How to deal with toxic people…


We made it to present day here….well pretty much, and I am going to finish up the story and give you all the current bullshit that’s going on with my toxic family, but I wanted to take a break from all that and give you all some tips for dealing with Toxic people, whether they are psychopaths, sociopaths, narcissists or whatever. I should probably preface this with telling you guys that I am (very obviously) not a doctor or qualified mental health practitioner. I am just sharing with you guys what has and hasn’t worked for me, and how I respond to the negativity, the baiting, the antagonizing, the word twisting, the gaslighting, the projection and just straight up, bullshit lies and psychoticness. (That is so not a word, but you get it). So I am going to explain to you guys, how I’ve responded in the past and I’m going to give you all some tips that I have learned along the way. 

Tip #1: KNOW WHO YOU ARE



You guys may think I sound crazy here, and are saying to yourselves, “but it’s not me, it’s them”, and you’re right, most of the time it is them.  Bear with me for a moment. You need to step out of yourself, be honest and try to look how you contribute to the toxicity, because you do contribute to it.  I know this sounds crazy, but NONE of us are perfect. We all have one or two traits that when we read about Narcs, psycho’s and Socio’s we start bugging out, and for a split second we think, “shit, am I the narcissist, here?”. Most likely, the answer is NO. Reason being is that no narcissist, sociopath or psychopath is going to even be reading that kind of shit! They do not care enough about other human beings to truly understand them. I followed the Jodi Arias trial EXTENSIVELY and I remember watching a psychologist’s commentary on the Dr. Drew show on HLN, about the case. He basically said that there is no such thing as “all good” and “all bad”. (That is called “splitting” and that’s how narcs, socio’s and psychopath’s view things). As hard as it to believe even the most evil of beings have one or two good qualities…..even Jodi Arias….ok not her, she’s pure fucking evil. Anyway, I agree with him, and so while we, “the victims” are probably mostly all good, we do possess a few bad qualities ourselves. 
The other thing to keep in mind here is that we cannot change other people. We cannot simply tell a narcissist to stop being a narcissist. God, if only it were that easy! We are only responsible for our own actions, and so with that said, we need to realize how we add to the bullshit, and we need to adjust our behaviors accordingly. I consider myself someone who is exceptionally self aware, good and bad. I have an innate ability to push people’s buttons. I am sarcastic. I am impulsive. I don’t always think before I speak, and at times I don’t know when to stop or how to filter my language. While I always knew these things about myself, I was not able to see how those things contributed to my relationships with the toxic people in my life, and how I was making things even more toxic, until recently when I took a step back and analyzed my relationships with these people. Unfortunately when tragedy strikes, you see people’s true colors. 

A perfect example of how I contribute to the toxicity; I cannot take when people think they are getting one over on me. It fucking kills me. I don’t like when people think that I’m stupid and cannot read between the lines. I am a venter. I need to express my feelings. If something is wrong, I feel like it HAS to be known, I cannot hold back.  Back before my mom passed, I was taking my anger out in an unhealthy, passive aggressive way. I would see quotes and stuff on Facebook, and feel like I could relate them to what I was going through with my family, and so I’d post them. My aunts (and their guilty consciences) being the same way, they would see my posts and then they’d go seek out their own posts or make passive aggressive comments. It got to a point where I stopped, but they kept going. It’s very hard for me not to jump down their throats and call out their contradictions and/or hypocrisy. I didn’t need the added stress at that time of fighting with them, and so I made the decision to unfriend all of them on Facebook so their posts would no longer show up on my newsfeed. I know I have issues with impulse control (thanks ADHD) and so me not seeing them would help me control MY behavior. If I don’t have the temptation there then I can better control how I react to them. 
Tip #2: YOU AREN’T OBLIGATED TO RESPOND



This sounds so simple and if you’re anything like me, it’s not that easy to do. You have to remember that toxic people like to fight, argue, disrupt, inflame, incite riots, and cause chaos, that’s what makes them toxic. 9 out 10 times they are trying to draw you out of your fox hole so they can fulfill that need, or so they can further exploit you. If you don’t respond, you are not adding more gasoline to their fire….. you are putting out their flame. In the past four months I have held back and bit my tongue, and I have noticed that the more I ignore the toxic people in my life, the more angry and starved for attention they become, just like a flame needs oxygen to keep burning. 

If you want to piss them off, ignore them! The worst thing for a narcissist or psychopath is losing their “supply”. Don’t be their supply.

