Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Family

Last Thursday we flew to Brisbane to visit my husband's parents. It was a visit that we'd looked towards with reluctance and trepidation as it was the first time we'd seen them since Luke told them he'd been sexually abused as a child. Their reaction had been very discouraging but my brave husband needed to sort this issue out with them so we went.

From the moment of arrival the air was filled with tension, my FIL went through the gestures of greeting us, my MIL went to a workshop instead. When she did arrive home she was "too tired" to cook and then disappeared as early as possible to her room. The next day this pattern continued - every time Luke spoke they ignored him or spoke over the top of him in case he might say something they didn't want to hear. The only person they show genuine interest in or affection for was Jacob.

Finally on Saturday afternoon Luke asked to speak with them and they proceeded to attack us. First of all MIL's health somehow was our fault then we had behaved badly over the weekend then our parenting was at fault. They were not responsible for anything. They also did not believe Luke about the abuse.
So we left.
We packed up our clothes, toiletries and Jacob's toys and left. We got a flight home that night and were so glad to reach the comfort and safety of our own home.

MIL told us she had not raised the issue because she knew we would leave because Luke does not listen. We flew an awful long way and spent a lot of money to be there and all Luke wanted was for them to listen to him and show some concern. If you knew you were in danger of losing your son and grandson would you not try to fix this? Right up until the minute we left they could not unbend themselves to ask him if he was ok or how he was coping.

Luke's psychiatrist told Luke that while he does not support breaking up family relationships, in very rare cases the relationship is too "toxic" to be saved and that in his opinion Luke did everything he possible could to save it.
While Luke is making his peace with this, I grieve for my husband, apart from a brother who seems to be supporting his parents' view point, they are the only family he has.

Luckily my parents seem to love and care for him more than his own. They have been nothing but supportive and concerned through this whole ordeal and treat him as if he was their own son.

3 comments:

Mim said...

My deepest sympathies to you both. It must have taken some serious courage to make that trip and try to salvage the relationship, I'm so sorry it didn't work out the way you'd hoped. Perhaps there is still hope for the future though, especially as they did show interest in Jacob?

yodaobi said...

Denial is easier than facing up to the fact that they are bad parents and although we can't blame them for the abuse we can be upset that they can't deal with it and greave the lack of support.
Perhaps they are feeling “attacked” by this and with time they will want to make amends. Let them come to you. Holding onto the pain and wanting his parents to do something they are incapable of will only hurt him and subsequently you and Jacob.

Also remember you know so many people that love and respect you and your family. Surround those boys and yourself with love from your good friends and the family members that aren't incapable of understanding.

I’ve just looked at the new picture on your facebook profile of Luke and Jacob sitting at the pool. I was so touched I almost cried. Just by the way he’s holding his son I can see he has sooo much love for that tiny little boy. Tell Luke I say “Pour out your sorrow!! Get rid of it” Please don’t let him hold on to the rejection and pain of his broken heart. He needs a ALL of that space in his heart for Jacob and you. (and maybe a wee bit for me too!)

Penny said...

Oh Gosh... without knowing the entire story I don't know what to say Heather but I really hope they will eventually come round with time. It takes courage to deal with things like this and Luke has shown he has that. I hope they will too.

I will email.

As Em says - there are people in your life that do love and respect you and Luke. Take strength from them.

I'll keep you in my prayers.