Let me start this off by saying this is not about MY family. I am blessed with one of the most amazing families ever, and yes, I'm more than a little biased. We’re not perfect – not even close. We fight on occasion, but most of the time we are all about sharing a good bottle of wine and some chips/dip, and having a whole lot of laughs. There is a fierce love and loyalty between all of us that trumps everything else. I have gone through some incredibly difficult times in my life, and not all of those times can be attributed to being “unlucky.” Quite frankly, a lot of it was self-induced because I’m the kind of person who can’t be satisfied with making a mistake once. I have to make it five or six times so I can consider myself an expert. My family hasn’t always been happy with my decisions, and they aren’t shy to express their opinion, but there has never been a moment when they haven’t stood firmly behind me in solidarity. They’ve seen me through two divorces, and that was no easy task. They were always very good at seeing what I was completely blind to in the men that I chose for myself. But they let me walk my own path, and in the end I was lucky enough to marry a man that they not only approved of, one that they actually love and accept. It’s been one of my greatest joys.
As for my two divorces? Well, let’s just say I’m not very good at making things easy for myself. On the upside, it has allowed my friends to learn from my mistakes. I’m just the BEST kind of teacher in that respect. When my last marriage fell off the cliff, my mom and dad opened their hearts and really listened. They gave me their best advice and they helped as much as they could. And most importantly, they made sure it was perfectly clear that they were on my side, not my former husband’s side. It’s good to feel like you have people in your corner.
So imagine my shock when I found out that a close friend’s sister was throwing HER ex-husband a birthday party. At first I was speechless, then…then I was PISSED. Keep in mind, this was not an amicable divorce and there have been several occasions where it has gotten downright nasty between her and her ex. It’s also a very recent divorce, one that still involves a lot of healing for everyone, including her kids. The first thing I said to her was “Now let me get this straight. They are throwing a birthday party for him???” She confirmed and added that it was a party that her two girls were invited to, but she was not. Ok, now I want to punch someone in the throat. Seriously? Well, that is a new level of disrespect I hadn’t really experienced or heard of in a long time. I told her it was bullshit. I told her if she attended this party, I would personally drive to her house and escort her to a mental institution. I was mad she wasn’t as mad as I was, but she’s all about “the high road” which I personally find overrated. I spent many years being a doormat to anyone who chose to walk all over me. Little did I know when I stopped my doormat behavior, I must have somehow “magically” passed my doormat on to her which she now had firmly secured on her forehead. I couldn’t swear to it, but she may have even gone the permanent tattoo route.
My anger at her for allowing this to happen is far overshadowed by my anger at her “loving” sibling. What a wretched excuse for a sister. I can say with all certainty that my sister would never throw my ex a party. I couldn’t actually promise that my sister wouldn’t run him over if he was crossing the street in front of her. Family is family and blood is blood. My ex is not blood. Even if my sister was fond of my ex, it would be a cold day in hell before she EVER pulled that crap. Her loyalty is firmly on my side of the fence. She’s an awesome sister, by the way.
I’m not sure why I was so shocked that my friend was put in this situation. This is the same family that insists on inviting her ex to family vacations, even though she was absolutely against it. Mind you, the vacations are paid for by her mother. Yeah, I can guarantee my mom wouldn’t even let herself be within a 50 mile radius of my ex, let alone share a beach house. How do you do that to your own family? This is HER family, not his. So this year, he is going on vacation with her family. She is not. I can’t even believe I just typed that. Two words. Fucked up. Pardon my French, folks.
The good thing is, while she has a hard time standing up for herself, she is surrounded by friends who have no problem telling her sister to go to hell, myself included. My friend is a beautiful and wonderful person. In fact, I wish she could see the woman I see. Her sister is a bitch and a bully. No one needs that in their life. Getting from one end to the other in life is hard enough, without having family firmly planting a knife in your back. I was happy to tell her delusional sibling exactly what I thought of her, as did other friends. We propped my friend up. I hope it gave her strength and empowered her to take a stand. This is why picking good friends, supportive friends, is so important.
Family is difficult, sometimes frustrating, sometimes downright infuriating. It happens in every family, including my own. The one thing family should never be is devious, antagonistic, jealous or undermining. I’m sad that she had to endure this utter bullshit from a family member, and I hope that through some sort of miracle, her sister realizes how much she hurt with her actions. I doubt it, since she is pretty convinced that no one else could possibly be right about anything. Good thing she isn’t MY sister.