Medical Questions > Relationships > Family Relationships Forum

Family Issues - Angry at cousin/aunt (and mom)

I need some input, and I'm hoping someone can give me some advice. I'm going to try to condense everything, so this post isn't too long.

In May, I was admitted to a psych hospital for suicidal ideation and depression. I did something bad, and I couldn't deal with the resulting stress. My parents didn't know the specifics of what was happening, but they were obviously very concerned.

My mom apparently vented her concern to my aunt (her sister). From what I can tell, this caused my cousin to get involved. My aunt apparently asked my cousin (her son) to look into my situation. I had no idea that this was happening, because I was hospitalized. When I got home, I found an e-mail in the kitchen. It was sent to my uncle, but someone had "blacked-out" the sender. They obviously didn't do a good enough job, because I could clearly see that it was from my cousin.

Whether justifiable or not, I was furious. More than anything, I was upset by the subject of the e-mail: "A quick search on Google turns up all of this..." I know I may sound sensitive, but I was really hurt and mad at my cousin for poking in my business. I certainly don't meddle in his affairs, and I've helped him a lot through the years (more than he has ever helped me). Just last year, his flight was canceled for Christmas. He was so upset, because he couldn't find another opening. I booked him a ticket first-class (all that was open) and paid for it out of my own pocket. I also at one time flew my sister, cousin, and uncle to visit him, also at my expense. I don't care about the money. It's the principle more than anything. I've never done anything to him, and he has to embarrass me in front of my entire family??? I'm mortified.

Later that week, I saw my other cousin (the brother of the cousin above). He started questioning me about what my cousin had found. I told him that I didn't want to talk about it with him, and it really wasn't his business. It has nothing to do with them. He insisted it was his business and really got on my nerves. I lost my cool and told him that his brother is a jerk and that I cannot stand him. I then told him that I was going to do everything that I can to get him fired from his job.

Long story short, he called my cousin and told him what I had said. This prompted "cousin 1" to call my cell phone a million times. He was furious, and was like "I'm going to sue you. You're threatening all that I've worked for. I'm flying out to you tomorrow...etc." I told him to mind his own business, and if he ever meddles in my life again, I will do whatever I can to destroy his career. At the end of the conversation, we agreed to never speak again. That's fine with me. I now DESPISE him.

Fast forward a few weeks, and I was once again suicidal and depressed. I ended up back in the psych hospital. I was actually in over Memorial Day weekend, and my aunt was at my parents' house for a barbeque. It was a weird conversation. She asked me how I was feeling, and we talked casually. What she said at the end of the conversation though, made me see red: "You know, I'm not the enemy. I don't want you to be mad at me." At first, I had no idea what she was talking about, and then it registered. She obviously found out about my confrontation with her son and felt "guilty" for having him poke around in the first place. I told her not to worry about it. No hard feelings.

The problem...I have major hard feelings. I don't ever want to talk to my aunt, uncle, or cousin again. I hate all of them. When they come for labor day, I will be cordial but cold (ice cold and distant). I won't be mean, just disinterested and diplomatic. Not only that, but I plan on telling my cousin to make sure that he finds a good excuse for his Christmas absence. He's not welcome at our house.

So now that I sound like such a horrible person, what is wrong with me? Do I really want to hate them? I don't think so. I really don't, but unfortunately, I do. I despise these people. I feel like they totally threw me under the bus when I was at my lowest. I want to get the last laugh and make them sorry that they offered me NOTHING constructive when I needed their support the most. Instead of offering to help, they're spreading all of my personal business around the family. I have a lot of bad qualities, but one strength I do have is loyalty. I would do ANYTHING for a friend or family member if I could reasonably do it. When my cousin "cousin 2" was in the psych hospital, I was the one visiting him on Christmas day for crying out loud.

My mom has totally sided with my aunt and cousin and won't even listen to my position. This makes me crazy. I can be as stubborn as anyone, but I always let someone at least give me their side/viewpoint. I may not necessarily end up agreeing, but I think it's the polite thing to do. If I even so much as mention it, my mom gets ridiculously mad. She practically raises her voice saying she doesn't want to hear it.

This is going to sound awful, but I'll take it one step further and say that I almost hate my mom now too. I mean she doesn't even have the decency to listen to a diverging viewpoint. If she disagrees with anyone, there's no changing her mind. You can't even try to discuss anything with her. If you even try to mention the issue, she'll rip your head off. I can't imagine if we were in some type of group therapy session.

Am I just a totally horrible person? What should I do? Is it wrong to stay mad? I have friends who are so much better than these family members could ever be.

I appreciate any input!
Did you find this post helpful?

replied August 24th, 2012
Extremely eHealthy
Families, families!
You probably aren't a really bad person and in spite of the bad things you claim to have done, you clearly have some decent standards of behaviour you demand from yourself and others you feel you should be close to and who should be close to you - you expect others to respect your standards and to mirror them!

We all have ideas of what the world should be like but one person cannot control the world or the people in it and we must therefore deal with the world as it really is!
That is one of the hardest and most frustrating things in life!

I am not surprised you find little respect from your family - most families don't work that way - from your description I can see your mother and her sister as gossipping little kids growing into gossiping adults who share almost everything - but with a positive spin on things so they can secretly compare their husbands, homes, children, achievements and can indulge in some oneupmanship or rivalry...
Plain nosiness is thinly disguised as caring and is a further excuse for more sisterly rivalry and points-scoring - and of course the whole family will be dragged into involvement in some shape or form...

This is all quite usual and even considered normal - the usual standards of honour, honesty and courtesy do not apply within many families and those who have families who practice such high standards can consider themselves to be very, very fortunate!
For the rest they must play the game that so often results in serial behaviour - or get out!

You don't choose your family - you are stuck with them: so a lot of people believe!

The truth is you don't have to automatically love or respect your family members and you have the option of leaving to strike out on your own; break all contact if that suits you...
Move house and don't leave a forwarding address, if you want - there is no law against it and few outside the family would condemn anyone for doing this...

BUT if you stay you must play the game or at least tolerate others playing the game or it will drive you mad!
Nothing will be sacred or secret and everything will be aired and commented upon by every family member - life inside many such families is like living in a tabloid newspaper of the gutter variety...

You have my sincere sympathies but please do not condemn your mother or your relatives too much because to them, they are normal and are doing nothing wrong and it is you who is strange!
Did you find this post helpful?