This is the phone in my kitchen. Notice anything?
That’s right. It’s unplugged. You know why? Because I’m avoiding my family. Not all of them. Just the trouble makers. I didn’t have a fight. I didn’t forewarn anyone that I was going to stop answering my phone. I just got the sudden impulse one day in July that I just wouldn’t answer the phone when certain family members called me.
Technically speaking. It wasn’t exactly impulsive. I tried to avoid them about seven years ago but everyone thought that I was suffering from severe depression and it didn’t go so well. My parental avoidance only managed to last two weeks until I was forced against my will to speak to them.
Why should I talk to them? I know what they’re going to say. I’m not psychic. They have just been saying the same things over and over again for the past 38 years and if I have to sit there and be part of the madness I am going to go insane.
Last January, my evil older sister read my blogs and was so upset and horrified that she cried for a month and six days and lost 27 pounds. Her husband was horrified that I would be so callous and cold hearted to post such horrible things about her and the rest of my family. He wrote an angry note and posted it on my husband’s facebook page.
I felt terrible. I wanted to cry. But I didn’t. I deleted the posts for fear of upsetting anyone else. I thought about what a horrible person I was. I didn’t call my sister up and beg for forgiveness. I didn’t mention to anyone that I was not speaking to her. I pretended that nothing was going on. And then one day in July, she called me up crying. She said she was so upset for being such a horrible sister. She begged for my forgiveness. I said okay.
Then I suddenly remembered the thousand and one times that my sister spread slanderous rumors about me. Like the time when I was in high school and she made up stories about me that cause hundreds of people to threaten me in the hallways. Someone even came to my house and tried to kidnap me and ditch me in the woods. My sister ruined my life. It’s taken me years of therapy and self evaluation to get over the trauma that she caused me. AND SHE WANTS MY FORGIVENESS? Okay. Fine. She can have it. It’s all in the past and there’s no changing it. I can only learn from the past in order to make my future better. But you know what? My sister has not changed a bit. The last time I went to her house I washed her dishes for her, and instead of telling me thank you, she yelled at me for using the wrong rag on the dishes.
Well, she called me up crying a few months ago and told me that she’s divorcing her husband because he’s too stupid for her.
Well. It’s funny. My little sister did the same exact thing. It got me thinking. If my sister’s can divorce their husbands for being stupid. Why can’t I divorce my family for being trouble makers? I can see problems arising on the horizon. I see a lot of family drama developing and I don’t want to be part of any of it.
I have been avoiding my grandma for a year, and she isn’t too happy about this. For the past fifty years, the only thing my grandma has done is sit on her butt, drink pepsi cola and watch trash tv. That’s it. Oh. And worry. She worries day and night and when I talk to her and go to visit her I leave with the feeling that my soul has been sucked out of my body and ran through a blender.
She didn’t leave her house for fifty years for fear of getting mugged, raped, poisoned by the sun, hit by a car. She never worked. She never read a book. And every time I open my mouth she dooms me to failure. She criticized my hair. She criticizes me for being too thin. She criticizes my husband and fears that my children are all going to develop a psychotic disorder and go on a killing spree. She worries that my kids are going to grow up to be on drugs. She worries that my husband will lose his job. She worries that we’ll have to go live in India because that’s where they are sending the technical jobs.
And oh, what a surprise. Guess what happens when you sit still for fifty years without sunlight and exercise. You get fat an develop arthritis so bad that you can’t move. That’s what happened to my grandma. My grandma has been in a nursing home for six years and hasn’t got out of her bed. She doesn’t even get up to take a BM. Personally, I think I’d die before I let someone wipe feces from my hind end. But hey. that’s just me.
My grandma wants me to call her up all day long. She wants me to visit every week. But every time I do call she cries and worries me to death and I’m shaking from severe anxiety all night long. The last time I saw her she told my son that his hair cut made him look ugly. This was horrible because he already felt bad about getting a bad hair cut. Then she had to go rub it in for twenty seven freaking minutes. Give a kid a break! How can a person think straight with all of that criticism? Of course. I can’t tell my grandma that she’s fat and ugly and would not have to be stuck in bed if she ate vegetables instead of donuts. I do not have authorization to make such comments. Because if do. It’s a fight. I don’t want to fight. So I stopped visiting. I stopped calling.
Oh, and my grandma’s on welfare. She inherited a small fortune from her mother. However, over the years, my dad spent every penny of it…on cars. What was left of her money, she put in my dad’s name so she wouldn’t have to pay for the nursing home with all of her money. Because my dad has her money, he has to do what she says. She must harass him to no end about me not calling or visiting.
So my sister called me up crying. one day, and told me that my grandma was about to die. Then my dad called my husband and told him that my grandma was going to die, and her last request was to see my oldest son. I knew this was a trick. This is the seventeenth time that they’ve pulled the grandma’s dying skit. I didn’t say anything. So my husband drove my son an hour and a half to visit my grandma on her death bed. Turns out she’s just fine. She’s nowhere near dying. Oh. What a surprise.
Now my husband ignores my dad too.
Why should I talk to him? He gives bad advice. I used to do whatever he told me. My life used to be horrible. Ever since I stopped taking his advice, my checkbook has been a lot fatter.
Ever since I stopped answering the phone, my emotional state has been a lot clearer. I can finally think straight and my nerves aren’t rattling with intense agitation every moment of the day.