Gratitude

I have been living in the basement of my mother’s home for almost a year now.  I’m ready to leave.  My sister and her family (3 wonderful kids and a jackass) live here and have been living here for 4 years.  I never thought that living with family again would be so difficult.  I can’t stand it anymore.

When I moved in, my sister and I had an arrangement. I would wash all the dishes and she would cook for me.  She doesn’t cook special meals just for me. She would cook enough so that I could eat too.  I also had to give her money for groceries.  I would also clean up after myself and try to help her out with the kids whenever I could.  That seemed fair.  There were problems right away.

Within the first two months of living with my sister and her family, I got into a huge fight with my brother in law and my sister over the dishes.  Who fights over dishes?!!!  It was a Sunday and they wanted me to wash the dishes so that they could cook dinner. I took my time washing the dishes.  I didn’t realize making dinner was an emergency.  I spent most of the day on my computer, (I was heavily addicted to the games on Facebook then) and I would notice out of the corner of my eye, my brother in law, the jackass, watching me.  I didn’t realize it until later that he was livid that I hadn’t washed the dishes in a few days.  I don’t want to go into the entire fight because it still pisses me off, but there were tears shed, but we made up.  I thought that I had made it pretty clear though that I didn’t appreciate the jackass raising his voice to me (he won’t have me raising my voice to him) or telling me what to do.  I’m not Jackass’ child.  This is my mother’s house and Jackass doesn’t pay a bill here.  I thought I made it clear that he needed to mind his own business and not feel the need to “speak” to me for my sister.  I guess not.

Jackass and I have had a few run ins about dishes, cleaning the stove and now garbage.  He seems to think that it’s okay for him to curse and yell at me over household chores. I have had enough.  Before this last incident I was always much happier when he was at work and uncomfortable in his presence.  He’s a loudmouth and has no respect for anyone.  I’m done with him and I’m livid with my sister.

Yesterday Jackass had the nerve to say from the kitchen “Your fucking sister and the garbage cans.”  I didn’t hear what my sister said in response but he said, “What? What she gonna do? Tell your mom?  She ain’t my mother.”  Now keep in mind, jackass knows that I can hear him.  He knows because we had a fight over Thanksgiving regarding a similar instance.  I was disgusted and irate and more so when I heard my sister respond, “Baby, please for me.  I don’t want to make things worse.”  My sister doesn’t defend me or tell her jackass of a husband not to speak about her sister that way.  They don’t even check to see if I’m in the basement or not.

There are few things that piss me off to no end about this situation:

  • Jackass doesn’t lift a finger in this house.  The only chore he has is to take out the garbage and recycling once a week.  Last week he was bitching about my sister having to be the one to move the garbage cans back to the house after the garbage man came.  So I decided to do it this week and I get cussed out? I think he is trying to shame me into handling the trash so that he doesn’t have to do anything but go to work.  Not going to happen.
  • The man has three kids and their care falls completely on my sister.  Yet, he had the nerve to complain that I don’t help her.
  • I don’t curse or yell at Jackass.  How dare he treat me like this and how dare my sister allow him to speak to or about me in that way.
  • I do plenty to help my sister, but it seems like it’s never enough for either of them.  Can you say “ungrateful? “
  • I don’t have to help my sister take care of her three kids.  I do things with the kids because I love them and enjoy being around them.  I’m under no obligation to help my sister with them or with the housework.  I live in the basement and since a run in with jackass a week ago, I don’t even go upstairs.  I don’t ask my sister to clean up down here, she doesn’t cook for me (and hasn’t in awhile).  If she needs my assistance she needs only to ask.  I don’t tell my sister no.
  • I keep racking my brain and wondering why these two (my sister claims that this issue has nothing to do with her.  She’s wrong) think that I have to do any favors for them. Why are they entitled to my assistance?

As a good person, I want to help other people out.  I don’t want to be selfish.  I want to make other people’s burdens lighter.  But if I’m helping you out then you better show some gratitude and not bitch and moan about what else I could be doing for you.

I’ve made a few important decisions.  I’m staying in the basement.  Not forever.  I’m in the process of getting certified to teach in Pennsylvania and I hope to be out of here by Christmas.  But for now, I live down here and I’m staying down here.  Luckily, I have a fridge down here and I can buy my own food.  I’m not talking to my sister or jackass.  I will still do things for the kids.  It’s my duty as their aunt.  But I’m not taking disrespect and ingratitude from those two assholes any longer.

The next time my sister asks for a favor, I just might make her get on her knees and beg.

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3 thoughts on “Gratitude

  1. Hey gorgeous lady! First of all, I’m infuriated by Jackass because he reminds me of my abusive brother, who, by the way, gets to spit venom and nastiness and no one, NO ONE, in the family tries to stop him or tell him he’s out of line. No one, NO ONE, defends me (I’m his only target). Not my father. Not my mother. Not my older brother or his wife. And not my brother’s own wife. This, or rather “we”, are what psychologists call the “Identified Patient”. It just simply does not matter what we say or do, how much we give, sacrifice, listen, help, doesn’t matter…to them, we are the problem.

    I can’t even tell you how many things I bought for my nieces and nephews, how many trips I have purchased for my brothers, their wives, and their kids, to California, to Disneyland, to Six Flags, to Van Halen concerts, plus all the Christmas and birthday gifts, and all the “Welcome Home from the War” parties, and parties for their kids, and for them. I have given up my time to go take care of their kids when they had family emergencies, I have rearranged my schedule when they needed me, I have given, given, given, and they have taken, taken, taken.

    (Un?)Fortunately, I have had to cut ties with them. I couldn’t have any interaction with any of them and actually walk away feeling good about myself. They have their own twisted reasons for what they do and say, and with therapy, I’m actually understanding what those are, but that doesn’t excuse bad (or abusive) behavior.

    The best thing I ever did, though the hardest thing, that has caused me a lot of tears, but brought me more balance and happiness, was cutting ties. It is not the ideal. But when you’re constantly being put down, abused, ignored, neglected, yelled at, and made to feel worthless while all the while you’re good enough to take from…well, some very serious decisions have to be made for your own sake.

    All that is to say, I totally feel you here.

    If you want to get away, you always have a room in our house in Denmark. All the privacy you want, freedom to write, and we don’t judge wonderful people like yourself. Come visit! Get away from people who make you feel bad about yourself. Be around people who think you’re a wonderful, caring person.

    Sending you lots of good energy,
    L

    1. Thank you so much for your love and support, LeAnne. I’m so sorry that you know exactly where I’m coming from. I’m just tired of taking crap from people. I’m such a people pleaser that I will let someone verbally abuse me and put me down and blame myself. I make myself feel guilty for not doing more for the person or for doing something to (wittingly or unwittingly) piss them off. It’s a pattern in my life. I wind up working overtime to please the person who doesn’t even have the decency to treat me like a fellow human being. I’m done with that.

      (Un?)fortunately I think that I need to put some major geographical distance between my family and me. It’s too bad because I love the kids and being around them, but I can’t be my sister’s sidekick. I have to be my own superhero. Hopefully, one day in the near future I might be able to take you up on your offer to visit you in Denmark. For now, I need to work on getting out of my mom’s basement.

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