I have had some events unfold with my sister, over the last 3 months, and I have not made it as public. However, I think it is a great example of the concepts of this blog and a life lesson to others about the concept that "family" is not family, simply because they are blood.
First, the barebones of the events, so you can make your own decisions and responses.
Now, before the events, it must be said that my sister had never come to visit me....like ever...with her kids to visit my kids, even when she lived an hour away from my house. My brother and I speak maybe 1 time a year. He lives further away and spent most of his life overseas in the military, so that never bothered me. Even so...no emails, calls, or texts to me to check up on me, ever. This is the foundation of the future exchanges.
Starting about 3 months ago, my sister contacted my fiance's facebook account...and contacted....and contacted...my fiance was still deciding if she wanted to reply to someone she did not know that lived 3 hours away. However, within a week there was a half dozen such contacts. Then, my sister contacts me.....not to ask how I am doing or inquire about MY life (that she has not ever done) but to tell me to get my fiance to reply to her. I politely say that I don't think we should have that level of connection between our families, as she never asks about ME or my kids...let alone who I have dated. Her reply to that was that she is still friends with my ex...we'll come back to that.
Next, after 1 month of not speaking, I go down to get my stuff out of my house I was selling, only to find ALL of my stuff GONE that I went there to gather. The sale papers had not been signed, and it was still my house for the next week, so I was going there to get my stuff out. Not having any clue other than my sister, I call my mom to inquire about it. I was told that the guy buying the place had told my sister that there were things in my house that he was going to want to have gone (which he had told me and I had replied I was coming back for them) ....it should be noted that the man buying the house was a friend of my sister, so that call makes sense as casual conversation.
So....what does my sister do? She drives up an hour and a half from her place to BREAK INTO MY HOUSE and TAKE ALL MY THINGS. No text or email or call to say...hey, Michael has asked about this, to ask what do you want to do, to say we are going there to get it, or to ask can we enter your property or take your stuff. Nope...just go in, take my stuff, and return another hour away from me with the stuff.
Then, within weeks of this and knowing I am upset, they have my EX over at their HOUSE with my daughter. Get that? No visit to ME or concern about any of the stresses of my life at the time (was in the middle of changing jobs and making tight money work without any aid or supportive communication from them) but they take the time to hang out with the person was so controlling and used me for her selfish gains that I had to divorce her.
Does all of this sound like the actions of a "family" or even a "friend"...or a decent human being with empathy at all? To cap it all off, now, I am being demanded to apologize....ME...for...I guess expecting an apology for them breaking into my house and meeting with my ex or for not being ok with the abuse.
However, I am used to this. It is EXACTLY how my ex treated me for that marriage...using and abusing my kind nature to decide what I SHOULD do for them and condemning me for the OFFENSE of saying NO...you can't use me.
And,that leads into the lesson of the post. People either care for you, or they don't. They either support you, or they don't. You either have a history of actions of them contacting you to see how you are, showing respect for yourself, supporting your choices, or a history of lack of empathy or concern. It is not an offense to want to surround you with those that care for you. It is normal. And, anyone that tells you to shut up and take it are only concerned with their ability to continue to use you. Some people love you. Others love themselves through you. Don't let labels fool you. "family" can be very abusive, but, when they do so, they lose the right to be called family. You will find others that have NO blood relation that are much more caring and close. Those are the ones to hold dear. They are the ones that will support you.
In the last year, I have cut off many uncaring users from my life, but I am the better for it. I spend almost all my day in the company and communication of my fiance and family and friends that have been there for me through all my down times, and they are the ones that should be rewarded with the good. Your life is YOUR life. Seeking to make it happy by what you do and who you include is not only your option but your responsibility.