 I am normally very reactive, but I completely switched up my game. I was in a lose/lose situation with my family. I started to realize that it doesn’t really matter how gently  I approached them, I am always in the wrong. I am the family scapegoat. They’ve been antagonizing me because they want to prove to everyone that they are right, and I am the asshole. The more I ignore it and press on with what I have to do, the more angry and desperate they become, and now instead of exposing me, they are exposing themselves, and the people around them are starting to see the sickness without me saying or doing anything. 

Now, keep in mind, I am not saying that you should never respond, or stick up for yourself, or that you should walk on eggshells, and tip toe around them, not at all. I’m trying to tell you that you need to control if and how you’re going to respond to them because your responses are what’s going to dictate how the conversation goes and how much abuse you receive in return. When you are dealing with people who are just going to twist whatever you say around, it’s not worth your time to try to convince them of your side. I had to learn this the hard way. 

Deaf people do not listen! 
Tip #3: RESPOND, BUT DON’T RESPOND 
This blog is one big response to the toxic people in my life. Writing is what kept me sane during my horribly hormonal, high school years. I kept a journal and I wrote in it every night. I stopped writing somewhere around my last year of college and I realized recently that it was a great and safe way to for me to cope with what I am going through.

I have received a few letters from my brother and my aunts in the last few months and I now realize that responding to them and giving them a dose of reality does absolutely nothing, because all they will do is deflect, deny or disregard the truth.  They have no interest in the truth. I now realize that my best option is write them back, but never send it to them! It helps me get out the things I want to say, but I don’t have to deal with the backlash or bullshit that comes with it. I don’t have to deal with the frustration of their lack of acknowledgement or accountability. Trust me. I would love nothing more than tearing these toxic assholes to SHREDS, but I’ve realized now that it does me absolutely no good. I will never get back the honest reply that I am hoping for. I will never get validated by them, and so with that I take care of my urge to respond, but I don’t feed the beast. 

Tip #4:KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSE AND YOUR ENEMIES EVEN CLOSER

Ok not really close. By close I mean, know who they are. Really take a look at the people you are dealing with and ask yourself, is it me or them? My aunt Debbie is a great example here. I was very close with my Aunt Debbie’s daughter Tina. I would spend hours on the phone with Tina as she complained about aunt Debbie and how Aunt Debbie treated her. I sat back one day and really analyzed Aunt Debbie  as aperson and I saw who she really was. Aunt Debbie has been married twice, and has had a long string of failed relationships in the last decade. She is 60 years old, lonely and bitter. She is constantly surrounded by conflict, because I think she actually enjoys the conflict. It gives her something to do and something to talk about since her life is so pathetic.  My mom and Aunt Debbie talked every day and my mom would always tell me how Aunt Debbie always seems to be fighting with someone. She has MANY friends with whom she has had fights with, and hasn’t spoken to in years. She stops talking to them for years at a time and some she cuts off completely, and it doesn’t matter how long they’ve known one another.  Usually it’s over something really stupid and trivial. Aunt Debbie is spiteful and vindictive, even with her own daughter.  Knowing this about her helps me know that it’s not me. She has a high conflict personality. She always needs to be right even if it means cutting off her nose to spite her own face.  I have never met someone who has fights with their friends the way she does. So you need to look at the toxic person and ask if they are surrounded by conflict. Once you determine that, you know that most likely this is a person who isn’t going to take anything that you have to say to heart. Even if you are right, they will never admit it because they are too stubborn. Trying to point out the truth or trying to resolve issues with a person like that is going to be very difficult unless you just completely give in, kiss their asses and grovel for forgiveness, even if all you did was defend yourself against one of their cruel and senseless attacks. 

Tip #5 DON’T RESPOND EVEN BY PROXY

 
Most people you’d deem toxic in your life are also highly manipulative. They also like to “triangulate” and/or recruit others into their battles and crusades. If you truly don’t want to deal with their drama, don’t talk about them with mutual friends or other family members.  If you do, don’t talk shit about them. Don’t give them anything to hold against you. A lot of people will pretend and play both sides of the fence because let’s face it, sometimes it’s straight up entertainment to hear other people’s drama and bullshit. Your words may get skewed and taken out of context like a big ol game of telephone. Just remember those who gossip with you, probably gossip about you. You never know if they will slip up and tell them something you said about the toxic person. 

