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Thread: Family on facebook?

  1. #1
    MissMuffins's Avatar
    MissMuffins is offline Senior Member
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    Jun 2008

    Family on facebook?

    I feel like being a decent human being has come back to bite me in the butt.

    Several months ago, I reluctantly accepted a friend request from my aunt. She's my mother's younger sister and I have very hard feelings toward her.

    The past 30 years have been a series of incidents. It started when I was helping in the store she used to own in the late '80s. She did something at the store that made my uncle (her husband) quite angry; when he confronted her, she lied and told him I'd done it. (I was working around the corner and inadvertently overheard the conversation.) It culminated two years ago, after my grandmother died.

    Grandma died right before Christmas. Having Christmas together as an extended family was a big deal to her, and to us. I have 14 cousins who are all adults now. Most of us are (or have been) married and have children of our own. At least two of my cousins now have grandchildren. If the memorial had been held during the holidays, all but one grandchild would have been able to attend. My mother & her siblings knew this and refused to hold the funeral then, because this particular aunt was "too overwhelmed." They wanted to have it in the spring, over Memorial Day weekend, when fewer than half of the cousins would be able to attend.

    We grandkids discussed it amongst ourselves and the consensus was that we felt quite strongly the family same should do the same for Grandma as had been done for Grandpa, who'd died 7 years earlier: hold a timely memorial within a week or so of her death, and then spread her ashes at the ranch the following spring or summer.

    Both Grandma and Grandpa had Alzheimer's; our parents cared for them at home, taking it in turns. By the time Grandma died, they'd been caregiving 15 years. In recognition of how legitimately exhausting that would have been, "the cousins" were willing to help with the memorial in any way, to whatever extent necessary. Even if that meant doing everything for them ("the siblings") and all they had to do was show up.

    My mother is the eldest daughter and I'm her eldest daughter. Therefore, it fell to me to be the one to talk to my parent about this on behalf of all the grandkids.

    My mother chose to interpret it as me taking over her mother's funeral, and that's exactly how she presented it to her sister and two of their three brothers. (They don't speak to their eldest brother.) The events which followed were very, very ugly. It forever changed my relationship with my mother and my sister, and ended my relationship with this aunt and one uncle.

    About a year ago, my aunt sent me a facebook friend request. I ignored it for several months. In the meantime, I observed her activity. She didn't post very much, so I went ahead and accepted the request. Recently she's begun liking or commenting on some of the things I post.

    I have my privacy status set to "friends" which, if they interact with me, apparently lets friends-of-friends see it as well. My aunt "liked" a reply someone had made to one of my posts, and an extended family member saw it. This extended family member is a distant cousin to me, and also happens to be the social worker who botched my case as a favor to my mother when my father molested me.

    The post in question indicated my vehement disapproval of Donald Trump. This extended family member took it upon himself to "correct" me and defend Trump (absolutely no surprise here that the dude is a Trump supporter.) I minced no words when I replied to him, publicly: "Aren't you the same [his name] who's my mom's cousin, who used to work for Health & Welfare, and helped my dad dodge prosecution for molesting me? I thought so; your opinion means [nothing] to me."

    He deleted his reply (I'd already posted a screen shot) and responded via private message, making excuses for his conduct then and proceeding to tell me that my anger toward him was misplaced. I informed him that he should have never commented on the post, it had been absolutely inappropriate for him follow up by contacting me via private message, and he was to never, ever contact me again.

    In the weeks since then, this particular aunt has taken to "liking" or replying to many of the things I post. I've been ignoring it; I think she's got a fair amount of time on her hands, as her boyfriend of 10+ years was recently diagnosed with cancer. I didn't reach out even then. (My boyfriend has Stage IV colorectal cancer & has been in chemo for nearly 4 years. I underwent surgery nearly 2 years ago to remove a noncancerous tumor and a procedure to rule out FAP, a genetic condition in which the type of tumor I had is comorbid with colorectal cancer. She didn't reach out to me on either occasion.)

    What I *want* to do, instead of take the high road and ignore her, is to be as unvarnished with her as I was with the distant cousin.

    The first and only thing I want to hear out of her mouth is "I'm sorry." Until then, and until she puts in some work repairing the relationship she destroyed, I'm not really interested in what she has to say.

    And that's why I'm reluctant to have family on facebook.

