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don’t tread on me….or….new year’s deja vu?

5 Jan

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I sat down to write my next post entitled “don’t tread on me”numerous times over the past few months.  Something always seemed to stop me.  After months of unemployment, I landed a telecommuting position and then another.  I was working 2 jobs and that meant work obligations, then there were family obligations and then, of course, the holidays came.  I just never seemed to get the time I needed to sit and write it. I really think it was the Universe’s way of showing me that I can’t move forward while continuing to look back.  It’s common sense, really.  I firmly believe; however, that when dealing with matters of personal growth, it is necessary to look back, at least temporarily.  You need to take that time to reflect, face where you made mistakes, see the lessons you were meant to learn in the adversities you faced, and take that knowledge with you moving forward.  Whatever you have been through, the knowledge you have gained from it will guide you as you take that first step into an unknown, better future. In order for me to move forward into my own better future, I have to finish telling the story I began a year ago. The need for closure and finality keeps me motivated, even though the subject matter is far from pleasant and something I will be  both happy and relieved to finish once and for all.

The ironic thing is; as I type this, Auntie has taken up residence with my Mom next door as of New Years Eve.  I was out-of-town visiting my sister and as my husband and I got my kids situated in the cars to head home, I had a feeling of dread as I thought of returning home.  It wasn’t the usual disappointment at facing the end of a vacation, or leaving a loved one and not knowing when you might see them again; but the absolute feeling of dread and that anxious feeling I’ve come to know as my intuitive sense that the proverbial “shit” is about to hit the fan.  I shook it off,  did what I needed to do as always, and concentrated on the tasks at hand.  That’s how it is with intuitives.  A feeling is just that… a “feeling.”  You can’t always articulate or translate what the feeling is right away, so you put it on the back burner and take care of what you know needs get done.

I made the trek home; 12 plus hours with stops to take my youngest potty and stop for snacks–fighting that nagging feeling that for some reason, I just didn’t want to go home.  It was disconcerting as normally when I am returning home from a trip, the thought of pulling into my driveway is a relief.  I arrived home at about 1 am and dutifully texted my sister and mom to let them know we’d all made it home safe and sound.  I fell into bed exhausted, and fell asleep still trying to push the negative feelings out of my mind.

I woke the following day to the same feeling.  I reached over to the nightstand and picked up my cell phone.  My mom had texted me several times while I was sleeping.  I just couldn’t face the thought of getting out of bed; and that was before I read the texts from my mom.  I assumed the reason getting out of bed felt like such a chore was from the trip home, which had been considerably arduous.  It rained continuously and as day turned into night, it became harder and harder to see.  Add the rain to the wind that was whipping the car to and fro like it was nothing; it made for a very stressful, tiring trip.  Then I read the texts from my mom.  I saw nothing of major consequence at first.  Just the usual.  First she asked if I was awake.  When she didn’t get an answer after a while, she texted me again.  Finally, she texted an exacerbated, “Hello????” to which I responded, “Hi.  Got your text ttyl (talk to you later).”  After a while, she texted, “_____ is here.  Didn’t want you to be surprised.”

My mom had mentioned the possibility of her houseguest to me prior to the holidays.  I had told her that it wasn’t really any of my business and that I couldn’t tell her what to do.  I reminded her of how after my aunt had left the way she did last April, it would only be a matter of time before my Aunt would have nowhere to stay.  It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out with how she’d behaved having lived with me.  During that conversation with my mom, she had offered to tell my aunt she had to apologize to me if she was going to stay with her.  My response was that if my aunt apologized, I wanted her to mean it.  I knew if my mom gave her an ultimatum, she would only apologize out of desperation for a place to stay if she apologized at all, and she wouldn’t really mean it.  Then my mom said she was going to tell my aunt that she had to get treatment for her bipolar disorder if she was going to stay with her.  I told her that was a smart thing to do, but I’d believe it when I saw it.  I knew that someone desperate not to be out on the street would promise anything.  The proof is in the pudding; so to speak, and again–it wasn’t my business.  I’d done all I could in that respect when my aunt was here and she made it perfectly clear at that time that she had no plans to be treated for her bipolar disorder.

At any rate, I never really thought my aunt would show. My mom and I had practically the exact same conversation a couple of months ago.  I figured she’d get back to her home town and then realize she liked it there and decide to stay, and that was what happened…until…she managed to alienate who she was staying with there too.  I had told my mom every time she brought up that my aunt might be coming to stay with her that I wasn’t surprised and that I knew she was would end up alienating everyone she stayed with because of her behavior and end up with nowhere to go, while still refusing to see the issue was hers and not everyone else’s.  I can’t say that I enjoy being right about that.

When my mom brought up the possibility to me again before I went to visit my sister, I told her that she could do what she wanted.  She’d known my aunt longer than I’d been alive, and I could understand the fact that she was her very best friend in the world and her desire to help her.  I’d felt that way once too.  I explained that unlike my aunt; I’d never put her in a position where she felt she had to choose between the two of us.  My mom mentioned being concerned that having my aunt staying with her would hurt our already strained relationship.  So, I gave her some ground rules.  I told her that if she didn’t want my aunt’s staying with her to affect our relationship, then anything she was told about the time my aunt spent staying with me, she needed to take with a grain of salt and keep it to herself.  I didn’t want to know about it or to be questioned about it.  I asked her to take her own advice and remember that my aunt had “issues” and to also remember the daughter she raised, and out of respect for me, not to bring it up.  I told her if she respected my wishes in relation to those things, she shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

As the sun goes down on the first day of my being within 100 feet of my aunt and mom in the same house next door, I can say with gratitude that I have not been affected the least bit.  I won’t lie though.  I’m not at all happy about the prospect of this person being in such close proximity to me or my family again.  I made sure that I let my mom know what boundaries I had and that I expected them to be respected.  If they will continue to be remains to be seen.  I can set all the boundaries I want, but if she doesn’t respect them, it doesn’t matter.  The fact that I live within 100 feet of my mom doesn’t make the situation any easier.  I plan to remedy that as soon as financially feasible for my family and me, and move.  To be honest, it irritates me that I have to resort to moving away; however, I know down to my bones that if I don’t, things with my mom have a very real chance of deteriorating to the point that we have no relationship at all–especially with the additional complication of my aunt living there.

I haven’t spoken to my aunt in the 9 months since she left my home.  Conflict between adults is one thing.  When you attempt to involve innocent children in adult matters to manipulate the situation to your favor, that is where I draw the line and where my story continues…

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