This is a topic that I have been wanting to write (or rant) about in detail for several weeks now…but I have to do it carefully and use some discretion out of respect for the other person. See, even when I dislike someone I still try and use some discretion…and not bash people to humiliate or put them down. A family member and I had a, let’s call it a falling out. Just like friends, sometimes two people butt heads so much so that there isn’t a common ground. The mistake that I had made with this particular relation is that I felt that a common ground could be found and built upon for many years, and so I continued to try to stitch the relationship wounds over and over to no avail.
I realized that when you take two people that have completely opposite views of the world around them they will never see the same thing. I could sit and say that this person is completely nuts and very jaded…but that wouldn’t be fair. I can’t say why said person sees things from that viewpoint and I know for a fact that many of the things we discussed in our argument prior to my complete and total disconnect from that relationship (aside from DNA…I can’t change that), were falsehoods.
I suppose that truth means very little when perception is everything. Instead of continuing to argue that this person was indeed insane I just quit. It isn’t worth it to just keep spewing that negativity back and forth…it’s pointless. I have learned something through the process however, and that is people who are not on your side do not need to be involved in your life.
No singular person on this planet has any responsibility to support everything you do, 100%…but when they support less than half of what you do and who you are, judge you for things that cannot be helped, and on situations that they could never understand…well those people be it blood or other need not be involved. In the wild animals that travel in packs protect their families, protect their packs. They support one another and that is how they thrive and survive. I noticed years ago that I had very little support in my family unit and thus I was a lone wolf…for the most part. In my home unit I have my own pack and that bond is strong. We rise together, we fall together, and we do it all again. We don’t support everything each other does 100% but we respect the decisions made.
I have prided myself on the strides I have made over the years, all the things that I have overcome and yet there are people that are so degrading to your life and choices that it becomes toxic. I noticed a complete shift once I relinquished this person from any previously conceived familial obligations they once may have held. My attitude changed and I felt lighter. People have asked how I can just cut people out of my life like that…and my answer to that question is a little complicated. It took years of learning. When I was younger I often kept people in my social circles that didn’t deserve to be there. People that brought me down or practiced things that I was completely against were still hanging around. I allowed this to happen. I noticed that those people were not going anywhere and not doing anything to propel our relationship in the right direction.
It’s hard to let go…sometimes. Unfortunately, sometimes when you cut one person out of your life, you cut many as a result. Now, don’t get me wrong…I didn’t stop talking to other people associated with this person in particular. I’m not that petty…but the truth of the matter is that it gets to be a stickier situation when children are involved. My children had a relationship with this person and that person’s child(ren). That created a bit of a bumpy situation. However, this is a conversation that I had to have with them. I explained that sometimes adults make decisions that are best for all involved, at least in their opinion. There does come a time when they have to make those decisions for themselves, but right now this is what I had decided and I had strong feelings to support my decision. My older children understood that this long standing relationship had been tumultuous for years. They also had their own complaints and concerns and we talked about it.
It isn’t much different than keeping a child from a parent that has a problem with drugs. Though there are some aspects of this person’s life that I don’t support personally, I always tried to be supportive of their decisions. Be it relationships, finances, school, jobs, hobbies, etc. I told them when I didn’t support certain things, but yet I still had to be respectful of their choices and I tried to be as positive and uplifting, giving encouragement where I could. I can’t recall many times when this person did the same for me.
I remember one time in particular that this person said they were going back to school and my response was, “Hey, that’s awesome. What are you going to major in?” This person went on and on about this and that. I listened to their stories about issues with classes or financial aid…never discouraging. However, when I said that I was going to go back to school I was met with, “Well, how are you going to do that? You aren’t going to finish…you never finish what you start.” It wasn’t about finishing or not…it was about doing something that I wanted to do. What I needed was encouragement. I had no proof that she/he was going to finish school either…but I never saw that as the point. They had dropped college once before, but I had no preconceived notions that they would do it again, and if they had…so what. Some college is better than no college, right?
No, I didn’t finish college. I went and finished all but 4 classes at Anthem College for a dental assisting diploma. I had a 4.0 for about six months. I realized that I wasn’t as into it as I should have been, though I was good at it. However, I don’t regret it at all. I learned a lot and the knowledge I gained had proved to be invaluable. My times there were good ones for the most part and it was an experience that I can carry with me. That was the point…not would I continue on. Some people have a bad habit of putting their own expectations on you and they can’t see past their own ideals. As parents we do this often to our children, and I have learned to back off some over the years. My children aren’t me…though in many ways they are similar they are still their own individuals, and while I want the best for them…ultimately they are the deciders of what “the best” means in their own lives.
