Friday, July 28, 2006

The end of negativity

I've reached a point in a close family relationship that it's best to sever ties and remember the "good ole days" rather than continue to suffer through the unknowns of the future.

This just stems from the fact that my sister and I are, I believe, polar opposites in many ways. In my family, I've never been one to hold a grudge. You just suck it up, bury the hatchet and forgive and forget to get through things... I believe that's true for most any relationship. When you're close, you're going to hurt one another somehow, some way, somewhere along the lines... it will be done, but you just have to not let any "thing" get the best of an entire relationship. Generally, I go by those rules. Life's just too short to hold grudges about the past, to let it fester and eat at your insides like a cancer, to let it turn you into a bitter, negative, self absorbed person... life's not about that. But, I've just reached my breaking point with her.

She came to visit -- that alone is enough to take up about 4 blog pages -- one of these days I'll get it down so that I can look back and remember why it is that I did this (sever ties). But she has a tendency to send out these epic length e-mails to a mass of people telling about the details of their life -- good and bad for everyone to read... regardless of whether we care to read them or not... some of the information just seems ridiculous to include and it's stuff that I honestly just don't care about. Oh well, but as a family, we just get them read them and delete them. She does it as a way to document so that if she ever does start scrapbooking, she'll have resources to pull from for her journaling. That's what I’m going to tell myself anyways.

So she came to visit -- and I knew when she got home it would be soon to come -- the epic e-mail... and it did come. I read it and dismissed it... and then reread it... and got a little angry... and then read it again, and got even angrier so I forwarded it to a select group of people to read... and none of THEM could believe what she'd wrote either...

It said something to the effect that she looks 27-28 (because she claims one of the moms from my playgroup asked her if she was going to her 10th high school reunion) and I look older than her... that my neighbors and my playgroup think I'm the older sister and that at a cookout my neighbors were asking her who was older and she was telling them to "guess" and so they went up to my brother in law and asked him and his reply was "you'll just have to ask her"... she was in town for her 20th high school reunion... then she didn’t comment on anything positive about staying here... she just commented on how her youngest, Cannon, didn't get to walk around or play in my home at all because Drew had it in for her and she began to detail how abusive he was towards her. She stated he took HER toys out of her hand and hit her over the head with them. She said she took my son Josh to my mom's with her and the girls to at least "give me a break from one of the boys"... ?? I hadn't SEEN my son in FIVE WEEKS like I NEEDED a BREAK from him? It was basically how her kids are wonderful and little angels and I have an abusive bully and one that is just too much for me to handle so she has to help take him off my hands.

First of all, I have fair skin. I’m 33 so yes, I do have fine lines around my eyes – crow’s feet I believe they’re called. I have no grey hair. I have no sun damage to my skin. I still get carded to go out. She, however, has grays, has LOTS of sun damage to her face and wrinkles too. Is it a big deal? No…but to go through your life trying to tell me I look older – she’s 4 year older than I am – it’s just typical her – belittling and putting someone else down to build herself up to make her feel better. She says that at my play date at the park that she and her girls went to that one of the mom’s asked if I were the older sister and that she was going to her 10 year reunion? I’m so sure… and to think that people at the July 4th cookout were going to her and asking who was the older sister (like anyone would really even GIVE A SHIT?) and when she wouldn’t give them an answer other than “guess” she said they asked Robert (my brother in law) … like my neighbors would seek out a total stranger to find out who is older – me or her? I mean, give me a freaking break?! But she doesn’t just make this shit up… she makes it up and sends it out to everyone on her e-mail list… (that she sends these epic e-mails to).

Then to go on and on about how Cannon didn’t get to walk around and that she had to be carried the entire time because Drew just had it in for her… that Drew kept taking HER toys out of her hand and hitting her over the head with them.

First off, was Drew acting out? Yes he was some but there is a good reason for it…

a) He’s TWO
b) He’s a boy
c) He was finally bigger than someone he was around
d) He went from being an only child in his home for 5 weeks since his brother was in Iowa visiting his biological father to having to share his toys, home and space with 3 girls to having his brother return half way through that

Drew’s little world was literally turned upside down. Did he as for that to happen? No he did not so acting out, yes, I knew it was because of all of this. Is that a reason to make him out to be some horrible child and that her children had to learn how to defend themselves and how to block hits… That’s just malicious and hitting below the belt.

And to be clear, Drew didn’t take HER toys out of HER hand… he took HIS toys.

At first, I thought, just let it go, who cares. Be the bigger person here... you're giving her too much power and control over your emotions. Then I felt hurt and betrayed and used and manipulated and realized that I ALWAYS feel this way after any extended contact with her. She is the single most negative person I have ever met in my life. She can't look at the positives... her rose colored glasses have been dipped in tar... her glass is eternally half-empty. It's true that misery loves company... because she wants to bring the world down with her. She thrives on DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA and I HATE drama. So why in the HELL would I want that in my life? I wouldn't so I chose to reply to her e-mail. Not in order to start an e-mail war (which usually is what happens -- I send her then she replies then I reply to her's just stupid) but honestly, I didn't even care to give her an explanation of anything. I just replied and said remove me from your mailing list... this and all future ones. I blocked her e-mail address and removed her numbers from my phones. I'm just done. Her malice in her choice of words, topics, adjectives and such just struck a nerve with me. So, I replied and asked her to remove me and then said “I’m done.” And that was it. It was sent and the removals began. I almost feel liberated because of it.

