Family is Complicated

Did not forget to blog yesterday, just forgot to hit send!

1693613_fpxMy goal for the holiday is to keep it simple – cookies as usual, and basic décor. I don’t celebrate Christmas, but the spouse does, so we’re going to find some balance; as our holidays are falling on the same days this year. Neither the Moog, nor I, want a tree–but for my spouse, as he’s not religious at all, the tree is indicative of the winter-holiday.

I’ve noticed an uptick in items made for interfaith households. This snowman is from Poland, and it’s said to be “interfaith”. When did snowmen become an exclusively Christian thing? I dig it though, it’s cute.

 


 

On Facebook, I tend to play cards close to my chest. It’s friends and family only, and a few select writerly types that I find interesting (or editors doing interesting things). My account isn’t public, but I will post to the public, when speaking on trending issues, or when a family member needs to see something, and they’re not the sort I’d have on my private posts, exposed to my crazy-friends.

My relationship with the parental unit isn’t a good one, on that note, I made a recent decision to detach completely, upon moving back to Pennsylvania. I did this for my own mental-health, and that of the youngest, still living at home.  A well-meaning cousin decided to tip me to some words that were said, at a recent holiday gathering, where I wasn’t in attendance. I got the impression that they felt conflicted–and I wanted to let them know, as well as other relations of mine not on my feed, that I ask no one, to take sides. The message was received. I was privately contacted by three other relatives (wow) who had also been feeling conflicted, and didn’t know how to bring it up to me. The post clarified things for them, they understood, problem solved.

Unfortunately, an aunt of mine decided to comment on the post, and made a royal ass of herself.

I don’t think she understood that she hadn’t been on my friends-feed in some time, because our worldviews are glaringly different. I’ve unfollowed/unfriended a few relatives, because I want no part of their nonsensical shares, or opinions. My post being public, got her attention. Instead of comprehending the actual message, she focused on certain aspects, and became manic. The “OMG you’re talking shit about my sister” button got pushed, compelling her to post a rant so ridiculous, that one of my well-meaning followers, reported her to Facebook. Facebook blocked her from commenting further, then asked me if this course of action was what I wanted. I agreed to the block (she wasn’t on my followers list, so this was standard procedure for them) and I assured them, I wasn’t being harassed.

I’ll not delete her comment. She hasn’t appreciated my decision to disconnect from my mother, and that is her choice, as a family member, she too has a right to read the post, and give her thoughts. I asked my friends to NOT ENGAGE, and they were awesome about it, as always. My aunt tends to view the world through a narcissistic lens; your problem relates to me, and because the world revolves around me, you should handle problems like I do. As nerve-wracking as it is, it’s to be expected; same family, same behavioral issues. Though her nonsense did make me laugh (telling me to grow up, whilst posting an ill-spelled screed that reads as if a 12-year-old wrote it), when the laughter stops though, it makes me sad. When the troll is a family member, you just can’t mock-and-destroy, like you do other trolls.

Her life has been spent engaging periodic patterns of grandiosity, and so naturally she requested repeatedly that I call her. I refused. This isn’t a fire she needs to put out, for anyone’s sake, but her own. She also blew it, in her comments.

In telling me I’m too sensitive about things (racism, transphobia, homophobia, and sexism), and then comparing her sons’ drug abuse to my youngest child’s gender identity, as if to suggest they’re a different form of the same problem–left me no desire to even engage. She’s entitled to ignore all the memes that mock drug-users, but I’ll never ignore memes that insult trans people, or struggles that are central to their life. Her sister, my mother, did this. My youngest, her grandchild, saw it, and was hurt. When confronted with such things, and your reaction is to defend yourself by gaslighting me, that tells me when you claim to love your grandchild–you really don’t. You’re not appreciative of why what you shared, hurt them, you’re just pissed because you’re expected to change. So much noise over a transphobic meme…I know, right?

I think failing to draw a line in the sand with family, and enacting consequences when that line is crossed, because they’re family, is how we ended up with a dildo for president.

When a stranger engaging in racist behavior, or promoting intolerance via humor or speech, tells me to get over it, it’s expected. I can dismiss them without consequence because they’re nothing to me. When a family member does it? It’s complicated. Well, not anymore. Not. Any. More.

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