Estrangement from Family …

Estrangement from Family…

With the book, Flying with Broken Wings finished and in the “mail”; before I begin the next writing project I wanted to post my own feelings about ESTRANGEMENT …some type of estrangement appears to be an ongoing part of my life.  Therefore, I will share a few with you…

I want to write about estrangement from family, mine and my point of view.  First comes the Alabama “shirttail” redneck relatives oh yes…I use to go back home to visit and their first words upon seeing me was “You still a Yankee”?  Still living is an aunt and uncle neither have ever been outside their home town except when my uncle went to fight “The Big War”, which in reality was the end of the Korean Conflict.  He returned to work in the same factory forty or more years and she was a homemaker.  Nothing wrong with either of those statements accept you would have to know them personally, as there are various levels of “Redneck”.

I call it a YO-YO estrangement spanning about forty- years.  I went those many years going back to a place I knew was never “home” just a place where I grew up.  Always spring and Thanksgiving breaks with my parents whom have since passed, I had one sibling who passed as well.  During those, many years visiting on Holidays brought a new meaning to the word relatives.    

I understand that I left home when I was sixteen, but I tried to keep in touch with many of them.  I must say that it was a one-way communication, hard to believe but it was…I would call my parents weekly, reach out to the only sibling I had, and the others who I thought of as relatives.

Now after all of these many years later I have to wonder why relatives chose to distance themselves, choose to demonize you while painting themselves as virtuous, sailing a tide of bitterness and anger mostly for unknown reasons.  Most thought if you crossed the Alabama state line you would fall into the Pits of Hell, yep, Alabama was the world and it was flat.  It appeared the closer the “Pecking Order” leading to the top…the nastier they were when talking behind one is back.  Oh, this was not just me; this deeply embedded Redneck dysfunctional family went after each other as well.

My parents made it known to me in the hidden messages in their conversations that visitors should stay in a motel.  I was the visiting relative.  I kept my visits short and casual, the love I had for my out of touch parents would never end.  I was not alone in these situations, my aunts, uncles and families were not welcome, including my only sibling.  The only one my parents ever accepted was a grandchild whom had lived off my parents all of their life. However, this individual would never learn to function alone, not my problem I say.

Three years before my mother died (my father already dead); ask that I “not come back”.  I honored her wish and did not return until her death.  Estrangement…the only relative I felt close too ostracized me for about ten years.  I reached out and the email relationship and an occasional visits were on and off for another twenty years, having three year gaps.  Please understand that I continued to try and “hold on” to this individual because of my parents.  In the beginning of 2017, the mixed messages and/or lies seem to give me reason to turn loose, to stop the acting, to stop listening to how their entitlement created by my parents caused all of the problems.  From parents that made the mistake of “dying” leaving them to fend for themselves.  Oh my, what a dilemma! 

I finally went “Oh my God”; I have been holding onto a family member that clearly does not want to continue communicating with me or have a family relationship.  Since, I have made it very clear that I no longer want to be a puppet in their lives, strung along to whatever tune they are playing. 

I realize that some might be empathetic and others will say for the sake of peace live with their poor reasoning skills and their sense of entitlement.  I understand struggling, but I was not the child that lived free well into adulthood under my parents “roof”, I was not the one who did not know how to survive.   

Honestly, I wrestle with the challenges, struggles, and consequences of writing about my estrangement.  It is hard to decide what to omit and what to disclose.  The stakes are high and paying the price for transparency can strike hard.  While many people are empathetic, some think I should bury the hatchet for the sake of peace and family.

While I am no person’s judge, I do not presume to know what others should or should not do in the same predicament.  I do not have to explain or justify my decision to draw boundaries between my family and me.  I do not have to help these people understand my position.  I do not have to defend myself or prove myself. Please do not underestimate the power or long-lasting effect of emotional and verbal abuse.  With the death of my parents, I would tread lightly as the family I was dealing with had a passion for lying and being a victim.  I have known all my life that my family would never inspire to match the image of a Norman Rockwell painting.

For those who are empathetic with my situation or suffer from their own estrangement, thank you for understanding!  I know estrangement is tough especially during the holidays, which promotes families and togetherness.  It is plagued by awkward moments where we dodge communication about our family and suffer in silence.  

I try to remember that no two people view any event the same, even within a family.  We have different vantage points, shaped by our own perspectives & life experiences.  Our different levels of awareness are impacted by our beliefs, ideas, fears, & motives.  I have quit trying to change my estranged family or trying to get them to consign to a common perspective.

There are NO completely innocent parties with estrangement.  I try to reflect on my part.  I do not question if somehow I could have handled things differently.  What would I do differently next time, nothing, as there will not be a next time?  Life hands us pain and hurt to teach us lessons.  I have finally with aged wisdom learned from my experiences with family.

I have chosen to focus on the healthy relationships in my life and my children and grandchildren, which I have built on respect, support, & appreciation where I am loved for who I am and not what others wanted me to be.  My was not imprinted with images of unconditional love and acceptance from family.  I do know that I am not alone…with these words in closing old wounds, I have a new perspective on my life and will now begin my next writing project…”Rain, Fire and Lies”, my autobiography.

Thank you for reading and supporting me, I will do my best to keep all of you posted with the progress of the book and my daily life.  Love to all of you.