    Last edited by MissMuffins; 05-01-2017 at 10:11 AM.
    "Our past is a story existing only in our minds. Look, analyze, understand, and forgive. Then, as quickly as possible, chuck it." ~ Marianne Williamson

  2. #2
    kilny's Avatar
    kilny is offline Senior Member
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    May 2007
    In the sticks
    To me, it wouldn't be worth giving her the satisfaction of seeing what you are doing or getting to comment on things you post. I would unfriend her. That would probably be worse to her than having another thing she could use against you with other family. She may be your family, but I doubt you will ever get a sorry or try to repair the relationship.

    Sadly, I think many of us have people like that in our families.

    How are you doing? I have been wondering about you. I hadn't seen you on in a while. I don't get here much, though.
    MissMuffins likes this.
    Life is short, Live it with all your heart, love and passion.

  3. #3
    MissMuffins's Avatar
    MissMuffins is offline Senior Member
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    Jun 2008

    well crap

    I probably just kicked a family hornet's nest.

    I have the use of a Subaru that belongs to my parents. The Subaru was totaled due to hail damage in 2010. My parents accepted the payment from the insurance company for the loss, then bought the car back from the insurance company at salvage rate, and replaced the hood (bonnet) which is where the most significant damage was. The rest of the damage is not noticeable unless it's pointed out. If they sold this car to anyone else, a title check would indicate that the car has been written off as a total loss by the insurance company. That significantly reduces its value. (This car plus the a $6000+ check for damages was worth $0 trade in on a new car, six years ago.)

    I've offered to purchase the Subaru for the same price they charged my sister for a Datsun they sold her years and years ago. (She'd driven the Datsun when she was in high school in the late 80's; 20+ years ago, they sold it to her for $100 or outright gave it to her.)

    They declined.

    The beauty of them owning "my" car is: with the title not being in my name, if I were to do something crazy like take a better job somewhere else, they can refuse to let me take the car with me *or* report it stolen. The registration is also not in my name, so I don't get the annual notice to renew the registration.

    I can't do routine maintenance without first clearing it through my parents. My dad doesn't want me to take the car to Jiffy Lube for a $30 oil change; he wants me to take it to the dealership or to a specific garage.

    Because they own the car, they're responsible for the insurance no matter who's driving it. That's the law.

    I carry additional coverage called a "named operator" policy. I have a license and I'm driving someone else's car; even though I have their permission and would thereby be covered if something happened, I live in the real world. People forget to pay their auto insurance, or choose to not carry it even though it's mandated. About twice a year, the local paper has a story about some "secretary" who's been arrested for something along the lines of embezzling the money instead of paying the insurance for the city or company fleet.

    In Aug 2016, I was rear-ended. When I reached in the glove box to get the registration, I discovered that the tabs had been expired for a year. I reported the accident to my insurance company (with a named operator policy, your policy covers the vehicle while it's in motion; the owner's policy covers it while it's parked) and left it to them to work it out with the at-fault driver's policy, which is through the same carrier.

    When I called my parents' insurance company as a courtesy, I learned that their insurance company didn't list that car on their policy. An insurance agent can often make that go away, if he likes you. The damage claim was a mess. My parents own the car jointly, but my dad's name appears first or is the only name shown, depending upon how the database is configured. Although my mother authorized me to deal with the damage claim, my insurance carrier contacted my father. Instead of saying "we've authorized MM to deal with that; you need to contact her," he got right in the middle of it.

    The medical claim is still not settled. Given that there are three policies (the at-fault driver's, mine, and my parents') with two carriers (the at-fault driver and I are insured through the same carrier; my parents use another carrier), my carrier doesn't want to pay my medical. By the time my dad--who is not authorized to act on my behalf--finished talking to everybody, my parents' insurance company had opened a medical claim for me...even though their direct communication with me the day after the accident was that they would not be involved.

    I am now in the situation of having to file a complaint with the state insurance commission to get the medical paid.

    After the last go-round with my insurance carrier (in February), I was ready to hand my parents the keys to this car and be done with it. I'm tired of the hold it has one me. I'd rather walk.

    In Idaho, we can use studded snow tires October 1 - April 30. There are studded tires on the car. On Friday, I asked my mom what they wanted done regarding the tires. On Saturday, I asked again. On Sunday, I sent messages to both her phone and my dad's.

