Home > just me > what a great way to end what has already been a pretty crappy week

what a great way to end what has already been a pretty crappy week

September 28, 2007

I have this relative who I love dearly, but whose flaws I am deeply aware of. These flaws include being a bit flaky, a bit naive, a bit impressionable, and a bit unable to see her flaws in action. Today I received a letter from her, exhibiting each and every one of these flaws and though the letter was well-intentioned, it hurt my feelings deeply. Frankly, I am too busy right now to be in emotional turmoil, so I’m a bit pissed on that account, too, but mostly I’m just upset that someone who has been so supportive of me and my decisions in the past has chosen to write down all the reasons she thinks one of those decisions in particular was the wrong decision (and, typically, then says she felt she “failed” me by not stopping me from making that decision).

I usually find it amusing that I am so different from my family, and they usually seem to also. We all seem pretty accepting that I’m my own person. Well, apparently not all. Apparently some people in my family wish I was more like them—and more like them in a way I chose not to be like as an adult, over a dozen years ago. The worst part is that, upon reading this letter, I thought of a dozen ways I could respond to it, some of which would be equally hurtful to the letter-writer, some of which would just be inappropriate, and some of which would be logical, rational, and true—yet I know that I will never be able to say any of them, because no matter how clear I was (whether in a calm way or in a mean way), she just wouldn’t understand why what she wrote was so wrong.

I often miss living close to my family, but times like these I’m glad I’m far away so I only have to get these little guilt-trips in letters, instead of in the thousand small gestures of daily interaction.

Categories: just me
  1. Jean
    September 29, 2007 at 5:47 am

    I hope your weekend is better. Family stuff can be tough.

  2. Ana
    October 2, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    Right there with you. I don’t think I could be so close to my family if I didn’t live thousands of miles away. Chin up and keep being you. My experience tells me that when you go against your own intuition and follow a family member’s ‘advice,’ you just end up with two disappointed people.

  3. October 4, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    Good for you for not writing back. An aunt sent my sister a letter like that recently — I couldn’t imagine (at the time) how she could do this, but my sister just didn’t respond at all. (I would have been scathing.) There are some family members who are just SO screwed up that they just can’t get why sending a letter like that was wrong in the first place — and it’s infinitely crueler to make them wonder how you reacted. 🙂

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