Abuse is a scary word. People say it and everyone assumes someone is getting physically beaten. But it's can be so much more and worse than that. Sure, there's the beat down. However, there's also mental abuse.
There are several members of my family that are very good at the mental and emotional abuse. The best at it out of all of them is my Grandmother. She was awful to me my entire life. On vacations with her, all I can remember is being yelled at for one thing or another by her. One time, at Disney World no less, she yelled at me and my sister to "Stop having fun, dammit!!".
Her behavior has led me to avoid her at all costs. Even now, when she is in hospice and is likely to die, I will not be visiting. I will be sad when she goes because it will upset my mom greatly, but other than that, I'm disturbingly apathetic to her plight.
I have family members who have been passive aggressively throwing jabs and insults for years because they think that I think I am better than them. Granted, my mom raised me with confidence in myself and provided me with all the privileges she could afford, but never once have I ever insisted I was better than anyone. As a matter of fact, I go through most days thinking I'm a failure at one thing or another. So, when you have family that just can't wait to tear you down another notch, imagine how that compounds. When I was younger, I thought perhaps they were right, that I treated them as though I thought I was better than them, but then I got out in the world and have never had this issue with other human beings, so clearly, I must be doing something right.
Then I have family members that insist that because I'm young, I'm clearly clueless. So, every time there is a conflict and I present my argument logically, they first, don't hear a word I'm saying, then next, tell me to grow up, and finally, start threatening to tell anyone who'll listen every bad thing I did as a kid as if that will justify their point. I have learned that when something like this starts up, I have one chance to make my point and if that doesn't do it, there's no sense in continuing the conversation. They've stopped listening and I have been branded an asshole.
I have family members that are simply wonderful. I speak with them freely and do not have to worry if being excited about my accomplishments will offend them or if I have an opinion different than theirs that they can't argue their point calmly and logically or bully me until I either stop talking or just agree with them to make them stop.
What's really sad is that I can already predict how this entry will be received. I will be told that I'm wrong to feel this way and that I need to grow up. Or, surprisingly, someone will say it's not about me.
Isn't how I feel about me?
Why do we put up with people who don't like us just because there's a blood relation? I certainly don't put up with former friends who have treated me the way some of my family has. Ask around, I have completely cut people out of my life for acting the fool and jumping my case as a disproportionate reaction to a logical point I raised. I fear I am close to doing so again.