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Enforcing boundaries with family

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hurtbs posted 1/27/2014 19:57 PM

I posted a few weeks ago that my grandmother fell and broke her hip. She lives with my aunt/uncle. My aunt is rather histrionic - everything is about her in an extreme way. So what happened with my grandmother is all about her. Before this all happened, I had planned on staying with them for a weekend before I go to a conference the next town over. After the fall, I messaged them about staying but was ignored. I asked my mother to speak to him (because she was communicating) and she said, "Oh yes, they know you're coming. It's totally fine."

Today, I sent text to aunt/uncle that said, "Hey guys. So my flight gets in at midnight on Friday. SISTER will pick me up and bring me to your place, so I should get there about 1am. I'm sorry it's so late."

A few hours later, aunt sent me a snarky text that said, "Great, so you can get up early to set up the yard sale on Saturday morning. Tell SISTER to come over and help too."

I responded, "Well, you will have to ask SISTER if she can help. I won't have yard work clothes, so you will have to lend me some."

The more I thought about it, the more pissed off I got. When my uncle had a heart attack two years ago, on my own dime I flew down and took care of grandma, bought them groceries, brought my aunt lunch to the hospital every day, rented a car and paid for the gas that my aunt drove, and cleaned up cat shit and piss all over the house. It cost me about $1200 out of pocket - I never got a thank you.

I was like, wow - that was a bitchy text. She didn't even ask for my help. I am working a ten hour day, flying 7 hours, and getting in at 1 am and she is now demanding that I get up at 5:00 to do heavy lifting and set up their yard sale?! I know she's stressed about stuff with grandma, but this is not okay.

So I asked around with my friends and family, and my sister told me just to stay with her. So I texted her and said "Okay, I don't want to be an imposition so I will just stay with SISTER. Thanks." She suddenly texted back:

"Oh, well we have teh room. Your mom isn't coming down this weekend." I think she was shocked that her bitchiness meant I wasn't staying.

I said, "That's okay. Things are stressful and I don't want to add to it."

She then said, "Well, you should at least try to see grandma. She hasn't been well." I thought, well fucking duh. I know that. I was the one requesting updates that you guys refused to give.

I just responded, "I know. I plan to go see grandma. Perhaps we can get breakfast before I fly out on Sunday."

Nothing since then. I'm sorry, but I"m not going to fly all of this way and suddenly have them demand that I be their slave - not even a rquest, and no consideration for the fact that I have a long flight and get in very late, and demanding that I TELL my sister that she is expected to help as well. Enforcing boundaries, done.

Spoke to mom tonight and she said, "Wow, she was really excited that you guys were coming down. I know she said she wanted some help with the yard sale." I said, "Well it would be one thing if she asked, not if she sent me a nasty text." She said, "Well, that's just how AUNT communicates. You know that she makes things about her and it's a stressful time." I just said, "That may be true, but I don't need to tolerate it." "Well, she's going to ask me about it." I just said, "Well you're welcome to tell her the truth. Perhaps she will reconsider how she interacts with people."

Anyway, largely just venting. Super annoyed with family that doesn't appreciate boundaries. This is why I live so far from them...

[This message edited by hurtbs at 9:53 PM, January 27th (Monday)]

Lionne posted 1/27/2014 21:49 PM

Of course, I don't know your family, I'm sure you know your aunt, but is it possible she meant to be more sarcastic and funny than mean and snarky? I can see myself texting something like that to one of my children as a joke...

And it sounds as if you are a generous and helpful person.

hurtbs posted 1/27/2014 21:52 PM

No she is not sarcastic or funny. It was not meant as a joke. She was staring that she expects me to get up at 5:30 to set up the yard sale (uncle can't because he had bypass and she ha back issues) and that she expects me to tell my sister to come over and help as well.

This is her MO. My mother wasn't even remotely surprised that she did this. Hence her response that "you know how aunt is..." Also since my mom wasn't coming in she apparently told mom that it was a good thing I was because they needed help.

[This message edited by hurtbs at 9:55 PM, January 27th (Monday)]

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