Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Aftermath (I Will No Longer Be a Victim)

I decided to write my last blog (read "The Untold Story of a Choice That Revealed Everything") with the knowledge that it would end all contact for me with those family members. Funny enough, all my blog did was talk about my true experiences and my personal feelings. But I knew. I knew that while they were okay with expressing their own feelings and their own versions constantly, that they wouldn't accept that my version was finally put out there. Interestingly, they then decided to end their relationship with my sister as well, who, while supported my decision to do what I needed to do for myself, wasn't even sure she shared the same sentiments as me, and who I made no mention of in my previous post.

family is those who love and support you
My amazing family.
Maybe they wonder why I released it publicly? I can answer that very simply: every time our families have ever had a private conversation, we've been victimized and bullied. I wasn't going to stand for that anymore.

The best way to help yourself overcome a bully is to get support from others and to not live in the shadows.

That is why I decided to handle the situation the way I handled it. I refuse to be verbally attacked once again. I refuse to hear them voice their opinions while they never listen to me voice mine. I refuse to listen while they insult my family and myself. This was the only way my voice would ever be heard.

GeekNation San Diego Comic Con launch party
With my husband at San Diego
Comic Con for my former job.
I've never taken an opportunity like this one before. When my former boss bullied me and forced me to work 100 hour work weeks, which resulted in the carpal tunnel I now live with every day, I left my job, feeling guilty and apologetic. This boss constantly told me how weak I was, and I believed him. I let him demolish me every day as he tried to tear me away from my family. He would spend his days belittling my work ethic and telling me I was immature for wanting a weekend off, even after working 16 hour days for two weeks straight (all while he refused to pay me overtime). He would also tell me not to speak to my husband about my stresses, and make scathing comments about my other family members behind their back. At the time though, I couldn't stand up. I couldn't say to him, "This is wrong." He tried to break apart my family and constantly criticized how close we were, and yet, I couldn't defend them. And that made me feel terrible. I've lived with the guilt of that for some time. Never standing tall and never saying, "I've had enough." I let him bully me until I was too weak to believe in myself and those I care so deeply about.

Don't let people mentally abuse and bully you. Surround yourself with those who truly care.
Surround yourself with the people who
love you.
When you're mentally bullied, you constantly expose yourself until there's nothing left.

It's a long process that sometimes isn't even obvious to the person being bullied, until it's too late. But the fact is, it's every bit as dangerous as being abused physically. Some days, whether the abuse was from my former boss or my former relatives, I would find it hard to get out of bed. They all made me feel worthless, despite how many other people in my life care about me.

Over the years, I was constantly reminded of how unimportant I was to these people. Every time I heard that my grandparents would take an hour and twenty minute drive to Malibu regularly for a charity, or a four hour drive to Las Vegas, it drove a dagger through my heart. Why was it that anytime my family invited them to visit they would constantly complain about how long the hour and fifteen minute long drive was to visit us? And then if they did visit, they'd only be able to stay a couple of hours around lunchtime before claiming they had to head back before the traffic got bad? Yet, their last visit up this way, when we were given no notice and already had lunch plans (so therefore couldn't see them), they made sure to stay for dinner with a friend, only minutes from our house, and told us such after they returned home. Had we known they could stay in the valley past 3 PM, we would've made sure to see them after our lunch plans were done.

In some ways, I just got used to being treated as a granddaughter they felt obligated to see. However, as a new mother, I realized that I never wanted my son to grow up feeling the same way. The last time my grandparents visited, my grandfather turned to my mom, while standing in front of me, and said, "It was special having grandchildren. But there's nothing special about having a great-grandchild."

Nothing special.

True love between grandfather and grandson
The bond between my son and his
amazing grandparents is what every child
should have. (Pictured: My father and my son)
How on Earth could he possibly say that? My son means absolutely everything to me and to hear my grandfather, who I diluted myself into thinking loved me, say that my child was "nothing special", absolutely killed me.

Already, they had tried to take a piece of my incredibly special relationship with my husband away from me. I will never let them touch my relationship with my son. Never.

For once in my life, I finally decided to say, "Enough." I finally decided that I wouldn't let others affect my emotional stability or the emotional stability of those I care about. I've done it for far too long and I'm done with it now.

Stand up for yourself. Believe in yourself.

Whether it's a boss, family, "friends", or some random acquaintance, don't let them demolish who you are. You are worth so much more than that.

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