I think it changes and affects my life very little. I am still only going to be up to a certain level with you. I hope you are fine with how we are now, as I am. I am resigned to the fact that you are going to be part of Dad’s life forever, which I figured anyway before the engagement/wedding plans, but there will most likely always be a limit to how much of my life I will be able to let you into, if that makes sense? And I think you already know that and you seem to be okay with it."
That was it. I just kept it short and to the point. I haven't heard back from her. She can probably see the harshness even though I tried to tone it down. But this was definitely want I needed to say in order to reinforce that I have boundaries and for now they are intact.
Now it is time to MOVE THE HELL ON! I am going to Texas tonight with a new sense of relief and happiness. I have figured out where I stand and that there is no need to stress about it or be hurt and angry. I think Andy is bringing his lap top, so if I have a chance I will post while I am there. I hate to leave on this kind of downer note. I wanted to leave on a happy note with some hilarious story. But no dice. Hope everyone has an amazing week. I am not sure I'll be able to stay away honestly I have become addicted to keeping up with everyone on here. hahaha.