Today I had to drive to Boonville, NY which is I might add, two hours and 15 minutes away from my house. Oh wait there was a snow storm so make that three hours away for a two hour visit. Grrr I hate this but family is important and well I do sort of want to meet them. We agreed to go bowling so they all would have something to do. C- the case manager will be there because someone has to break the ice.
We get their at 1:04 and meet the Mom in the area behind the bar behind where people were bowling. She tells us that the step dad and brother are in a tournament and they will be done soon. We talk for a bit and the Grandmother also arrives. Well N is off the wall excited hugging and kissing everyone. I notice the affection is not really returned as I thought a family would. It looked like they were friends not really that close but I blew it off because, heck we are at a bowling alley, they don’t know me and oh yeah Social Services is present so things can be awkward.
Her stepdad and brother finished two more games in the tournament and then came up and announced they are playing another game. They stated clearly it was just going to be the two of them playing. Ummm hello I drove three hours to have family time not blow off but OK again people are awkward. They leave N, her mom, her grandma, me and the worker sitting there basically looking at each other. No one addressed N but me, no one encouraged her to share her stories about her life, talk about herself nothing. When N tried to tell them information they tuned her out or changed topics. Yikes it was basically a family reunion at my house. Still I say nothing about my perceived injustice.
The brother and step father then come up and start to play pool, a little less then six feet away from us. Again no invites no communications, nothing she is left to sit in silence with her family that is not really showing interest in anything she is saying. I am stewing now and fight back my urge to say something I know I will regret. They give her a bunch of gifts from the dollar store. Now I am not judging the fact they were from there but come on why did you give her 10 lip glosses? She enjoyed the coloring books she got and the pencils but was not too sure what to make of all the lip gloss, sigh oh well at least they bought something for her.
Finally C told us it was time to go and the step dad said “Oh sorry there was no time to bowl.” Umm no you are not you chose to bowl a final game without us, you avoided her completely. We pack up my van and I say a few pleasant goodbyes. On the ride home I am silent. It is clear the N is happy but I am so freaking pissed. They made no special time for her, gave her no attention and treated her as coldly as can be. WTF we drove 3 hours for you to treat her like crap…..OMG so angry but staying silent for N’s sake. Three hours home and all I could think was how much better she would be treated in my family. I know I know it is wrong but still you all picked this date and to blow her off OMG makes me nuts.
Oh well N is in bed now and glowing from all the “gifts” she got. Its not my place, I should not judge. Each of us lives our own lives and I need to be respectful. Nope not there yet..maybe some more time reflecting and meditating.