February 20, 2013

The "Luxury" of Living So Far From Home

My Great-Grandparents and my Great-Great Grandparents
Usually I have the luxury of living 1247 miles (as the crow flies) away from my family.  My wife's family lives here in Boise, but fortunately for me their concept of "family drama" is pretty much non-existent.

Her family is practically tiny.  They could easily sit at the "kiddie table" and one of my family's holiday dinners.  I'm one of the "lucky" children of divorce so I generally halve two halves of a family to contend with.  If you aren't familiar this this arrangement, let me assure you that in family math two halves add up to much more than a whole (1/2 + 1/2 > 1).
There is more than one reason I'm living three states and a time zone away.  For day to day life this arrangement works for me, but there are times I wish I could live closer just to kick my family's ass now and then.

My brother, who hasn't made the best life decisions, is trying the best he can.....I cannot fault him for that at least.  He has four kids with a woman he never should have started dating from a moral, legal, and "what the hell are your thinking?" standpoint.  After four kids and a decade or so of marriage she decided she was a lesbian and filed for divorce.  Now she is basically a ward of the state and using her alimony & child support to party it up.  She just had another kid and allegedly knows who the father is.

While I honestly don't care about my ex-sister-in-laws sexual orientation other than possibly being able to rib my brother about it at some point down the road, and I'm not really on the side of sexuality is a choice, I will totally question her choices as a parent.....and of my parents for not stepping in.

Of the four children the eldest, which a couple years ago I thought was completely destined to be pregnant at 16, is doing everything she can to get the hell out of the house (her mother's house).  She is graduating high school early, has a job, and is planning on moving in with my folks while she attends college.  Her home life is driving her to spend as much time out of the house.

My oldest nephew, just turned 16, has his name boldly emblazoned across his back as a tattoo, and is all about the drinking it up and partying.  His twitter feed is filled with drug references, party references, and hitting on girls.  Evidently his mother allowed him to get that tatt at 15 and buys him alcohol.

My next niece is a sweet girl who lives with his father because she wants absolutely nothing to do with her mother.  Hasn't for years.  I'm not sure how bad things have to be for your own pre-teen daughter to disown you.

My youngest nephew is a momma's boy...or at least he was until the baby came along.  I haven't heard much about him.  He doesn't get to visit the rest of the family as much, which brings me to my main point.

If you believe the child is in imminent danger, CALL 911 immediately
I'm just hitting the tip of the effed-up iceberg.  I'm sure the reports I get from "home" is just the highlight reel, and I haven't even come close to sharing that information.  Think of this post as a 30 second coming attractions promo for the highlight reel that is the screwed up situation for my brother's kids.  All I get is the highlights and a brief glimpse into what is going on.  My parents see it everyday, but they don't do squat about it for fear that my ex-SIL will cut off access to the grandkids. Evidently Iowa is one of those states that gives too much power to the mother in a divorce.

I do think my father, who has a professional, and very real, obligation to report potential abuse, called in when the boy got that huge tattoo.  You have to be an adult to get ink in Iowa.  All the other stuff though, it gets a free pass.

Sometimes I hate living 1200+ miles away.

1 comment:

Library Ogre said...

My condolences. My ex lived with me in Texas when her mom sorta went nuts. We wound up with her teenage sister for a little bit (with her Dad's blessing) until her mom started threatening to call the police on us.

Health and luck.