Friday, February 22, 2013


How am I supposed to work on my trust issues when people who supposedly care about me keep breaking my trust?  How much longer can I hold onto my hopeful optimism regarding humanity before I slip into my former New Yorker "Lord of the Flies" cynicism?

Savta Shira - a woman who has known me for over 13 years, a woman who accompanied me to every ultrasound when I was pregnant, a woman who said she wanted to watch Raphaela grow up into adulthood - has officially un-adopted Raphaela and me from her Israeli family.  I received an email, her first communication since she lambasted me as a mother in October 2012, in which she explained that she is "putting her guard up," and that she has come to the conclusion that no one else is important or worth her love and effort besides immediate blood relatives.  That she doesn't have the space for us, emotionally or physically, and that we are expendable; that she had only "hesitantly" agreed to be Raphaela's Israeli grandmother as a space filler for her children who lived in the States.

There will be no more holidays spent together, and she is "unavailable" to me if I need a sounding board.

Then after another snide comment about my parenting skills, she said that "maybe in two months...when her schedule clears a little," she will think about finding the time for us.

I know, it's not about me, it's all her.  And yet it doesn't take away the sting or the confusion in my heart.

My first thought was that something has gone terribly wrong in her life.  My second thought was that of feeling insulted, wondering why she wouldn't want my friendship and support if Savta Shira was indeed experiencing difficulties.  My third thought was "Fuck you!  I will not be your collateral damage."

I must think not just about myself, but for Raphaela;  it is unreasonable and cruel to bring someone into her life who will float in and out, say she loves my daughter and then disappear for half a year because it is somehow inconvenient.  Part of me believes that we are better off without Savta Shira and her inconsistencies, and the other part of me is sad for the loss of the relationship.

At least, I suppose, I can thank Savta Shira for her brutal honesty.

Ever since I can remember, my mother has preached/threatened, "No one will love you as much as your real family.  Everyone else will inevitably disappoint you.  Every human being on the planet ultimately looks out for themselves."

I pray to G-d my mother's world-view can be proven wrong, but not today.


tesyaa said...

So painful. I can't decide whether it's better to get a cruel but brutally honest note like you got, or to be on the receiving end when someone decides to passively drift away. I think the passive way is less painful, but since there's always hope the relationship will reconnect, there's no closure.

But what she did to you was not just brutally honest; it was cruel.

Midlife Singlemum said...

It's time to dump Savta Shira. I had a had a friend who in their pain, for whatever personal reason of their own, turned on me in a cruel way. The shame was, as you say, I would have been there for her but, as you also say, I am no one's punching bag. If it makes you feel any better you could reply to Shira's email along the lines of:
I'm so sorry you're having a hard time dealing with life at the moment. Thank you for your kind offer to try again in a few months time but since not hearing from you since Sukkot, we have filled our lives with other friends. I wish you all the best and hope that you feel better and more in control soon.
Love Doc.
PS (optional) I still remember what a good friend you were to me in the past and if there is ever anything I can do to help you please let me know.

Sarah said...

That's so terrible! I feel so bad for you.

My guess would be that now that Savta Shira has her own relatives close by (I gathered this - am I wrong?) that either they put pressure on her to stop devoting time to you, or she became so overwhelmed by the demands on her time that she very awkwardly (to put it mildly) lashed out in an attempt to set boundaries.

Either way, it's not acceptable to frame it the way she did, and to cut you out so suddenly and completely. I'm really sorry. :-(

Ariela said...

I am so sorry for you pain. However, you can use this as a learning experience. You just got out of an abusive relationship. Why did you choose to be in a relationship with someone who is clearly cruel and abusive? People usually don't change. She may have treated you well, but the abuse was then directed at someone else.

Doc said...

In fact part of what may have brought this on was the fact that one of her children has made aliyah within the last year. But even that is contradictory to her previous statements and behaviour: Savta Shira had gone on and on about how wonderful it would be if Raphaela could become close with one of her grandchildren, a little girl who was born four days before my daughter. Savta Shira even said that they could "become cousins and best friends." There is quite a gap between cousins and best friends to cruel and utter rejection. What I miss is the idea of a safety net, of some form of "family" when I really have none in this country.

Commenter Abbi said...

She sounds like a world class nutjob. :( What an incredibly hurtful person.