I just got finished telling my sister to go fuck off. And I gotta say, I’m not sure I’ve ever felt anything more rewarding. Don’t get me wrong, I love my sister. And we never argue really. I hate confrontation. And my whole life I have been a meek little mouse keeping the peace. And today, I really just had enough.
It wasn’t over some big blow out either. Just a small little inconvenience.
My mom wants a cat.
Rewind 40ish years, my mom was in a car accident. She suffered a traumatic brain injury and for more than 50% of my adult life since then, I’ve been helping to take care of her. Over the last 20 years, I’ve been the one to take her to 90% of her doctors appointments, gone and done 90% of her grocery shopping and been the one to go to her house 100% of the time when she wasn’t answering her phone and one of her siblings (my aunts) thought she might have fallen or been murdered.
Last month, my mom’s last cat died. My mother lives alone and only has the constant company of her cats to make her feel like she is not all by herself. Shortly after her cat died, she said she wanted another one, but for some reason, one of her sisters and one of my sisters decided that they don’t think she “needs” a cat. Both of these women have life partners and dogs. They are not alone. I, personally, think it is very selfish of them to a.) think they should have any say in what a grown ass woman does even if she does have a brain injury and b.) to not consider how lonely they would be if they didn’t have ANYONE to keep them company. Again, both of them do.
So, my mom had the opportunity to acquire a very loved cat that would need to be transported to her. My sister said, “no” as if it was her call in the first place.
I’m not sure why it made me so mad. I think partly because they treat my mom like she isn’t a person because of her brain injury. I don’t know if they think that the car accident knocked my mother’s feelings out of her head or they just don’t think she has needs like a non brain injured person. I personally, think it’s bullshit.
And I said as much. My sister and I got into a text fight because she didn’t answer the phone when I called. And today was the day that I decided I was not a meek little mouse and told her that I thought she was being selfish. Of, course she then tried to make me feel guilty for moving out of town and leaving her there to care for our mother through 2 knee surgeries over the course of 3 months. Normally, I would also let that make me feel guilty, but I have had 29 years to decide what I would do with my life once my children were grown up. I had no problem being the one that everyone called to help when I was also taking care of my own kids. In my mind, that was just part of it. You take care of the mom who gave you life. You help your siblings. You help literally everyone but yourself. But I always told her when the kids were older and settled and moved out that I was leaving. I have a whole life to live that I thought I couldn’t live when I was raising kids. Now, I know that is not the case, I should have left and we all should have moved to the beach 20 years ago, but circumstances and doubts got in the way. Now, there is nothing in the way.
And so, my sister and I got into a fight that may or may not lead to us never speaking again.
I say all that, to say this, if you are part of a family who is toxic and who does not want to see the best for you or who tries to make you feel guilty for taking care of yourself and for healing your wounds and for working on your own mental health, it is perfectly ok for you to tell them to go fuck off. It’s liberating actually. It feels even better to block them. You have come too far in fixing yourself to let anyone, related or not, try to destroy the work you’ve done on yourself.
So, here is your permission slip (even though you don’t need one) to keep making yourself better and to shed any negative or toxic relationships you need to in order to keep your mental health (and sobriety) safe.