My aunts and my brother have been trying to reach me but I haven’t responded because at this point in the game, my lawyer has told me not to respond and not to put anything in writing. First my brother wrote me and email and then Aunt Bea. When that didn’t work Aunt Debbie tried to speak through my Aunt Dana who is in no way involved in our conflict. Her attempt to contact me was meant to be manipulative to both me and Aunt Dana. She was trying to get Aunt Dana to “talk some sense into me” and so she asked her to deliver a message. My response to Aunt Dana was, my name and phone number and the name and phone number of my lawyer. I told aunt Dana that I will NOT be communicating through her. When aunt Dana gave Aunt Debbie my response,she said, “that’s all she had to say?”. That right there showed me that she was looking for more from me. She wanted me to respond to the drama but I refused. 

Tip #6 – KEEP RECORDS

 
This tip is probably the single, most important tip I can give you. Of course it’s just not possible to record every single conversation you have, but if you are involved in conflict with a toxic personality or you are sensing a conflict with them, you are going to want to start keeping record of conversations. This was probably the absolute smartest thing I could do when it came to my family. I tried to keep all of our conversations in texts. If I was speaking with my brother there were times he’d try to call and I’d make some excuse up and tell him I was unable to answer my phone. Sure my storage on my phone is full all of the time, but I have a record of every word that was said. If someone tries to twist and obscure my words or even their own words, I have solid proof. When my brother went and lied to a lawyer about my mom having no will, he had sent my husband a text telling him that I can either hand over the will that names my aunt’s as executors or he will be filing for letters of administration. When he filed for letters of administration, he signed a sworn affidavit that said he did a diligent search for the will and determined that no will had ever existed. Clearly he was lying since he had acknowledged it in his text. Keeping records will help keep your sanity! 
Tip #7 KEEP IT BUSINESS
I realize that most of these tips are basically saying not to respond and not to feed into it, but there are times and situations in life where you have no choice but to converse with them. If and when you must communicate with them, keep it short and sweet, and to the point. Do not give them any more than what you have to give them. This leaves them with very little room to distract, deflect or twist words. Do not write to them or speak to them with any emotion or feeling about whatever topic you are discussing. Remember that toxic people do not care about your feelings, they only care about their feelings.  You almost have to be robotic when dealing with them. Do not give them too much detail or make it too lengthy. I’ve noticed that NONE of the toxic people in my life seem to know how to read or listen. I can tell by their responses that they aren’t fully paying attention. If they try to change the subject, stay the course, but do so without emotions or criticizing them. It took me a VERY long time to learn this, but I promise you, it is worth while. If you don’t come out of your face with them, they don’t know how to respond. They get really tripped up when you are calm, cool and collected. There were a few times I felt I had to share information with my aunts, in the last few months, and so I just wrote very short emails to them, got to the point, stayed real cordial and didn’t take any of their bait to try to reel me into an argument.  For instance, one of my mom’s neighbors saw a red SUV parked in my mom’s driveway, one day. I know aunt Debbie is the ONLY person who would be in her driveway, who has a red SUV. I was at the house around that time and noticed that someone had taken some boxes of my brother’s stuff from the house, that he left behind the night I caught him and his wife removing items off the property. I assumed my aunt Debbie, thinking she was the named executor of my mom’s will, thought she could remove the items from the property, and I couldn’t say shit to her about it. The reality was though, while she was the named executor, she hadn’t been appointed by the courts yet, and so legally she had no authority to do so. I wrote her an email letting her know that she was seen at the house removing items, and I reminded her that she hadn’t been appointed yet and shouldn’t be removing items from the property. I had tried to peacefully and amicably reach out to her in the weeks following my mom’s death,  and she refused to respond to me. Of course once she was being accused of something, she answered right away. She denied being there, and so when I responded, I kept it very short. I told her that if it wasn’t her, I apologize, and that I should probably contact the police and have them look into it since, I don’t know anyone else with a red SUV who’d be at my mom’s home. She responded back, “Good idea.(that I call the police)”, and that was it…..or so I thought. A day or so later I got this lengthy, “how dare you”, ” I would never do that”, “I am insulted”, bullshit, argumentative email. She didn’t get the rise out of me that she was hoping for, the first time, and so she got angry and wrote me an inflammatory, email. I never responded to that last one. There was no need. It was just bait to try to suck me in so she could further antagonize me and argue with me. I refused to give her what she wanted. Don’t take the bait, my friends! 

 
  
Tip #8 STOP FEELING GUILTY! 

