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15 June 2016 @ 02:57 pm
Update. Again.  
I'm not speaking to my brother. I don't know if he knows that I'm not speaking to him, but I don't care.

I need to back up. There is too much going on.

Sean and I have been talking about getting married for a while now. We were talking about just going to the courthouse and avoiding the drama, and just having a big dinner afterwards. That's not quite special enough for me, and I had heard whispers that my mom would really like to be there when I get married, so we had been talking about maybe renting a house on Airbnb or something like that, and having a big pool party with a small exchange of vows. The big problem is saving the money for it, though, because Sean's job situation fell through and he ended up having to take a drastic reduction in salary, and I have a lot of debt. But that's what we've been working towards the last few months.

A few months ago (January, I think), Nicole started seeing this guy named Ryan. He's a really nice guy, and we all knew him from when we were all going to That Church. He messaged her on Facebook late last year, saying he'd always had a crush on her, and he finally convinced her to be his girlfriend. LOL They're supposed to be getting engaged this weekend. Everyone in my family is really excited and happy for her.

In February, my mom sprained her ankle really bad. Ever since then, it has seemed like there would be something new wrong with her every week. She went to the doctor several times, and they would run tests, but there wasn't a lot of communication, so nothing really happened with that. But she kept getting sicker.

Towards the end of May, Trevor and Barbara invited all of us over to their new apartment as a kind of housewarming. They had finally moved out of my parents' house a few months back, but hadn't had an opportunity to have everyone over until then. It was a pretty nice time. Sean and I brought a couple bottles of wine, because it's polite to bring something, and Sean gets anxious when he has to spend time with my family. (Understandable!) My mom couldn't make it because she was sick, so my dad didn't stay long after dinner. He was Renae's ride, so she and Christi left when he did.

Not long after they left, Trevor decided it was time to talk about religion. Sean is an atheist and Trevor thinks it's his duty to try to convert him at every opportunity. Sean's a good sport about it; he used to run several blogs dedicated to debating theists, so Trevor doesn't intimidate him at all. Nicole and Ryan just sat there most of the time, occasionally interjecting into the more theological aspects of the conversation.

But then they (Trevor and Barbara) started to ask me about it, too. Questioning when and why I started doubting/losing my faith, basically blaming Sean and invalidating my beliefs. They said that since I've been with Sean I've been on a "downward spiral," and accused me of being an alcoholic. Sean was pretty drunk at this point, but trying hard not to be offensive. To be clear, Sean does like to drink. He also curses like a sailor, and enjoys doing and saying outrageous things, although he checks himself when my parents or children are around. He has also tried really hard ever since we started our relationship to try to be on his best behavior around my family, and is always respectful of their beliefs, and even goes out of his way to agree with them as much as possible.

So we left before things could get really heated. We were both really upset. I cried all the way home, and Sean was talking really fast, which is how his anxiety manifests. Renae called the next day to find out what had happened, because all Nicole had told her was that there had been "a fight" and that "people were crying." So I at least got to tell her my side. Nobody else has said anything about it to me.

Did I mention that it's been about a year since my brother blocked me on Facebook? Don't know why. Nobody has said anything about that to me, either. Funny how now he wants to act like he's concerned about my life.

Anyway. A week later was Memorial Day, and that Sunday we were all set to go spend the day at Ryan's house with his family. Sean and I didn't say anything to Trevor or Barbara while we were at Ryan's house, but we weren't there very long anyway. The food was amazing, but we all left early because my dad finally took my mom to the emergency room. Her kidneys had shut down.

We went home to change and then I went to the hospital so I could try to stay in the loop. Sean stayed home. He's had a lot of bad experiences with hospitals, and he had already been having flashbacks to his mom dying with my mom being sick for so long. It's hard to ignore someone or give them the cold shoulder when you're in the waiting room together, so we all acted like nothing had happened. If Sean had been there, probably something would have been addressed, but it would have all been conciliatory towards them. Sean hates confrontation and will say almost anything to ease the tension.

I visited the hospital again on Monday. My mom was still in the ICU, but feeling a lot better since she'd had dialysis. No word on a diagnosis at that time, since it was a holiday and no doctors were available for testing. They were talking about taking her gallbladder though. I went to lunch with everyone except Renae and Christi, who had other plans. Still nothing was said.

My mom is still in the hospital. They finally diagnosed her with vasculitis. Her kidneys are 30% damaged. She may need a transplant, but the doctors are trying to avoid that. They're treating her with dialysis and chemotherapy. It's a major blow for my mom to be diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. She had been insisting all along that it couldn't be auto-immune because God healed her of rheumatoid arthritis.

I have tickets to see Hamilton in September, but I'll probably have to sell them. I even had to back out of the Dwiggie meet next month, which I was really looking forward to. I'm just tired. But it gets me down. Sean is the only thing that makes me happy these days, and now his job is starting to send him on business trips to Iowa and Chicago. I just wish my family could pretend to be happy for me. I was resigned before, but now Nicole's in a relationship too and I see the contrast. And work is boring, so all I do is sit here and think about everything.
katharhinokatharhino on June 16th, 2016 12:24 am (UTC)
I'm sure from your brother's perspective it's painful that your beliefs have changed so much, and probably he thinks it's his duty to point that out. But dude, when is rudeness ever a good way to make someone change her mind? So difficult. I am so sorry you went through that, and didn't even get closure or any kind of an apology or anything.

And really sorry about your mom's health issues. That sounds quite serious.
Gabbygreenislove on June 16th, 2016 02:18 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I understand an initial sadness and confusion, because I used to believe that way too. I get it. My parents sat me down about a year ago and we had a similar conversation ("We didn't see this coming, what's going on?" that type of thing). It was much more respectful, it did not devolve into shouting, and my parents and Sean left with a clearer understanding of each other.

Even Sean and Christi have gotten into religious debates before, and Christi asked me to absolve her of any responsibility for my soul. I told her that everything she knows about Christianity, I know too, and there's nothing she could say that would be new to me, and basically told her she could sleep easy. I know the emotions involved, and I know it sucks.

My thing is, Sean and I have been together for almost two years now, and he brings all this up now? In front of Nicole and her new (Christian) boyfriend? And he wasn't just bringing up concerns, either, he was trying to make me feel guilty. I got the feeling he wanted me to apologize for something, because he kept saying things like "what really pisses me off is...." And I just....

I have no patience for this anymore, especially at this stage of our relationship -- both me and Sean, and me and my brother. He's trying to control me, just like he always has, and he's upset that quoting the Bible doesn't do that anymore. (Though to be fair, I was always better at weaponizing the Bible than he was)