2017©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Honey Wine – A 100 Word Story

thFHOT92J3

 

Honey Wine

Serena knew that beauty had an ending, that all things fade and die she was in the winter of her years.  All her friends were gone as was much of her family, some forgotten like goldenrods falling to dust upon the wind.  Her eyes yearned, her heart bled for love, she kept repeating the words…

“Old, old, old.”

The clouds of time have spun away like fall she now waited for the last leaf to drop.  All that was left was the sweet memories like Honey wine.  Please she whispered let it go quickly…

“I am so tired of time”.

 

 

2016.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=ann+johnson-murphree

 

 

Choices – A 100 Word Story

th

 

Choices

A roar of thunder melds with a coming storm, Tom Thornton’s heart is stone; he knows that because he feels nothing.  His wife’s veins once flowed with a passionate fire; now the crimson liquid spread across the floor.  Doors locked, a decision had to be made and quickly.  His life also ended when he would not let Sarah leave.  His heart will never soften; he will never feel the heat of Sarah’s fire again.  The police and ambulance sirens filter into the house.  He sat on the bed asking, “God, will I go to Heaven if I choose to die”?

 

 

©2016.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=ann+johnson-murphree

The Light of Day – A 100 Word Story

thSBBONYA0

The Light of Day

 

She was born in the spring; a soft wind blew across the tall grasses.  The rising sun promised spring, the warmth welcomed.  The sun was setting when her soul begins walking in the deepest valley, her breath stilled.  Her father took her to the nearby creek, washed, wrap her in a soft cloth laid her beside a large boulder, and fell asleep with a prayer on his trembling lips.   As he wraps his baby, he gave her a Chippewa name that means “The Light of Day”.  As the sun rose, he woke to see the baby moving.   Abedabun was alive. 

 

 

 

 

©2016.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Books at Amazon.com

Coffee Table Books – 8 X 11

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_11?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=ann+johnson-murphree&sprefix=ann+johnson%2Caps%2C201

 

On a Blue Bird Day

It is spring, warm breezes float through magnolia trees.  A gracious woman of the South rises from past memories; her thoughts behind the ice blue eyes. She sits on the bank of a pebbly brook under a Blue Bird sky, the scent of lilac rises from her starched dress.  She dips her fingers slowly into the cool water; she is old and life has passed her by, and the depths of her truth never known.  In her secret place of selfishness her hate for an unwanted child; she stops to ponder her own question; does she deserve the name “Mother”.

 

©2016.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

 

#9391…A 100 Word Story

thKCD1QUW2

#9391

It was July 1915 and Annabelle stared out the window.  Beyond the bars lay the tombstones covered with dead leaves and vine, each inscribes with nothing but a number; the records might have given the names of those beneath the red southern soil.

She knew that there were no tomorrows.  A marriage of happiness ended with a disobedient act against her husband.  It was his right to put her in an asylum for the insane and the disobedient.  Yesterday’s promises were over; the “Consumption” as they called it would soon take her life.  The small 12X12 stone would read “#9391”.

 

©2016.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_11?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=ann+johnson-murphree&sprefix=ANN+JOHNSON%2Caps%2C196

Rachael – A 100 Word Story

 

When Rachael discovered she was pregnant, she thought of suicide; married to a poor sharecropper she did not want another mouth to feed.  She felt anger, she feared God’s wrath, but would take that chance.  She did not want the burden; she was determined to kill the unwanted seed.  The cries coming from the bed told Rachael that the baby was alive; there was nothing in her heart but hate as she placed her hand over the baby’s mouth and nose, to suffocate life from the tiny body; its journey on earth was cut short.  Rachael rolled over and smiled. 

Rachael is a fictional character in the “100 Word Story” however, hundreds of children are killed each year; mothers are most likely to kill newborns because of mental illness such as postpartum depression or because they cannot handle the stress of caring for a baby.   The research on this subject reveals that the day a child is born is the day a child is most likely to be killed by a parent.  Mothers who kill tend to do on impulse and then there are those that just do not want a child.

Psychiatrists say parents who kill their children tend to fit one of five categories:

  • A parent suffering a psychotic break.
  • A parent who thinks he is killing out of altruism because he doesn’t want a child to grow up without him.
  • A parent acting out of revenge against a spouse or partner.
  • A parent who kills an unwanted child.
  • A parent who kills from neglect or by recklessness

If you are aware of someone that possibly comes under any of these categories; reach out to them and offer your help.

 

Trankil Death – A 100 Word Story

th

 

Trankil Death

At dawn, Ruby Waters life light went out, in the dark her children cried; a candle glowed against the rustic rough boards of the shanty shadowing the souls left behind.  Laid to rest quickly in the Louisiana heat; the moon cast a glow on her shallow grave.  The children’s tears burn hot upon their dirt-streaked faces as relatives who heard the shots took them away.  Drunken Gat Waters had shot his emancipated wife because she was pregnant again then yelled, “Now dat’ are two less mouths to feed”.  They were swamp folk no one outside Bayou Gauche would ever know.

 

 

©2016.trankildeath.annjohnsonmurphree
NOTE: Visit author’s book page or ann Johnson-murphree at Amazon.com