After Second Thoughts, No.

I had been thinking about trying to reconnect with my older cousin, and then after doing a bit more thinking, I decided that I don’t really need to do that.

Nearly two years ago, I had a horrible blow out with my only cousin on my Dad’s side of the family. She is seven years older than I am. She has had a messed up life. All the way around. There is no arguing this point. Her childhood was screwy, her Dad was non-existent, and her mother died.

She was my grandmother’s favorite.  That alone would screw you up.

She lived with my parents on and off in the two years between when they got married, and when I was born. They had talked of adopting my cousin, but in the end they decided that the family drama was not worth their own sanity, and the start of their own family. I know that my Mom especially had a hard time with this decision, and has wondered to herself if my cousin’s life would have been more “normal” had they actually gone through with trying to obtain custody of her.

I would see my cousin here and there throughout my childhood.  I always looked up to her.  When she would come to visit, she always doted on me, and I followed her around like a little puppy.

When I was eleven she graduated from high school.  She went on to start beauty school, but soon after dropped out and moved away.  We didn’t hear from her for years.  Every now and then a letter would show up addressed to my Mom and Dad.  Then nothing for years again.  Then she called my parents and told them that she had gotten married.  Made everything sound wonderful.

Several years later, my grandmother died, and she came back for the funeral.  I was seventeen, she was twenty-four.  She barely talked to me.  It was weird.  The whole thing was, but that is another story all together.

She and her husband bounced around a lot.  The communication was sporadic at best, before email was common, and they rarely had a phone.  She and her husband came for a visit shortly after my husband and I moved in together.  The four of us went out together one night while they were in town.  It was strange.  At this point, we are family, but we are total strangers.

After that summer that she came to visit with her husband, my parents would get strange late night calls.  She would be so out of it that they could barely understand her, either drunk or high, they couldn’t always tell.  She called one night and was crying to my Mom that her husband had beat her up.  My Mom wrote her a letter, or an email later telling her that she should get out of the marriage, if he was being abusive or that they should get help together.  She called her after reading it and chewed my Mom out for not standing up for their marriage.  My Mom vowed not to really get too involved with anything with her from then on.

So it has been thirteen years since any of us has seen her.  With Facebook came an opportunity to connect with our family that was all over the country, and since there are so few of us, we were kind of excited to be friends with my cousin again.  She had gotten divorced from her abusive husband, had moved to the same city that my Uncle and his wife live, and seemed to be doing less self-medicating than normal.

After some time with her on our Facebook feeds, each of us ended up “hiding” her from view.  She is one of those Facebooker’s who always over shares.  Talks about sex, drugs, re-posts every single one of those “my bra is XYZ color today” posts that go around.  It was just ridiculous.

Mack was friends with her for a while, and then deleted her because she was so disgusted.

I kind of forgot that she was there.

Then one evening, I got a wall message from her.  (It turns out that I had been spammed.  One of those, “Click here and see everyone who looks at your FB profile” spams.  I had to reset my settings, change my password, delete that post several times, and finally got rid of it.  Nightmare.  I still don’t know how it got on there.)  She wanted me to “share” the link to the spam, because she wanted to see who was trying to find her on Facebook.  I sent her a message and told her it was spam, that she didn’t want it, and that it had hacked my account.

A day later she sent me a direct message.  The conversation went like this.

Cousin: 

Kelly,
I don’t know how to say this other than to spit it out. I requested some information from you recently and you never responded. Do you just hate me, or what? What have I done to you? Either way, I would appreciate an answer so I know where I stand. Thanks ~ Cousin

My Response:

I did reply to your wall post. That thing was spam, and hacked into my FB account, I had to go in and delete a bunch of stuff and I changed many of my security settings. I have no idea how it got there or what it was from, since it caused issues on my account I don’t think you would have wanted anything to do with it. I don’t hate you cousin. Get a grip.

(I honestly don’t think I intended that “get a grip” line to be so crass.  I was sick.  I had bronchitis, was super tired.  The tone of her message rubbed me the wrong way.  I reacted.)

Cousin:

Sweet! I NEVER got a message from you. You never take the time to talk to me at all, so yeah, I wanted to know where you stand. Why don’t you get a life outside your own little world and include your relatives other than your 5-year-old you post about 99% of the time!! I clearly know where you stand by the flippant way you said goodbye! Later!

My Response:

Why don’t you get a life period? I have a husband and children, and grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. I work full-time, and have kids to take care of. You could take some time and reach out to me too you know? I post about my kids because I love them, they are funny, and most other people think so as well.

We barely know each other, I am not going to have you email me accusing me of hating you, or saying hateful things about my family. You obviously have some problems that you need to deal with.

Cousin:

I wish you well.

My Response:

You too, Cousin. You have managed to isolate yourself from almost all members of this family. This attack on me was the last straw for me. I hope your happy, I hope this marriage lasts, and I hope that your husband’s family is supportive of you in all your needy ways. We are virtually strangers, with a small bit of DNA that we share in common. If we didn’t have that, we probably wouldn’t have ever spoke to one another. It’s clear you don’t know me well at all, even by the emails you have sent. My daughter is 4, not 5. My oldest daughter is 18, not that it matters to you. If you “knew” me, or we were close you would know these things. Good luck with your life. Whatever it is you do.

Cousin:

Ironically, I feel the same way. You would not be friends with me. Just so you know, I’ve been friends with Mack over the last few years. She remembered me and has SUCH an open heart. I hope she’s doing well at Yellow State. I hope you grow a heart someday!

My Response:

My daughter Mack is doing quite well in school. She deleted you as a friend well over a year ago, because your posts about sex, drugs and your boobs made her uncomfortable. Please don’t try to act like you are close with her, because you are not.

I just hope that you are getting help for your mental health issues. Clearly you have several.

Cousin:

FYI- I don’t do drugs and because of the I don’t make reference to that. Your nasty comments have clearly pent-up inside of you for quite some time. It’s obvious that you’re the one in need of help. Leave me be and stop attacking me please. I don’t want to hear from you again. I’ve always known you hated me. As far as the boobs, obviously you’re uncomfortable with your body and your own sexuality. Good luck with THAT one!! WOW!! That’s a HUGE hurdle you need to overcome. Best of luck to you. Goodbye!!!

After this, she deleted me as a friend, and blocked me.  Then went on to bash me on her Facebook wall that both my mother and sister could see, and attacked both of them as well.  My sister ended up getting deleted and blocked as well, after defending me.

So, after going back and re-reading these emails that have been saved in my archived messages on Facebook, I decided that I didn’t really need to re-open that can of worms.

As sad as it is to say, sometimes it is just best to cut ties with some members of your family.  I am sad that we don’t have a plethora of cousins and other extended family, however the family we have that is close to us, more than makes up for it.  The friends we have more than make up for it as well.  Sometimes friends are family too.

Please don’t think that all members of my family are crazy.  Only half of them are.

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2 Comments on “After Second Thoughts, No.”

  1. Holly says:

    Wow. I don’t blame you. She sounds like a whole bowl full of Crazy Flakes. You don’t need that kind of drama.

  2. Jen says:

    She sounds batty to me. You are a wonderful human with a wonderful heart. I feel sad that she doesn’t even attempt to get to know you. Her loss my friend.


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