Ok so this one isn’t so much a tip for dealing with them, but it’s something to consider….I grew up in an Italian- American family that preached “family first”, “family always sticks together” and “unconditional love”, but I’ve realized in the past year that they don’t practice what they preach. I’ve also learned in the last few years that, that way of thinking is completely unhealthy. If someone is disrespecting you, crossing your boundaries and/or treating you badly, it doesn’t matter who they are, or how you know them, if they’re treating you like shit, they gotta go! You don’t have to take ANYONE’S abuse. You also don’t have to feel guilty for making decisions that are best for your life. 
Going no contact is not easy and especially so when you are doing it with your family. Trust me, I know this. I held onto my family for the past ten years. I felt resentful towards them. I couldn’t understand how they could stand behind someone who perpetrated a crime against another member of the family. I stuck it out and tried to forgive people because I wanted to respect my mother. My aunt Bea saved my mom’s life by donating her kidney to her, and so I felt obligated to be there for her when her son molested my younger cousin. I will always admire what she did for my mom, but I realize now that it didn’t give her a pass to treat me or my mom like shit. I didn’t ask her to do that for my mom. That was her choice in life, not mine. She did that for my mom, not for me. I don’t owe her anything. I am not obligated to do anything for her, and quite frankly, she has some nerve being angry with me about “outing” her son. I didn’t ask him to molest my cousin. She will deny, deny, deny, that she has any resentment towards me but her actions speak louder than her words.

As much as I know it would upset my mom, cutting half of my extend family and my brother, out of my life, I know my mom would want me to do what’s best for me. If she could see all that they’ve been doing for the past four months since she died, I think she’d understand. You cannot feel guilty for cutting toxic people from your life……Period. 
I hope this has helped 

