I have watched my aunt for years now. I’ve learned so many lessons about life, love, family and children. I’d love to say that these were positive lessons, but they weren’t. She taught me what-not-to-do in life, love, family and my children.
My aunt started her family at the tender age of 15. She’s lived a very hard life and was rescued by meth. If that’s what you want to call it. She has given birth to three children. My cousin whom I like to think of as my older brother. His brother who is now traveling down the same road as his mom and of course last but not least, my angel, Angelica.
Being the responsible adult that I am, I’ve come to learn many more lessons through my own life experiences. One of which is to be an important role model in Angel’s life. She is now on the home stretch of graduating high school, going to her senior prom, and driving. These are the moments in your child’s life that they will remember for the rest of their lives. These are the moments as a parent, you look forward to. You relish every moment, you take pictures so you don’t forget and you make every second count. My aunt is choosing to sit these moments out. Watching from the side lines while the rest of her family steps up to the plate, as we’ve always done. Therefore she can continue to sit on the side lines and pout until she gets the much needed attention or sympathy. We waited and waited to see if she’d change her mind or decided to participate, but reluctantly she has not nor will she.
I’ve watched my aunt raise her children as paupers. I’ve watched her ruin birthday after birthday, Christmas after Christmas. I’ve seen her blow through relationships, mostly bad, but some good. I’ve seen her face tragedy only to dive deeper into her drug addiction. I’ve seen many people come to her aid offering rehab, food for her starving children, provide a roof over her head and clothes on her back as well as a job to keep the momentum, but she’s content with living off her children’s child support, welfare, unemployment and our grandfathers retirement savings.
I’ve watched her try and tear apart the family the loves her. (The hand that feeds her). I’ve seen her be the wedge between her eldest son and his wife. I’ve seen her build a confrontation between my cancer stricken mom and my mom’s husband, yet another marriage on the verge of divorce because of my aunt. (has since been repaired) I am now watching my Angelica struggle with the best relationship she’s found. Because of her mother’s lack of motherhood/parenting skills/life skills. I’m watching my aunt inadvertently become a wedge again.
I’ve chosen to disengage my relationship from the throes of her influence by stepping aside and not allowing her into my family, my children, my house, or my business. I will not let her ruin what has taken me 30 years to find. Since making this decision, I don’t get the 11pm calls about dramatic irrelevant things going on in her life. About how “unfair life is” to her. I no longer have to reschedule birthday parties, rearrange seatting orders because of internal family conflict. I don’t have anymore drama. I’ve chosen to take the higher road and allow her only to ruin her life and the people who want her in theirs.
In the meantime, Rafe and I have chosen to make sure Angel has everything she needs to graduate. We have decided to take her under our wing and provide for this diamond in the rough.
When my aunt decides to turn her life around, FOR HER, then we will here for her. Until then, May God Bless Her, because she’s going to need it.