So my family is very large. And filled with lots of toxic people. I don’t attend/get invited to family gatherings anymore, because someone will inevitably bring up my dead uncle john (not his real name) or my aunts dead husband Martin (not his real name) and talk about them lovingly or want to honor their memory. Both of these men molested several women in our family, my favorite cousins, so naturally I come through with, they were child molesters tho. Which inevitably leads to an argument, where I’m told that family is family, and we have to forgive, and why do you always have to bring that up. To which I respond, I don’t know what any of those words mean, because THEY. MOLESTED. CHILDREN.
I recently had a cousin move closer to me. I knew him but we weren’t close. So we started hanging out. The more we hung out the more it became clear that Ralph ( not his real name) had a lot of issues with women, black women especially, and LGBTQ people. Now, these days I’m not really one to suffer fools for too long. I gently tried to correct ralph when we hung out. Then there was an incident. He did something really gross to a woman behind her back and I told him it was completely unacceptable. We got into a big argument. And then he said the words that would seal his fate. “You’re being irrational, emotional, and stupid. You’re not thinking.” There is nothing that sets me off faster than being told I’m stupid.
I very calmly said, it’s very simple. From this day forward we don’t deal with each other. We don’t talk. We don’t see each other. I don’t want to hear from you I have nothing to say to you from this day forward. As far as I’m concerned we’re strangers.
And that’s how its been for a while.
My mother calls me and says, Martha I think you are being to hard on ralph. You, me, my (alive) uncle, and ralph are all going to go out to dinner together so we can talk. You really need to be more supportive of ralph. Family is family.
Me: que? OMG this is so stupid. I’m not going.