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Anxiety returns…

It was the weekend of my grandmother’s 90th birthday party and I was so not looking forward to it. I really didn’t feel welcomed by my family. I was also really worried about my mom who’s pain seemed to be getting worse. My brother and Satan had volunteered to bring her to and from the party which I was fine with seeing that I didn’t plan on staying that long. They hadn’t been by her house except for one time to visit since she had gotten out of the hospital in August. Another thing that I forgot to mention is that Satan happens to share a birthday with my grandmother. I had no desire to celebrate her birthday. 
For ten years of my life I lived with terrible anxiety. To put this in perspective for everyone, I always thought I had the perfect family. Unlike most kids, I actually used to really look forward to going to family functions. I loved seeing my cousins. They weren’t just cousins to me, it was like having other siblings. At times I actually preferred hanging out with my cousins over my friends. My family was cool. My aunts and uncles liked to party. There was no stuffy, awkward dinners, it was every man for themselves, if you couldn’t find a seat, you stood up like a horse and ate. All the food was so good. Each aunt would make a dish and bring it over. They would be drinking wine and dancing to Madonna and Prince till all hours of the night. While the uncle’s sat there and talked “guy” stuff with one another. There was so much laughter and you can always hear the distinct laughs of the two in-law aunt’s who were married to my mom’s brothers. There was never a dull moment. We enjoyed it and never took it for granted. Every time I’d introduce a friend or boyfriend to my family they would tell me that they wished they had a family like mine. It was an amazing thing. I realize now that the closeness of my family is actually the exception, not the norm. 
We had the best times but all that ended the day my cousin decided to dip his proverbial “pen” in the family “ink”. When he molested my other cousin, he ruined everything for everyone. From that day forward the one thing I truly enjoyed and looked forward to became one of my biggest dreads. From then on I hated when holidays and birthdays rolled around. When I pulled up to family parties I would circle around the block a few times before actually parking and going in because I was having such bad anxiety and felt like my heart was going to pound out of my chest. My cousin, the victim, lived only two blocks away from Aunt B and after everything happened No one even wanted to have the parties at their house because no one wanted to be that person to tell Aunt B her son couldn’t come. For the most part, after everything came out, my Aunt Bea was the one who hosted all of the family parties and the perpetrator was her son, and so to the victims of his crime, it looked as if we were choosing sides……his side, but that’s not how it was. Everyone would ignore him at the parties and he would sort of keep to himself and only talk to the few sympathizers he had. 
Looking back now, I am so sorry I put myself through all of that stress. I always felt torn between doing what was right and respecting my mom and Grandmother. Aunt Bea gave her a kidney. She saved her life. She gave me back my mother and it’s a gift I can never thank her enough for and so when push came to shove, I felt like I had no choice but to support her. I realize now that I was selfish and insecure. I abandoned my cousin who was the victim, just like everyone else did. I was no different. I just couldn’t give up my family. While I stuck up for her and her mother who were vilified by my Aunt Bea and Aunt Debbie, and got into disputes with almost everyone in my family, I was being a hypocrite. This poor girl lost EVERYONE. She lost her whole entire family and her innocent younger sister also paid the price. I am ashamed. I should’ve stood my ground back then. I put myself through hell for no good reason. It is probably one of the only regrets I have in life till this day. I should’ve been there for her. I wasn’t and I am so sorry. 
I had finally just started to get over my anxiety. I wouldn’t talk to my cousin. The most I would do is say hi and bye. A few times I got stuck in awkward conversations but it was like no matter where I went, that big purple elephant was sitting in the corner of the room. I had to forgive him because I refused to let what he did, dictate the rest of my life. He was dating a girl named Lori* who was way out of his league and at one party her and I struck up a conversation and we really hit it off. From then on we became friendly and I was finally starting to feel like I could move past what he did and allow him a second chance. I thought maybe he changed. Honestly, it was my husband who kind of made me think differently. He told me that everyone deserves a second chance and so I tried to be a little open minded to that concept. That was until he broke up with the girlfriend. 
I’m not sure how but we ended up on the phone one day and he started telling me everything that was going on, how she just upped and left one day and didn’t come back for a few days and when she did, she told him it was over and she started looking for a new place to live. He started calling and texting me and even though I was really uncomfortable about it, I felt kind of sorry for him. I somehow got sucked into being his shoulder to cry on. He’s a kind of pathetic person. Mentally he is like a 16 year old boy trapped inside the body of a 39 year old man and you almost pity him. I almost can’t blame him for being so fucked up. He is and always was the quintessential black sheep of his immediate family. His sister, Gianna was the golden child, in fact I think gold isn’t even a precious enough medal. She was platinum in the eyes of my Aunt B and uncle Bob. Platinum with a 10k diamond on top. She could do no wrong in her parents eyes. I always compared their relationship to Lisa and Bart Simpson. Whenever things would go wrong in her life he’d sit back and laugh with this big sadistic grin on his face. He especially found it amusing when he found out her husband, Fred was doing crystal meth behind her back….yeah that happened. 
Gianna’s husband Fred is the one who set him up with his girlfriend. They used to be “friends”. After the breakup Lori left and got her own apartment. One day Fred showed up at her apartment. He was on his way to work and decided to do some crystal meth and was bugging out. Yes, I said he was on his way to work! Anyway he showed up at Lori’s apartment and Lori made him call Gianna and confess. Well once Benny (the Molester) caught wind of it, he pounced on the opportunity to share all the dirt he had on Fred in an attempt to ruin his and Gianna’s marriage. Fred made her look like such a fool. He was always shit talking behind her back and he was a huge coke head. One time he grabbed my ass in a way that was not cool. It made me really uncomfortable. I told Benny about it but never told Gianna because I had enough of my own problems going on at the time. I didn’t want to get involved in their messy shit. Besides she’s the type of girl who would make some excuse and downplay it like it wasn’t a big deal. Anyway, Benny took it upon himself to tell Gianna and so he called me and told me the whole story. I was kind of upset because I had enough issues with them. 
