My parents try their best to be family oriented. We were the first ones from both of their sides to come to Canada, and the first to immigrate to North America. We pretty much set the stage for several family members and their families who have moved here. Two of my parent’s siblings who moved here were assisted by us during their first months in Canada. Both of those families treated us badly and have bad-mouthed us to relatives “back home”. These families have settled in the same city as us, which makes it awkward at times, especially since family members abroad don’t know how much we don’t associate with each other. Despite all that these family members have done (and there is a lot) my parents continue to leave the door slightly ajar to them. I do not understand this. I understand the value of family, or affinity and loyalty. But I also believe in the privilege of family, the privilege of support and the privilege of having someone always there to help you. I certainly believe that a family member can lose this privilege and in my opinion, these members should.
I think that my parents believe that by leaving the door slightly open that they are teaching my sister and I the value of family loyalty. But really all it teaches me is to guard myself. What is the point of putting myself out there if I can get hurt so badly? There are those I trust, but why should I give the time of day to assholes who have shown their stripes? In many ways I feel that my parents are foolish and deserve to be kicked again for allowing any contact with these family members. This happens time and time again even though my mother keeps saying that she won’t put up with any crap this time. Right…and then she gets hurt again. It makes me angry. I don’t care if they are blood. I want to cut them off.
Christmas is coming up and of course comes the dilemma about who should be invited over. One of the downsides of living with my parents is that if they choose to invite these family members that I despise so much, I have to be there when they come over. I secretly want to throw eggs and them and tell them to never come back, but I have to hide my anger behind a smile and polite “hello uncle and aunty” talk. I know many people use Christmas as a time to forgive, but forgiveness doesn’t have to include a memory relapse. They are horrible people! Why do my parents keep inviting them back into our lives? Forgive and cut them loose.