Monday, March 5, 2012

Sometimes you just can't...

I have a lot of family members. Just on my mother's side alone, I have two siblings, four nieces/nephews, two niece-in-laws (and one-to-be), two great-nephews, three aunts, five cousins (plus their spouses...and their kids). Add in my father's sides (yes, I have two dads) and we're talking over a hundred relatives, easily. I am usually thankful that we don't all live in the same place because planning family events with everyone would be virtually impossible.

For me, I've always tried to stay neutral when there are disagreements among family members. That doesn't mean if somebody acts like an idiot I don't call them out. I do. Any of my relatives will tell you they've been on the receiving end of a Melanie-chew-out at least once. Some people don't understand my reasons for trying to stay neutral. That's easy: it's what my mom would've done. She'd have said her peace, of course, but in the end she would've loved both parties equally. It what she did and it's what she taught me.

I am not my mother, however. And the longer I deal with the idiotic choices of some of my family members, the more I realize how VERY unlike my mother I really am.

I have come to terms recently with just how short life really is. In the blink of an eye, it can completely change course. You can go to the doctor with what looks like a boil and come out with an appointment with an oncologist. That's some scary shit right there. If you've never looked your own mortality in the face, I suggest giving it a try. It'll change your way of thinking.

Because of my own recent glimpse at my mortality, I'm done being neutral. I'm done trying to find the good in people who, for the most part, have very little good left to show the world -- whose every action exhibits hate and bitterness instead of the forgiveness and understanding they claim to have. Now don't get me wrong; I love my family unconditionally. But that doesn't mean I won't eliminate my contact with them if they bring toxicity to my life. 

I can be quoted as telling a family member a couple weeks ago, "I won't choose sides, but if you force me to, you won't like what side is chosen." They tested me. They're finding out the hard way.

I love my family, but sometimes I just can't have them in my life.

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