Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Forever and A Day

In today's society, soul mates are something that seem to only exist in Disney movies. It seems like people are rushing into marriage, as if dating for five years is completely out of the question. In November, Alan and I will celebrate our 4th anniversary. We have friends who have been together half the time and are married. Alan's brother and sister-in-law have been together almost literally the exact same time we did. They got together 2 weeks before we did and have been married a little over a year now.

This doesn't phase me. As a woman, I do long for that trip down the isle and the phone call to change my last name. But the thought of marriage scares me. Let me rephrase that: the thought of DIVORCE scares me. Terrifies me. I am scared of the emotional pressure and restraint marriage would put on Alan. Though we share a child, there is something freeing about not having the strings. But I truly believe it is going to take something drastic to separate us. We are best friends, passionate lovers (though passionate fighters as well!), and a great team when we have a common goal. I am very deeply in love with him, even if the thought of marriage is still a little frightening.

It's strange that some people see this as being uncooth. I always believed it made more sense to live with someone and get to know them before you marry them. In our modern times, this seems like the only logical choice for two people who truly care about each other and wish to stay together. I will say, though, from experience, that moving in with someone too soon is never a good idea. Knowing someone before moving in with them is vital to the development of a healthy relationship. Alan and I lived together almost the entire time, until we broke up briefly and eventually lived apart (while dating) for about 10 months. This has been the only time we have broken up thus far. It lasted all of maybe a week and we simply decided to live apart. It was wonderful and exactly what our relationship needed. Our relationship shifted and has since changed, though we are not perfect and sometimes fight like cats and dogs. This is the one thing we desperately wish to change for Connor's sake, though our stubbornness often gets in the way.

Now that things have changed, I am overall much happier with our relationship. He has done things I could never imagine anyone else doing for me. I know I take this for granted, most relationships end because someone took someone else for granted. I try to constantly remind myself to be appreciative of everything he's done and in turn, this puts me in a much better mood. Relationships are difficult and being around someone all the time can create agitation and resentment. The trick is growing up and growing together, experiencing life together and getting closer along the way. Putting aside petty differences and remembering what's really important will make life so much easier. I am no saint and these are things we are still working to acheive. Yet I have ever confidence we will get there. After all, aren't we soul mates?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The 'F' Word

I have been thinking about family and forgiveness lately. Drug abuse has been a reoccuring issue in both mine and my boyfriend's family. The most recent of which was our brother-in-law. It was common knowledge he had abused drugs in the past, but claimed his last jail sentence had gotten him clean. We all believed him, as did our sister, the one whom he was dating. To make a long story short, we found out he was still using drugs heavily and it created a deep rift between the entire family. Our sister had gone back to him as quickly as we had found his tourniquet. It was devastating and we all felt her to be a hypocrite and very, very dim.

As of today, they claim his sobriety and it is hard to deny. Our suspiscions linger, yet things in their household have changed. He is seeing his first three children more, in fact, before his sobriety, he very, very scarecely saw them. Our sister has had a lot to do with his turning around and their child together is beautiful. His decision to stay with our sister and not leave and still come to family gatherings is compendable, considering we all told him he was scum and we absolutely, without a doubt hated his guts.

We have a found a way, as a whole family unit, to dismiss whatever hesitations and objections we still reserved and show our children what it really means to be a family. I look at my son and want him to love his cousins and aunts and uncles and have memories that he will cherish. But I am a total hypocrite. When was the last time I spoke to my own brother? His addiction has ruined our family in more ways than emotionally. I have found that not speaking to him is my best option, every time we speak, we fight. Why is it that I cannot find it in my heart to forigve my very own brother? Just thinking about the whole situation stresses me out and upsets me. Part of me doesn't even want my brother to meet Connor. I just know my brother will be spun out and I do not want my son to ask why his uncle looks the way that he does. But I know letting this anger go will allow me to become a better mother to my son, by not harbor so much anger and frustration.

I hope my brother learns and cleans up his act. I feel as thought this is the only I will be able to accept him back into my life and allow him into my sons. I am unsure how he has managed to survive to the age of 34, and much less about how he maintains himself without my father around. There is a certain level of forgiveness for my brother. I forgive him for selling everything in father's home for drugs. I forgive him for hating my mother, because he doesn't know how to release his anger over what he feel is infidelity. He is a child inside, the drug abuse has stunted his emotional growth therefore, he is difficult to deal with and be around. So, when my brother is clean and comes to me in a positive way, I will be full of forgiveness. I will make it my obligation to simply let it go if and when that day ever comes. Until then, I cannot afford to allow him into my life. This may sound harsh, but after 20 odd years of drug abuse, manipulations, bribery, thefts and empty promises, tough love is all I can afford to give and for that, I apologize.