Thursday, June 26, 2008

"Forgiveness is such a simple word but it's so hard to do when you've been hurt." ~Kellie Pickler

I feel so sad today. I know part of it is the dreaded "pregnancy hormones", part of it is the fact that I've been so sick (which makes me not quite properly medicated...lol) and part of it is the fact that I've been thinking about my family a lot lately.

On a random whim, I started using Google to look up various family members. I've not seen or spoken to many of them in years. I often told myself that I was better off without my family...at least one as dysfunctional as mine. Most who know me know that I'm the product of an alcohol and drug-abusing teenage mother and have never met my dad. Don't get me wrong...this is not a "feel sorry for Jo pity party"...just the way life is sometimes. I grew up fine, and most of the time had good people taking care of me. I'm very grateful for what I have and am very happy with my life.

Good news is, in my internet travels (and with the help of my loving husband...who thinks I'm a Fruit Loop for even CONSIDERING looking up my relatives but who is helping me anyway), I've found my Aunt Judie and my cousins Christie and Cassie (on Myspace if you can believe it)! Judie always looked out for me when I was small and when I lived with my grandma and grandpa even though I was an annoying and talkative little twerp. (There is so much more to the story than that...but I don't want to write the blog version of War and Peace so that will have to be a topic for another day.)

I was with my grandparents on and off throughout childhood due to my mother's many issues. Life with them was not necessarily easier...let's just say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and I personally hold them...mostly my grandmother...responsible for how completely screwed up my mother is today.

Anyway...I've also been on the lookout for my three little brothers (two of whom I saw last in 2001). Sometime in the mid-eighties, my mom left my stepdad (K and J's father) and took me with her but left them behind. I didn't see them again until 2000 when my youngest daughter and I flew to Florida to be reunited with them and see my grandparents as well as Judie and the girls. (Last time I saw Judie and my younger brothers was when my grandpa passed away in 2001. I lost touch with my brothers after that. I did find Judie again and I'm so thankful that we've reconnected.

I still can't find my brother O yet. Problem is, I have the LEAST amount of information on him and he's the closest to me in age. I was only five or so the last time I saw him. However, I have found recent information about K and J. I found out that one of them has been in prison and is now on supervised release. He's listed on the Florida Dept of Corrections website and I saw the picture. When I saw his face, I knew it was him right away. He looks SO much like my mom when she was younger and I was with her. It made me cry.

I was able to find T, the boys' stepmom. (She is the one that married my stepdad after he and my mom were divorced.) She said that she didn't really have contact with K and J anymore...that both of them had been in trouble with the law. K might be in the Carolinas somewhere and J might be back in jail. She's not sure and has basically washed her hands of them due to their ongoing issues.

I'm so sad and disappointed and worried. I feel like if I had tried to connect with them sooner, maybe things could have been different.

Anyway, as often happens in life, I heard a song that set me off today emotionally. Feel free to listen...it will give you real insight into my feelings for my mother. I hope that someday I can hear it without crying.



I also ran across a YouTube link that gets into the history behind the song from Kellie's perspective. Sometimes it's nice to know that you aren't alone in how you feel. This is a follow-up to the first video. I intentionally am only putting the link instead of embedding it because the page it's on has so much more information. Click HERE to view it as well. Out of fairness, I'll also give you a link for her mother's point-of-view HERE. I'll be honest about this one though. I actually got angry when I watched it. Why? That is a topic for another day.

Hehe...enough emotional angst for one day I think. Thanks for "listening".

Love,

Jo

P.S. Thanks to my friend Stephanie and her friend Lori who have also been aiding in my recent searches for family. They have helped in the overall searches, mainly in trying to locate my grandmother. Her last known location was in the Goose Creek, SC area - where she was placed in a nursing home after my grandfather died. She has dementia and Alzheimer's Disease and became completely combative and unmanageable. Like to the situation with my mother, I don't anticipate having any contact with her but would still like to know if she is alive or not.

2 comments:

Tina Fisher said...

I hope you find all of the family you are looking for. It's think it will be a good thing to know where your people are.

Great quote by Kellie Pickler!

Laura said...

Wow! Your story made me tear up, that song did also. I hope you are able to find all your family someday too! {{hugs}}