Too Little, Too Late

Happy Monday, friends.

Here's the part where I tell you you're excused from reading the rest of this post if it pleases you, because from here, I have no idea where we're going.

I just sort of felt the need to come here and let my fingers move over my keys as the thoughts that have been racing through my head for the past 36 hours look for a home and a sense of order. That's part of the reason I wanted to blog to begin with — so that when I felt the need to write, I had a place to do that and a sort of sense of obligation to carry out the process of putting word to page that I know is so cathartic for me.

Today though I'm not sure how much positivity is going to come out of this exercise. I clearly have no problem presenting my real self here on this blog. I make no efforts to hide my identity or hide from my real-life people the fact that I blog. But I feel very strongly about keeping private the lives of the people who never asked to be part of this experiment in over-exposure I've chosen to embark on. 

But that effort becomes undoubtedly more difficult when the very people whose privacy I'm trying respect out of the goodness of my heart are the very reason for this feeling of disfunction I'm experiencing, which is why I hadn't been able to prepare a post for today, and why I can't muster enough creativity to write something better now.

It's just very, very difficult when you have made every effort to be good to someone, and have sacrificed your own sanity and happiness countless times to try to make them happy, and then not only is that effort unnoticed or at least unappreciated, but they also then go out of their own way to make you hurt as badly as they can possibly manage. And for reasons that are truly nonexistent or at best incomprehensible to a properly functioning human being.

I'm trying my damndest not to sound like a martyr or like I've done no wrong in my life. God knows I've made mistakes, but I've also admitted to them as best I can and tried everything to remedy them when possible. And I'd be crazy to say I respond to conflict in the healthiest way every single time, but at least I try to always be better next time. And I know I'm not perfect and I've never claimed to be... but I try to keep my demons my own and not punish other people for the injustices I feel I've experienced in my life. 

And I have never intentionally hurt anyone, least of all a member of my family, for sport. Or because I feel like I've been dealt a bad hand. And if my actions or words have hurt someone inadvertently, I've apologized, owned my mistakes, and tried to make things better.

So it makes no sense to me that I should be approached with a complete opposite intent. It makes no sense to me that there are two particular members of my family who hurt the ones they love for fun and then still expect any degree of love and support from those they've wronged, especially without ever admitting culpability. I know life is not all about what you do or don't deserve, but I know damn well that no one deserves to be abused in any sense by a person they love. Or anyone at all. And yet, my attempts at removing the sources of abuse from my own life have resulted only in more abuse — primarily, unnecessarily hostile chastising for putting myself and my safety before the happiness of my abuser(s), people who seem to be by all accounts incapable of happiness by their own doing.

I love when I hear people say "blood is thicker than water," as if it's meant to suggest that family ties and a bloodline give a person some special standing or privileges to treat another however they want without repercussion. But quite frankly, I find that absurd. I have friends who have no bloodline obligation to be kind, generous, compassionate, and helpful to me but who choose to do so anyway. And I have family members who think they don't need to be those things because the simple fact that we share lineage ensures I will always be around, ready to take another round of slurs and slights.

And I love it also because most people have no idea what they're saying. The full proverb they're quoting is: "The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb." Which actually means the exact opposite of what they're trying to say. The proverb tells us that the family you choose — your friends, the family members you mutually nurture relationships with, the spouse you choose — and those ties you decide to strengthen are stronger than those you simply enter into by happenstance at birth.

I've spent a very long time shrugging off my own needs because of a sense of guilt I have — a guilt that does NOT belong with me, to be sure, but that I shoulder anyway because of my highly sensitive nature — for other people's unhappiness. But their unhappiness is not my fault. And I can't keep letting toxic influences impede my own happiness and goals in life. Right?

I'm 25 years old. Fully capable of determining what kind of influences I want in my life. What I find so ironic is that people would line up to tell me to "dump that asshole" if I were dating a person who treated me the way these family members do. But because they're family, I'm supposed to forgive and forget. But please, someone explain to me — how do you forget an endless pattern of destructive behavior that shows no sign of stopping? And how do you forgive someone who is unapologetic and unable to admit any fault?