My son, Joshua, 7, even noticed how she was…. He asked me, “Why is she so mean?” He commented that she yells at them all the time. He said that the girls never listen to her. My SON NOTICED THIS?!

My explanation to him was that people mother in their own ways. She’s doing what she thinks is right because it’s her way…. I do what I think is right because that’s my way. And Josh replied…well, your way is the right way, she’s just wrong. I said… that’s called an opinion… and your opinion is that I’m a better mom. Her opinion would be different from yours because she obviously doesn’t think I am a better mom… but she’ll go back to California and we’ll just have to pray for her girls that they don’t turn out like her because I don’t think what she’s doing is right either.

But like I said, she likes to make everyone else look bad so she and her girls look like little angels. Her e-mail didn’t say anything about how her daughter wouldn’t eat a single thing that was put in front of her (cooked by me). Before she ever knew what was being served, before a plate was even placed before her… she’d just whine “I don’t want that”…. She threw a fit at dinner one night because Drew had tater tots and she didn’t. So I made her tater-tot casserole the next night – she wouldn’t eat it. I continually asked my sister if I should just cook them some chicken nuggets, fish sticks or something – I had a freezer full. She just said – no, they’ll eat what you cook or they’ll go hungry. So I don’t think a night passed that Sorenna didn’t go to bed hungry.

Everything about their entire lives is controlled by her. It’s just so sad and I was so ready to have that negativity out of my space. The only time I ever saw her smile was when she was holding her youngest in the morning or at night. She yells at her kids all the time… counts to them like she’s a drill sergeant. She wont even let her 6 year old pick out her own clothes… they get no choices. It’s just so sad.

Needless to say, we butted heads on more than one occasion… Tuesday night she told me that she had no plans the next day…that it was the first day that she had nothing to do. I was unaware of her schedule or anything so I had made plans to take my boys to my moms, take my car into the shop and have a friend pick me up and go to the mall and to lunch… she told my mom that she couldn’t come over there because my boys were going to be there and she’d have to hold cannon the entire time and watch sorenna because Drew was just after them all. And she couldn’t just leave them there because that’d be too much for my mom to handle. So that was her excuse. I overheard her telling my mom this on the phone. So I called my mom and said – you can see my boys anytime…I’ll take them with me and you can spend the day with the girls. She doesn’t need another excuse not to come over there. It’s not a big deal. Your granddaughters live in California and you haven’t seen them in two years… have some fun with them. We’ll come see you after they leave. So she told my sister and then she just can’t because there’s been too many changes of plans and now… had plans to go to a water park… have a play date, etc…. I’m like…?? She told me last night that she had no plans. So my mom – who was going to get to see her grandsons – I took that away… now her daughter and her 3 granddaughters weren’t coming over so she was really going to be the one missing out…so I called her and said, do you want me to still bring the boys over? She said, sure… go ahead… so I did…. I had to stop for gas on the way and my sister called me to ask me a question and we got into it on the phone. I just flat out told her that it was really crappy for her to make all these plans to do stuff with her friends when the girl’s grandmother WANTS to see them but she’s making more time to spend with her friends than her own family and that I thought that was pretty crappy. She tried going off and saying, “well, I TOLD mom on Sunday...” and I said, “I don’t care what you told mom.” She interrupted and said, “I TOLD MOM…” and I said clearly and slowly, “I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU TOLD MOM” and she hung up on me (we didn’t talk much after that for the rest of her trip). So, I got to mom’s house and got the boys settled in… and she said, do you know who called me after we got off the phone? I said?? No. She said, “Your sister – she’s on her way with the girls.” I said… but I thought she had play dates and water parks? She said, apparently not. She didn’t tell her that the boys were there… she just figured it out when she got there. Apparently they had a good time together.

My dad is a wonderful man though sometimes (in my opinion) he just needs to have an opinion. Fatherly advice isn’t a bad thing. If you choose to never express your opinion to your children, how will they ever learn to grow from your knowledge and experiences? He came over to watch her girls Friday so she could attend her high school reunion mixer – (the 20th reunion – not the 10th – keep dreaming!) and when she got back, my dad asked her a simple question. Did you have a good time? Her reply was, “yeah BUT…” and went on this laundry list of negatives… he did interrupt her and said… That’s not what I asked. I asked you if you had a good time. She said, “yes”... and he said Good. And that was the end of the conversation. So I KNOW that he sees the negativity she spews forth in every conversation.

She still goes on and on about a funeral she never even went to … her ex-step son – who she really never had anything good to say about anyway -- died in a vehicle accident this year. She tried to tell me that his family that got up to speak at the funeral just made it all about them… She hasn’t been involved with this child in MANY years… he could have been a completely different person.. She didn’t know how his family dynamic had changed… but she just had to comment on something she had no first-hand knowledge of...??? Why? I just don’t understand why it had anything to do with her ever again???? And she still feels the need to beat it up? My response to her was that the death of a child is something I can’t even imagine how they must have felt trying to deal with it publicly at a funeral where everyone spoke (even the parents) and if they needed to make some things known about the type of parents they felt they were, then that was their right. Everyone handles death in their own way… and that since she wasn’t there we shouldn’t really even talk about it… and I changed the subject.

Do I hope to gain anything by choosing to distance myself from her? Yes, the cancer and disease she brings into my heart and life…. The negativity she spews forth in every conversation – it will be absent from my heart… she won’t be.

Everything in life isn’t about her – this entire blog entry is.LOL… but the rest of life doesn’t revolve around her.

OK… on to bigger and better things..

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