Mail... You Got Mail

My curser turned to your page as my day began to start

like a slap, you shared words with me that tore my heart apart

let me tell you now that they were words I didn’t need

You sent them anyway – knowing just where it was, I’d read…

frustrated girl on computer

You wanted to bring me into your own little world of pain.

My world is far from perfect, you just added to it’s stains.


I wonder what you wanted for me to do or to say?

Was it your intention to just blow my day away?

tornado aftermath

I know that misery loves company so you invited me

without ever considering the place that I might also –  be.

Your feeling angry now,  so you wanted me to feel it too

Funny, but what you just did to me… I’d never do to you!

Diane Reed ’13

holding hands over earsholding hands over earsholding hands over ears

Several years ago, I went to visit my cousin. She’d needed to work the first couple of days of my visit so I stayed with my Aunt and Uncle until she came to get me.  It was a fun time to catch up with my Aunt.  She was such a wonderful woman! She loved to laugh and I loved to make her laugh and we did that a lot during that last visit. She was a wonderful artist and could make patterns up out of her head! She painted and sewed and made apple dolls and hand carved their faces with expressions that brought them alive! She loved her pets and little kids and elderly people and I loved her with an admiration that I don’t give out freely.

It was a great visit except that my Aunt had built up a lot of resentments over the years which I think ultimately,  made her physically sick and in the end part of her demise.  I am pretty sure that she died too young and with that resentment still in her heart. Though she was amazing, she just could not let go of things she felt had been wrongly done to her and she shared some of those things with me. She shared some mistakes she feels that my grandma made and I have to admit that they were rather shocking. Though I am not sure how much was amplified in her mind as the years went by, I do believe my Aunt for the most part. Finally when my cousin came to pick me up, she asked me how my visit with her mom had been and I asked her  if she knew the stuff her mom had told me about grandma.

I think it was in that moment, I saw my cousin as not only an adult but one of the wisest people I know, and still feel that today.  She held up her hand and said to me “Diane my mom tried to tell me bad stuff about grandma for years and I never let her because grandma was an amazing grandma to me, and I’ve told her that I am sorry if she had a different experience but I refuse to let her ruin my memory of her.” And then she said, “I am sorry you let her tell you.” Well, I am too. But I was kind of caught of guard. My Aunt did not ask me if I wanted to hear any of it, she just told me. And I am not sure if I would have known how to tell my Aunt I didn’t want to hear something I didn’t know she was going to say but it made me really respect my cousin. Because after all, my grandma took my Aunt and her kids in when they had no place to go and took care of and loved my cousin and her brother and my cousin recognized and remembered that.

I am sure that my Aunt was never really in a place where she ever recognized all that her mom did for her. She was already filled with such resentment by then but my grandma  loved her kids with all her heart and so in turn her theory of my  grandma hating her seemed ridiculous to me because I don’t think she would just love some stranger’s kids in the same way. She could have just sent my Aunt and her kids away but she didn’t.

I am sure my Aunt had a different experience with her mom than we did as a grandma because we treated our grandma like our hero.  She was my soft place to fall until the day she died. I loved her and the wonderful memories she made for all of us. When I’d come to visit, I’d remember waking up to hearing my Aunt yelling at my grandma and my grandma probably yelling back at my Aunt. It’s not that hard to see that you reap what you sow in that situation but I am still sorry that my Aunt missed all the great stuff we loved in her mom.

I guess the point of my story is… I could have written about the things I learned about on that visit… The stories my aunt told me about my grandma…etc… But at the chance of my cousin reading this,  I never will. I will protect my cousin from the stories she does not want to know or ever need to know. Recently, I’ve been given unsolicited information that I never wanted to know. In the past, I’d made it crystal clear that I didn’t want to hear about it. I’m not really sure what part of “Please don’t talk about this to me” was not clear enough  but it was SENT to me in way of text without warning…. how shady is that? The highest form of manipulation is still going ahead and sharing something that was uninvited with an innocent bystander because you are angry with someone else and need to vent. And they wonder why we aren’t that close anymore.

I guess the operative word here would be…. Duuuuhhh!

18 thoughts on “Duhhhhh

  1. This could be written about my aunt … I think every family has one of them.
    My aunt and my mom – didn’t speak to each other for over 20 years .. in the end.
    For me it goes totally over my head – and life is to short to even bother about people behaving like that – it is just to accept them as they are .. and ignore them.
    Personal I just accepted and went on with life.
    She was out of this world in more than one way .. my aunt.
    Now a monk joke.
    “An aspiring Monk wanted to find a Guru. He went to a monastery and his preceptor told him: “You can stay here but we have one important rule – all students observe the vow of silence. You will be allowed to speak in 12 years time.”
    After practicing for 12 long years silent meditation etc., the day came when the student could say his one thing or ask his one question. He said: “The bed is too hard.”
    He kept going for another 12 years of hard silent meditation and got the opportunity to speak again. He said: “The food is not good.”
    Twelve more years of hard work and he got to speak again. Here are his words after 36 years of practice: “I quit.”
    His Guru quickly answered: “Good, all you have been doing anyway is complaining.”

    1. Viv… Great reminder!
      Sadly, we all seem to have no problem relating this particular blog to someone in our life. I guess it is a lesson… to try to never be THAT person in someone’s story! 😉

  2. One of your best posts.

    I am going to turn my comment backwards.

