Had a cousin, until last Wednesday. She was 26.
Her name was Lauren and I didn't know her at all. The last time I saw her was at my grandmother's funeral exactly 10 years ago.
Her mother Carole- my aunt, and I never liked each other. At all.
I don't like her because I think she is a nasty horrible person.
I do have compassion in a universal sense for the pain Carole has been through in her life- she didn't have it easy either. But she is so flat-out nasty so on a personal level I don't want anything to do with her. She would be a great person to do Loving-Kindness meditation on, as in Buddhism that meditation is practiced on the self first, then someone you love, someone you are neutral toward, and then someone you can't stand. I shall practice.
She didn't like me because my mother never had anything good to say about me, and she thought I was weird. And then I committed the ultimate atrocity and married a black man. When Carole found out her first reaction was...and she actually said these words at a Thanksgiving dinner- I was not there-
"I hope she is infertile."
Carole hated her daughter, too.
Which was very familiar to me as my mother never liked me either.
Since the day that child was born her mother was constantly hating on her.
As a teen and a bit in college when I still had contact with these dreadful people, I never once heard Carole say anything good about her daughter. She sure had a lot of really negative stuff to say.
It was the same dynamic as my own life.
I know the situation very well.
Carole's daughter is dead and she is STILL hating on that poor child, per my aunt Margie who is the only blood relation I actually like. She said:
"Jessica, Aunt Carole would tell you she was a very bad alcoholic who would not accept the help at multiple rehab centers and of course, had health problems as a result....."
It wasn't Lauren's fault, none of it.
When I heard she died I had a feeling drugs were involved and she overdosed on something.
Carole has a thing about alcohol because her father was an alcoholic and he died when she was 10.
She was the only person he liked and was nice to, so while everyone else was actually happy he died she was devastated. And she thinks anything to do with alcohol is alcoholism.
Well, I don't know Lauren and I don't know about any substance issues she may or may not have had, but I can say with a thousand per cent confidence she was never treated with any kind of care and love. And when she came to adulthood and self-medicated, she was treated with condemnation rather than love. So it is no wonder.
Years ago Lauren was in a bad car accident and her mother didn't care at all.
Not all parents love their children. I suppose most do on some level. Those who love their kids as nature intended cannot comprehend such a basic absence of love in a parent-child relationship, especially mothers. But it happens. And it is a repeating pattern in my biological family.
The mother knows she doesn't love her child, but she also knows it is unacceptable in society.
So she says "I love my daughter, I just don't like her."
And then she goes on a rant about how terrible the child is, she definitely doesn't deserve to be liked. But it is ok because "I love her, I just don't like her." Bullshit.
If you do not like someone as a person and you are always mean and horrible to them, you do not love them. Just be fucking honest about it. Don't drag it out and justify it with these stupid rationalizations.
Not liking someone as a person and not liking what someone is doing is a distinction that needs to be made. So think about that if you see or even say "I love them, I just don't like them." Because that's a cop-out bullshit statement.
If you need to express this sentiment, just rephrase it as "I do not like what this person is doing."
Don't say "I love you but I don't like you."
If you do not like someone you do not love them either.
I wish I knew Lauren better because I came out of what she didn't make it out of. I almost didn't make it. That sorting-out process is extremely difficult.
I would tell Lauren there was never anything wrong with her. I would tell her I understand. She was fed a mental diet of self-hatred and poison since she came into this life. I would tell her to get out and don't look back. I would tell her to go to AA if she needed to, find people who are kind and learn what it is like to have someone be nice to you. And to be that nice person, too. And if you can't find someone who is nice to you then walk alone and love yourself because it's better than being around hateful people who hate themselves so much they need to inflict it upon you and make sure you hate yourself, too.
I broke those generational patterns in my own life, and in my child's life.
None of this is passed down to her.
If I die today I will go peacefully knowing I re-patterned, re-programmed, and wove new threads into a new positive existence going forward. In cutting my own, new trail, perhaps it will make the path easier for someone else to follow. That is my wish and my hope.
Lauren, I'm sorry you didn't make it through this time.
Remember who you are and come back.
Maybe I'll see you again next time around.
It is all ok.