JewBu Quest: From Abuse to Happiness

JewBu: a Jew who practices forms of Buddhist meditation & spirituality. This blog documents my quest to 1) heal from sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse, 2) come to terms with losing Mom and Grandma to Alzheimers, 3) find balance, explore the spiritual, stay present. Bascially, I've experienced some pretty crappy shit in my life and want to find a way to move past it and find happiness.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

More Family Strife

So, my sister went down to Florida to go to my grandmother's condo for one last time before it gets sold by Dad. Sis and I fought with Dad a bit after he got rid of a bunch of her stuff without telling us. Dad said it would be okay if when my sis was there that she'd take some things and send some to me.

My sister sent me a couple of sentimental things that were left including a couple of items that I bought them in Israel. I really appreciate having things of my family members who have passed because I think that it brings a bit of their energy into my home space. When I look around my home, I see many things that belonged to one of my grandparents (who have all passed away), and it comforts me.

Anyway, so sis was told that she would have to not be at the condo for several days because Dad's best friend would be staying there. My sister was annoyed because money is very tight for her, but took her kids to Orlando for that time. When she returned, the place had been emptied out. She heard from the security guard that Dad's friend had two large vans/trucks that they filled up.

I had suggested to her that she take this painting that I knew meant a lot to her and hide it somewhere out of the condo. She took it to my aunt's condo which is in the same building.

Dad called me today pretty early and left me a message. I was worried that something was wrong with Mom. But, Dad just wanted to know what sis had sent me. I told him, and then he told me that he only asked because he wants to know where that painting is. It is worth a lot of money, and he had promised his best friend that she could have it. If sis doesn't know where it is, he may call the cops and file a report with insurance to get the money for it.

I tried to explain to him that I don't think that we should be focusing on arguing with each other over money and material things, but instead focus on Mom. I told him these are our grandparents' things and that, like when other relatives passed, the family should have "first dibs" on their things before they're given away to someone else. Dad told me that whatever is in the condo isn't my grandparents' anymore, they're his things.

I then called my sister to warn her that Dad might call the cops. She was appalled, and said that she can't believe that after his angry behavior to Mom's Mom all these years, he has the nerve to be so disrespectful to her things.

I'm frustrated because my family is acting so dysfunctional towards each other, and Dad is so clearly more focused on keeping money away from my sister and I instead of focusing on how to be supportive to us OR at least keep focused on Mom. I'm tired of all of this fighting and strife.

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13 Comments:

Anonymous I Survive! said...

It sounds like your dad is trying to alienate you and your sis, or at least being difficult to you both. It must be hard especially with your mom's condition worsening. You are rightful to feel anger that your dad is not consulting you and your sister before taking over your grandma's stuff. It is very wrong of him. Do you think it would help to talk to him? I know it would be hard on you, but perhaps this painting is worth it?

Sunday, January 06, 2008 6:13:00 PM  
Blogger Karma said...

Its almost impossible to talk to him. Sometimes he responds to letters. But any trying to address things with him will be seen as an attack and reason to respond with a counter attack. I'm trying to just keep communication open about Mom, but even that's not so open. Actually, the only thing he responds positively to is to show up and not say anything - aka let him do all the talking.

Sunday, January 06, 2008 6:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Peg Lee said...

wow...that is terrible, these are your moms things. Your father is only related to your grandparents by marriage and he claims that those are his? You and your sister should have first dibs on anything, seeings as your mom is ill. This disease tears families apart, just as much as drug abuse or anything else. I feel for you Karma. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Peg

Sunday, January 06, 2008 7:32:00 PM  
Blogger Karma said...

Thanks Peg. Unfortunately too, our strife is partially due to reasons other than the disease. My family has been falling apart ever since my mom's Dad passed away 10 years ago.

But the disease certainly makes it worse. In part, none of us exactly know how to be without my mom.

Sunday, January 06, 2008 7:39:00 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

I'm so sorry for your difficult situation, Karma. It must be very painful. I'm glad you have some belongings around from your grandparents. The fact that they bring you comfort makes me think you must have some very warm memories of them. I'm so glad you have that.

Monday, January 07, 2008 12:51:00 AM  
Anonymous tafka pp said...

I don't know what to say. Very angry and very sad. I'm just glad that at least you and your sis are together in this and that you have the strength to be the adult here, whereas your Dad is obviously not capable...

Monday, January 07, 2008 5:29:00 AM  
Blogger Catherine M. said...

Drama all around. Wow. I remember those days. I can't really give my two cents about your dad because the issues seem deep-seated and it's more than just the painting. But I'll be reading...:-)

Sorry I couldn't throw in something comforting...

Monday, January 07, 2008 1:26:00 PM  
Blogger Karma said...

I'm so blessed to have so much support from so many of you on this. It means a lot!

Monday, January 07, 2008 10:14:00 PM  
Blogger Marj aka Thriver said...

I've read your last couple of posts and I just want to say I'm sorry for all the pain and loss you've had to deal with this last year. But, I also commend you for your courage. I wish you many blessings...and maybe a little easier road...in 2008.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger Shari said...

So sorry you have issues like this. I agree with you that "first dibs" go to the family. This was your maternal grandmother's things. I guess I have a hard time making sense of it because this is his mother-in-law's things. She trusted him to take care of her things. Wouldn't she have wanted you and your sister to have some things that mean a lot to you? I am sure there's more to this as another commenter said, "deep-seated". I want to say more, but I feel it's not my place.

Take care, Karma, and God bless.

Thursday, January 10, 2008 5:38:00 AM  
Blogger Karma said...

My grandparents never would have imagined that my Mom would be in this situation so young, so that their son in law would be handling this situation....a son in law that my grandmother, at least, did not get along with.

Thursday, January 10, 2008 8:17:00 AM  
Blogger April_optimist said...

There is a wonderful book called Controlling People by Patricia Evans. One of the most useful things in the book is the concept of people who live in a "bubble." No one is real to them except in terms of making them happy. I found myself thinking of that as I read what your father is doing. It sounds as if the only thing he cares about is what he wants. Which means that the only argument that will ever "reach" him is one couched in terms of his own self-interest.
Example: You wouldn't want to call the cops, Dad, because you wouldn't want it splashed all over the papers that you gave our grandparents things to your girlfriend when Mom is still alive and your own daughters wanted them.

I'm not saying that would necessarily work but you get the idea. Something phrased in terms of his own best interests because it sounds as if he isn't capable of caring how anyone else feels.

Thursday, January 10, 2008 9:36:00 AM  
Blogger Karma said...

I've added the book to my BookMooch wish list. BookMooch is super cool by the way - check it out: http://www.bookmooch.com.

Monday, January 14, 2008 10:26:00 PM  

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