Feeding Frenzy of Crazy
This has been a week of discussing family of origin issues. We have talked about systems (lightly), cut off (amputation) and how the media has warped our sense of how to deal with family issues. The post on Monday alluded to a family thing that inspired the topic. So as promised by Paul on Monday, here is the why we wrote about ‘What do you do when your family and friends are more f’d up then you?’
Lee says: Since we started this blog, we have tried to keep our family and friends out of it. We have taken the advice of the bloggers that have gone before us and tried to maintain a certain amount of boundaries while still sharing our experiences. This is not an issue of privacy (check out last week’s posts) but more an issue of integrity. We made a rule and we stick by it. Our blog is our vehicle and we signed up for the ride. Besides, we don’t like unwilling passengers nor will we crate anybody just to write 600+ words. But this topic require a little disclosure and because it is so important and most people can relate to it, we have decided to be a little lax with our rules.
On Good Friday, my favorite sister-in-law (Mari the owner and brilliant artist for J-Bug jewelry) created an innocent status on her Facebook. She had to go to a large discount store to find the toys that her son wanted for his birthday. She was commenting on why she ever thought that going there, just a couple of days before Easter, was even a bright idea. The store was over-run with frantic parents with the same panic as a single parent on Christmas Eve. The comments followed. After several high school chums responded, I thought I would share my two cents and inside joke with her. I wrote simply, ‘In the ghetto…’.
Later in the day, I found out an estranged family member had responded to the thread and taken issue with what she deemed to be ‘elitism’ and ‘ignorance’. What was more interesting was that she had taken particular offense to my three little words. Even though, at this point over 15 people had responded with varying disparaging statements as to the shoppers and type of people who went to said store, she honed in on my three little words. This started a little back and forth between us. I responded with funny comments, not wanting to escalate the matter. Her responses were venomous and always cutting. After the third comment I lost my shit and tried to end this conversation by saying that this is why I had never friended her and calling her a ‘toxic bitch‘. I know. She pissed me off.
After that, it became a series of voluminous comments from her with me trying to act like an adult and share my feelings. It was like trying to discuss something with a shark. I would open up about something and she would pounce on it. I apologized if she felt that I had disparaged her mother who had passed away 9 years ago and yet she continued to attack me. I tried to create a healthy closure to the argument and kept getting pummeled. She went off the thread and started direct messaging me. She wasn’t done. I realized that her behavior was very much like her mother’s, who would attack until she felt you were almost dead and then swoop down for another hit.
I had avoided this person for years. She was volatile and insulting even when we were younger and 20+ years later, nothing has changed. I took the time and explained my feelings and why I would never allow her to attack me again. I created healthy closure for myself, all the while the shark smashed into the iron bars trying to take a chunk out of me.
As children, as I mentioned on Tuesday, we have no choice. I had to deal with this person growing up and as she developed to be someone who justifies her toxic behavior as saying ’I’m just telling you the truth’. Well my dear, that is your truth through your eyes and your warped sense of right and wrong. I acknowledge that. I am a 44-year-old woman now with three kids of my own. I can choose my family. I choose people who are healthy, respectful, loving, giving, open and funny. I am not willing to walk on eggshells like when I was a little girl. I am not willing to be pummeled like I was when I was a young woman. I choose to be happy, loving, loved and free from drama. There is no room for this person in my life. Thus, this is how you deal with people who are more f’d up than you. You choose to be happy.
Paul says: Choosing to be happy is brought to you by CoupleDumb, the happiness place, and Rice-A-Roni, the San Francisco treat.