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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Toxic People That Bring Us Down ...

Recently I tried to erase someone out of my life in every way that was possible to me. After I went through and deleted almost one hundred people off my Facebook page I realized I was a happier person and then finally this one person crossed a line with me for the last time. I deleted her from every aspect of my life I possibly can and I refuse to interact with her unless I absolutely have to. Amazingly, it seems like once I got rid of all that toxicity, all that negativity I felt better about life in general. ... but ... I still feel the need to do the cathartic thing and get rid of it all, so here it goes.

I have written a few blogs about the Lemon Man's aunt, mostly on my old blog, but I brought one here for back story. Then there was the whole part where she let a fourteen year old bring drugs with her to our family vacation.

But there's more to it than all that ...

The first time I knew she had burned me was a long time ago, when I first met her. This was back when the Lemon Man and I were still defining our relationship. Which as corny as it may sound, was a lot like Matthew McConaughy and Jennifer Garner in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. It was there, it was always there, but he had things that he wasn't sure about, and honestly a single mom with three kids isn't exactly a bachelor's first choice. There was an "us" there just wasn't a defined, legal definition "us." Anyway, there was this nurse ... this nurse that took care of the Lemon Man's grandma after her horrible accident,
and his aunt decided she was better suited for the Lemon Man than I was.

She encouraged a relationship between the two of them. She told this nurse things about me, personal things that the Lemon Man would have had to have disclosed to her, his aunt talked to her about my finances, about my kids, about way too many things. This nice little nurse than had a battery of ammunition to throw at me when she decided the time was right. The relationship that developed between her and my Lemon Man is an issue that still plagues our relationship today and, honestly, probably always will, but his aunt played a major role in that. Her encouragement, knowing what our situation was, was incredibly insulting and hateful.

Shortly after that, but in the same basic time period, she decided to take it out on me that she thought the Lemon Man wasn't pulling his weight taking care of his grandparents. In the process she insulted my family, my parenting and pretty much any other subject she could think of.

The Lemon Man left the "family home" for several months to live with his dad while his dad recovered from shoulder surgery. During this time some drama unfolded between his aunt and his brother regarding his brother's really good friend. She wanted to ban him from the house, it turned public and she left for California and was gone for almost a year before she visited.

For over a year the Lemon Man primarily, with some help from his brother took on the entire care giving role for his grandfather, who is dying from ALS for those that don't know/remember. When his aunt came to visit for Christmas I think she was surprised at how well they were doing without her and for whatever reason made plans to come back. In the spring of 2012 she returned to her parents/the Lemon Man's grandparents' home to help out. Which was the lead in for the blog on resentment that I wrote.

After she had been there for a few months she took it upon herself to enter the Lemon Man's bedroom and yell at both of us for her opinions of the "poor job" we were doing taking care of her father. This was a relatively small incident but it stayed in the back of my head.

After this I actually tried to reach out to her. She had conversations with the Lemon Man and I about how she understood we needed time to be a couple and to be a family and that he needed to be there for kids' events. She constantly said "take as long as you need" when we would leave the house. At my work I talked to someone who specializes in helping out families where family members are caretakers and had ideas for how to get everyone breaks, I brought his aunt her business card. I thought we were friends ... 

A few more months went by and there was a point of major drama. My daughter and a good family friend were playing in the same softball tournament, it was an all day affair. As we were sitting in the stands watching my daughter's team play, the Lemon Man's grandmother calls him. She asks him when he will be home, he tells her he doesn't know it's a tournament and it depends on how well the two girls do. She responds with "don't you have obligations at home?"

Sidebar - when his aunt came back the idea was that she would take care of the "day shift" while he took care of the "night shift," all of this took place during the day, when he should normally be sleeping anyway.

He told her he wasn't going to argue with her right then and said goodbye and hung up the phone. She called back. She left a message calling him a little shit and telling him to
pack up and get all of his shit out of her house.

I posted something passive aggressive on Facebook, but if you didn't know what I was talking about you wouldn't know, the response that came from his aunt, that was supposedly from his grandfather floored me. This is what it looked like;

The conversation went on from there, but there are too many names for me to deal with deleting. The Lemon Man's brother jumped in with a paragraph or two apologizing for his family's behavior (which I appreciated).

I understand that Facebook can be a crappy place sometime, I even wrote a blog about it once.

The whole thing blew up. I was blamed as the instigator, because apparently the grandparents and the aunt forgot about the phone call calling the Lemon Man a little shit and telling him he needed to move out. They forgot or didn't realize that my post was in response to that. I also just have to say that I did point out we weren't out "playing" we were supporting children. They argued with that, saying we were out playing (you know because we all just love to go out and sit in 90+ degree heat watching little girls play softball for thirteen hours, that's every person's dream). This resulted in the Lemon Man, my kids and I all staying in a hotel for a few nights. This also resulted in me crawling through his window to get in and out of his house on a fairly regular basis because I wanted nothing to do with anyone else in his house.

This may make sense and it may not, but basically his family calls every time he goes out with me. They want to know what is taking him so long, when he'll be back. Basically, it's constant guilt every time he is with me. This wears on me, because to me it's like saying I'm not important, I shouldn't be important to him, the kids shouldn't be important to him.

It was clear through the fighting, through the trip to the hotel, through the drama that the aunt was a pot-stirrer, that she had put ideas in people's heads that weren't there. The proof of this is also in the fact that the entire year she was gone nothing like this happened, there were tiffs, but not this kind of drama.

Fast forward a few more months ... just mere weeks ago and she managed to get them all worked up again. There was a fight that I was involved in too and his aunt got in my face and told me to get the fuck out of their house. I actually hoped she would hit me because then she could be arrested. It was awful.

Then a few days ago the Lemon Man overheard his grandmother, aunt and one of the visiting nurses talking about him ... about how he never does anything, about how useless he is ... it hurt him to the core.

He has given up SO much for them and they don't seem to recognize it, then his aunt is around stirring pots and causing problems where there aren't any.

So, he posted his own Facebook post, then he deleted his grandmother and grandfather off his Facebook page, and blocked his aunt ... I followed suit, as did my kids ... it was actually very relieving, like a weight had been lifted ... I have felt better ever since.

Here is what my man had to say and some of his comments after too ... you can tell which one came from me ... but I will leave it at this ... toxic people can ruin entire families if they're allowed to ... they can destroy self esteem, they can make people think things that were never true ... don't allow them to do that to you ...