During one particular argument toward the end of my relationship with said person I said something to the effect of, “Why can’t you ever just be supportive?” This person responded with something to the effect of, “Well, after years of watching you fail I just stopped.” Again, failing is something that is in the eye of the beholder. I don’t feel that I failed…besides my life isn’t over. I think that over the years I have had many accomplishments and I am proud of those accomplishments. Telling someone they failed says a whole lot about yourself. It says that your standards are in your opinion the be all end all of standards and nobody else’s opinion, thoughts, or feelings mean shit. This makes me wonder how anyone could be friends with such a person, let alone let them be a part of that “pack” I mentioned earlier. Especially, because according to his/her standards my mother is a complete failure.
My mother didn’t finish high school, has no college education, no GED, nothing of grandeur to present as a way of showing success based on this person’s standards. However, my mother isn’t a failure. Despite her faults (which we all have faults) she raised two children who made it to adulthood to lead their own lives. Having a child, providing for them, and raising them to the best of your ability is an amazing success if you do nothing else in life. My mother has provided people with friendship, and love…even the opposite…but the positive emotions run deep and is again a success. It is funny how the standards placed upon me by this person only applies to me, but all others can be overlooked. Unless of course she/he feels this way of all people but just doesn’t speak on it. Which I can say is fact. I have heard this person talk endlessly about others and their faults and judge and smile in their face. I’m not saying that I have never done that…most people have at some point in their lives, but owning up to it is something entirely different.
We teach our children that some strangers are bad, and give them examples of how people can hurt them if they aren’t careful. How often do we talk about the possibility that the person that could hurt them is related to them by blood. Now, I know said person feels I have done some injustice to their child…by not being more involved. It was never personal to that child. I tried my best…but I also knew for that child’s health, safety, and sanity that I couldn’t be more involved. For example, there were times that I wanted to ask to take that child here or there, but then I realized, hey I smoke in my car…and this child has horrible asthma. Or oh, my daughter wants said child to spend the night…but their mother said they had an allergy to cats, and I have a cat. Also, I’m a smoker…it’s in my clothes and hair, etc. Again, not healthy for any child…but especially not one with asthma.
I grew up in a household where people smoked and that bad habit continued on with me. I’ve been trying to take steps to quit, or at least cut back on my children’s exposure to it…but still…fact remains. Another issue is that the way said child was being raised was very different than how I was raising my children. Normally this isn’t an issue, but it becomes one with relatives. How can I be a positive person that this child will like to be around when I have to say, “no,” to many things their parents would say, “yes,” to? The few times that this child was in my care that was something that I dealt with. I constantly had to reiterate the rules of the house that were ignored. Not saying that the child is a “bad kid” just the rules are different and then my children act up more because rules are being ignored. You can’t always expect a child to understand how things can be so vastly different from one household from another. There are so many reasons why I tend to make the choices that I do…but there isn’t enough open communication between people sometimes that those choices are made clear or understood. Then of course those people would have to be willing to understand things from someone else’s perspective.
I don’t know about all people, but I was taught that you should try and reserve judgement until you have walked a mile in someone else’s shoes…not literally of course but figuratively. Most of us know that we don’t always do this and sometimes judgements are cast out quickly and with little remorse. However, if you are one of those people that do try and take a moment to see another person’s perspective that is great…but it doesn’t work very well if the other person doesn’t do the same.
Someone in my social circle had a similar issue with a long time friend. I know a few people who do and they don’t cut those people from their lives…for whatever reason. Be it loyalty, familiarity, or any other such tie. I can respect that to a degree. I once did the same thing. I guess a part of me feels for those people because anybody in your life that is supposed to love you shouldn’t be so damn hurtful and negative. We tell our friends when they have a new significant other that the person should always treat them well, respect them, love them, protect them, support them, etc. But if that new person doesn’t we start telling them to see the warning signs and get out while they still can…it’s obviously not a healthy situation. Well, friendships are the same, so are blood relationships. In order to live our best lives I think that it is always good to try and surround ourselves with people that have our mutual love, respect, loyalty, etc.
Ok, now this is the end of my rant…writing…whatever 🙂 Please, tell me your thoughts if you are so inclined. Have you been in this situation? What did you do?