Email to My Step-Mother, January 21, 2004

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Raye, 

I understand what you’re saying but I don’t agree. Anger is NOT about love… it’s about ANGER and SELFISHNESS… and Dad has always had grave difficulty controlling his. Someone who is acting out of love NEVER has a reason to be angry, because love is about understanding, forgiveness, empathy and compassion… these are traits that seem to escape Dad. I am struggling with the fact that you defend him and his abrasiveness – especially since you have experienced his wrath firsthand. I do accept that Dad has tried in the past to show me that he loves me but he has gone about it the wrong way. And why, I ask, is it MY responsibility to HUMOR him?? Isn’t a relationship a two-way street?? Doesn’t each partner have an obligation to the relationship of equal weight? Dad is growing older by the day, and he’s losing his only daughter because of his maladjusted communication skills. I am growing stronger with each passing day, and I am establishing stronger boundaries because of it – if Dad chooses not to see that I am now a grown woman who deserves to be treated with respect, dignity and acceptance then he will eventually destroy an otherwise very important relationship. 

I guess I need to accept the fact that Dad is Dad, he chooses not to look at himself and the way he deals with the outside world, and he will eventually end up a very unhappy, lonely old man. But, you know what? That’s not my problem… that’s something he’s going to have to face when the time comes. I only hope you eventually come around and see the TRUTH about him and his dysfunction and encourage him to make changes. Dad is a very materialistic person who places little value (from what I have experienced) on emotional attachments. It still eludes him, though, that emotional connections are the core of our being and they must be nurtured if the relationships are to survive. 

Finally, in regard to Jenna and her lack of communication with Dad… she has experienced his wrath, anger, selfishness and immaturity from a first-person perspective, and even at her young age, she sees the malfunction in his behavior and she chooses to not expose herself to those kinds of people. And I don’t blame her… I encourage her to make contact but I completely understand why she doesn’t. Additionally, he bitches about her not contacting him but he acts just as immaturely as she does… refusing to contact her because she hasn’t contacted him… How juvenile can one person get?? He doesn’t seem to grasp the notion that adolescents are selfish, self-absorbed and do not do the things they “should” do – especially when it comes to contacting people they are not fond of. Dad’s behavior about Jenna has been just as immature and juvenile as hers has been. 

Anyway, I appreciate that you love him, and defend him, but sometimes his actions do not deserve defense. And I DO appreciate that he has always tried to love me, in his own materialistic ways, but I have tried to show him that material things do not cause a relationship to grow and flourish… it is the emotional investment, and diligence in improving that investment, that makes a relationship work… you know that, Raye!! I guess I can’t expect anything more out of Dad – he’s an old man and apparently chooses to stay stuck in his anger and destructiveness and there’s not a damn thing I can do about that. 

Until next time… 

Gina

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Turcotte, Raye
Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2004 5:01 PM
To:
Subject: RE: Howdy...

Hi Gina, Your email came in as spam…. So I didn’t see it until just now.  It is filled with great news.  Congratulations.  I just wish you would accept everything your father does for you as love.  The giving, the anger… - it is all about love.  Perhaps if you learn to humor him a little and not let him hurt your feelings so, you will see a difference in him.  Many times I chuckle to myself when he is carrying on because I can see through it.  He always comes around.  He’s pretty wonderful, Gina.  I know he can be pretty rough, but that is only when he is feeling stepped on in some way.  I’d love to see the two of you develop a friendship...  Don’t give up.  You only have one dad…

Gotta run…its 5:00…

Love ya.  Raye

-----Original Message-----
From: Gina L. Turcotte
Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2004 8:41 AM
To: Turcotte, Raye
Subject: Howdy...

Hey you…

Just a quick note to say hello. Things around here are getting interesting. I’ve returned to school with a full courseload (4 classes) and am excited about my classes. I’m taking Human Development, Abnormal Psychology, Violence in the Family, and Interpersonal Communications. It’s quite the courseload but I know I can pull it off, especially if I learn to discipline myself during the day.

Kevin’s reopened the garage and is taking the rest of the month off from the Plumber to work in the garage. We’ve sent out about 5000 postcards advertising the garage reopening. We’ve already gotten 6-10 phone calls for work.

Jenna has asked to come home to Readfield. She realized that having nobody around is not all it’s cut out to be… she complains about being lonely, and having nobody to bounce things off of. And when Mom is home, they don’t talk because their relationship is strained and tense, for many reasons. We are now waiting on phone calls from the Guardian ad Litem and the DHS caseworker with their input/decision. Jenna spent the weekend here this weekend and seemed quite at home – like she had never left. She appeared curiously comfortable, both with being here and with Kevin. It feels soooo good…

Everybody was telling me for so long that I needed to choose between my daughter and Kevin and I kept telling them that I can have both if I wait long enough and do the work that is required… I was right!! (But I knew I was all along… )

In regards to Dad, and my contact (or lack thereof)… I don’t know if it’s just me growing up and establishing boundaries but I am uninterested in maintaining any type of relationship with Dad at this point since most of our conversations recently involve anger on his part and frustration on mine. I am trying to establish myself as an adult who no longer needs to live my life according to HIS rules, but he seems to have difficulty with that. What Dad doesn’t understand is that with all the financial/materialistic help he has given me all those years ( and I DO appreciate it all), what has been lacking is his EMOTIONAL investment, contribution, to our relationship. A relationship cannot be sustained just because someone is willing to pay the bills… it’s much more than that, but I don’t have to tell you something you already know. I wish Dad would “get it” and start investing emotionally in our relationship – make a date with me to do something other than just a phone call once in awhile where he gets frustrated/angry because I’m not doing what HE wants me to do… I don’t know, Raye.

I love Dad and wish he would grow up. He can no longer bully me with his authoritative attitudes, and if he wants a relationship with me he’s going to have go about it in a completely different way. I just don’t know if he’s willing, or able, to do that. He’s definitely an old dog who doesn’t want to learn new tricks. C’est la vie!!

So, that’s all for now… Just a taste of what’s coming down the road out here. The wedding is still on, and we have lined up several vendors. Now all we need is $$$$!! Only 154 days left!!

By for now…

Gina 

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