Thursday, August 6, 2009

I am disinclined to acquiese to your request

I want to applaud former President Bill Clinton for his recent trip to North Korea to negotiate the release of the imprisoned journalists. Some of us are born diplomats and some of us aren't. I noticed we did not send GW Bush. And they did not send me.

In my youth I used to do anything (often self-destructive) to a avoid a fight or not burn a bridge. I listened to a relative, a visitor in my own home, call me insane and crazy and held my tongue. I later quietly suggested to his wife they might cut their visit short or find another place to stay. But there was no yelling and hitting on my part at that time. Or most if not all of the hundred other times I suffered his verbal abuse.

Somewhere in my thirties it dawned on me that holding my tongue was directing a lot of anger that belonged elsewhere back at me. I was chronically depressed, had a problem with alcohol, and liked to toy around with suicide attempts. I say toy around because the major criteria for any attempt at suicide was to not leave a mess someone else would have to clean up. Then I began cleaning up my act. I learned to say no and enough. I stopped saying I was sorry and told people it was not my fault.

I am no longer chronically depressed. But a consequence of telling people where they could get off with unacceptable behavior is I have not talked to my brother in twenty years. (See earlier paragraph about relative.) I have not missed the chronically abusive relationship at all. But lately I have been in contact with his son (who is also not talking to him) and his daughter who is. Via e-mail she gave me her dad's telephone numbers and said he would like to talk to me and urged me to call HIM.

I am disinclined to acquiesce to this request. And karma be damned. I am totally happy with my life just the way it is. Now should he call and apologize I will accept it. But I doubt we have a future relationship unless he has undergone a sea change in spite of what today's horoscope claims. I have moved on and I don't need him to approve or disapprove.

BTW one response to karma can be that you are not going to go through a lifetime with that person ever again.

5 comments:

  1. Fascinating reading Jacqui.

    I so agree. I grew up in much the same way - never saying no and this was as a result of my mother constantly telling me not to show my displeasure and the nuns telling me to put everyone before myself. Saying 'yes' when I should most definitely have said 'no', many times in my late teens and early twenties got me into trouble. Looking back it could have been worse but even now, I don't like to think about it and some of the hurt I probably ultimately caused others as a result of not being able to say 'no' when i should.

    Then in my thirties, I woke up much to my mother's surprise. She could not understand how I could do a complete turn around. She used to say that 'fore the sake of peace', I should keep my mouth shut. that made me worse! I was no longer prepared either, to keep my opinions to myself. It did cause some upheaval but I stuck to my guns. These days when I find myself reverting to type, I give myself a reminder of how it used to be and how much better it is now - although I am not one for confrontation unless pushed against a wall.

    My days of 'trying to please' everyone are long gone. that is not to say that I am inconsiderate of any one's feelings. I am just more honest and if someone wants me to do something that I don't want to do, I say 'no' whereas at one time, i would have said 'yes', killed myself to do it and hated myself into the bargain.

    Age brings reason and I am comfortable in my skin.

    If it is that your brother really wants to reconnect (and you don't know at this stage if that is his wish or his daughter's) he will come to you. You know better than to go down a path that may well lead to destruction. I'm always suspicious when there is a third part involved. Better left well alone unless he makes a move and even then, at a distance. Blood is not always thicker than water.

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  2. I would say this is why you are such a great Artist Jacqui..a wonderful gift you have.

    Isn't it funny how sometimes we perceive someone..to me you seem to be a very smart lady,one who is completely at ease with herself,and it is hard to think of you any other way. Re your brother,I probably would give your nephew your phone number and then leave it in your brothers hand,if he wants to call,allow him,you are a much stronger lady now Jacqui,and so this time you keep the upper hand,do you understand what I mean,I probably not explaining myself as I want to,I would look on your brother as being pathetic for being how he was,maybe he has changed,I would give him that benefit,I have a similar story with my older sister,she constantly bossed me all my life,she is loud and bossy,and yet she has a heart of gold if you were in need,I since my being over here I only made contact for the first year,her poor husband is nagged to death,and really it is so sad,she has lost me..her sister,even her own daughter told me she wished I was her mother,my sister would never admit she had a problem..it was everyone else not her!! I think eventually you will meet your brother again,why don't you arrange it with your young sister,the 3 of you together,even just to call a truce.

    Bobby wants me to call my sister and tell her the reason WHY I have ceased to keep intouch with her,and for me to be strong if she starts hooning in on me,,must be this Gemini in us.

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  4. This is sad but is something that was bound to happen given the crap your brother has fed his daughter. He would not want to be seen as 'the bad one'. You have done fine for 20 years - or rather worked through it so let them not spoil your next twenty. How does your sister feel about this?

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  5. I am still learning this speaking your truth business but I am much better than I was a few yaers ago so there is hope for me yet. I have also lost some friends along the way, and it has also been suggested to me that I should be the one to get back in touch with ex friends and initiate peace talks. I wont do it - I don't see why I should be the one to make the running when other, less considerate, unloyal and unreasonable types sit on their lazy arses and never pick up the phone.

    It's a pity that you could not have had a more loving brother but I can quite understand why you did not acquiesce to your niece's request.

    BTW it was so nice to see those 2 reporters return home

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