Family Time, Holiday Surprises And Working It Out…

This morning while enjoying my coffee and listening to the tv while answering emails for Hondo Unit, Bell Tower Chapel, Allred Unit and Ferguson Unit, my son called me regarding what time he and his wife were coming over. 

This didn’t seem to be a problem but, when I mentioned picking up my niece, Stephaney to go to the movies, it became an argument? I don’t understand my own family sometimes. My daughter in law was yelling that I was stupid for spending time on a holiday with my niece? My pleasant Thanksgiving was going downhill fast. 

I tried to call my sister, Cindy and couldn’t get through. Why? My son and his wife were on the phone yelling at her about Stephaney too. 

By the time Cindy and Steve arrived at our house with the twins, Cindy was crying and so upset about Robert and Stephanie throwing a literal fit over involving Stephaney in our holiday plans was not only selfish of them but yelling at us over it and demanding we not see Stephaney today was a deal breaker. 

While helping my husband in the kitchen, my niece, Leigh Ann arrived with her daughter, Maddy. Leigh Ann had heard about the family fight regarding Cindy and I seeing Stephaney today. It left a heavy cloud over what was supposed to be a happy day of fun and family. Welcome to my world. 

My husband was pretty upset to overhear my son and his wife screaming that Stephaney needs to be cut from our family. I advised my son that “one day, if you ever have children, they will make mistakes and you will still love them. Your wife hasn’t always been friendly to me but, I work to try and make the relationship amicable. Why does she believe screaming at me is acceptable behavior? Why do you? You think it’s okay to ignore my niece as if she doesn’t exist? How can that be okay with you? You’re missing a compassion chip and I won’t have this argument in my home today. Last year was one argument after the other. Why can’t I have one day without drama when it comes to my family?” 

Pouring myself a drink, I went to talk to Cindy still crying down the hall. I didn’t know whether my son would show up or not but, with his attitude, I was hoping he wouldn’t. 

My home is supposed to be the happy place but, arguing adult children take the joy out of family get togethers. This is why I love working. It takes me away from the chaos of my personal life trying to force my family to get along. 

Cindy finally calmed down after getting sucker punched with this surprise phone call on Thanksgiving. It was bad enough that I was yelled at over my decision to spend time with my niece but, why call my sister and upset her too? 

Stephaney is Cindy’s daughter. No matter what happens- Stephaney will always be Cindy’s daughter. Explaining that to my daughter in law this morning? Impossible. 

I don’t ask my husband for permission to do anything and I’m not about to start asking my son if it’s okay to see my niece or spend time with her either. My husband didn’t have an issue with Cindy and I leaving to go to the movies. It’s a holiday tradition for my twin and I. 

My grandniece, Makenna asked Cindy and I to help her bake cookies she’s planning to give as gifts this year which took our minds off the heavy mood my son and his wife had left with their rant over Stephaney going to the movies. 

By the time peace finally settled in again at my home, Leigh Ann wanted to take family photos. 

Young Maddy wasn’t having it so, my husband, twin sister and the twins along with Cindy’s husband and my dog, Foxy jumped in for holiday photos.I’m hoping my son opens his heart and his mind and re establishes his relationship with his cousin, Stephaney but, it’s not something I can control. 

The neighbors enlisted us in helping them find their dog. It kept us busy for a few hours and certainly helped lighten the spirit when we finally found Lucy. 

Leaving to go pick up Stephaney, her daughter Maryssa joined us to go watch The Grinch. 

Things went well. My niece, Stephaney is on her medication and had a great time. I’m glad I chose to go ahead with my plans whether my son agreed with them or not. 

Kissing my husband goodbye as we dashed off for Black Friday deals, I’m back at work tomorrow and waiting out my son calling me. 

Either it’s an apology for overreacting or he’s determined to remove himself from any family activities with Stephaney. I’m beyond upset about this “line in the sand.” One day I won’t be here to referee my son or my nieces and one day they will regret not working harder at having a good relationship. 

When it comes to my niece, Stephaney, Cindy and I have no idea what to expect when we see her. Off her meds or on drugs again? It’s happened over and over for seventeen years now. We pray she wi stabilize only to be disappointed and devastated over and over again by Stephaney. Thanksgiving this year she was fine but, how long will it last this time? My son is right about one thing, Stephaney can bring the drama when she feels like it and, she does. 

When you have someone in your family struggling with mental illness and addiction, you lost faith in them years ago after your trust was breached over and over again. Cindy actually had “come up with” several quotes based on the Merry Go Round of Stephaney’s behavior. Most quotes are about mooching but others are about trust, conflict and family. You can spot the Stephaney Quotes fairly easily. 

Cindy watches a lot but often says nothing. While my sister struggles with a broken heart, my furry is the main reason Christmas last year went to Hell in a hand basket. Seeing my sister devastated that Stephaney was ruining the holiday AGAIN, I lashed out at Stephaney and told her “if you can’t be pleasant in my home for your children’s sakes, perhaps you should leave.” I meant it. 

This was my favorite because it’s so true: “TRUST is LIKE a DRINKING glass, WHEN it’s BROKEN, don’t EXPECT your STORIES to HOLD water, for ANYBODY else EITHER” God bless us all.

Visiting Stephaney at the Group Home us one surprise after the next. While everyone thinks Stephaney has mental issues due to Bipolar One, all of the involuntary commitments with Stephaney have been due to drug induced psychosis. Her psychologist drug tests her and also noted that three days after being picked up, my niece returns to normal. How long will this dance with drugs go on with my niece? I have no idea. 

I have no idea what to expect but, I know that Christmas isn’t going to be jolly if this family feuding keeps up. 

Now, I’m dreading another family feud for Christmas and worried I can’t duct tape this family for one day of peace and promise. 

I’m hoping our twins, friends and connections had a great day and that Christmas is drama free but, in my family, drama free get togethers haven’t happened yet and it’s the one gift I’d really like to have for Christmas…