You can't. Or at least, I can't. Not anymore. And I think I've earned the right to have some say-so in who I let be a part of my life, even though others may disagree. In this respect, I have to remain strong enough to put myself first and take care of the only person I am guaranteed to have for the rest of my life. Moreover, strong enough to handle the backlash that undoubtedly ensues when you tell people... it's just too little, too late.

The holidays should be interesting this year.

If you've made it here to the bottom, thank you for reading, kind soul. I guess I did need this space more than I thought. And now you know where my mind is these days.

Comments

  1. Ahhh yes, family. I have experienced my fair share of drama and pain over the years and have realized that I know which family members love me and are there for me no matter what...and which ones aren't. Which ones that talk to me just to talk to me because they miss me....and which ones only talk to me because of a birthday or holiday function. It hurts the most when your family acts ugly towards you, but I guess that is what friends are for too? Good luck with whatever is going on.

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  2. Whatever is going on in your family right now, know that I am sorry for you. Not a pity sorry but sorry. I know you know what I mean. Family isn't always what they're supposed to be.

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  3. Oh honey. I hope everything is ok. Family can really suck sometimes.
    I tell you what you should do, move to the other side of the world and see who a) bothers to stay in contact even though in this day and age it is so easy with facebook and skype or b) comes to your wedding c) has a good reason not to come to your wedding (ie really bloody expensive) and doesn't even send a card or good thoughts via FB or skype or email or anything.
    Sigh. It was a hard lesson to learn, but I've learned it. You are so right, the family we choose are stronger ties than the ones we just happen into, save for maybe one or two -in my case my mum and one brother. it's sad and horrible and i'm sorry you are going through this!! they don't deserve you.

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  4. Oh family. I am definitely of the mindset that friends are the family you choose (mostly because there are a few token people in my actual family I would never choose). Last Christmas was so bad that we won't be spending another holiday with "those family members" again. You're not alone!

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  5. people have to earn your trust and forgiveness - family or not.

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  6. Are we living parallel lives? I think so.

    I've struggled with this type of thing on and off for the past 8 or so years. It's exhausting, and ever frustrating, because I love my family, but I don't always like them.

    I'm here if you ever need someone to vent to!

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  7. I agree with you completely. No need to keep anyone toxic in your life, family or otherwise. It can be difficult to separate and many will not understand but you know what is best for your life. Stay strong!

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  8. I've found that this comes with the territory of being an introspective person, and it just plain sucks. We internalize and analyze every single thought and feeling and word we say and are told and we just can't comprehend the fact that others don't do the same. That they don't understand what they're doing the way we do, that more often than not they probably haven't given what they did a second thought while it plays through our minds from every angle for day, weeks, months...It's frustrating, and it hurts. Sorry if that's not where you're at all but that's how it read to me. And I'm sorry you're going through this but I hope you know you have a space and people to vent to whenever you need.
    I never knew the full proverb and I'm so glad I do now - because I agree that the paraphrased version is absurd and the total opposite from the meaning of the full version. I have always hated the short version of that phrase and could not disagree with it more.

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  9. Sometimes, family is tough. They can hurt us more deeply and those hurts can last for years. We are going through something with

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  10. Ok, so that comment above was me. Somehow blogger cut me off mid comment. Sorry!!!
    We are going through something with a family member, and they are doing things and saying things simply to hurt us. Its hard when you see they are wrong, see they are believing lies, see they are the ones behaving badly, and you are the one who has to suffer the consequences.
    All I can say is I am sorry. We cannot forget. But, sometimes if they must remain in our lives, we have to protect ourselves. We can keep them in our lives but at an arms distance. Don't let them get close enough to hurt us anymore. No knowledge, no tidbits into our lives. Just a hey, how are you, and a small hug, and thats all they get.
    I am so sorry!

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  11. Oh girl sending you lots of love! The people that are the closest to you sometimes can hurt you the worst because they know how to get under your skin. Here for you if you need to vent! xoxoxo

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