I'm estranged from my family for a few reasons. It goes way back. I suppose it started when I didn't take to sports in school and ended up flunking out my sophomore year, then even summer school. Drugs were involved, but I just hated growing up in the city, the whole jocks vs. stoners thing of the late 80's KWIM?
Anyway, I finished high school in rural Nebraska with my uncle, cleaned up, met my future wife and joined the Army. Fast foward 21 years, still married to my high school sweetheart, have 5 degrees, live in a great historical home and am about ready to retire from the service.
I figured my parents would have visited us by now, but they haven't come, once, in the 5-years we've been here, all of 3 hours from them. See, they eventually moved to small town Nebraska after I moved away. I guess they finally got tired of the big city life too. Did we visit?
Yes, at first, probably last around 7 years ago. My wife picked up on the family dynamics a lot faster than I did. My mother dotes on my Dad's every wish. My Dad thought we had no business separating geographically so my wife could pursue her career. They both found religion and Fox News.
Why the estrangement? Well, there was that time they visited me in Texas before I was about to deploy and my Dad asked me if I wanted a bible and it coming out that I was an athiest. There were the wing nut emails I got while deployed that I eventually rebutted in replies that included his conservative friends (the emails stopped). Then there was that time, during my deployment, when I came back for my father-in-law's funeral and said how he was like the father I never had (not realizing my parents came to the funeral without telling me and were sitting in the pews above me-oops). Finally, there was the akward email I got from my dad after my return asking why my wife held him/them in such contempt and me just kind of letting it all out in my reply. (she doesn't hold them in contempt, just doesn't understand why I don't measure up for them)
That led to about a 3-year silence, except for the occasional call from my mom and her saying they want to 'fix this.' They eventually did visit me at my last station, when I mentioned how they really should come down and see what it was like for me in command (being staunch supporters of the troops and all) before I left. That visit went surprisingly well and I thought maybe we were going to move past everything and that they would start to visit us once I got stationed closer to home.
But they haven't and we haven't gone home (their home) either. We visited my wife's family once last year, but my parents wouldn't go there to see us even though they were only 12-miles away. We don't even go there much since my wife's uncle blew up in a right wing rant at Thanksgiving during Obama's first campaign.
Anyway, I know that's kind of a long lead up to the purpose of this diary, but it's context for how I basically never hear from or see dear old dad, until today, when out of the blue I get this text:
"Have you abandoned your guns? Obama will now go after them. He has already contacted the un about small weapons treaty. I believe one of yors is an ak type gun"
Well, first of all, obviously I know it's bullshit, probably a right wing chainmail he just got and a quick search of teh google using "obama un small weapons treaty" search terms produces enough evidence to start the debunking.
But is it even worth it? Has anybody repaired a similar relationship with their parents or have any tips?