Saturday, August 30, 2008

I See Charlotte

There are two sides to my life.  The first side is filled with the love that I feel for my angel family.  The wonderful life that we have conceived together.  The values which Mark and I have instilled in our girls.  The idea that life is beautiful.  It is the side of my life which I vowed to myself as a little girl that I would create.  A peaceful, contented life.  A family in which the members all love and cherish one another.  Mark and I have succeeded in building that kind of a life.  I am not saying that it doesn't take a lot of work and dedication, but I am saying that it is worth all of the effort that I have put into it.  My angels and my husband are worth it.  I am worth it.

The other side of my life is that side which I have eluded to in some of my previous writings here.  It is the side where people bear thirty year old grudges.  It is the side where the cruel irony of an early death leaves relationships unfinished.  It is the side that is filled with hatred and pain and lies.  It is the side of right-fighters.  It is the side that I never chose to live in, yet there I was, and sometimes, here I still am.

My brother chose a different kind of life and a different kind of wife.  He created a different kind of life.  He allowed the muck of growing up in a very chaotic household to color his life with different hues.  Whereas I saw bright, he saw dull.  Whereas I saw a chance to escape the kind of life that made me ill, he saw reason to continue the ugliness of how we were raised.  He remained stuck in the web.  He was a good guy in many ways, but that didn't prevent him from leaving behind an absolute mess.  A mess that my nieces must now live in.  A mess that I am now trying to sort out.  A mess that I know he would be absolutely disgusted to discover, yet still a mess that he had some responsibility in creating.

I have spent the better part of the past week in emotional and spiritual pain.  I have been containing my own feelings about my SIL's actions towards me and my family in an attempt to reserve any small chance that I will be allowed to continue a relationship with my two nieces while they are still children.  I have been told to be patient.  I have been told to wait.  I have been told, I have been told...  And then the letter came.  A letter filled with hatred that spewed off of the paper like a soda can that had been shaken before it was opened.  And my soul cracked open as did my mouth.  I am finished waiting.  I am finished being patient.  I am finished allowing my brother's memory to be ground into the dirt like some useless piece of trash.

When I took the picture of the garden spider above, I was watching it build it's web with awe and admiration.  In so many ways, just looking at the spider repels me and makes me want to run screaming in the other direction.  But in other ways, I can see the absolute beauty of it's intricate web.  I can see how the spider moves with such purposefulness and even grace as it spins the threads which will contain it's home for the night.  Some might just see a very scary spider.  I can see Charlotte.

And so, as I sit here pondering all this and trying to make some sense out of it I realize that every life must have two sides.  And what makes the beautiful side so much more vibrant is the fact that we must also live with the other side.  The side that hurts our spirits.  The side that causes us pain.  The side which we never chose, but if we remain brave enough, we learn to live with.

May you always honor the beautiful side of life even while sometimes having to face the darkness.  May you fight for what is good because you are worth it.


Blue said...

It's almost astounding how you pull an insight or moral lesson out of nearly everything on your mind. There was a lot of truth resonating in your thoughts just now. Thanks for putting them to "paper" and sharing them. ♥

Laura ~Peach~ said...

hugs to you... It never ceases to amaze me how "family" is usually the ones to cause the deepest cuts but I guess if logic prevails that is because they are who we love and care the most about therefore we are open to deeper pain and agony when they choose to live that style.
More hugs and a prayer too!

Anonymous said...

i recently found your blog... and i am so grateful i did.

you see, though my life may look humble to many, it is mine, and not a simple repetition of what surrounded me for so many years.

i have made (ongoing) sacrifices to keep a portion of myself intact, but i am also the kind of person that can't cut ties completely to the only family i have (yet) on this earth.

so it is a constant balancing act, that i see now i thought would end once i made that family of my own. but from your pages i must remind myself that the journey will continue in healing, but that the best days are ahead.

thank YOU for sharing so much of yourself and life here, it truly gives me hope, just when i needed a little to press forward. it is too late to start compromising!

it could be easy to put one pristine view of your lovely life online, but instead you've have chosen an honesty that makes it only that much more beautiful.

enjoy your treasures every day, as i see you do. your energy makes a difference!

Debra W said...


Thank you so much, dear heart. Before I wrote this post, I was feeling very tense. It really helped me to write things down because it does help me to make sense of things. I really appreciate your "take" on things, and the lovely comments and stories that you leave for me here!


You are so right, friend, so very right! There is so much wisdom in what you had to say about this. I know that I will be coming back to read your words again and again. They are a very good reminder!


Welcome to another kindred spirit! Even though it sounds like you have a "less than perfect" family, you make the very best out of what you can and then you just live with the rest. Like you, I have never been able to cut ties completely with anyone of my extended family members. I don't know what it is, but I think it would be harder for me to completely break ties than to put up with some of the stress and the pain which they so kindly share with us! It is an absolute balancing act and we are the tight-rope walkers, swaying from side to side, struggling to keep ourselves from being pulled over.

