Hey, I never called you a bitch!

Some of you might remember me talking about my cousin. You know, the one whose Christmas I ruined. The one who apologized for me taking her comments the wrong way. Her telling me that the past was past and we should just all forget about it and move on was the last I heard from her for a few months.

Then, about a month ago, I got another email from her. She’s been having recurring dreams about me, and she just can’t let this friendship go down without a fight, and she just wanted to see how I was, and she was doing fine, blah blah blah. This was a pretty transparent attempt to carry on as though the previous unpleasantness had never happened, since she’d run into my mother that night and already knew how I was doing. (According to Mom, it was quite the scene, too, what with the arm-clutching and the sobbing and the dramatic monologues about how much she loves me. I kinda wish I’d been there to see it; it sounds like one of her finest performances ever.) I told her that I had no interest in climbing back on the merry-go-round, thanks, and if she wasn’t willing to work through these issues like adults, we should just let the relationship die.

We agreed to talk about it, via email with a waiting period to help keep us from flying off the handle, and she started by saying that she didn’t realize she’d said or done anything that made me feel bad. I told her that being called a bitter, petty, childish bitch would make most people feel bad, and that making someone feel bad was pretty much the whole purpose of insults, and outlined the basics of my feelings about taking responsibility for the things we say. I finally got a response yesterday, saying that it’s over.

She isn’t going to justify anything she said or did, especially since she knows for a fact that she never called me a bitch. And you know, she’s right. I went back through the emails she sent back in December, and she never used that particular word. She called me bitter, petty, and childish, yes. She called my decision to keep my name stupid, yes. But she never called me a bitch.

Sometimes, you just gotta laugh.

Laugh, build an effigy of your cousin, set it on fire, laugh a little more.

Sometimes the only answer to poisonous people like your cuz is to cut them out and get rid of them. I’ve never regretted having to do it in my life, and when the subject of some of those infamous folk comes up, I breathe a sigh of relief that they’re gone.

That really sucks, CrazyCatLady, even more so because she’s family. Have you ever noticed how much more guilty you feel when you give up on a family member as opposed to a friend, even when the situation is equally toxic for you? Try not to feel bad - from your previous threads it sounds as though you’ve gone through all reasonable measures to try to maintain your relationship with this woman.

Whether or not she called you a bitch seems to be a moot point. After all, she’s been trying for who knows how long to get you to change your name, and your choice of name is none of her business. It’s not her place to force her beliefs on you, regardless of what your beliefs and hers may be. In my opinion, she seems like the petty, childish one. I hate passive-aggressive bullshit, and I think you’re well rid of her.

Oh, my yes, whether she called me a bitch is a moot point, since she’s never denied the other stuff. That’s why it’s so funny. And I’m well past he point of feeling guilty. I feel a little sorry for her, since she’s slowly but surely driving away the people who would stand by her when the shit hits the fan, but that’s pretty much the extent to which I feel bad about this situation.

I think it’s fairly telling that I’m completely unsurprised by this response. It is, after all, classic Allison. I’ve known, deep down, that for her disagreements aren’t about winning a fight. They’re not even really about who’s right or wrong. They’re about who’s the injured party. She’s got a vested interest in being the victim, and she’ll do any mental gymnastics necessary to convince herself and others that she’s the victim, even in the most piddling exchanges.

Why does she do this? I’m not really sure, but I think it’s got a lot to do with not having to accept responsibility for her actions. See, when someone else is the bad guy, they’re entirely at fault for everything. If your feelings are hurt, it’s their fault for saying/doing the stuff that upset you. If their feelings are hurt, it’s their fault for pushing you into saying/doing the stuff that upset them. It’s not her fault she chose to call me names; it’s my fault I pissed her off so much she lost control and called me names. When you’re a confirmed victim, you can pretty much do or say anthing without ever feeling bad about yourself, because it’s never your fault. And, of course, when you’re the injured party, somebody’s bound to feel bad for you and sympathize with you about how mean and bad the other person is. Victimhood is a sweet deal if you can get it.

I also get the feeling that turning every little thing into a big melodramatic deal and the resulting attention/sympathy is about the only way she has of feeling special or important. She had big dreams when we were younger, and none of them have panned out, and I think she’s hyper-defensive about that and lets it make her feel unduly bad. It’s normal to feel kind of crappy when life doesn’t work out the way you planned, but letting it suck away all your self-esteem is way overboard. I know very few people who are on their original tracks in life, even at the age of 28. Hell, a lot of us can’t even see the original tracks from where we are now.

Sigh.
And that’s the big pile of dog poop in the middle of her mental living room which you can ignore or step over but which will still stink up all your interactions unless she changes drastically.
You can’t ever win this with her which is why, although I understand and applaud your efforts to maintain some kind of family harmony,I’d bet dollars for donuts the email correspondence will eventually end up with her lambasting you again.

  • That really sucks, CrazyCatLady, even more so because she’s family.
    Totally agreed.
    Which is why when my one toxic family member still living in this country proved her true colors, we never saw each other again.
    No point really.
    Also why, when a friend rather pompously said “Blood’s thicker than water.” I replied 'So’s Ketchup and wine."

Oh, no jlzania, her turd infestation isn’t going to be stinking anything up, because I’ve gone with option #3: leave the room. I have no intention of putting up with that shit at this stage of my life.

And now that she’s decided it’s over, it’s not likely that I’ll hear from her again. I’m glad, really; I was getting rather tired of this crap popping up every few months.