Sunday, August 20, 2006

The wisdom of our elders...

It is to be hoped that we are never too old to learn. That our minds, our hearts, and our souls will remain open to new ideas, new methods, new concepts. That we can embrace that which is different, new, or even unpleasant to us with objectivity, grace, and dignity.

That we can allow for a second chance - especially where people are concerned. Especially where our *family* is concerned.

These concepts, these ideas, should be hallmarks for us as thinking, rational, intelligent adult humans.

I am trying. Lord knows, I am trying.


My Mother has expressed some concern regarding my blogging. She has asked me to either remove, or edit, any posts that are obviously antagonistic towards her husband, my stepfather.

I don't mind telling you that initially, I was a bit miffed.

What sprang first to my mind was the idea that I would have to edit (heavily edit) this blog. I worried that I might be compromising my "integrity" as a blogger.

As the afternoon progressed, and my Mom and I continued to talk about it, I began to understand her request. I listened to her point of view, and I realized that what she was saying was simple: It was time for me (and The Wrench as well) to try and accept her husband as he is. Warts (metaphorically speaking) and all. And that as long as I continued to hold negative feelings about him - in Real Life, or in my blog - I would not be able to truly accept him for who he is.

It has been 13 years since they were married; it has been almost exactly 16 years since we lost my Dad.

I have actively resisted *liking* this person, my Stepfather, for nearly the whole time. I have viewed him with distrust, suspicion, and a strong dose of resentment. I have been acting like a child who has suddenly had an unwanted sibling thrust upon them; hoping against hope that he will just disappear.

Mom is right. While it is true that it is not incumbent upon me to like my Stepfather, it *is* important for me to treat him, and their marriage with respect. I do not have to become his best friend, or confidante, however I should strive to treat him as I would want to be treated.

To that end, I will be editing this blog.


You'll notice that (for a while, at least) some posts will likely be "missing", while I go back and review them.

I have no intention of sugar-coating reality.

But if I am to give my Stepfather the benefit of the doubt, I have to change the way I think about him, talk about him, write about him. I have to (try) and remove the negativity and the prejudice. I have to try and remember that he does love my mother to distraction, and he tries hard to take good care of her. That he adores our daughter, and thinks of her as his own grandchild. That he is, at heart, a good person.

For my Mother, I will do this.

That's just how much I love you, Mom.


update - I have edited the blog, and returned the posts that have been "in limbo". The story remains the same, but I have changed the way I reference my Stepfather.


Stu said...

Wow. Thimbelle, sincerely, I am a bit awed at your courage and depth of heart. I think what you are doing shows full-on your dedication to the true concept of integrity. Bravo to you. Your mother is blessed to have you as a daughter. I hope your mother's husband is willing to reach inside his own humanity and find the integrity to love your mother and you for who you are.

I really admire you.

Rurality said...

I guess if you feel the need to vent in writing you can always commit things to paper and then burn them. :)

Another friend vents on her blog and then removes those posts after a day or two.

But I think most people just don't tell their family that they blog!

Kelly said...

Not that it matters in the long run, because what you're doing is RIGHT ON...

But I was wondering if this "new outlook" will be a two way street?

Will your Mom talk to your stepdad and encourage him to trust YOU more?

You should do this either way. I'm just wondering if her displeasure over you two's interactions is spurring her to confront him on your perceived "difficult relationship."

Perhaps that would be a good thing to do---for you BOTH to turn over a new leaf.

For your Mom's sake, at least.

Chuck said...

I wouldn't commit to permanent changes without saving the original posts. That being said, I admire you for what you are attempting to do.

Good luck on your "editing journey." I look forward to your new posts, also.

Ericka said...

hmm. this is a noble goal, i think, but i agree with chuck - i'd save before i'd make permanent edits.

warts and all, this is a record of how you were thinking and feeling at the time. is it fair to ask you to edit that to sugar coat your relationship with him? i think you've been honest here in your feelings, and you've been fairly clear-sighted in recognizing your own bias against him. this could, one day, be a valuable record of how your relationship with him changes and (hopefully) grows.

i can speak only for myself, and i'm probably much more self-centered than you, but having to edit myself in the forum i've chosen to use to vent my frustration with aspects of my life would probably make things worse. i think the resentment would start to build that this person had invaded my sactuary.

that being said, be aware that this is a public forum, and don't say anything that you aren't comfortable with him stumbling across one day. it's probably unlikely, but possible. i have several posts that will always be in edit. i needed to get it off my chest, i didn't need it published to the whole world.

whatever you end up doing, i'm glad that your mother's marriage appears to be healing.

Stu said...

I once wrote something innocently, something that referred to my folks, and it did not go well. My folks were coming for a visit, and I blogged about it, saying that I was worried that they might think the house was too messy or whatever. Anyway, it didn't go so well, as one of my folks (who shall go nameless) was less than happy because I inferred that they would judge me (which I didn't, and you can read the post here: My Parents Are Coming And I Am Freaking Out Slightly.

I think what I wrote was pretty benign. But after getting off the phone with the offended parent, I became much more careful about talking about them on my blog. Heck, I'm taking a chance with this comment, but I'm pretty sure they don't read CTN (which is a damn shame).

Wow, this was supposed to be a supportive thing for Thimmy and it ended up about me. :-p

Suldog said...

I guess I come in on this about where Chuck does. I'd save the "raw" material before posting the edits.

I once stated my intention to edit my blog and my brother-in-law chided me slightly. He felt it was "cheating" to edit something so much like a diary. Of course, you're editing for a noble purpose. I was just editing because I was unhappy with the originals and wanted to make them spiffier.

Garrett said...

I really don't think that your mother has the right to tell you what to think and how to express yourself.

But this is your blog -- I can't do that either. :-)