The Sweetie Chronicles

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

My Aunt

So I have this Aunt. She's the type of person who is highly respected in her community and who would bend over backwards to help everyone in need... as long as you aren't related to her. A lot of people see her in one way (she taught school for 20 something years and pretty much everyone around knows who she is), but I get to see her in a totally different way.

Trying not to bore you with crazy details, I'll just come out with it. She's a bitch. She has her select "favorites" in the family (mostly the boys), and then she has her punching bags. I didn't get too much of it as a young person, but I watched my sister get reemed with it. ("Why don't we just turn you over and use your head for a mop.") My Aunt has this way of saying things that makes your insides hurt and every little insecure molecule in your body to rise to the surface. Her tone is acid-laced. And pretty much no one ever says anything about it. Well, not to her face anyway.

I realized this Thanksgiving that I started worrying about what hurtful things this particular Aunt might say to me this year. I worried about my outfit and my makeup, trying to choose things that would not call attention. I worried about my writing career and how to spin it if she made a disparaging comment. I kept telling myself it would be a fun family day, but deep down, I was dreading what she might pull out of her hat to say to me. Once we got to her house, I didn't have to wait very long to find out.

I don't want to detail everything that happened that day, but I'll just say that there were only four times that I spoke to her or really even came near her all day... and all four times she had something ugly to say. And I wasn't the only one who was chosen for the tongue lashings and snide comments. There are others who dread being around her the same way I do.

So, for the first time in 30 years, I questioned why?? Why the hell do we allow this person who makes us all ill-at-ease and worried and insecure to be in charge of our holiday happiness? Why do we choose to gather at HER house? Being at her house is almost a double-edged sword because if you complain about her, you feel rude for not being grateful for the "hospitality". The truth is, I have always just felt that it was an obligation. Mom says we're going, therefor we go. My Aunt is family, therefor we all put up with her rudeness and inappropriate comments.

Well, I say bullshit. And I'm not doing it anymore. Where did this belief come from that if someone is "family" they can act however the hell they want and we have to love and be with them anyway? My Aunt will never change, and in fact, she'll just continue to get worse. Why? Because we allow her to treat us that way and then we still kiss her cheek and go on and on about what a lovely celebration it was and thank you for the food and a good time. We allow her to hold this control over us. Personally, I'm done. I say that if someone is treating you less than you deserve to be treated, cut them out of your life as best you can without being totally mean about it. I don't care if they are family, flesh and blood. Of all people in your life, family should be the last people to treat you like that.

Life is simply too short to live in fear and worry for how someone will treat you when all you have to do is walk away.

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Sarra Cannon

Young Adult Indie Author

I always secretly wanted to be a cheerleader. And a witch. Now, I write about both. The first five novels in my Peachville High Demons Young Adult Paranormal series are available now in ebook!

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