Thursday, October 3, 2013

When is this hurtful crap going to end?

After being married for 4 years and running the whole gamut of rejection back when I got engaged and then married, and then actually reconciling with my parents after several years of hardly talking, I truly thought that the worst was over, and I was not going to have to deal with that hurtful crap anymore.  A couple of years ago a publisher contacted me about writing a memoir and I told them I don't think the story would be over until I had a kid so I wanted to wait until I was older, if ever.  And recently the thought crossed my mind that if I was to write a memoir some day I could now write about how me and my parents reconciled when I had a child, like 70 bajillion people predicted they would. As my husband put it, I had let my guard down.

But of course it never ends!  Every time I have a major life event I am super happy about, some family member has to act like a huge asshole and make me feel bad because they're an intolerant religious asshole who can't deal with the fact that I made different life decisions than they did. 

C is 10 weeks old tomorrow and we have finally gotten the baby announcements designed, printed, and sent to us.  I emailed my dad asking for my Aunt's and her (adult) children's addresses.  My dad said he didn't have them but I could email my aunt, and gave me her email address. I emailed asking for the addresses and this is the response I got. Keep in mind my cousins are all adults, ranging in age from 19-31, and 3 of them have kids of their own.  Growing up I was pretty close with them and probably saw them 4 or 5 times a year despite living 2 hours apart. This woman is my mom's sister and is yeshivish, one of the most religious families in my extended family.  I've heard she keeps a picture of me next to her shabbas candles and 'davens for me' every time she lights.

Hi Abandoing Eden
Thank G-d everyone is well.
I heard that you had a little girl.  I hope you and the baby are doing well.  Besides L, I don't think any of my children know that you are 'married' and had a baby. I would prefer that it remains that way.  I don't think anything is to be gained by their knowing.  I think it would be hurtful to some of them if they knew the life choices you've made for yourself.  I sincerely hope that you will respect my request.  I don't intend to be mean, but this is difficult.  
If you would like to call me for any reason, my phone  # [redacted]
Take care of yourself.
Aunt E

My first impulse was to write a nasty letter back about what an asshole she is being and how I wouldn't want my daughter to know her racist bigoted ass anyway (and she is a racist beyond even the jewish stuff- last time I talked to he she was throwing around the N word and saying Obama is a Muslim). Actually my first impulse was to tear up a little cause when the fuck is this bullshit going to end already, I've now been dealing with this shit for almost 7 years, and how could anyone, let alone a several people in the same family, be this hurtful to their family members?

But instead of writing back to her I forwarded the email to my dad with a note attached that said "Well this is the response I got from her...lovely "family centric" religion you got there....with this kind of love its' a wonder I didn't stay.  I'm not writing back to her for now cause the only appropriate response I can think of is "E you are a self righteous bitch and i hope you die in a fire"..-AE.  He didn't write back but wrote back to another email I sent him recently instead..he probably doesn't know what to say. 

(me and my dad are actually on much better terms these days, since I got pregnant really. I don't think this will insult him too much since he doesn't love E either).

It's funny, the last time I saw my cousin P, E's daughter (not L), I was telling her about how I recently got married to a non jewish man and was about to move south, and she was telling me that I had to promise to come back up north to go to her wedding.  I hear a couple of weeks ago that she got engaged and had been contemplating using her wedding as an excuse to go visit my parents/brother with C.  But now I'm thinking an invitation is probably not forthcoming.

I love how she said "married' in quotation marks.  What a fucking cuntloaf. The sad thing is that my daughter kinda looks like her a little. Hopefully she'll grow out of that.

Maybe I was naive to think I should send my family birth announcements like we're a normal family.  But things have been going really well with my parents, and until now most of my extended family has been much cooler  than I expected them to be about me marrying a non-jewish guy/having a kid, so I thought it would be nice to send them out since we're sending a bunch to B's family (his extended family is super into birth announcement and christmas cards with updated kid pictures, which I really like).

I didn't invite any of my extended family members to my wedding because I didn't want to deal with a wave of rejection. And after that, so many people were cool about it that I thought maybe I had made a mistake by rejecting everyone before I could be rejected by them and not inviting them to my wedding.  I actually have a bunch of family members I keep in touch with on a semi regular basis now, and I thought this would be the opportunity to reach out to a bunch of people I haven't talked to in a while and say hi and send along my good news, and give them the chance to be cool about it.

What the hell was I thinking.I can never let my guard down with my family.  Every major life event, one or more of them has shown up to shit all over it. I bet when I'm like 60 years old and going to my parents funeral there will be random relatives popping out of the woodwork to be assholes.


  1. My husband's family abandoned him when we married. I found it sad because my children's pool of cousins dwindled by more two thirds. I remember growing up with many cousins, like heaps of puppies. Like you, I couldn't fix it. So I let it alone.

    1. Now that you say that I don't want to let it alone. I really regret just 'leaving it alone' and accepting it when my mom decided to disown me for a few years instead of fighting back. It's not like I have anything to lose other than a bitchy aunt if I do fight back too....

  2. Since you mention that she is yeshivish, I'd chalk this up to her basically being in a cult that causes her to cut herself off from people not like herself. Your non-yeshivish relatives seem to be mostly behaving like decent human beings. Not all yeshivish people are intolerant, but still, she's the one in a religious cult. If you had a relative who was off with Jim Jones or David Koresh you'd feel sorry for them, but not personally hurt.

    I realize it's a little more complicated, but silently applying the "cult" label has helped me deal with numerous situations.

  3. They say you can't choose your family. Well, I think you can. You chose B, and together with C, you have your family. This woman, with such a [censored adjectives] letter, has lost any right to be part of your family. You don't need her. Don't bother responding, and just see her as a stranger.

    1. the problem is this woman is the gatekeeper to 6 of my cousins, a few of whom I know would be cool (or in some cases already know about B and are totally cool about it) and who I'd like to keep in touch with, and I think they would too.

    2. Not to mention the impact she might have on your mother. That's really upsetting.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. Hi! I've been following your blog for a while, though I haven't commented much.

      If I were you, I'd just contact the cousins anyway. She's only the gatekeeper if you let her be.

      Also, just wanted to say I'm sorry this is happening. My mother is OTD, so I understand what it's like to have those difficulties with extended family. It does get better as time goes on, though.

  4. If your cousins are adults, you may contact them anyway and disregard her wishes, or you can respect your aunt's wishes in this matter.

    If your cousins are minors, it would be inappropriate for you to contact them against their mother's wishes.

    Your hurt is totally understandable. Just realize that the hateful commentary you supplied your father with is the same hateful comments you got from your aunt. Her email to you was obnoxious and hateful, but you can choose whether you are going to be hateful as well.

    She would prefer it if you don't contact her children. Whether you owe her the respect of honoring that request or not is your choice, not hers.

    Good luck.

    We ALL have asshole relatives. It sucks when they block us from relations with our relatives that we were (and should still be) close with. But I think it's pretty clear that contacting her again would be counter productive.

    Miami Al


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