It did not go well. Can I be surprised that he was not in the least bit apologetic for his actions when he is a person who believes deceit and manipulation are acceptable, even laudable behaviors? Can I be surprised that this is the way the conversation turned out when The Crazymaker was sitting there by his side justifying his actions, saying that all teenagers lie and manipulate and so she wasn't sure why we were making such a big deal about this? I'm not surprised, just heart-sick. And I wish that I had family I could respect and trust and want to be around, but that does not appear to be my lot in life.
Our home is childless once more.
Yet every dark cloud has a silver lining, and ours is this: Honey has a quiet house back and I have a room for crafts (or at least I will this weekend once all of The Teenager's stuff is packed and moved). Life will return to normal.
The past eight months have been extremely difficult. This is not the only situation that has caused stress. Since March I have finished a dissertation, argued with a university over receiving my diploma, tried raising a surly teenager, had another brother move in with us for a few months at the end of the summer, had yet another (teenage) brother prove, through a series of actions, that he is totally untrustworthy, lost a best friend who decided that sleeping with a child was more important than our eight year friendship, lost my job and started job searching, gardened and harvested and learned new skills, lost extended family members to illness, and have taken classes to try to discover the inner me and some spiritual gifts. Rather a lot to handle, I'd say, and I'm always tired. The trees and plants outside are preparing for winter, for a rest in preparation for another growing season, and I find myself relating to their efforts.
To that end, I think that this year will be the first year Honey and I refuse to celebrate Thanksgiving with any members of the family (from either side). For a number of years we rotated through the families, sharing Thanksgiving with the in-laws one year, my family the next, until about four years ago when we moved in to our current house and it was large enough for me to host my family and Bestie #2's family here. I worked hard to put Thanksgiving together each year since. This year will be different, perhaps even the start of a new tradition -- me and Honey alone, eating what we want (which is not traditional Thanksgiving food -- except pumpkin pie, I must have pumpkin pie), and enjoying each other's company instead of dealing with family nonsense. I think it could be a worthwhile new tradition.