The Thing I Hate Most

I hate that someone who was there through the shittiest time in my life will call me up to tell me how one of the people who helped make that time shitty is having such a wonderful life and isn’t it a grand coincidence how one of their friend’s wife knows that person’s spouse, especially when that person is a relative.

It makes me feel crazy.

Did said relative not notice how bad things were?

Or were things really not that bad?

That’s the thing that eats at me, whether I misinterpreted everything.  Maybe the standing outside my house for hours was normal things boys do.  Maybe the constant hair stroking and pulling and the tickling and poking, even as I begged him not to were really just harmless pranks.  Maybe him holding me and crushing his weight against me was just his way of letting me know he liked me.  Maybe I did just overreact to everything and so we can just talk about the folks who continued to give him access to me like they’re normal people whose happiness should please me.

I don’t know.

Every day I am grateful that the recalcitrant brother took a baseball bat to his car, if only because it’s proof that someone else also thought the whole thing was fucking disturbing and out of hand.

12 thoughts on “The Thing I Hate Most

  1. I have no idea what happened in the “shittiest” time in your life but I hate it when people do this as well.
    Knife, meet back, Back meet knife.
    I get that.
    I’m glad that the recalcitrant brother made you happy on this one.

  2. Here is the phrase that makes me emphathize with this situation: “even as I begged him not to ”
    That shows me that whatever was going on was not normal and not okay.

    You know, I moved something like 900 miles away from one of the shittiest people in my life, and I still ran into some dizzy girl who thought it was hee-larious to play the Small World game with me about this person, even after I was verbally clear that I was neither amused nor interested.

    Some people are not very good readers of other people. I’m sorry about that.

  3. In the light of day, I know and am sure that what I went through was as awful as I remember it, I should say that.

    It’s just that when a relative calls and talks to you like you’ve got no reason to not give a shit about that person… I mean, I feel like just staring at the phone in gaped mouth horror. Did that relative really not have any clue what was going on? Do they really believe, as they said at the time, that what little bit they claimed to have a clue about was my fault and so there’s no problem? Or am I supposed to have forgiven them in such a way that these conversations are normal?

    I mean, it’s probably a bad idea to keep a list of grievances about a person you love very dearly, but damn, I’d love to be all “You did this and this and this to me. This happened and you stood by and let it get out of hand and then blamed me for it. And I am fucked up because of it. I wish I wasn’t, but I am, so cut me some fucking slack.”

    But I’m not sure that leads anywhere productive or actually would make me feel any better.

  4. Be sure to cut yourself some slack, too. No, you obviously weren’t perceiving the situation wrong…like tanglethis said, if you were begging the person to stop whatever it was they were doing, it was not okay.

    People (especially family, I’ve found) can be so insensitive. Just remember…it is they with the issue, not you.

  5. My mother has no idea that the cousin that she’s bailed out of jail twice and loaned a lot of money raped me when I was seventeen. I made the decision a long time ago to not tell anyone in my family. I don’t regret that usually, but keeping a secret seems less attractive when she bitches at me for being “intolerant” because I won’t be around him at family reunions.

  6. Sort of like “justme”, but not … my mother *knows* that my sociopathic cousin molested and tortured me 22 years ago, but she *still* thinks I’m “being too hard on him” by “not forgiving him” and refusing to be his friend anymore! I endured *years* of family gatherings where most conversations between my mother and I ended up being about how great Cousin J is/why is L being so “silly” about not believing us (that J is awesome).

    When my parents not only attended J’s wedding 2 years ago, but made it the centerpiece of the family reunion, and my mother insisted that I should go because I’d enjoy it, I realized she’d completely broken with reality, and stopped speaking to both her and my dad.

    It’s not you, Aunt B. Some people are just heartless and cruel.

  7. B, sugar,

    When the relative starts that again, please say, “I don’t need to hear about X.” Say it again. If the relative keeps on, please say, “I’m sorry, I’ve got to go” and hang up or leave. The relative knows precisely how he/she did wrong by enabling that creep and is in denial about it, but that doesn’t mean he/she has a right to keep talking about the creep to you. “Forgiveness” is not his/her role in this; it’s to shut the hell up about it until/unless he/she is willing to acknowledge and apologize to you for what he/she allowed to happen. If you’re feeling froggy, tell him/her all that if you want.

    I am so sorry this continues to be brought up to you in disturbing, rather than healing, ways. I’d like to take my ball bat to some individuals on your behalf, too. And shall, if you like. I’m already good and warmed up today from some other stuff. (hee)

  8. “but damn, I’d love to be all “You did this and this and this to me. This happened and you stood by and let it get out of hand and then blamed me for it. And I am fucked up because of it. I wish I wasn’t, but I am, so cut me some fucking slack.”

    But I’m not sure that leads anywhere productive or actually would make me feel any better.”

    Sounds good to me, and I think it would lead somewhere productive.

    It’s productive because it gives the person who says this crap to you the benefit of the doubt that their not just plain mean, but having a human stupidity problem. Changing your usual pattern of interaction opens up a space for them to change as well. If they’re not just plain mean, they’ll use that space to change to behaving like less of an ass. If not, you know they are just plain mean. Worst case: You learn something important to know.

  9. Of course, I don’t know the story, so if what I said makes no sense in context of the full reality, please tell me to shut up.

  10. I don’t know, Helen. I’ve thought a lot about this, just trying to figure out what I want. And I don’t want to upset a sixty year old man who I know would be grief-stricken and sorry in a way I’m not sure I could handle.

    I want for it to have never happened. I want, if it had to happen, for that then forty-five year old man to have come to my defense. And that just didn’t happen.

    I can’t ever get what I want and all I can get is something I can’t bear.

    So, there we are.

Comments are closed.