Today, I was my sisters birthday. I took her to lunch, knowing that things have been strained between us for a while, but she is my sister. About 10 minutes into lunch I mentioned something to her about my son. Her face contorted and squinched and her vibe became kind of hostile. At first, I did not press it, but then I got kind of offended because she clearly disapproved. FIRST mistake…I cared, that she thought my take on things were wrong. SECOND mistake, my pride as a mother struck the flame, this is my child. She was passively aggressive in her expression, it is the story of my family and that thought just set me off. I confronted her, we got heated and the strain that has existed between us, spilled all over the table. She threw some real nasty things at me. Our food came and I asked for to-go boxes…I was not going to sit there with her anymore. I was miserable. I missed how we once were. I ruined her birthday. I regretted that I have been trying to establish boundaries with her and in hindsight, realized that I had neglected her. It is a co-dependent sibling relationship. She can suck me dry sometimes and instead of explaining my boundaries with her, I just threw up walls. THIRD mistake, I cannot just avoid people. In avoiding her, I have created anger, resentment and general bad feelings in her. That was not my intent, I was just hoping for a little understanding. We gathered and walked out together, barely speaking and then the rain started and we started apologizing. We made up, partially. I feel drained, exhausted and inept really. I should have said so much more. Then, as I am reliving the whole thing in my head I realize that I need to work on myself, because most of this discord is my fault. My sister has her flaws, but they contributed little to this day.
If I didn’t care about what people thought/said about me, I might still have a relationship with my mother, my father and others in my family. But the truth is, I have always cared when it came to family and that is why I barely speak to any of them. Their perceptions have always been so hurtful to me. But if I wasn’t being told by my sister, these perceptions, would I continue to love them and interact with them in bliss? I don’t know. At some point your family is not privy to special treatment. Shitty people don’t deserve to be held close in my life. But I may not have viewed them as shitty if someone didn’t confide what they were saying behind my back…I don’t know, that’s a tough one.
So I am going to try to not care. It is none of my business what others think of me whether it is coming from the source or some third-party…I’m not interested. This does not mean that people wont continue to throw their opinions/thoughts/perceptions around, but I must choose the proper reaction…which should always be ambivalence. Not offended, not hurt, not annoyed, just…whatever, its not important. Just like its not important when people talk religion to me, I have moved past caring to interact in these conversations. I must train myself to not interact because its just an unproductive cycle. Why should I care? Their perception is not a testament or validation of my worth, they are only their reality. I should spend my energy on being a better person, but I’m still not going to care if anyone else thinks I am doing a good job at it. That is within. I’ll fill up my bucket myself, thank you.