So I’ve got a problem I may have alluded to in earlier posts, although probably not, because it involves family trouble AND pending litigation (this last rather obliquely). Here’s the thing: After a looooong time of being disappointed by people and growing suspicious of their motivations and ultimate goals, and then having those suspicions proven justified every time, I have a hard time trusting people to do good. This goes for everyone equally with a few rare exceptions. I could list a lot of examples that support my current mind frame; a friend who walked out of a lease stiffing me with $1200 debt and bad credit, a sublettor who kept my security deposit to pay for her husbands college entrance exams, countless lies told to get out of plans, girls who stopped loving me but claimed otherwise. The list is huge and extends back to my distant foggy childhood.
But part of my whole deal this year and moving forward has been letting go of shit like that and learning to not judge the people who do those things too super harshly. In fact, the majority of grudges I carry are probably not really things that would bother other people. Or maybe they would and I’m just trying to be positive. Regardless, I’m trying very hard to become an optimist about the inner drives and motivations of people around me. Part of it is reworking my expectations of what’s normal behavior and part of it is knowing when to let shit slide.
Now, I have two sisters who have recently become much larger parts of my life than they ever were. And I have a hard time trusting them. In a lot of ways they are completely alien to me. Their inner workings are mysterious and I tell myself I can’t possibly guess what’s going on inside their heads because I was raised in a different environment with different priorities and influences than they were. They lived with our father for WAY too long to have come out unscathed.
On the other hand, they used to adore me when they were very young (before the messed up jealous behavior started, followed by my eventual withdrawal from that life). They continually surprise me with acts of kindness and generosity and intelligence. Most days I’m very proud of them and super glad to have them be part of my life.
But we have some seriously stressful shit happening right now, and it all revolves around money. Money is something that this side of the family has never developed a healthy way to deal with. And we have some very clearly different ideas on what should be done with a chunk of cash we all have equal stake in (maybe). Except that when it comes down to it, no one EVER has “equal stake” in shared cash. There are always going to be little qualitative differences in your claims to it. Emotional ones, and depending on how far back you want to go historical ones.
For example, my father stopped paying child support when i was young. Should I be able to claim back payment of that now from his estate? I don’t want to, but it is apparently the kind of thing my sisters may consider (but for themselves) to be a fair claim. I have to be vague here, because there’s a lawsuit involved… sorry. But the thing is, throwing money into this mix is making it harder for me to keep my suspicious nature in check. And it hurts. Because I know that my suspicions are almost NEVER unfounded. So I’m super torn here and I don’t know what to do. Oh well… there’s always booze and tv.