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You see, I spent most of my life hiding for one reason or another. When Mom got sick and everyone started to realize she wasn't going to make it, our family - which had never been close to start with- scattered to the winds. When she passed, I felt I was finally free to just be myself and not to have to hide anymore. In a moment of panic, I reacted on instinct and did what I'd always done. I hid.
I was grumpy, ill, angry, stressed and just not a good person to be around in general for several days. I felt like I did as a child, knowing that I could not be myself, could not express myself, because of the thoughts, views and opinions of someone else.
I decided to take some time to sit down and think things through.
I knew that I personally had done nothing to this person and had done nothing wrong in general. The person was taking their anger out on me because I am the only person they have to take it out on. When I refused to tell them what they wanted to know (because I don't have the information they were originally after), they lost it and took it out on me.
I tried to be a good, decent person. I tried to show a little compassion, and I got attacked. It was as simple and as complicated as that.
The truth is, I really don't have a family anymore. Really, I don't think I ever truly had much of one anyway.
The only member of my family that appears to still even be talking to me is my sister and she's been estranged from the rest of the family for years. Loosing Mom broke what little connection there was between me and the rest of the family.
What this person obviously doesn't know, is that I have always been the black-sheep. I have always been the out-cast. I was only ever tolerated by my family. No one ever listened to anything I said, they didn't care how I felt and my opinion counted for nothing.
I have been estranged from my family more than I have ever been part of it and while I loved my family dearly, the feeling was not mutual. They have always meant more to me than I ever did to them. I kept trying to insinuate myself into a family that openly told me they didn't really want me around.
Even when I was asked to come and help through Mom's illness, it was made clear to me that no one wanted me there, but they needed the help and felt they had no choice.
I should have said no, and sometimes, I wish I had, but they were my family and I loved them.
Now, none of them will even speak to me. This has been a tender subject for me and this person brought all those painful feelings to the surface.
I realize that they obviously know little of the true dynamics of our family. I'm sure they thought that we were a "normal" family, but sadly, we aren't. Our family is the poster-child for a dysfunctional family.
So, after giving it some thought, I decided to ignore it all from here on out and go on with my life. I was left, yet again, in the position of someone either trying to blame me for other people's crap, or expecting me to clean up someone else's mess, and I'm just not doing it.
Honestly, I have accepted that I don't have a family anymore. Although it hurt me for a while, I have come to terms with it and I have decided that I don't need the stress anyway. I have my husband, my daughter and the extended family I have made for myself. I have my sister when she chooses to be around. That is enough.
It has taken me years to find any kind of peace with myself over the reality of my family situation, but I finally did, and I'm not going to let anyone take that away from me.
So, here I am. I will not hide, I will not act as if I have anything to be ashamed of or as if I have done something wrong. I am not the rest of my family and I am not responsible for the things they have done, or not done. It is not my job to fix their lives or solve their problems, just as it is not their job to do so with mine.