Dear Cousin,

The following letter to a member of my family represents unfiltered and personal thoughts that I have NO INTENTION of sharing with said family member (at least at this time). Certain details, names and events have been changed slightly to avoid any legal recourse. This is not meant to be satirical, but rather a heartfelt expression of truth.

I apologize for contacting you in this way, but since I don't have an email of yours and your track record for reading, let alone replying to messages on Facebook or Instagram are shoddy at best, I felt a need to write you in this way. The previous statement wasn't meant as a slight, just an observation.

I get it though, you have a lot going on. Chances are, I’m not very high on the list of people you would like to interact with, which is also understandable considering I think both of our shared views when it comes to family. It’s also understandable considering the last time I contacted you in any way was when I sent you your sister a message on Facebook about some possible accusations about your father in regards to some of his actions toward my mother.

I'm writing to apologize for any shit storm that may have caused your family. I also apologize for brining up any hearsay about things your father may have done in the past. I was confused, and perhaps a bit scared, especially for my mother and her emotional well being at the time.

I’m also writing to apologize for bringing you & your sister, albeit passively, into a continuing feud between my mother and your mother. It seems as though they have had some issues for quite some time, and since Grandma’s death, these issues have been brought to the surface which has culminated in a sort of speaking embargo between our families.

I don’t know what your mom has told you about myself, let alone my family over the years, but I wanted to clear the air with you about a few things. Although, I must admit I don’t fully trust you because it seems as though either yourself or your sister passed a certain Facebook message on to your mother which created a whole other shit storm for my family, in that your mother tried (but failed) to speed up the process of which our Grandparents house was being sold which would have resulted in my family being homeless for several months. I have the texts to prove this in case you find this far-fetched.

Look, I realize you might have little reason to trust me, or my family based on our various financial dealings over the years. Hell, maybe in the eyes of your family, my family is nothing more than a bunch of thieves, I don't know. I can't speak about the financial problems of my parents because I don't know much about them. All I know is that both of my parents have never been good with handling and keeping money, a gene in which must have been passed on to me too.

I fully admit to having trouble keeping, let alone making money. I fully admit to asking for Uncle Bob’s help sometimes when I shouldn’t have. I was an idiot for not seeing the frustration it was causing him, but since I was so wrapped up in the mindset of having to finish school so not only would I be able to find work, but also to make my family proud. I was caught up in the American Dream of the whole "go to school, get a job for 25-35 years and find a house, etc.” That’s no excuse though, and I recognize that.

I only bring this up because your mother seems to be caught up on my family's financial dealings. She seems to have this habit of welding this information over my family's heads as a sort of carte blanche excuse for her actions. I have the texts to prove this in case you find this far-fetched.

My mother is no saint either. She's so vindictive with jealousy at your mother's financial freedom as she lives on the farmland of your other grandparents, that she works herself into rages over it, not to mention whatever other petty bullshit she thinks of from their childhood about your mother being attractive to many men.

But again, this is all their bullshit spilling out, which has nothing to do with us.

I only mention all of this so that you have a clearer picture of both sides of our families.

It's so fucked up. Like, why is my mom so consumed with jealousy considering shit seems to work itself out? Why was your mom fighting so hard to sell her childhood home and the land for the money considering she's financially set living on 100 acres or whatever it is? Why would my mom keep a box of old pinup collections yet give away the ashes of her parents to your mom despite them saying they'd rather have their ashes scattered on their property? Why have all of us potentially allowed certain actions by your father to go unsaid for so long?

The point is, it’s all fucked up. I don’t know what you’re supposed to do with all of this information. You already have a lot going on with your job and whatnot, but like I said, you are the only one I seem to trust in your family since your sister has been dealing with possible infidelities from her husband.

I don’t mean to be bringing up old information. I’m only mentioning the last things I’ve heard since our families seem to have an embargo on speaking to each other.

If this is truly the last time communication happens between us, i just want you to know a couple things. I’m happy you’ve been able to turn your life around the way you have. You’re a truly amazing example of how someone can rise up from the darkness and emotional instability of certain mental illnesses. I’m honored to call you a relative. I’m proud to call you family. Out of everyone in my extended family that I’ve had some communication with, I feel like you’ve done the most growing out of everyone.

I can’t tell you how many times I defended your actions to Uncle Edwin and Granddad when they’d talk about incidents about your BPD relayed to them from your mother.

I still remember nervously giving you a notebook at some point that I thought might help you express some emotions you might not have been comfortable sharing. I totally didn’t know how to talk to you about some of those things. To be honest, I still don’t. I recognize anyone suffering from some kind of emotional or personality disorder is a minefield with lots of potential triggers.

But please know, that I love you. Please know that you are stronger than you know. I’m grateful you continue to persevere in this life. I’m grateful you’re thriving as best you can. I’m humbled by you achievements. You are a truly amazing person.

Thank you for being.

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Bryce Post

Bryce Post

is a writer that always seems to be working on at least five different projects while attempting to share musings and revelations on a regular-ish basis.