    The reply I received was that they would have appreciated more notice. They're busy; my dad has had problems with his eyes, his ears, his teeth, his diverticulitis, and a minor procedure for some kind of cancer. (I was told about the diagnosis several months after the fact, and the full extent of the information I was given is: he's more likely to die of old age before the cancer is an issue.) They'll get back to me on Tuesday, May 2.

    I just replied via a text I meant to delete. It wasn't rude, but it wasn't...tolerant of the situation.

    I told my mother that I'm not sure how she didn't know there were studded tires on the car (that's an arrangement my father made), didn't know it was the end of April, and didn't know that studded tires need to come off by April 30 (it's common knowledge, and there's a $65 fine for driving with studded tires after April 30).

    I mentioned that I've offered to buy the car and they declined. I mentioned that having the title in their name ensures I don't get the notice with the tabs are due, I can't take it in for routine maintenance without first clearing it through them, and it needlessly complicates the insurance coverage.

    I didn't even touch on my dad's health. My dad has a problem. I don't know if it's a means of attention seeking, or if he's high functioning ASD and he's obsessed with his health, or what the deal is, but there's a problem. He isn't a hypochondriac, because the ailments are legit. The problem is: once something has been diagnosed and treated, he won't let it go. It stays on the radar for f-ing ever. Thinking back 40 years, I can't remember a time when there *wasn't* something wrong with my dad. Before it was his hearing, or his teeth, or his diverticulitis, it was his tonsils, or his shoulder, or his ankle, or his back. In the years since he's fully retired, they go to the doctor all.the.time. Seriously. Every week he's got an appointment somewhere.

    Besides that, it's called adulting. (In the past two years, I have become so aware of how my parents modeled lack of coping mechanisms, it is beyond belief.)

    Lovey (who's 9 yrs younger than my dad & 4 yrs younger than my mom) has Stage IV recurrent, hypermetabolic, metastatic colo-rectal cancer; four years ago, they gave him six months if the chemo didn't work. Thank God, it did. He manages to get his crap done *and* work 40+ hrs/wk. My aunt, who's had CRC it for 9+ yrs, manages to get her crap done (she can't work). All of Lovey's peer-aged friends manage to deal with their medical *and* get their crap done, and some of them still work full time.

    I've had my own medical, including a concussion sustained in this accident. No sympathy for any of it, *and* they expected me to deal with all of it *like that* (snaps fingers). If nobody else gets a break from dealing with adult responsibility because of medical, why the F do they think they should?

    All that, and my sister posted some snarky comment on facebook. She apparently doesn't approve of my participation in the Cheerios #BringBackTheBees program (in the US and Canada, Honey Nut Cheerios sent out a free packet of wildflower seeds to attract pollinators, which have become endangered due to over use of pesticides). My nieces, whom I haven't seen in a year, don't approve and won't be by to pick my flowers. WTF? Who in their right mind disapproves of free seeds for wildflowers to attract honeybees and butterflies?

    So that's today's take on texting family and having them on fb.

    Last edited by MissMuffins; 05-01-2017 at 10:51 AM.
    "Our past is a story existing only in our minds. Look, analyze, understand, and forgive. Then, as quickly as possible, chuck it." ~ Marianne Williamson

  4. #4
    Slow Worm's Avatar
    Slow Worm is offline Senior Member
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    Jan 2008
    London UK
    Quote Originally Posted by MissMuffins View Post
    Cheerios sent out a free packet of wildflower seeds to attract pollinators, which have become endangered due to over use of pesticides. My nieces, whom I haven't seen in a year, don't approve and won't be by to pick my flowers. ... Who in their right mind disapproves of free seeds for wildflowers to attract honeybees and butterflies?
    Right-wingers, who dislike the obvious implication.

    Accepting that the seeds have a use involves acknowledging that unrestrained capitalism has led to excessive pesticide use and consequent ecological damage.
    That in turn implies that there is a need for regulation for the public good (and the bees and their beneficiaries).

    (I'm reminded of a scene from David Lodge's novel 'Trading Places'. In it, an English academic teaching at a US university on an exchange placement in the early 1960's happens to encounter a group of his students carrying bricks along the street. They tell him they are helping build a public garden and, pleased at what he interprets as a public-spirited act, he offers to carry the bricks in his car. He is then utterly bewildered to find himself arrested over this because the police regard the garden building as an expression of student radicalism).


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