God / History / Mentalhealth / Toolbox

Christmas with a toxic family

Timely reminders…

I almost feel the need to grab a notebook and a pen to write this out long hand all the way through to a final draft, just to make it stick. It needs to. I have learned over decades that I need to know this, that I no longer must repeatedly remind myself moment to moment while dealing with them, that I don’t deserve this.

It starts every year with Orders from my Mum. Actual order’s, she believes by being her daughter that I am obligated to do what she tells me to do. That I am required at the age of 37 a mother myself to jump when she says jump.

Almost every year I turn her down and there is an explosive consequence directed towards me and I am disowned…again.

I was originally emancipated more than 2 decades ago. That is right I didn’t just age out and move out of home documents and statements were written by multiple professional witnesses highly regarded in their fields and I was declared independent by her psychiatrist, clinical psychologist and her psych nurses because they believed my home was toxic.

It is a strange thing to watch them repeatedly disown someone who was determined 20 years prior to not actually be theirs.

I didn’t ask for this, it was done for me after my mother told them what my home life was like and that she had ordered me not to physically respond to the physical violence of my siblings. They could and would literally beat the living shit out of me even while I was driving them to school every morning and I wasn’t allowed to so much as defend myself. I was threatened with homelessness if I did. Yet it is my fault that the statements were written by 3rd parties and I was declared no longer a dependent of my parents.

Although the writing of those reports didn’t change much. I still had to drive them to school every day, I still had to work for my parents to the extent that I couldn’t have a paying job, I was regularly informed that they would lose their house and not afford education for my siblings if I didn’t, and keep up study. It still took me several years to untie myself from them. It did involve sleeping in my car and sleeping on the street between being where I was “required” to be.

For the first time in 10 years I agreed to join them for Christmas. I thought maybe they have matured, they all have their own kids now she managed to convince me that my siblings no longer get falling down drunk at the slightest opportunity.

I now wish I had stuck to what I usually do which is saying no until she blocks me on social media and stops messaging and calling me.
I was advised by her doctors who had me emancipated and everyone since to simply not answer the phone for several years.

I tried that, it wasn’t enough, every time I was in range she would behave as if I was obligated to her simply by being born Or for this or that imagined favour while she milked me for every dollar she could;

The years of driving my siblings to school for her and keeping the family afloat are worth nothing.

The years of running her business for her for little to no pay, to pay for their mortgage and education expenses with the promise of one day being provided a deposit for a house never happened apparently.

The months I fed my father and siblings and house sat while she was in Melbourne for court hearings having her father charged simply didn’t happen according to her.

The $5000 commission for the massive property portfolio I complied for the shopping centre she worked at which she pocketed when she was asked to pass it onto me by the owner.

My Van she then tried to claim ownership of after pocketing my $5000 which was supposed to pay for it, and then claiming the $8000 the Van Sold for as well on top.

The years of working for them for nix on the promise that when they sold the house I would be given a deposit for a house, that I never received, with them instead spending it on a year of early retirement as grey nomads and saying “opps its gone” when asked about it.

Then splitting the proceeds of the sale of said motorhome between my siblings and giving it to them 10 years later because you don’t need it you own a house…and making sure I knew about it.

And her multiple volumes of inches thick files held by the psych ward documenting all over a decade of admissions and suicide attempts don’t exist either.

While I have held over my head a few hundred dollars’ worth of seconds furniture she picked up for nix as if it was $25 000 worth, because $25 000 was how much she sunk into the local casino that year and it’s what she told dad it was spent on to save her own arse. 2 single beds and a broken TV unit don’t cost $25 000.

Its not even about being short changed in favour of my siblings, the money owed wasn’t a favour or gift to obligate me, its wages I AM OWED, it was my livelihood I WAS DENIED.

I’m never going to see a cent of the money I am owed for work done.

I know that, I have known it for a very long time now.

Christmas day I spent watching my siblings constantly tear into her verbally making it known just how much they didn’t want to be there, how put out they were and how awful she is.

If that isn’t what you want, say no, don’t go, don’t punish everyone for you not being happy with where you are, doing whatever you are doing.

Without so much as a word from her mumbled in response.

It was made incredibly clear over the 3 days I spent with her that I am the only person not allowed to say no to her, who is not allowed to vocalised that they don’t want to without a massive response in reply and being disowned yet again…as punishment.

It’s not punishment it’s peace.

I am the only person not allowed to say I don’t deserve this.
I am the only person who is expected to just cop the shit.

The truth is I am the only person who does get cut off and disowned by them.

It’s easier than acknowledging how they treat each other which I am very happy and willing to highlight and reflect for them word for exact word.

Because THAT is not how you do Christmas.

THAT is not how you treat those you love.

THAT is not strength that is weakness pissing all over the floor like a terrified dog.

I have worked Hard from the time I was 15 to ditch the fiery temper, to not devolve into explosive rages. I am no innocent, I have severed my share of fingers, broken my share of noses, but that is not who I am anymore, I left it behind in childhood. While they continue to wallow in it.

I don’t hate them, I still do love them which is the ONLY reason I said yes and gave them another chance. I love my siblings and my parents, it is for that very reason that I have helped them all those years and that I step away rather than participate in their slinging matches. Loving them doesn’t obligate me to experience an environment soaked in abuse.

Tough Love, doesn’t mean lashing out and rubbing it in their face or even violent in their face interventions, it means stepping back and letting them fall, letting them make their own mistakes. Not rescuing them from themselves doesn’t mean I don’t love them. It means I know they will only learn from their own mistakes, I don’t need to continue being flung about in the mill to prove love for them.

Compassion, Empathy, and Vulnerability are often perceived as weakness but they aren’t they are incredible strengths and the world is incredibly poor of them today.

Masculine bravado and trash talk are not strength, it’s weakness held right out in front for the world to see.

I know love, it is not dependant on any person.

I am loving, it is not conditional on any person.

I deserve to be loved and treated with respect and that is not determined by any other person.

There is nothing more lonely than being in a room full of people who claim they love you while they tear you down and kick you about.

My mothers last message was, “please make sure the girls know I love them” they know how she feels the pity is it doesn’t stop her treating them the same way she treats me.

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