Write it down...

The other day I got upset with my family. My daughter in her infinite wisdom said, "blog about it Mom, you write about everything else that upsets you!" And I thought, um no, they'd all read it and get all huffy and use it as an excuse to justify their earlier behavior. Than I remembered most of them don't read my blog. And it's true, if you write it down, you release some of the pent up frustration and anger at the ridiculousness of others. Besides, there is a message in here somewhere. You can't pick your family. They are who they are. All their faults and foibles. But they're your family and there is a line you don't cross. If you know something you say is going to be terribly hurtful don't say it. Arguments will happen but should never ever be hateful. And always consider the endgame.

So the other day it was my birthday. Not a cause for major celebration just a day to reflect and appreciate the fact that I'm still here. And for my siblings to look up my number. During a really good year, maybe some of my other relatives too.

This year didn't turn out so well. To make a long story short, I was annoyed that a favorite niece was in town and didn't touch base with me. So sue me. That's how I felt. I chalked it up to youthful recklessness... One sibling phoned to wish me a Happy Birthday, and we began chatting. And I expressed my annoyance. She agreed, we laughed. My mother who was playing peacemaker chided me for thinking about myself and I should realize I wasn't the center of the universe. It ticked me off, but of course, she was right.

Then another sibling phoned. This time I was screamed at, for almost 5 minutes straight. A barrage of reasons why my niece didn't call. Seems it was all the terrible things I'd said and done on facebook that caused it. I brought it on myself. Or something like that. I couldn't understand a word of it, well maybe a handful of words at the most. It was some sort of manic rant. The words and phrases I managed to catch were very telling though. Bits and pieces from a private conversation (obviously not so private) being taken out of context and thrown in my face.

I hung up eventually, more hurt than I imagined I could be. Thinking I was being overlooked was easy to handle. I'm a grownup. I can take it. Being told I'm utterly disliked by a relative who's near and dear to my heart for some unknown behavior that never happened was just plain mean. It crossed the invisible line. It was my birthday after all. Whatever nasty things my dear sibling wanted me to know could have waited one more day. I ended up broken and in tears trying to understand how a simple expression of annoyance transformed me into an ogre. The Wicked Aunt of the West.

After hanging up in shock and disbelief, hubby just looked at me and asked me "what the hell was that?" I said "I don't know" and burst into tears. He could hear her ranting way across the room apparently.

I had to cancel dinner with my mother, as I was afraid just seeing her would bring on the tears again. But my Hubby and daughters and I had a nice dinner. Not as nice as it might have been with everyone in attendance but nice. A large Strawberry Peach Sangria helped.

The story didn't end there, there were some follow up texts not to be repeated here. Even though as I said, my family doesn't actually read my blog very often. Even less now that I've disconnected the facebook link to some of them. Not because I wanted to "unfriend" them, but if FB is at the root of all this, let's not leave the door open for any more misunderstandings.

Suffice to say, I needed to write this down. Many of you don't know me personally or my family. But the message is the same to all. Be careful how you treat your family. Be careful when you violate the trust of any family member. And be very very careful when you try to manipulate the other family members' relationships. It will come back to you like a boomerang. It isn't your place to break up relationships. If you are going to interfere, make sure the reasons are compelling, and that it will bring people together, not widen the chasm. And be very very sure you are doing it for their benefit, not your own. If the results of your meddling are to tear someone down and boost your own ego, it's not a road you want to travel. Count to 10. Meditate. Take a walk. Sit out under the stars. Find a way to improve your mood and well being without tearing down another's.

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