I'm not sure if I've had a 'shiny spine moment', or if I've been rude in response to rudeness, or if I should have just unplugged from the conversation.
B/G: I've written about my uncle many times, and due to previous interactions with him, his wife, and my grandmother, I've pulled back significantly in the relationship
. I've basically just had it with the manipulation, with the tantrums, and with keeping my mouth shut to avoid stirring up trouble. Even before our first big blow-up, I began to hate going over there because someone (usually my uncle) would begin to loudly rant about something, and I would be stuck without an "out" because we only took one car. I got tired of feeling miserable, trapped, and angry. So, I haven't gone over unless the family got together for holidays. End B/G.
My uncle is having a fall party this Saturday, and we're invited. My dad isn't going, my brother isn't sure if he's going or not, my mom is probably going, and I was really on the fence and hoping I could avoid a confrontation. I asked my uncle an unrelated question in a private message, and instead of answering the question he asked if I was coming to the party.
I said I wasn't really sure yet, hoping that I would be able to come to a decision on my own, rather than being bullied into it, and he asked, "Why is that?"
Me: I haven't decided. I'm working on something that takes up a lot of time, and there's a bit of a deadline. (Their Christmas present, not that I'm too enthusiastic about completing it now!)
Him: ok CrochetFanatic..it's not like we ever see you anyway. By the way, your only living grandmother is getting older and every once in a while she wished that she could she her oldest grandchild.
(Long pause from me as I bit down on my temper)
Me: I feel like I can't say anything to you without having you do what you're doing right now. (Probably the wrong thing to say, but I always seem to realize it too late)
Him: I don't know what your are talking about...what I do know is that you never visit my mom and it hurts her very much. You have two little cousins who adore you as well, but hey so what!
Me: THAT. That right there. Guilt trips, little jabs.
And it just kind of went from there, and it lasted for over an hour. Do you want to know what's really ironic? I made a lot more progress with him in dealing with him that way
, rather than trying to keep my head down and try to stay neutral. We really had it out, and eventually settled down and got to a point where we apologized for our harsh words and said "I love you" before signing off. I don't know...It was just a really surreal argument. I internalize everything, and he explodes. For once, I exploded back, and I didn't let him talk to me like I was a naughty child who needed correcting.
I have mixed feelings about the whole thing.
I still don't want the sort of closeness he seems to want, that he seems to think we had before, and things haven't changed. I know I probably could have handled it better, and I feel both proud of standing up for myself (for once...) and guilty for pushing back. I'm pretty sure we were both rude, but any thoughts on how to deal with comments like that might be helpful in the future. It was one of those rare times when I became so angry that everything I learned here at Ehell went right out the window...