various and sundry family things

  • I have a friend whom I met through SIL#1, although neither of us is currently friendly with SIL. Was chatting with the friend last night and she reminded me about how SIL dumped her (the friend) several times for stupid reasons that basically boiled down to the friend not meeting SIL's total approval for coolness and doing things just how SIL does them. Good reminder to me that when it comes to Bro#1 and SIL#1, it's not me, it's them. I mean, she "took a break" from the friend because she didn't like her house. You know, when somebody invites you to visit their new home and you don't love that house, the nice thing to say is "Congratulations! How do you like it? What's your favorite part? Give me a tour!"
  • On the less-nice side, I met yet another person who already knows Bro#1 and wanted to gush to me about what a great guy he is. Ugh. Sometimes my city is too small for me. Yes, he's oh so talented and great with kids and yada yada. He's also an ass who can't separate from his abusive mommy. Can we stop talking about him, please?
  • Something I recently learned about my brothers: apparently when my two youngest brothers were in high school, the younger brother (Bro#3) was starting to learn how to shave and my mother videotaped him, then teased the older one (my middle brother, Bro#2) about not being able to shave yet. What kind of a parent does that? I mean, way to emasculate your son, lady. Teenaged boys have enough emotional garbage without their mothers pointing out that their little brothers are manlier than they are. I cannot imagine making fun of one of my sons this way, especially not about something that he's probably sensitive about to begin with. How cruel. 
  • Got a Christmas card from my parents. Years ago, I would have returned to sender. Then I would have had my husband open it. Then later I would have just recycled it myself. This time I decided to open it. I can handle it. "We miss you and we love you." Oh, so pathetic. If you miss me and love me so much, where's your attempt to truly heal the rift? It stinks that they hurt, that they caused their own hurt, and that they are so totally clueless about it. 
  • Speaking of clueless estranged parents, my husband's brother has been on the outs with my in-laws for about a year and a half, ever since they were total jerks to his girlfriend when she and he were visiting. They're pretty passive-aggressive and judgmental and at some point in my relationship with them I had to stand up to them about it, and ultimately they chilled out a bit and now my husband maintains the boundaries well enough that we don't have major problems. But they had been dicks about this girlfriend since the beginning, and they treated her really poorly, and BIL had had enough of it, and has had very very little contact with them since. The in-laws, of course, don't understand at all and place blame on him, the whole typical dysfunctional parent song and dance. Well, he called them on Christmas and talked to them briefly, after which FIL went on and on about how he wishes he were there to help BIL, that it's so hard when your child lives too far away for you to help them when they're in a time of trouble. Turns out he thinks BIL is depressed. Because, you know, when a kid decides not to spend time with his parents, it's because he has emotional problems, not because the parents are being assholes. *sigh*
  • I have a big huge extended family on my mom's side and there's an annual party for my grandmother which I haven't attended in years because I'm a) not close enough to that grandmother to want to drive across several states and pay for lodging for this party, b) not close to any of my cousins who would be there, c) my mother would be there (yuck), and d) the aunt who hosts the party is the "bury the hatchet" aunt. I'm not really into attending things hosted by people who are emotionally unsafe people for me to be around. Spending time with flying monkeys? No thanks. But anyway, another aunt (my mom's youngest sister, who is a bit of a black sheep herself) apparently told my sister to pass on to me that she misses me and wants me to know that she thinks my mom is a bitch and she totally gets where I'm coming from, and that I should feel free to call her any time. I have been wanting to talk to this aunt so much, y'all. I suspected that she might feel this way, but at the same time, I'm leery of talking to people who are probably more loyal to my mom than to me. So it was really good to hear this message from her. It means a lot to me. 


  1. I have an aunt like that, too; she sent me a card after I went NC saying, "Families shouldn't fight" and that she missed me. I'd love to speak with her, but I'm also wary because of her enmeshed relationship with a whole family of Ns and Flying Monkeys. My gut is telling me not to give anyone in that clan information to use against me; is this your situation, as well?

  2. Oh, I should clarify - there are two different aunts in that post! Aunt#1 is the one who told me to "bury the hatchet" a few years back. She is my mom's closest sibling, both in age and emotionally. As a kid, I loved her and wanted to be close to her, and I had hoped that she would know my mom well enough to know that my mom is not emotionally healthy. She seemed to know that there was dysfunction, but dismissed it and said that my mom is not psychologically impaired. Aunt#1 is also a huge fan of my Bro#1. Ultimately she's not safe, she's very enmeshed.

    Aunt#2 is the one that I've been wanting to talk to. She lives very far away and is the black sheep of the family. She is also my godmother, although that doesn't really mean much, relationship-wise, in my family. I know that she has been on the outs with my mom in the past and wondered if she would be a sympathetic person, but because of other family relationships, I had worried that she would also tell me to suck it up and that she would talk to my mom. She is the one who sent a message through my sister that she totally gets where I'm coming from and that my mom is a bitch and that she's in my corner. So that makes me want to talk to her even more. I am mostly sure that she's a safe person.

    So, to sum up:
    Aunt#1: very unsafe, and I avoid contact with her
    Aunt#2: probably safe, and the only family member besides my sister who has ever reached out to me to say "I get it, good for you"