Do you ever have those “a-ha” moments when you realize that the people closest to you are the ones who are causing the most problems in your life? I had one of those moments yesterday. For the past month, my life has been nothing but family issues, tears, stomach problems, insomnia, scandal, and all around “What the fuck?!” moments at a time when there should have been peace, love, uplifting and union. Let me back up so all of this will make more sense.
My mom’s side of the family has never been extremely close. In fact, until my grandmother’s passing, we had not all come together since 1995. That being said, I have always been close to one aunt and one of her daughters. My aunt has always been my compass for stability, compassion, love and loyalty. She’s always been honest, fair and blunt and we love her for it. Her daughter, on the other hand, has always been easily excitable and has, I guess you’d say, an addictive personality. She’s had her issues with illegal drugs, one more than others, but in the past several years, she’s done an excellent job at piecing her life back together. She’s become more like an older sister and best friend rather than a cousin who was already well into her twenties by the time I came along.
My aunt, who’s on up into her 60s, had two heart attacks in about a week. I was asked, by this cousin, to please come down and be there for emotional support. So, I did. I got to spend time with my aunt in the hospital, meet her grandson (by marriage) and spend time with some of her family who I’ve not seen in in about a year. I left after four days with the promise that I would be back two days later, stay for the rest of the week and be there for my family while my aunt was having surgery and recovering. It was a nice visit, or so I thought.
When I got back there two days later, I realized the drama ball had been rolling and rolling hard. Remember the grandson I mentioned earlier? Apparently, I was having sex with him. (Damn drama.) Also, I was informed that I had called several family members and claimed that my cousin had become a junkie again. (Really people?) All this time, my aunt is in the hospital, oblivious to the bullshit being flung amongst her dearest loved ones. My cousin, the grandson, and I all came together to figure out who said what and who started what. It was determined that my aunt’s stepson was the one who was twisting words and telling all out lies. Great, problem solved. It’s all over and we can concentrate on the important matter at hand, my aunts impending surgery and recovery.
Nope…Not that easy. The stepson, not content with knowing he’s been busted but we will overlook it all this time for his step-mom’s sake, has the audacity to call her, the day before surgery, to fill her in on all the drama. The whole time, until he did this, it was understood that we would keep all of the arguing away from her. To me, his calling her was dirty and tactless. Now, my aunt knows the drama and is forming her own opinions twelve hours before she’s to go into a triple bypass surgery. She tells everyone that she will deal with us all on an individual basis and get to the bottom of the issues once she’s had surgery and a few days to recuperate. I left that godforsaken place two days after her surgery with the impression that she and I were on good terms. She had told me that she knew who started the controversy, that she loved me and that we were good.
For a few days after I left, I still talked with the grandson. We had pleasant conversations, laughed about how a friendship was developing out of controversy and made plans for him to come visit my husband and me for a few days. Then, the texts abruptly stopped. After a few days, I texted him and asked why he stopped talking. No response. Strange, but whatever. Then I noticed my cousin abruptly stopped talking to me also. So, yesterday, I called my aunt to see how she is recovering and to hear what she had to say to me. When I asked, I was curtly informed that she has nothing to say to me and that it would serve me well to never mention it again. Then, she hung up on me. I was left stunned and hurt. I won’t lie. I finally broke down and cried. Then, I got mad. Then, I cried some more.
When I went to bed last night, I decided I had had enough. I love my family but I refuse to be their scapegoat. I’m not saying I’m perfect or that I didn’t get caught up in some of the hype. However, I have decided that I have permanently removed myself from the present situation and all situations in the future.
I’ve been loyal to them my whole life. No matter what I had going on, when they would call and say “I need you” I would be there. Through everything they’ve gone through, I’ve been there. Sickness, death, spousal abuse, mother/daughter drama, mended bridges, etc. I’ve been there. I can only count three times they’ve collectively been there for me. My aunt came to my high school graduation (14 years ago). My cousin was a bridesmaid at my wedding (3 years ago) and was here for my college graduation (last May). That’s it. They weren’t here when I shattered my back and almost died. They weren’t here when I had my daughter. They weren’t here when I went through my divorce. They just weren’t here. Am I the only one who thinks this loyalty has been a little one sided? I don’t think so. I’ve been pushed to the point where I almost do not care anymore. I care a little because it does still hurt but I know that when the pain goes away so will the caring.
I will play the bad guy once more. I will not go running when they call, frantic, begging me to come. I will not go check on people for them. I will not be there the next time one of them is involved in a physical altercation. I won’t be the shoulder to cry on and the sounding board on which they unleash. I will not wipe tears, cheer up, or offer solicited advice. I will not make excuses for anyone’s mistakes anymore. I have reached my limit. Now, I’m standing up for me. I will not answer the phone, the texts, the social media messages any longer.
Is this wrong of me? Is it wrong of me to not want to be the one who keeps getting hurt, used, emotionally beaten down and used? I don’t think so. I think they will take it as me being wrong and heartless. That’s okay. Let them think what they will. I won’t be around to know about it.
Thank you for taking time to read my rant. I just needed to get that off of my chest for a minute.