To My Cut Off Cousin

When I heard what you had said, part of me really wanted to lash out at you. Just a few short years ago, I would have. Fortunately for you I have decided not to actually speak that way to people anymore… I just walk away. You are now blocked from all means of communicating with me; you will know why whenever you notice.

When I was a child, we were close. You were the “cool older cousin” with a car and a license that could take my siblings and I to the lake, or out for ice cream. Then, you got married, and moved. Mom and Dad got divorced, and things took a turn. We have drifted further and further apart, and to be honest the last few times you came to visit, I didn’t care to see you.

I wasn’t particularly shocked to find out you were complaining that I had “abandoned” everyone that needed me when I moved last summer. It also didn’t surprise me that you tried taking some stuff I had left back home when you came to visit Mom last weekend either, without bothering to ask if I was okay with it (hello, in an apartment right now and don’t have space to store everything yet). You’ve been that way since I was a kid, wanting to take my watches and bracelets and blankets and so on… It still was a bit frustrating.

It is so annoying to me how you want to always talk about not judging people and how family is so important but you don’t live by your own rules. Take, for example, when Grandma got cancer. She lived closer to you and instead, we were the ones that drove for 12 hours to pick her up, bring her to a better doctor, and live with us. We were struggling to eat and keep the lights on, but we still make sure she was taken care of. We set up a bedroom for her, fed her, took her to the doctor, made sure she had her medicine, and when she was in the hospital we drove up to visit her at least once a day, every day. You, meanwhile, came for one week and only came for two very brief visits the entire time. The rest of it was spent bar hopping and shopping with your in-laws and friends. Of course, when it came time to pay for funeral expenses, you had no part in that either… Couldn’t cut into your mall budget, after all, but the people who were barely surviving could… But you had no qualms about taking the stuff we had gotten for her. Anyone who would listen to the way you talk now though would be convinced no one cared more than you.

It’s just like with our uncle. Grandma had taken care of him her whole life and when she was gone, you were so adamant that someone HAD to step up to the plate to take care of him because family is so important. I notice you certainly weren’t opening your door though… No, it was up to us, to take in someone who COULD take care of himself but refused to. It was suddenly our job to cook and clean up after him, clean his room because he refused to acknowledge how filthy he was, force him to bathe and change his clothes because he would otherwise not do so for months, give him pills every day and check under his tongue as if he were a child, and so on. Then we were jerks when we finally had had enough of him being that way and not following any rules. We were the jerks after dealing with it for years, but you weren’t for not even considering doing what you expected us to do. Family matters, right?

I’m not going to try to say that I am a perfect person because I know I’m not. I am, however, sick of people like you wanting to pass judgment on me for doing what is best for me, finally, after nearly 30 years of being stepped on. You sit there in front of us and laugh about how you had spent six months having an affair on a man you are still married to and living with, taking his child around your lover behind his back, but god forbid someone moves away to a better life. You sit and say you’re just “blunt and honest” but the reality is that you’re just a b****. Take, for example, the summer I filed for divorce and hadn’t seen you for a few years, and you spent your visit talking about how bad my hair was, how I needed to do this and needed to do that because you said so. Was that really necessary? What I needed to do was have some time to recollect, not be insulted and ordered around. You’ll notice I never made comments to you about your appearance… We certainly weren’t permitted to say how wrong your affair was either. Of course not, you can do no wrong, only everyone else can.

You’ve been on my social media and had my number and the only time you ever said anything to me was to tell me I was doing something wrong or to act like a know-it-all. Good for you, you have a degree. You still can’t even use proper grammar or spelling, and you seriously lack a lot of things that money can’t buy and schools can’t teach.

The longer I have been hundreds of miles from home, the more I see that I was right to leave. I was MISERABLE there. Life didn’t seem worth living. Now, I live in a beautiful city, away from the alcoholics and meth and heroin and small town drama from a place where everyone knows the stuff my family did and holds it against me. I have a handsome, hardworking man who makes sure we have a comfortable life. We are on track to have a big, beautiful home within the next few months. I started taking care of myself, my mental and physical health, and making good financial decisions for a stable future. Things are good for me.

Is that what your problem is? I’m doing better than you and you can’t stand it? You’re resentful of being stuck in a loveless marriage, being roommates with a husband who lost his aviation license due to his alcohol problem? Are you mad that I found a style that works very well for me and am in phenomenal physical health and shape, and you are not? Jealousy?

You sound more and more like your mother everyday… The alcoholic who cheated of her husband, got pregnant with you by someone else, stuck him with the child support bill, and ended up losing you. The bitter woman who never provided for herself and tried everything in her power to make life miserable for my mother because she had a husband and her kids.

You all expect us to give and give, and when we finally say no you stab us in the back. When your mom moved back home, Mom and stepdad took them food, wood for the stove, plowed their driveway, ran them to the store because no one had a license courtesy of drunk driving charges, and the day Mom said no because she was sick, she immediately went and tried to hook up with Dad to be spiteful. It’s been this way for years and all of us are finally done. You can call us snobs or cold hearted all you want… The reality is just that we finally learned to stand up for ourselves and set boundaries so we can have a better life, free of your spiteful drama and hypocrisy.

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