Bittersweet Symphony

Life as I know it ...

Wow, not a good day when your 8 year old says "This is the worst Thanksgiving ever."

I'll spare ALL the rundown, past details etc. and leave it at this, my little brother has problems.  And my parents enable him.

So, we were at my Grandma's house, my kids were running around playing.  My oldest was on the floor, my younger son was charging at him with this motorcycle thing.  My brother was sitting closest to them.  When my younger son lunged at my oldest, my brother grabbed the handlebars of the toy and was trying to pull it from him.  My little boy is 3, my brother is 22.  He was pulling it with with all his man strength and they were tug of war ing like kids.  He (my brother) said some reprimand things toward my son and ... was just ...

OK< I would be fine with a follow adult stepping in and 'parenting' my kids in this type of situation IF someone was hurt AND the adult was a responsible, fellow parent who defered the ACTUAL parenting to me and only dealt with the problem as an emergency. 

But here ... my brother is a 2o something drug addict who has been arrested twice for violent offences.  So yeah ... I have an ISSUE with him strong arming my child.  True, he did not actually touch my son, but he was pulling on the toy with a death grip ... I swear it was like 2 children (I have 3 year old twins, it was like that only he was on some power trip like he was the responsible adult.)

Anyway, I was across the room, I Saw it happening.  I walked over to them and took the toy from my brother and said 'Ok, you've proven that you are stronger than the 3 year old.  But next time you have a problem with how my kids are acting you need to talk to Robert or I."  He justified why he was doing it " I was protecting Rayden" (my oldest)  Again, "Next time you can not put your hands on my child, that's not you job.  Keep your hands off my kid." 

Man ... hubs is watching tv right now and I have totally lost my train of thought and lost how exactly the conversation went.

Basicly ... I told him he could not act like that with my kid, he justified and got defensive.  I told him he could not touch my kids and said "Do you understand me?"  And he said 'Shut the F up' then I got mad.  He was totally disrespecting me and my right to parent my own kids and to demand boundaries with how they are treated. 

Anyway, it went on a little.  He got louder.  I got louder.  He eventually said something like "I may have crossed some boundaries' or something like that but this I know he said word for word ... "I am going through some things and it is hard for me to stay calm."  WHAT?  To which I responded "If it's so hard for you to stay calm then you need to stay away from my kids."

Then we left.  I grabbed my kids and left.

I have NEVER done anything like that before.  No family holiday has ever ended like that in my family.  It was horrible. The house went silent around our fighting.  Yet no one stepped in to defend or stop it. 

And I'm pissed because I only got ANGRY after he told me to shut the F up ... which he said sort of quietly so I'm pretty sure no one but my mom heard it so everyone just must think that I lost it for no reason.

So while we packing the kids into the car my parents came out to say goodbye or see what had happened or try to calm me down, I'm not sure.

And I went told them that we won't be going to the Thanksgiving with mom's side of the family this weekend because this was the final straw.  I am done playing nice with my brother.  I have set some boundaries before which no one seems to understand.  I am the only one in the family who has dared to see the situation with any perspective.

In some ways I feel like a weight has been lifted because it's set now, no more dancing around it, if Kevin is at a family get together, we will not be there.  Just boom, new rule and that I can feel better about because we had been taking that on a case by case basis.  But because of that, we are going to miss out on Thanksgiving with the other side of the family and probably Christmas with both sides.

I'm also really mad at my parents because they will never stand up to him.  I also called them 'spineless' as a nice wrap up for the crappy evening.  

But, it is what it is.

Happy Holidays to my screwed up family.

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