Since I was 10 years old and could even pretend to fathom that I would get married one day (which I had my doubts about, trust me) I knew that it would be an interesting time in my life. I knew that family strife (if you could call it that) would make things complicated but at that point no ones knows exactly how complicated these things can get.
Now, I understand that every family has a level of dysfunction. I also understand that everyone thinks their family is the worst. I know that there are families that have higher levels of dysfunction than mine does, HOWEVER...I'm pretty sure that mine takes the cake in most social circles.
In every wedding blog I've ever read, there have been discussion about family crises and family drama and how it seems nearly inevitable that someone doesn't get along with someone else but on your wedding day, you don't even think about it, and they usually can cooperate for that one day. I really hope so. Actually, I know that will be true (minus the me not thinking about it part) but I know that everyone will play nice and no one will get hurt that day. But in the meantime.....DAMN.
So now I'm going to tell the story of me. And why I am the way I am. and how I came be to (starting after the sex part and all). This is the way I remember it.
I was born in Japan on a military base. My mother was in the Navy and my dad was along for the ride. I have an older brother, DC, who was eight when I was born. DC was my mom's son from another marriage and it seems like DC and Mom lived a lifetime together before my dad and I came along. Thus started the family dysfunction.
I was - and still am - my father's pride and joy. I was his sole reason for doing anything (which we all know is problematic in a marriage - never put kids first). When I was three, we moved from Japan to a (sort of) Chicago 'burb. Mom was stationed at Great Lakes and then was sent on a 6 month tour to Guatanamo Bay, Cuba. I was 6 years old. Meanwhile, Dad took care of DC and me. I was a tomboy, having two men as role models and a mother who was non-traditional. Finally, Mom came home.
I turned 7 at the end of August and that weekend was labor day weekend so we were going to go on a family trip to the Wisconsin Dells. Our bags were packed and we went to bed, ready to leave the next day.
Then my life changed forever. This also happens to coincide with the point where I don't remember so well.
At some point in the middle of the night, my dad pulled me from my bed. Groggily, I walked to the living room where my brother was already sitting and my mom was crying. How confusing.
There was yelling, fighting, a gun, then DC and I crouched in a corner and DC was holding a gun. Finally, Dad said we were leaving and took me and some of the luggage out to the van. I wanted my kitten. DC and I had just found a kitten the week before and DC said I could have it for my birthday (what a great older brother!). I didn't want to leave the kitteh behind.
Dad went back in the house to get my cat. I fell asleep in the van.
I woke up and Dad asked me where I wanted to go.
My answer: Grandpa and Grandma's.
Dad's reply: That's not going to work.
Why wouldn't Grandpa and Grandma's work, you ask? Because Dad had just tried to kill my mom, their daughter.
Dad had taken me after this happened so technically I had been kidnapped.
Court proceedings, prison visits, and all sorts of messiness ensued. Ask me if you want deets, I'm pretty forthcoming..I just don't wanna type it all out.
Then it gets complicated because, you see, one would think that I hate my dad after all of this but the kicker is...I don't. I love him. and I love my mom. and I've been to therapy to figure all that out but I've worked through a lot of it (not all, but a lot). But you see, my family hasn't been to therapy and therein lies the rub. They haven't figured any of it out. And while they all crumble into scared pieces, I'm left to pick up the pieces and say "what about me? Isn't this supposed to be Ben's and my day?"
My dad is not a bad guy anymore. He's still confused sometimes about what he should do concerning the decision he made 15 years ago but he loves me and that's all he's ever done. Maybe loved me too much. My mom made poor choices, too. Therefore, I don't play the blame game. It sucked that it happened. Yes my dad made that decision. But it was 15 years ago and here we all are.
So when it comes to wedding woes, I think it's okay that I got 'em but it's getting worked out. I guess I just need to get this off my chest because it's going to be a big part of that day and I think it will continue to be a part of this process whether I go back to therapy or not.
Luckily I have a wonderful partner in Ben who just lets me cry and get mascara and eyeliner on his shoulder and a mom who wants to make it go away but knows that she can't. And even my dad, who just learned that I have these issues is trying. Regardless, it doesn't change who I am, what I do, and how I act and that's where I'm coming from, dysfunction and all.