Family is hard.
No. Not just hard. Near damn impossible sometimes.
But we love them. Don’t we?
I mean, we put up with their shit and overlook things just because they’re family, and family should love unconditionally. Right? We decide that peace is more important than the truth at times just so no one is singled out, or feels like no one loves them anymore.
But when is enough, enough? When is it time that the truth is told and everyone just be honest for a change?
Everyone has their point of view. That is true. But when there is a meddler, and there are lies and the twisting of the truth going on, it can only go on for so long before it all comes crashing down upon the perpetrator. It’s worse when that person is a master manipulator and others can’t see what they’re doing.
It’s enough to send you around the twist!
Recently, that is exactly what has happened.
For years, we have sat back and watched someone lie and manipulate and twist the truth so masterfully that they got away with just about anything they wanted. This person wasn’t so much afraid of getting caught as they were enjoying causing havoc whenever everything seemed to be going well. As long as the person they were targeting got into the trouble they were hoping for, they didn’t care if they copped punishment as well. The smug look on their face said it all – I got you into trouble and there is nothing you can do about it.
During all this time, we have overlooked these things about them because of the position this person holds in our lives. They are family, and family stick by each other no matter what. Family loves you for all that you are, not just the good bits, promoting acceptance and unity. We help each other whenever someone needs it, offer a shoulder to cry on, or seek advice, being a support system when things go sour in our lives.
Over the last year, the fabric of our very close family has been withered away to a crumbling mess. I’m not 100% sure when it started exactly, but it started with the rumour that was designed to influence another person negatively towards me, damaging our relationship, so the instigator of the rumour could be seen as their only true friend. The manipulation spread to others and the person was left with the opinion that no one in the family liked them. This, of course, wasn’t, and still isn’t, true. When my relationship with that person deteriorated, the instigator was there to give me support about the broken-down relationship, listening to my woes, even giving their pearls of wisdom.
Since then, there has been a number of blow-ups in the family. Some things were said about a couple of the younger adults in the family with indications of favouritism happening. This was of course not true, just a manipulation of the facts, but the ones hearing this information took it to heart. As a result, the relationships of all our young adults with each other has been damaged. They’re all wonderful people, but have sadly been told lies about each other and it will have lasting effects.
A couple of days ago, it all came to a head. Basically, shit hit the fan. An argument erupted between the instigator and two of the young adults. Most of us kept out of it because it really didn’t have anything to do with us, it was between them three. It went on for a little but eventually everyone walked away.
But it didn’t end there.
There have been words said to the effect of the instigator taking legal action against one of the young adults. Accusations of people staying quiet when they could have defused the situation have also been thrown around.
The bad thing for the instigator is that the young adults were telling the truth. I know this because the instigator told me! They tried to get me to agree. But I didn’t agree, expressing my stance and giving proof to back it up. There was nothing they could say to debunk my logic and it hasn’t been mentioned to me again.
After all this recent fiasco, the instigator asked me for my opinion twice on the upheaval, but I refused to comment. This family member has since taken to Facebook posting a gazillion memes about knowing who your true friends are. Their status’ have been of how bad they have been treated and how their family have turned their backs on them.
The truth is, none of us have turned our backs on them. They have made that decision for us and acted accordingly by removing any form of contact with any of us. The situation didn’t involve anyone but them and the two young adults. We were being asked to take sides basically which wasn’t fair. Instead of the instigator taking responsibility for their actions, apologising and working things out with the effected parties, they have turned the table onto those who they have accused as knowing the truth but staying quiet, thus removing the focus off themselves and shifting blame.
For some of the family, this manoeuvre has worked. They have managed to place the blame for the fight onto people who weren’t at fault or involved. The instigator wouldn’t have liked my opinion if I had given it anyway because I would not have been backing them up but confirming the truth said by the two young adults. Even in the past, when I keep out of things which are none of my business, somehow, I am still at fault for something. Not sure how I do that. Must be a talent! This time, however, I’m not the only one being targeted.
Saying “I’m sorry” is a very difficult thing to do. For some people, they view that as a weakness, but it is actually a strength because it takes a lot of guts to admit you have done something wrong. We are not perfect by a long shot, so to pretend we don’t make mistakes is foolish. The instigator thus far, has only ever apologised once their whole life to anyone in the family, that we are aware of. If they have on other occasions, it hasn’t been said to any of us. So, the expectation from here is, due to their consistent denial, they will keep up with their claims because they don’t want to admit to anything, telling as many people as they can to get sympathy from being mistreated. The two young adults and the “silent” people are not holding their breath waiting either.
Nothing about family is easy. Just like any relationship in life, it’s hard work. It’s made even harder when people lie. I guess, though, at some point, you have to decide when enough is enough. I love this family member but I won’t lie for them. The direction of our relationship has been taken out of my hands. I will respect the space they’ve sought. If this person was just a friend, I could walk away with little to no effect to my life. But because this person is family, it cuts deeper and is harder to accept.
Will we ever resolve our differences? Only time will tell.