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.