Family Matters

My niece and her husband came up to visit me for the weekend. It was a wonderful time. I was there when my niece was born, and I have tried to be there for her through everything that life brought to both of us. We both have had to deal with the extreme mental dysfunction of our families, so we have a lot that we can relate to each other.

Not that we trauma bond. Her experience with family is a lot different than mine. The only mutual connection we have is my sister/her mother and my mom/her grandmother. But it can become like a trauma bonding festival, mostly because we both understand the levels of fucked up our families have put us through. I feel hers was far worse than mine and she has certainly come a long way from where she was. I’m proud of her.

Then there was the news of my mom and sister. I do like getting news. I mostly want to hear that they are happy, doing whatever it is they are doing and feeling like they are living their best lives. Of course, happiness won’t happen, no matter how much I wish it for them. They truly are some of the most negative people I know. And as my niece said, “Oh no. They’re not.” So…no surprise there, I guess.

My niece’s husband said that my mom truly misses me. You know…it’s nice to hear. She does care in her own weird way. But that care comes with a lot of caveats that frankly, I don’t want to deal with. It also doesn’t change the fact that she feels no obligation to do what she needs to do to repair our relationship. That’s disappointing, but again, narcissists don’t see what they do as wrong, or if they do, they don’t actually make any efforts to improve themselves because it’s easier to make everyone else deal with it than make meaningful changes. So…She misses me, but obviously, not enough to want to do something that will help her and help her have better relationships. So be it.

I laugh because my niece says they are trying to live in a “white” community. That tracks. My mom is racist, no matter how much she says she isn’t. She may tolerate PoC, and have friends who are PoC, but everyone not in her knowledge base, they are horrible criminals who need to be avoided at all costs. My mom has a seriously bad case of xenophobia and, well, racism. When I was in the fourth grade and I had met the three friends who I would take with me throughout my life, she told me that I should probably not hang out with them so much because people will think that I “only like Asians.” Luckily, I never took her advice.

According to my niece, their process for finding a new home is to find a place on the map, see how much the homes cost, find one they can afford, which historically seems to be in the $260,000 range, then buy and move. Unfortunately, that puts them in some less than desirable places, at least for them. This is wild to me because the contractor, with the new septic field and water perk, brand new home at completely her specifications, and a crossway from the deck to the new home, due to permits, would have come in at $183,000, in an all white neighborhood because I live where the hillbillies are, and they chase off anyone who isn’t white.

But so it goes.

They just moved into the home in Mississippi last year. Two months later, they put it back on the market. They haven’t sold it yet.

My niece told me about this situation as well. It seems that they moved into a historic district, which is wild to me because that was something my mom swore she would never do because of the unique restrictions of owning a home in such an area. Apparently, the home had some 100+ year old trees that they decided to cut down, it is assumed for aesthetics. At this, I kind of laughed. With all the “Hate not Heritage” and the racists need to hang onto Civil War monuments and flags all popularized in the 60’s as a signal that PoC weren’t welcome there, I already knew how that was going to go over. And it seems I was right.

A woman in the community and a neighbor of theirs slandered them upside down and sideways on Facebook. I haven’t seen the posting. I admit that I have a strong desire to see it for myself. But the issue remained, my mom and sister did something you don’t do in the South. Destroy history, even if it is just trees. Especially when such a thing is done by someone who hasn’t grown up in the community, nor has generations living in that community. It is a very huge offense. My mom and sister can’t understand that. They think in terms of Southern CA, where your property entitles you to the privilege of doing whatever you want, and while the neighbors can complain, unless you violated a code doing it, there’s not much one can do. This isn’t true out here, and it definitely is a thing.

As an aside, I once again, I discovered my mom’s address this morning. She tells the kids not to tell me, but honestly, they don’t need to. Public records are so accessible and it doesn’t help when agents list the client names of people they’ve helped buy a home. I probably could have found it sooner, but honestly, I had no interest because why? I’m not going to send her any mail. I’m not going to get into contact with her. It seemed irrelevant to look. My curiosity got the better of me this morning trying to find the Facebook post and ended up finding their address.

So, now, they want to sell and move to Boston, because somehow, that will be better (even though it is more expensive in so many ways and not a “safe haven” as they think, especially if all they can afford is $260,000). They ruined their presence in the new community in less than two months. Not that I’m surprised, but I’m surprised at how it came about. But I assume my mom, at least, wants some clout to say she lives near Salem since she can’t actually afford to live in it proper. My sister is just along for the ride because my mom is the Bank of J (My sister’s initial) and seems to be incapable at this time, in her ripe old age of 58, to provide for herself and requires either my mom or a man to do so.

As another aside, I feel fairly good that my sister has the same inability to pick men well. She’s 7 marriages in now, and not one of them managed to make the amount of money or put up with her bullshit for the long haul. Though her technique for finding guys and mine are vastly different, so maybe our luck is genetic.

Getting back to my niece, we talked a lot about current events, past events, and everything in between. Our love of our cats, and the local area between she and I, and, of course, our dismay at her mom and mine. Her husband tried to give his perspective, and we both simply said he hadn’t been with them long enough to understand that they are the way they are because they believe they are in the right all the time and cannot remove themselves from their own minds to see someone else’s perspective long enough to maybe grasp a different perspective.

And to be fair, we both provided reasons and perhaps excuses, though neither of those make us believe anything they do is remotely acceptable, just that we have been able to step outside ourselves and stand in their shoes to understand how they got where they are now. I often find at the end of those kinds of exercises with my mom, and to some degree, my sister, I’m sad for them. That their minds have made their lives so small and so dependent on one another. They have no one else but themselves by their own design. My mom refuses to go out into the world to make new friends, have new experiences, and enjoy the freedom her life is giving her. Instead, she stays at home, only goes and does the errands she needs to do, like grocery shopping, and then comes back home. I mean, I can’t really speak because I’m very much the same, but in my personal defense, I do talk to people during my day, whether it’s coworkers or friends. I don’t go out and make new friends, and honestly, I really should.

But there it is. The update on my mom and sister. I haven’t heard boo about them in over 5 years and, in one afternoon, got a wealth of info.

I’m good for another 5 years, I think.

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