Christmas at my Maw Maw’s house was always a big thing. Everyone was there. All of the cousins, aunts and uncles, and we always had a great time with each other. Someone always stood out as my favorite; my Aunt Jean. I always thought she was such a beautiful person, and she loved me so much. I used to sit next to her on the couch and play with her jewelry. She always had the best necklaces and bracelets. She was always dressed to the T, and had the biggest heart, just like me.
As I got older, my Aunt Jean always stood by my side, even when I wasn’t the “popular choice.” I’ve always been the “black sheep,” of my dad’s family, but she was always supportive. She wanted me to succeed. She wanted me to be safe, and loved me like no other.
About a month or so ago, as most of you already know, I needed some help. I needed someone to just guide me, and help me get through the dark place I seemed to be stuck in. During this time, my aunt and I spoke several times, and I was under the impression she was going to help me get out of this mess. The last night I spoke to her, she told me she would reach out to me the next morning, and we would figure it out. The next morning came, it was a Saturday morning, and she sent me the following text: “I’m not going to talk to you in your current state. I’m doing this because I love you. It has nothing to do with Beth but I can’t continue to do what we’re doing, either. Yes, you may be mentally ill but you’re not even willing to humble yourself and accept the help that is offered. You only want help on your terms and I can’t deal with it.”
After reading this text my heart sunk. I sent her multiple texts begging and pleading for her to help me. No response. How could my flesh and blood aunt just drop me like a bad habit? How could this be how she is dealing with me? How can she turn her back on me? All of these questions swirled in my head as I began to feel more and more like a problem and burden. I want to refer back to her text, where she said, “ I’m doing this because I love you.” You are doing what? Showing me tough love? Do you not think life, in general has shown me enough “tough love?” Do you not think I know how I have messed up in my life? Do you not think I know I’m 35 years old, and should be able to care for myself? Yes. I am very aware of all of the things.
Let’s put this in perspective. My aunt has always told me, “You have always been like a daughter to me.” If the latter is true, how do you lay your head down every night on your pillow, and be completely ok knowing I might not even even have a pillow? Because if my daughter, I don’t care how old she is, is ever in a situation that isn’t good, or I know she doesn’t have the means to help herself, and I do, I wouldn’t sleep a wink until I knew she was 100% ok.
Aunt Jean, I’m not writing this to hurt you, or shame your name, I’m doing this for me. I’m doing this to bring perspective to the cards I’ve been dealt, and I’m no longer willing to fold. I am bringing everything to light, that has been done to me in darkness. So this isn’t personal; it’s just a small piece of the puzzle. I still love you dearly, but you will never hurt me again. You will never have that much power over me again. You will never make me feel like that unwanted, problematic part of the family again. Those days are done, and I am healing. I wish you well, and hope you have peace. I’ll always love you with all of my heart, but I can longer let people that don’t believe in me and support me, have such a dramatic impact on how I feel about myself. Again, if you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best. I will survive. I am a warrior.
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