The Allison


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The family that preys

I recently had a horrible experience with members within the family. Instinctively I was not a fan of these family members but trying to extend grace and an olive branch for the purpose of inclusion, I went against my gut for the umpteenth time, and I once again learned the hard way that when your gut says "ALERT!" listen to it. There were signs the entire time that they couldn't be trusted. Times when the gossip disguised as a little "tea" was actually acid. I saw it. I knew it. I felt it. I remember seeing a few of them whisper when I entered the room.  False smiles and fake love. But, despite all that, in the interest of cooperation and in the spirit of family togetherness, I went against my instincts and so when they turned on me, the incredulity, the anger, the pain of it was somehow surprising. What made me think for one second that I was exempt? What made me think that these questionable people would respect me, care for me or treat me the way I treated them?

Because I am a people pleaser. Admittedly and to some extent ashamed to admit it, it's true. It was ingrained in me from childhood because the only attention I got came from people who would go on to demonstrate the truth for which I still struggle...that some people regardless of how much I try and how badly I want them to, some people just don't like me. 

I get it. I'm not for everyone and I've been reminded by therapists and those who truly know and love me, that I have a special aura or light that people are drawn to and yet they will also use me for their own ends, and I shouldn't have any expectation that I will be treated as I treat others and it's foolish to think so. These were people for which I spent special occasions. Designed their home, celebrated, supported and embraced moments of meaning to them. So, when I was literally blindsided by the vulgarity of betrayal for the love and care I gave, I gave into my most basic indulgence. Anger. I went off! At first, no big deal, until it was, and the pain caused to me was ignored and amplified by bad behavior on the other side. It made angry and wanting to isolate. Never trusting again. I asked the Universe, what in the? Is there something I need to know here? I don't understand why this keeps happening. And the Universe said clearly, you keep doing the hard work and yet you are not learning the most basic lesson. Detach from an outcome and just do what you do. 

I realized something else. It doesn't matter if it's a family member close to you or estranged, there is nothing like the pain of a family member who wants to cause you pain and see you suffer. There is nothing like people who smile in your face with affection laced words only for you to turn your back and have them trade your trust, telling things told in confidence or shared moments to crumble into a mass of deception and pain. I spoke with my best friend, and she said, you had a bad day, but you are exceptional, and you don't retreat, you shine brighter." She reminded me of the passage in my book that says, "everything that happens to you is about you." And finally, she reminded me of the loss they will have and not to focus on the temporary loss I feel, rather remind myself of Who I Am. 

I shall and I will, not just in general, but also for the family that preys.

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