Here’s the thing

I have learned to keep my opinions to myself, at least publicly, keep my mouth shut and mind my own business. It’s been a long hard lesson to learn and sometimes I forget.

I wanted to write about all the things I don’t say but that kind of goes against the lesson I’ve just told you I’ve learned. So I have all these important conversations in my head. Or I pour them out on my long suffering husband, most of them anyway because there are some he wouldn’t be interested in. Actually I doubt he is interested in  any of them .

On the hot topics of today his most recent response was “Most people aren’t you and me.”  Well, yes of course but I can’t help but say, over and over, “How stupid can these people be?”  I can understand something intellectually but be completely flabbergasted by it emotionally.  Intellectually I understand that most people’s prejudices are rooted in fear, emotionally I don’t understand that because emotionally I don’t understand why they are afraid.

On a more personal and specific note re: minding my own business –

I think I mentioned recently that my female DNA contributor, who I have had no contact with in 25 years, died in May at the age of 103.  And that my niece contacted me through Ancestry to inform me of this event.

My niece is 46 years old and the last time I saw her she was a baby. Her father has been on my ‘no contact’ list longer than her grandmother had been. Perhaps 20 years ago my niece and I made contact and exchanged emails and then that contact ended because it was difficult for her to be a member of her family and be connected to me at the same time.

She obviously knew her father and her grandmother were not part of my life and she was torn between loyalties and obligations to her immediate family and her interest in getting to know me. I never shared my reasons for closing these people out of my life because they were obviously a huge part of her life. My story is not her story.  I accepted this disconnect; I had no desire to make her life more difficult.

Several times in those 20 years she made hesitant overtures to re-connecting and then backed away. I always respected her decision. Besides you can’t make someone like you or want to be in touch with you, can you?

So where is this going? I did reply to her message and and she replied that she has been trying to understand her family and it’s dynamics; that she hadn’t had any contact with her father for a year and half and that yes, she would like to go forward with a relationship with me. Ok, we became friends on Facebook, she has all my email addresses and then – crickets.

I have decided that I won’t try to contact her again, not gonna push my way into her life. Admittedly, when I responded to her initial message I did say some un-positive things about her grandmother, nothing about her father, you don’t trash other people’s parents unless invited to, but perhaps that was too much. Her relationship with her grandmother is her story, and my relationship with that same woman is my story.

Totally my mistake there, I should have remembered to keep my opinions/thoughts/feelings to myself. But it also reinforces my newest lesson learned – not to pursue connections when the other person seems to have no interest in such a connection. I’m easy to find, if someone wants to find me, they can. I’m not running after people any more. It takes two tango, and I’m tired of being the only girl at the Sadie Hawkins dance.

 

14 thoughts on “Here’s the thing

  1. as the old saying goes…you can take a horse to water, but you cant make it drink. (unless you shove a tube down its nose and pump water into it)

    family dynamics are worse than international relationships. it really takes 2 to have a relationship/conversation. you have left the door open for her and that is all you can do.

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  2. I hear you. I joined Ancestry and was thrilled to get some messages from extended family I haven’t seen in 50 years. Fifty! But my parents didn’t put much effort into maintaining these relationships, so I grew up not knowing anyone. I had a flurry of emails with these peeps and then… nothing. Nothing! Did I somehow offend them? I have no idea. But I was so happy thinking I could enlarge my family circle with actual blood relatives and maybe even go visit. Nope!

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    • I have NO desire to extend my biological family connections. I submitted my DNA to Ancestry because I wondered a bit about the family background. I’ve got hundreds of matches on Ancestry no one ever reached out nor have I reached out to them because I don’t care and I’m guessing neither do they LOL This particular niece is a special case, she has an older sister who, to the best of my knowledge, has shown no interest in any one but her immediate family, hell I don’t know if she even interacts with her immediate family. Eh, que sera, sera…

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  3. Whenever I read your blog posts, Grace, I find myself nodding my head up & down in agreement. Both my brothers are dead now… one, in Florida, about 4-5 years ago. His partner called, my husband answered the phone, he said my brother died & just wanted to make sure I knew, and then said goodbye & hung up. I don’t know what he died from and had to google for his funeral arrangements. They were in Florida so I didn’t go but I sent $100 to the charity that was listed. My other brother, who lived 3 miles from my house, died last summer. I found out about it after my husband saw his obit in the newspaper. I was not listed as being his sister. I speak to my nephew when I see him (he’s in his 50s) but the two nieces wouldn’t give me the time of day, I’m sure. I haven’t seen them in years & years (just goes to show you how much I get out…. we all live in the same town). So I hear ya, Grace, and agree with you a million percent. My mother used to say “Let sleeping dogs lie.” and especially with my idiot family, that’s exactly what I’ve done…. but not always. I’ve learned…. finally.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I looked to see if they filed an obit for my female DNA contributor and couldn’t find one, I didn’t expect that her son would bother and it seems he didn’t. When he finally kicks perhaps the niece who I spoke about will let me know, or not, no biggie. And, as I said to Buddy (first commenter above) this applies to ‘friends’ as well, I’m not chasing people any more, I’m tired…

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  4. I bite my tongue more often than not these days but I do pour out a lot to my husband too – all of it whether he’s interested or not! I have a lot to say but I don’t think anyone else wants to hear it and somethings I shouldn’t be saying aloud anyway.

    It’s odd that your niece reached out and said she’d like to go forward with a relationship but then dropped it. I do think you did the right thing in trying to connect. It could be the state of the country these days. I swear I don’t know what day it is or even what time it is. I know it’s no excuse but she’ll probably contact you one of these days.

    This situation with your family and people not talking to each other is so similar to J and his family. He hasn’t talked to his parents since before we got married which will be 32 years ago in a couple of weeks. When his dad way dying, a niece reached out to beg him to come home – which he didn’t. We get a letter from a niece or nephew at least once a year and had an unexpected visit from another nephew over a year ago. They’re strangers to him so just because they are ‘family’ doesn’t mean we have to connect with them. It’s all weird to me. As an only child, there’s no one reaching out to me!

    I have friends who’ve drifted away during this pandemic but this week I’ve seen or will see a lot of them again. I haven’t seen my best friend since March but have plans to see her Wednesday. I did a sucky job keeping in touch with people too so I’m working on turning that around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When saying something isn’t going to change anything but just stir up enmity – well then better to be silent but you have to let off steam somehow. I yell at the tv and the newspapers and the computer and then present my case to my husband (who usually agrees with me)…Since I never ‘see’ my friends I don’t understand how the pandemic would affect staying in touch – everybody is home, sitting at their computers…Yes, please, stay in touch with your friends…

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  5. Pingback: Meaningless irksome things – | Broadway Matron

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