Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Eating Crow

No one likes to "eat crow." That was my step-father's term for having to 'fess up and admit that you were wrong. It seemed to be reserved for those situations where we had an an opinion about something and then we turned out to be wrong.

Not that it ever happened much with the adults in my family. They were ALWAYS right......just being an adult guaranteed the expectation that they were not to be questioned because they were infallible.

Eating crow had more to do with us kids and belittling us. I guess it was a good way to keep us afraid to go out on that limb and have an opinion other than theirs. Rubbing our faces in our mistakes, making us feel stupid, vulnerable and God only knows what else was so humiliating it killed any desire we had to think for ourselves or express it if we did.

Just like the power struggles in our family made being "right" and "wrong" so important. The fear of being laughed at and ridiculed made it impossible to learn how to deal with making a mistake and taking responsibility for ourselves in any manner. It seemed like just another way of being hurt. There was no value in being responsible, or so we were taught.

Over the years I've learned it's actually very freeing to take responsibility from my mistakes. It's turned out my old expectations of how people will respond does not match what actually happens. Instead of being ridiculed for being "stupid" people seem to appreciate the honesty it takes to "fess up.

Who knew all those years ago this would be the case. While it wouldn't have changed any interactions with my family because I couldn't afford the abuse it would reap, it sure would have made life outside the family much easier. Who knows, maybe I would have learned how to make friends and be accepted.

What brings this subject up today, well, in a figuratively way I guess I'm eating crow on the other blog. I have been "caught" making some assumptions that have turned out not to be true. So far they are little things but with the importance of the subject matter, I have decided to step back, and give the other side a chance to answer some questions before I proceed. I don't want to be eating anymore crow over this issue.

Kahless, if you are wondering if it is safe to read my latest post on the horse blog so you can see how I went about 'fessing up, A Different Sort of Rescue Story - Thoughts it is. The picture I used is one of the horses this series is about pretty much healthy again. I don't talk about specific abuse only what my motives are and what I am trying to achieve.

Interestingly enough, the comments I have posted are supportive of my decision to look for the other side of this issue. There are a couple of comments I haven't posted, not because they are not supportive of me (because they are) but because the way they have been expressed is mean towards the professional horse rescue involved. As much as I believe that people are entitled to their opinions, I think they need to express them appropriately.........but that's probably a whole other post.

4 comments:

dinkleberries said...

Mikael,
I appreciate your integrity in trying to keep to the facts, these issues of abuse and neglect can get pretty emotional for me. My little brain cannot fathom why AC would remove the horses from Roses care. Anyway there's something else on my mind at this moment.
I was reading . . . . Crash and Burn when some things you were touching on reminded me of my own little dilemma, it's that family thing and no one in my family is unbiased. So I was wondering if you'd care to share some wisdom or insight that would help me to deal with this effectively.
I'll type it up on word and see if I can make some sense and post it later. You can respond or delete if it's too crazy making.
Thank you

dinkleberries said...