From the perch of my 46th year, I can say that the journey does continue on, and that the only way to deal with it is to set some firm boundaries for yourself and for others. Not always a very easy thing to do, but practice does help!

You sound like a very insightful,compassionate individual who is working to create a life beyond the madness. You seem to be doing that now, as well as having an eye towards the future in creating the kind of family that you would like to have.

Thank you so much, dear one, for your very kind words. I share because it makes me feel better, but I also share because of comments from people like you who "get it". Your words are like salve for my spirit and I appreciate them even more than I can tell you. I want to be honest here. Even the very best lives have difficulties. I would be remiss by writing otherwise. That is why I try to share it all. But I know that I am always blessed. My gratitude runs as deeply as any other feeling that I have. Take noting for granted and you will always have enough.

Be well, Anonymous, and please stop by again soon! I really enjoyed reading what you wrote here and would love to hear a bit more about you and how you deal with the difficulties!

Hug and Wings,

Ness said...

Debbie I am so sorry about the letter you received. I have decided that family are the people you trade hearts with and they take as good of care of your heart as you take care of theirs. It has nothing to do with genes or bloodlines. After my mom died, my dad remarried his exwife(who I found out about her and his 3 other daughters at my mother's wake) less than 6 months after we buried my mother(they ended up divorcing again within 2 years) and my mother's side of the family just bowed out of my life. I have no blood family left. But that's OK. I have kids and I have wonderful friends that I have been led to through the means of blogs and my life is full.

Do what you need to do to find your peace. I love you with all I have. Know that I am sending many hugs and prayers your way today.

Jenn-n-n said...


I am sorry that you received such a letter. It has been my experience that those who spew such ugliness are truly unhappy people and they find pleasure in making others miserable.

Your SIL will reap what she is sowing, someday those little girls will realize the family that she is depriving them off. They will be angry and hurt when that day comes.

Keep on keepin' on, keep banging away at that brick wall of resistance, eventually it will erode. Love truly can conquer all, have faith and keep loving those little girls with all your heart. Allow your goodness to shine through, it will over power the darkness.

It is funny how, although we all have less than stellar moments or people in our pasts, some of us can move on and grow, make our lives better based on the knowledge we possess. However, others seem to become mired down by the bleakness they see, they make the choice to not look beyond and see the light. The thrive on negativity and go out of their way to bring that to every aspect of their being. The infuse it in everything they do. It is those who allow their inner light to shine brightly who can overpower and out last the negativity. Keep shining brightly Debbie, be your Niece's beacon, be their hope.

You are a remarkable woman. I am so happy to have found your blog. I read it faithfully.

Steph said...

It's interesting how people can take different things from the same life experiences.

rivergardenstudio said...

I am sorry how hard things have been. I see how you try not to be hurt but sometimes we just can't help it. I say try to keep them out of your mind for a while. Your own family is beautiful and glow with happiness! roxanne

Alison said...

I am so sorry you received one of those letters....I received one also from my sister is law. It tore apart my soul also...the letter has now been dubbed The Manifesto. My other sister in law received one also but my brother had the wherewithal to shred it before it was opened. I wish I would have done the same thing. I know how it hurts and I am sorry you have to go through this. I am here if you want to talk.

jojo said...

The first time I read this post I had a tear in my eye and had to take a few minutes to reflect. I read it again...and again...and my heart could feel the pain, sorrow and grief that you have over this situation. Then the letter. Oh, Deb...I am so sorry. You know, I have a family issue here too and for a long time I tried to tell myself that her (my sis) reactions were from grief. That we all grieve in differnt ways and your SIL is probably lost in her grief and pain. But the letter (I got one of those too) changes everything. I no longer give her the benefit of grief. I believe she is intent on causisng trouble and pain within the famly and unfortunately she will be the one in the end to suffer the most. She will end up alone. How old are your Angel neices? They will see clearly one day soon and come to realize that they need their Aunt in their lives. I hope that day comes soon for you.

Thank you for reaching out to me on a day that was rather difficult. You truly are a gentle, loving spirit and I am so glad this Brooklyn girl found her way to your site. I wish we could sit down with a cup of tea and have a nice long chat! are an angel in my life.

love and prayers...

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...



JenX67 said...

your optimism is so refreshing. as i was reading this i was thinking of Springsteen's Independence Day.

Well Papa go to bed now it's getting late
Nothing we can say is gonna change anything now
I'll be leaving in the morning from St. Mary's Gate
We wouldn't change this thing even if we could somehow
Cause the darkness of this house has got the best of us
There's a darkness in this town that's got us too
But they can't touch me now
And you can't touch me now
They ain't gonna do to me
What I watched them do to you

Irene Latham said...

Dear Deb - so sorry to hear your heartbreak continues. I know you know this, but it bears repeating: Love wins. Hang in there. Eventually EVENTUALLY love will win. I don't know what form it will take, but it will win somehow. Thinking of you.... xxoo and love the spider pic!

deb colarossi said...

reading some archived posts,
praying and wrapping my heart around yours.

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