mixed feelings about changing family dynamics

Hi everyone,

So family update. As people know my parents have been getting along amazingly since no kids in the house. Especially after my mom’s neck surgery they really bonded.

My mom overall seems more relaxed when I talk to her. No drinking or mood swings. Then again I’m not with her all day everyday and know how stressed out she can be.

I have mixed feelings about my parents sudden back madly in love switch. I mean it’s great and everything. Apparently they were this in love when they first met. And then huge issues happened like my dad’s parents moving into an in law apartment and my mom went on this total tear and said all these horrible things and for years was quite emotionally abusive and controlling towards him. They talked about divorce constantly. To the point I think everyone was sure when finally they had the house to themselves they’d agreeably go their separate ways. It felt inevitable but ok. I always said over the years that if they had to separate/ divorce that was their thing and it would be way better than all the arguing going on. So I expected it even if it was a negative outcome.

Jonathan said once way back before they had the turn around that a huge change like my sister going off to college and me safely here and not coming home any forseeable time would either make my family stronger or not. I accepted it could go either way intellectually but there had been so many huge ups and downs I’d kind of stopped hoping. But then I started hearing how happy my mom was with Dad and how he was looking after her so well after the surgery. I was suspicious as often they’ll say this stuff to reassure me only to find it’s back to old hard times. But my sister saw them when they came to college and confirmed it. Dad not to be too emotional as he’s not said things were “good.”

The positivity has been stable over time and I’m still feeling my way around the change. Like I said it’s great if it’s true that this is the new normal. But what about all those years of trauma? And it was trauma for me to feel at any minute my parent’s would split up. Constant arguing, my mom starting everything tention every day my mom in such bad moods all the time. Therapists define trauma one factor as feeling unsafe or threatened. Which though not physically obviously, I did feel this way emotionally for like years. Never knowing what mood my mom would be in and it was never on the excellent side. My dad has always been easy going and takes things in stride but he was often working or sleeping to e escape the conflict, though my mom was known to follow him around the house/ outside or wake him up to continue fighting. Rarely were things physical but it did happen at times of course on my mom’s side, my dad weould never physically hurt her and like I said never started an argument.

All that like changed my life. Like affected my whole personality and how I grew up because it went on for years. There would be periods of rest but then that was almost worse because I never knew when the war would start up again. I’m an extremely emotional and sensitive person. I think I’d be that way even if I didn’t have mental illness. I think I’d have mental illness even if there wasn’t the trauma involved. But putting everything together was a total train wreck. Because you had my mom on attack mode at my Dad, not emotionally plugged in busy fending off all that, and then me in my own intense emotional world with no outlet to express things. When I would it would be crying or anxiety or irritation it would cause it’s own issues. So my PTSD and emotional problems grew worse.

People say I should be glad that they’ve gotten better and come back together now because some never do. And like I said I am. Hey they’re in the empty nest stage. And if it’s true they were in love once and have found that again and can be in that stage as they get older and have a more calm happier life great. But it can’t erase the years of hurt and emotional neglect and how that’s shaped my view of myself how I relate to others, and how I relate to them even now. Just because they’re supposedly in a better place doesn’t mean I’ll be open and feel secure with them. It’s hard to trust this is real. I’m angry that it took this long and kind of lost with the sudden opposite turn of events.

But I guess time will tell. Jess and I will in 2016 be visiting them and that will be the first test.

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One thought on “mixed feelings about changing family dynamics

  1. Its so difficult. I hear your retosence in this post. It is good if they’ve fallen in love again, but your right, it doesn’t change how it was for you in the past and all that came of that. Ihope the visit in 2016 goes well. XX

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