- 7 years ago
- Wedding: August 2012
Hi Bees, I’ve been meaning to write about this for a long time now, but it’s just been so emotionally taxing that it’s been so hard for me to put into words. I apologize in advance for the length, but it’s a very complicated issue…
So, this past Christmas Fiance and I got engaged, now that we are sitting down and putting together “the list” I’ve come across a major bump in the road.
The issue is my Aunt. This past year I’ve had a major falling out with my aunt and I haven’t spoken to her since June, when I told her to “get the f*** out of my house.”
Let me start from the beginning. When I was a teenager, I was being raised by my drug addicted Mother. Dad walked out when I was born, so it was just my Mom and me my entire life. My whole life, my mom has suffered from depression, anxiety, addiction, suicidal tendiences, as well as a slue of multiple physical health issues. Needless to say it was a challenge. As I grew into my teens, it became a problem between us. My mothers addiction took a toll on me emotionally and it got too much to handle, so we fought all the time. When I was 17, it came to a head and my Mom essentially kicked me out (it was a rash decision based off anger, but I was happy to go nonetheless).
My Aunt stepped in to play savior. She invited me up North to live with her family and finish high school and eventually go to college in her town. Now, my Aunt and her husband have money. They have always played the “savior” roll in my life, taking care of me from 12 years old, on. They essentially considered me one of their own children and often took me on family trips, helped me out with school, bought me my first car, and other various ways of helping me. They always made sure I had what I needed and for this I am truly grateful. I know where I came from (my mother and I were poor) and I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help my Aunt and Uncle have given me. I am VERY aware of this, and have continuously tried to show my gratitude. However….it has NEVER been enough…
My Aunt has always held it above my head what she’s done for me, and has always used it to her advantage. By “saving” me, it’s made her come across as the almighty savior to everyone in our family and quite frankly she likes the attention. I’m not the only family member she’s done this with. Like I said, they have money and she’s “helped out” a few family members (me being the one who’s gained most from her generosity). But it’s not generosity! I mean, yes, technically it is, but she’s always used the fact that she’s “done soooo much for me” to make me do whatever she wants. Her manipulation ranges from big to small things, all under the guise of “that’s just what you do for family.” Because she has gone out of her way to help me, she expects me to jump at her every command.
Now, I love helping the people I care about. When you love someone, you DO go out of your way to help them, but when does the want to do that become obligation? She has certainly made me feel obligated.
My contention for my Aunt has always been there, but since day one, I’ve just always done what she wanted. Whether it was take a certain class because she thought it was good for me, to literally going to the college she said I should go to and majoring in what she wanted because “that’s what I should do.” My Aunt literally directed my every move….veeerrryyyy subtially. So subtle that my Uncle never saw how she treated me.
Eventually, after graduating and freeing myself from the financial help of my aunt, I gained a little confidence in our relationship. I began to live my life for myself, and denied her offers of help. I only went to family dinners if I felt like it, I began to make my own decisions, and when she would criticize me for what I “should be doing now that I’ve graduated” I stood up for myself and declaired that I was happy with my current work cituation. My confidence began to irritate her to the point that she would take jabs at my accomplishments. Before, she had told me that she “KNEW” I wouldn’t graduate college. According to her, “I didn’t have what it took, and I’d maybe try, but wouldn’t make it all the way through.” P.S. she’d NEVER admit to saying that, but she did… Well, at my graduation dinner, she announced that when I met my boyfriend, she knew that I was going to graduate because HE was so driven, and HE was so motivated and school oriented….as if I had nothing to do with getting myself through school. I’m sorry, but if I were only in school for my Boyfriend or Best Friend (now FI), I wouldn’t have gotten a 3.8. That’s just one example. She has always downplayed and criticized my choices in life as if they were never to her standards. Where I lived, where I worked, who I dated, even my hobbies….she had a negative opinion for everything. I could never just live my life, because it was never to her standards.
The inevitable falling out with my Aunt came in March of 2011 when she asked me for a ride to the airport. Simple request, right? Yes! And I was more than happy to take her, but apparently I didn’t choose the correct words when I told her so because I said, “I’m sure I can, but let me check with the dog trainer because we have an appointment with her at 1:00 so I have to see if she can reschedule, so I can maybe take you…”
She had a complete S*** fit because I didn’t drop everything and take her. Because I didn’t say yes immediately, she said that she wasn’t important to me, and after everything she’s done for me, she’s not important enough to me that I wouldn’t take her to the airport. She claimed that I don’t place a high enough priority on family and that makes her uncomfortable. She said she feels uncomfortable asking me to do things because I always act like I’m obligated, and she wants me to do things for her because I WANT to and not because I feel obligated. Well, I DO want to, but I also DO feel obligated because she MAKES me feel obligated, does that make sense? It’s like I can never win with her. She twists what I say to make me come across as such a bad guy, and literally, everything is her way or the highway.
When I tried to resolve the airport issue with her, I wrote her an e-mail detailing how I felt because I feel like I can fully express how I feel when it’s written out clearly and conscice. It was a very rational email, and non-accusing. However, she DEMANDED that we meet in person and said that “there would be no more e-mails.” Quite frankly working out problems with her face to face has always been an issue with me because she completely dominates the discussion, and blames everything on me. Everything is always my fault, and if I hadn’t done THIS, she wouldn’t have done THAT, etc….I can never get a break! So I tried to work it out with her in the best way I knew how.
So….because it’s always her way or the highway, she came over to our house “discuss” the airport issue. Fiance sat in the office the entire time to give us our privacy, but she literally just yelled at me for an hour. Finally, Fiance came out and told her, “ENOUGH! I’m not going to sit in there and listen to you berate her for an hour! This is not a productive conversation and I think it’s best if you leave!” Well, before she left, she pointed her finger at me, and I swear to God her face contorted in a way that I could swear I saw the devil and she said, “I’m going to tell you one thing, if you ever….” And I cut her off and told her that she would not threaten me in my own home and to “Get the f*** out of my house.” I finally stood up to her, and I havn’t heard from her since. I know she’s telling the whole family that I’m such an ungrateful, selfish little b**** because no one will return my calls. I am completely the bad guy in the situation (as usual) and everyone is of course siding with her (because she has everyone by a string).
So now that Fiance and I are getting married I’m conflicted on whether or not to invite her. I love her and am grateful to her for everything she’s done for me, but literally we have no relationship at this moment and I honestly don’t see it being resolved to what it use to be (to be honest, wasn’t that great anyway). I’m so hurt by this situation and so confused. Standing up to her has literally been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life, and I’ve lived in fear of it my whole life for this reason. I am literally shunned from that side of the family now.
Again, I apologize for the length, but I’ve needed to get this off my chest for so long now. I just don’t know what to do. 🙁