I have a family member who’s been reaching out, ostensibly to offer her shoulder to me in a crisis situation but in actuality to insert herself into a conflict between me and another family member. I have twenty years of good reasons not to trust this person who has spent the last couple weeks imposing her offer of help by way of a total of two dozen phone calls, voicemails, texts, WhatsApp messages, and emails, none of which I’ve responded to. We’ve never once had a positive relationship beyond civil tolerance, and our history includes a lot of her thinly veiled jealousy and passive-aggressive attempts to sow discord between me and the very same family member with whom I’m currently in conflict, so why she’d imagine I’d turn to her as a confidante now is a total fucking mystery. And yet she persists.

I really thought that if I ignored her attempts to contact me, she would let up, but it’s growing clear that she’s not going to stop unless she’s explicitly told to do so. So what’s a polite but definitive way to say, “Jesus fucking Christ, back off already! What is wrong with your boundaries?! How have you not taken the hint by now? I clearly don’t want to talk to you! Leave me the fuck alone!”?

(PS: No, I’m not Meghan Markle.)