Where do I even begin? I feel as though my entire world has come crashing down around me lately. First off, on Thanksgiving morning, Brian's mother called me both on my land line and my cell. While she wasn't hysterical, I could tell by her voice that she needed answers.
Here it goes: Brian has been unjustly accused of voyuerism by our mysterious neighbors (more later). Anyway, it almost destroyed our relationship. Well, on Thanksgiving morning, there was an article in the Bay City Times regarding the unproven allegations. Luckily, Brian's name wasn't mentioned. Brian later called the officer he dealt with on the night of this whole fiasco only to learn that anyone writing such an article should have cleared it through him first - but didn't.
As a result of this poorly written and researched article slandering my fiance, his father is no longer speaking to him. The police have had his computer and my digital camera cards for nearly a month. If they had any evidence, wouldn't you think that they would have been a little more proactive?
Well, as you can imagine, Thanksgiving Day didn't start out well. My mother called shortly after Cindy (Brian's mom) hung up. By the time I was talking to my mom, I was just about ready to break off my relationship with Brian - in fact, I told my mother that I had. I naively thought that the article written in the Bay City Times meant that the police actually had evidence against Brian.
While I know that my trust in Brian should be stronger than that, not to mention a history of six years of friendship, too many strange things have happened in my life. Unfortunately, I find myself having to grasp ideas that I once thought inconceivable.
Thanksgiving morning brought a huge wind and snow storm to mid-Michigan, making my trip to my grandmother's house a treacherous one. By the time I arrived, I had calmed down. Fortunately, no one in my family would have ever guessed that the article was regarding Brian.
Even though I hadn't planned on it, I ended up spending two nights at my parents' house, even though I live only 45 minutes away. What an eye opener! Friday morning, instead of going to my little brother's basketball scrimmage, I stayed home and helped my mother decorate for Christmas. We ended up having a real heart to heart talk.
I learned that she is afraid that my father is bi-polar, that my father has spent all of their savings, that she is refusing to co-sign a loan with him, and that she can't bear to see him like this again. In other words, she wants out of her marriage of 28 years. Sadly, I don't blame her one bit. While I love my father, I can't stand him and the pain he has caused me and my family.
I don't want to see him this way. He has no consideration for anyone but himself.
For example, he purchased golden retriever puppies for my sister and brother as a Christmas gift. In reality, they are a gift for himself. My sister has the male and my brother has the female. Quite simply, my dad wants to breed bird hunting dogs. In addition, my sister brought her puppy home for Thanksgiving and it was allowed to stay in the house. My poor mom, who has tons of allergies, was absolutely miserable. This wouldn't have been horrible if it had just been for the long weekend, but my dad is insisting that my brother's dog be an inside dog.
My mom seems to have no say in the situation, which really irritates me.
In addition, my dad was completely contradicting himself on Thanksgiving Day. He told me "You know you can do anything once you set your mind to do it." I agree with this statement whole heartedly and would have taken it as a complement under different circumstances; I grew up believing that my parents had faith in most of what I did. However, the week before I had an incredibly painful conversation with him in which he stated that I could never handle taking over the family business - Russell Canoe Livery.
Right now, I feel as though no one has faith in me except Brian - not even my family. In addition to all of this, I have an older cousin Emily who holds the exact same degree from the same university and who had an equivalent amount of experience when she and her fiance (now husband) returned from Texas. Instead of being unemployed for months, she was given a job at Forward Corporation - the company that our grandfather built - by her father, who is now President. She has held quite a range of positions there already and believes that she is going to take over the company when her father retires. There appears to be no room for me whatsoever, not even as a manager of a convenience store. According to my mom, a couple of my aunts are extremely angry.
The problem is that everything gets swept under the rug in my mom's family. No one will say anything. Emily will probably take over the company and eventually only their family will have any tie to the company, even though there are four other sisters and they all have families.
While I certainly don't want to run Forwards someday and in most cases I wouldn't be opposed to any of my cousins running the company, I am deeply unsettled by the following.
1. If Emily does take over the business, it will be run into the ground. Emily does not have the business sense and compassion necessary to run it. Both my grandpa and Uncle Terry certainly do. Emily is simply obsessed with money and power.
2. I am deeply hurt that no one even suggested that I take even a menial job at Forwards. It leads me to believe that they have no faith in me. On the other hand, it may be possible that they are concerned that I would want to run it someday - I definitely do not.
3. It is awful that my mother and aunts will have no connection to the company after my grandparents die. I know what my grandpa gave up in order to build that business. His daughters should continue to have some say.
Anyway, all of this really has been on my mind. I continuely wonder what I am going to say at the family dinner party in a couple of weeks. My mom even stated that she would understand if I did not want to go. I really don't know what to do.
How am I going to get through all of this? My grandma always told me that "God doesn't give us more than we can handle" and I even believe it to be true. It just is overwhelming right now.
I honestly don't know what I would do without Brian. He has really been helping me through all of this, and to think I almost gave up on this relationship due to something so stupid!