    I have noticed how different people bring out different parts of me. And situations too. I remember once pausing before entering a room because a number of friends were discussing their opinion of me and I decided to listen for a couple minutes before barging in.

    “Jim is one of the quietest shyest people I’ve ever met.”

    “Are you kidding me? I’ve seen him walk onstage to perform in front of thousands of people and he acted like he owned the place.”

    “No, he’s a great listener.”

    “I can’t get a word in edgewise with him!”

    “He’s not strong, but very athletic. Ever watch him climb up and walk across the top of a swing set?”


    There were a lot of contradictory things said about me (I’m leaving out some negative things) and I found it very enlightening how it was all true. I am confident in some settings, very unsure in others. Arguably I am always truly me in spite of one person thinking I walk on water while another thinks I am evil incarnate.

    [Gonna blog this.]

    1. Jim,
      Thanks as always for reading.
      I think I am learning more about me as I have revelations about others. Do we ever stop this this self discovery?
      I am glad you liked it.

  3. Oh, Diane, I can totally relate to this! I happen to have a family that has no respect for those boundaries. One sister in particular likes to violate me this way. Now when I see an email from her I literally get physically sick. My back starts hurting, etc. I’m no longer speaking to her. She not only told me things about other people but dug up stuff about my husband and tried to tell me things about him, too. It’s a violation that borders on subtle abuse, right?
    We don’t need other people trying to alter the relationships we have. n this sense, I’d rather be blissful and stick my head in the sand. Seriously. Unless that person does something to me directly I don’t want to have to think about their other actions.
    Love this post! Perfect and true.
    I want to plan a trip out to California in September. Will you be around?
    Wouldn’t that be fun?
    Have a beautiful day, pretty lady!!

    1. Lisa,
      we always GET each other! That is why we connected! You actually nailed it here! The person I wrote this about was sooo not my Aunt… I only used her as an example… I know YOU got that.
      Yep I am around always… lol.
      California is huge though… where you going?
      My only prob right now while husband is out of work is working 40+ hours but I can usually get a Sunday and Monday off pretty regularly!
      Would love to see ya!

  4. When coming upon seeming negativitiy, I always tell myself, “I just don’t know.” I don’t know the backstory, the motivation, perhaps don’t even know what the person is really saying or why. I don’t want to be drawn in, to become negative myself. I remind myself that this isn’t really about me.

    1. Untold bridgesecrets!
      Thanks for reading and the great comments!
      Yeah, in this case… it was stuff I already said I don’t want to know… I understand there are two sides to every story and yet I feel this person brings it on with their own issues and temper… and then all this negative stuff about what was said about me was dumped on me that I don’t know what to do with now. I am just still reeling while the other person is feeling I am not there for them. Big FAT mess that I don’t need right now!

  5. A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together. At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a very young and beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her cross to the other side.

    The two monks glanced at one another because they had taken vows not to touch a woman.

    Then, without a word, the older monk picked up the woman, carried her across the river, placed her gently on the other side, and carried on his 

    The younger monk couldn’t believe what had just happened. After rejoining his companion, he was speechless, and an hour passed without a word between them.

    Two more hours passed, then three, finally the younger monk could contain himself any longer, and blurted out “As monks, we are not permitted a woman, how could you then carry that woman on your shoulders?”

    The older monk looked at him and replied, “Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river, why are you still carrying her?”

    1. THAT is perfect here!!!! I have to admit I googled it and saw the connection right away. You are right. When we carry things we don’t need to, we miss the message! But totally off subject here… aren’t Monks silent? lol.
      Thanks for taking the time to share! It really fit!

  6. Diane: This is really good. I have some family members whose stories never match, and whose lives forever contain too much drama as they feud and attempt to recruit others to their camp. For a while it was important to me to try to sort out the truth. No more. And a couple blogger commenters who seem to thrive on gossip and control. Don’t need it. Don’t care. I choose to assume the best in all, remain aware, and enjoy things that are peaceful and happy instead. Drama is bad. Life is good! Blessings! Diane

    1. Yeah it gets so annoying and I have repeatedly said “I don’t want to hear it” so I get a message repeating a bunch of stuff said about me. My husband is out of work, I just lost a best friend, I work 40 hours a week+ to make ends meet and they continue to make it all about them and then wonder why I don’t want to hang out with them…. Thanks for relating!

  7. Wow .. the operative word here is family – I tend to say you are not always friends but always family. Someday we will all learn the words of Eleanor Roosevelt: Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.I am sure you find yourself, as most do in all three situations in varying degrees. At some point though, we have to realize that with some people it’s ok to talk about the weather, but that is where it ends …. The conversation goes like this ” Nice day, oh, yeah, enjoy the sunshine, OK, see ya …”.

    Your Aunt sounds like someone who takes advantage of a captive audience, and you just fit the bill perfectly. Your cousin knew better because she was familiar. Some people are never happy, and will always blame someone. They seem to have radar for people they can dump on, and will do so every chance they get. Pray for her, it’s the best you can do.

    Do you know the story about the two monks traveling together?

    1. Unfortunately my Aunt passed away a few years ago. The poem was about someone completely different…. 😉
      No, I am not familiar with that one about the Monks but I bet it is great if you are going to share it with me! 🙂
      as always thank you for your reading and replying! You are the greatest!

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