A few weeks later Benny called me all in a huff. It was right after Xmas (2015) and he told me how Lori and him were texting back and forth, wishing one another happy holidays and everything was cool until he made a stupid comment to her and then suddenly she blew up and told him he was a sick child molester and she knew his secret. Throughout their whole relationship we wondered if she knew. A lot of my cousins live in the same town and it’s a small gossipy town and none of us could figure out how she didn’t know what he did to our cousin. Obviously she knew now and Benny was blaming Fred for telling her. I thought it was Fred too. I couldn’t think of anyone else who would’ve told her even though I wished I had because I really thought she was a good girl and deserved better.  
While I’m on the phone with Benny and he’s telling me this story, I could tell he had been drinking a little bit and he started to get angry as he was telling me the story. I asked him how he responded to her saying those words and he started telling me (as if I didn’t know the truth) that he told her that no one in our family believed the victim and we all know it didn’t happen and we support him 100% and our uncle, (the victim’s father) is a piece of shit who stole $25,000 from his parents and never paid it back….etc, etc. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I don’t know if he was actually trying to convince me that, that was the real story or himself, because I wasn’t believing it. I was caught so off guard by that response I just sat there in silence and listened as he went on this whole fabricated tirade. 
That was the last time I talked to Benny. I just couldn’t after that. How dare he lie. How dare he call my uncle who’s daughter was victimized in one of the worst ways possible, a piece of shit. I realized that all those times I showed up at the parties, I was doing him a disservice. I was helping him, my Aunt Bea and Uncle Bob live in their delusion that their son was innocent. I felt that anger just like I felt when my cousin first told me what happened to her. I felt like he was victimizing my cousin all over again. Right then and there I realized that I can no longer support their shit show. I haven’t gone to any events at my Aunt Bea’s house since.
It ended up, it wasn’t Fred who told Lori. Not even close. I found out the next day that it was my oldest cousin Nikki. It ends up that Nikki who runs a direct marketing business for a skin care line , had struck up friendship with Lori. Lori was going to rep the line too and so they started getting friendly. After Lori had broken up with Benny, she went to Nikki’s house and they sat outside on her front steps and talked till late into the night. Lori was explaining all the fucked up shit Benny had done and said about our family and she started talking about my Uncle and why she never met them. Benny had told her the very same story he tried to sell me. That my uncle was a piece of shit and he stole money from his parents. The $25,000 he’s talking about is the money his parents had to spend on a lawyer to keep his ass out of jail and off the sex offender registry. When Nikki heard all the lies he had told she just couldn’t take it. She got angry, just as I did when I heard it and she felt as if she had no choice but to stick up for the victims and tell Lori the truth. Some may say it wasn’t her place and maybe it wasn’t but why should she let someone think one family member is a piece of shit when the real piece of shit is Benny? Why is Benny more family than my uncle or the victim? He doesn’t deserve our respect. I admire her for telling Lori but more so than that, I admire that she fessed up and took responsibility not only to Benny but to my Aunt Bea and Uncle Bob too. Nikki had been on her own crazy journey, just like me, over the past year. When the story first came out, Nikki was part of the Lynch mob against the victim’s mother. She wrote her a nasty letter but after hearing the lies that Benny had told Lori, she came into her own realization that she too had abandoned the victim and her family. She wanted to right her wrong and she started off by being honest with herself. I admire her tremendously for what she’s done and how honest she’s been. It takes balls to admit you were wrong and to try to fix those things and this girl, she has balls of steel. 
Walking into my grandmas 90th birthday party, I felt like I was looking at my family through a completely new set of eyes. I felt that same anxiety again. I hadn’t spoken to Aunt Bea, Aunt Debbie, my “sister” Tina, Gianna or any of them in over 5 months. I felt like Tupac, it was me against the world….well me and my husband against the world. We said our awkward hellos to everyone and scoped the room to find my mom who was sitting at a table in the back corner with two of her old girlfriends from when she was a kid. Satan and my brother were sitting at the table with all my cousins. I look across the room to see her and uncle Bob chatting it up. So weird. She had no connection with anyone else in my family except him and Aunt Bea. I didn’t even go over to him and say hello. 
I have to mention that she was dressed in this little hot pink jumper thing that looked like it was 2 sizes too small on her. Her ass cheeks were practically hanging out. On the top you can see at least four inches of cleavage hanging out. That’s what she chose to wear to a 90th birthday party. The authority on fashion who deemed my dress in appropriate for her wedding walking around like a cheap looking hooker. It figures. She is the biggest hypocrite in the world. I have no use for her. I didn’t wish her a happy birthday or even greet her hello. Oddly enough we spent most of the party talking to and hanging out with my brother as she hung around my uncle Bob. My cousin Nikki was waving me over to sit at their table but I told her I was going to sit with my mom who was basically sitting alone. 
Benny didn’t come to this party. My uncle and his new wife came instead. It was nice to see him and at some point in time I saw them inside and we got into a conversation about how fucked up our family was. I confessed to him that I was basically on the outs and had been keeping to myself. My heart went out to him. I don’t even know how he could be so forgiving to his sisters & and even hate to say it but I include my own mother in that. They abandoned him and made it clear that they supported Bea over him. Because he has continued to have a relationship with them, his own daughters will not talk to him. My cousin who was victimized even went so far as to legally changing her last name to her mother’s maiden name because she doesn’t want to bear the same name as my family. That’s pretty drastic but I cannot say I blame her. I wouldn’t want to share a last name with a bunch of people who turned their backs on me for no good reason. 
I made it through the party by way of the green glass bottle filled with my favorite alcoholic beverage, Heineken. The stress and anxiety I felt about the party was the least of my problems. The stress and an anxiety I was about to experience in the next 2 months of my life were going to make that seem like a walk on the park.

(To be continued in my next post)