After seeing periodic Facebook communication extended by certain members of my family towards my children while I remained largely ignored, I sent a message to a cousin as to why this was a reality. I wasn’t catty with my words and tried hard not to come off in a way that put said cousin on the defensive. I stated a simple question in hopes of honest dialogue and maybe putting an end to the estrangement. What I received as an answer in return was:
“Don’t ever question me about what I do with my cousins! I’m grown! Don’t ever question me about what I do!”*
At the time this “conversation” took place I was emotional, as I usually am at this time of the year, and was quite hurt by the reaction. However, instead of snapping back and inspiring more defense, I thanked my cousin for the response and promptly deactivated my Facebook account. No sense subjecting myself to further rejection.
I’m constantly trying to understand why this is the way things are, so to get a better perspective, I asked a second cousin (on my father’s side) and Him for their perspective. The former postulated that it may be years of my tenacious insistence to live life by my own design. The latter hypothesized that it was my wording. Neither of these explanations seem to set quite right since 1. I was taught to be independent and 2. as a writer I know just how to phrase my words to avoid conflict. So the question still lingers: What is it about me that warranted such a stinging response to a simple question?
I find it funny that a lot of the contact with my children is initiated by family, such as my cousin, yet in the “conversation” my cousin stated that if I really wanted to stay in communication I could very well pick up the phone or send a message or whatever… Totally ignoring the unanswered message I’d sent back on April that loomed above this particular “conversation”, and forgetting the phone call I placed earlier in the year where I was mistaken for another “Angie” and told I’d be called back but never was. So how much more effort am I expected to make and how am I not expected to be hurt by the concessions made for my children but not for me?
I’ve wrestled with this issue for far too long and this last episode has convinced me that I’m just not meant to reconcile with my family. Somehow I have to make myself good with that. I’m sure it will always hurt like hell but at least it can never be said that I didn’t try.