My 80 yo mom ended up in the hospital last August. She has 6 kids, Lyle John Fred Betty me and Nancy. L J & B live in different states. Mom was at my place when she mentioned calling 911 so after consulting with siblings, I took her in to the doctor who could not decide if she had blown an intestine or had appendicitis. At the end of an exhausting Thursday, she was admitted to the hospital and IV’d as her blood sugar was somewhere over 400. I mentioned to N that someone should be with her 24/7 while she was in the h. N didn't think so, she was fine with the care mom was getting. So I let it drop. I called B who had plans to be in Parma ID the following Wednesday for a church convention, and she decided to forego work, and fly in Sat. to give whatever support and assistance she could before she went to join L & J at Parma. In the meantime, N discovered that the level of care can be subjective to which employees are working each day and realized that maybe it was in Mom's best interest to have a family member with M as much as possible. While B’s 2 kids have flown the nest, N’s 4 range from 5 to 11, and I have 2 17 yo’s and a 9 mo grandbaby still at home. So N (stay at home mom) let me know she could spend about 4 hours everyday with M, until Fri and Sat when she had a previous commitment to manage a gymnastic gala. I work part time and have a real estate project down in Elgin, OR which is on the way to Parma. I told her not to worry about Fri. and Sat. as I would handle it. So, N takes the 8AM to noon shift, B takes noon til 8 or 10PM and F shows up when he can in the evenings after work. I’m in and out, making the airport run, shuffling work, picking up hay for our livestock, catching up as I’d been out of town the previous week, shopping, cooking, laundry, etc. As you can imagine, I am appreciative and thankful for every minute my siblings are spending at the h with M. So, the docs debated doing surgery but her white cell count was too high, as I recall, so that was postponed. I think it was Sunday when they took her off the IV and fed her regular jello, which she promptly threw up. We decided h-food wasn’t going to do it, so we brought in some home made soup broth, M loved it. By Tues M was getting tired of the h and Wed AM she told N she was going home. F had prayed for a miracle. It happened! She was home by Wed afternoon. B and I had talked and decided that if Mom were still in the h, we would scuttle our plans and hang with M at the h. But if she was home, we would plan her meals, and schedule family members to stay with her 24-7 just to make sure she was on her feet again. So B spent Wed & Thurs nite with M and we spent thurs shopping, packing, organizing and scheduling M’s meds, food and oh, yeah, cleaning N’s house as her in-laws were due in town that day. So B and I feeling confidant in M’s well being, menu, and assistance, took off for Parma, much to N’s consternation. Kim spent the nite Fri, along with a cousin, and they enjoyed each other’s company and M enjoyed their chatter and laughter. Kim’s sister, Callie managed KP duty and oversaw the meds etc. Due to cramps, Kim would not go over Sat nite, so my husband ended up covering for her (and took 2 tubs of Bryers Ice Cream which he got in trouble for) and M so enjoyed his company also. I had spent a bit of time on the phone Fri and Sat, making sure things went smooth and answering any questions. Mom spent most of Sunday at N’s as the party was at their house that day. B and I got back in the wee hours Monday AM. So later that day after I got back from work, I got a phone call from N. It was obvious she was FURIOUS!! Moms blood sugar was riding around 150 and had shot up considerable on Sunday (the day she had spent with N) I had previously asked M how her blood sugar was and she said fine. I was ok with that. I didn’t know what the numbers were supposed to be. My staying or going would not have changed that. Nancy proceeded to inform me that this ordeal with M had only just begun, and it would be a long haul to get her better again. While I did not agree with her (my confidence comes from previous experience with my dad and etc.) and the reality of it has proven her wrong, I let her vent and said nothing to stir the pot as I was exhausted and feeling ignorant about the blood sugar numbers she had thrown at me. So B spent Mon with M and then N came over and evidently they had a heart to heart and had supposedly worked everything out. B flew home to CA Tues AM and M flew to Michigan for two weeks to go to her yearly family reunion.
So I’ve attempted to let this thing simmer down, but sometime later N sent an email to F and my husband, Mel, saying that B and I had abandoned M. Excuse me? Neither F or Mel will defend B or me in this, even tho Mom says she has no issues or feelings of abandonment.
My dad (youngest son) was abusive and more so to the older kids while babying the younger ones. He beat L the worst, and then abandoned us when N was 5. While we all have dysfunctional issues, it all seems to be most concentrated in the eldest, and filters down a bit. Anyways of us all N lives in the nicest house and has the best marriage and lifestyle. B is 3 years older than I and N is 6 years younger. Evidently when we were younger B and I didn’t include N in as many of our activities as she would have liked. So she had some suicidal thoughts and to the best of my understanding B and I were the cause of all that. When she shared those things with me I was shocked, as I had been focused on my own troubles and was oblivious to her anguish. Well I remember having my own suicidal fantasies, but I don’t ever remember feeling she was the cause of any of it, even though my mom always figured I resented N for taking my place as the youngest.
I don’t think that even to this day she knows about that or the reason I didn’t try to kill myself is that I couldn’t wouldn’t risk the humiliation and expense of a botched attempt.
I have the impression that she thinks she is special and that her suicidal thoughts proves that her pain in growing up supersedes any of her siblings.
Recently Callie had sent N an email and in N’s response she brought this all up again, saying that she didn’t even know why B came up when she wouldn’t stay with M.
Then again a few days ago, N was in CA and talking to B’s husband and son and criticizing B for going to Parma rather than staying with M.
N’s beginning to remind me of my dad who could never say anything nice to his family, only criticize.
This is the first time in my life that I can remember thinking that she is acting like a spoiled brat. One thing that is kind of making me hesitate in confronting her is that her husband, unlike mine, is very protective of whatever he considers his and while he has great boundaries for himself, won’t hesitate to take advantage of another persons lack of boundaries. I am feeling really tired of her attitude and her arrogance. I don’t even want to be in relationship with her because to my face she puts on a pretty smile and acts like everything is ok, and then talks about it all to everyone else in a very negative way. But I suppose what that really means is that the situation is bugging her and maybe she really does want to resolve it and doesn’t know how to.
I don’t know, she’s not good at apologizing, even though she has read safe people. I’m sure she wants me to apologize to her but I can’t think of anything I’ve done that I feel sorry for or would want forgiveness for.
What’s your take on this? Am I wrong?
Thank you, I appreciate any thoughts or insight you may have , I suppose there’s a lot being left out, but I tried to get the highlights, let me know if you have any questions.
Oh, yeah, I took care of our dad for nearly a year, with never a request from me or an offer from N (or any of the siblings for that matter) of help of any kind. (My kids were pretty sure I was putting them through HELL, and maybe I did, but they survived and learned a lot about me in the process.)
DM

Kahless said...

Thanks for the link, I did read though it probably helps if I read the whole story, but I cant do that. Good on you for opening up the debate to the full story.

I drive Mrs K mad that I wont listen to the full story on animal abuse. But I just cant. I leave the room when she is watching anything like this on tv. It just gives me nightmares.

Thanks for your thoughtfulness towards me.

jumpinginpuddles said...

we also fess up stright away it saves the bullshit later