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30 October 2015 @ 05:41 pm
Message I'm considering sending  
Dear Cousin,

I'm defriending you on facebook. Not because I think you're a bad person - I think you have good intentions and those come from someone with a good heart. Not because you comment on my posts with different opinions - I actually like talking to people with opinions different than mine, especially when they are well read, and you seem to do a lot of reading.

But every time you comment on something I post you're aggressive and you level personal attacks at me. You told me I had no right to my opinions because I wasn't a mother. You told me it was no wonder your mom stopped talking to mine because I was just terrible as she was. Today you are telling me I'm being argumentative and I think you're also accusing me of being fat when I was trying to tell you "hey, you have your opinion and I have mine, and this is why I have mine."

I friended you because I'm not close to you and you're my cousin. And I remembered you from when we were kids. I wanted to get to know you. But when you comment so aggressively to my posts, when you tell me I can't have an opinion different than yours, when you call me ignorant, or terrible, when you attack me? It makes me feel bad, and sick, and angry. Maybe that's what you mean to do. If so, that's pretty toxic, because you don't know me either.

It seems like you're pretty happy with your life. I'm glad. I'm pretty happy with my life too. And one of the ways I try to draw boundaries in my life is to stop accepting abuse in the name of family or friends. I hope you have a good life. If I see you at a family thing I'll be happy to have a conversation with you - again I wish you well and happy. But I don't actually need to be attacked online.

Be well,

also posted to katekat on dreamwidth | you can reply here or there
red_satin_doll: Giles and Zookeeper The Pack RSDred_satin_doll on October 31st, 2015 01:18 am (UTC)
And from the sounds of it, you would be well within your rights to send this. I think this is very calm, balanced and fair. You're not attacking in return, you're simply making your boundaries clear, and nothing could be healthier.

(If you don't mind the opinion of a stranger.)
my monkied brainkatekat1010 on October 31st, 2015 01:21 am (UTC)
lol i don't mind at all! (kind of the thing of putting it on the blog, you know?). Thanks! It's actually really reassuring!! it's really hard for me to not attack back and I've been trying to be as level headed as possible, but I worried that I was being underhandedly cranky, you know?
red_satin_dollred_satin_doll on October 31st, 2015 05:04 am (UTC)
The fact that you worried puts you miles ahead of so many other people who don't give a damn what they say and who they hurt, so you definitely have my respect.
Malmalnpudl on October 31st, 2015 01:59 am (UTC)
That seems like a very reasonable thing to do, and sounds like some very healthy boundary setting.

My only suggestion (which you did not solicit, and I hope you will please disregard at will) is that if you want to keep it as emotionally "clean" as possible, you might delete this bit:

Maybe that's what you mean to do. If so, that's pretty toxic, because you don't know me either.

It would be satisfying to say -- and it sounds like it would be entirely fair to say it -- but out of everything you wrote, it's the only part that comes across as being about her (i.e., your judgment of her character) rather than about you and your boundaries and choices. If you want to keep it more neutral for the sake of future encounters and the general family context, removing that wee bit might be worth considering.

Also: Hi, there. :-)
my monkied brainkatekat1010 on October 31st, 2015 05:07 pm (UTC)
That's the line on re-read that I *totally* was thinking of deleting! Because yes, it definitely was not neutral :) and i think saying it here made it so I don't have to say i there, you know?

also HI!!!!
Mireille: misc - Mireille butterflymireille719 on October 31st, 2015 04:29 am (UTC)
I'm pretty sure I read the conversation that provoked this, and I think that you're definitely within your rights to send this. (I was never that considerate of those of my cousins I did this with, to be honest--just defriended them, because while I'll be happy to be pleasant to them at a family gathering, I was incapable of doing anything but raging at them at that point.)

You have the right to avoid being abused and insulted on Facebook--especially on your OWN Facebook. Take whatever steps you need to in order to make that happen.
my monkied brainkatekat1010 on October 31st, 2015 05:14 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure you did too, and I'm soooo close to sending this. And I was contemplating defriending without it too, don't get me wrong. But I do actually get a certain kind of satisfaction by pointing out why things didn't work, and considering the interactions she and I have had where she's always been the one to throw gas and light it on fire, part of me wants to be the one to lob back something level headed but final, you know?

The other part of me has my mom and my aunt (not her mother) in my head both feeling bad because our family is pretty disconnected sort of asking me to put up with her for their sake. Which, I know, not healthy, but sometimes is how family gets negotiated.

thanks for the support though Mir - I'm going to keep your encouragement in mind cuz you're right, I have the right not to be insulted on my own faceboook :)
Mireillemireille719 on October 31st, 2015 06:43 pm (UTC)
Well, you've said here that you are perfectly willing to interact with her at family gatherings. If you feel like you have to keep her as a friend on Facebook (I understand, family is sometimes like that--mine isn't, but that's both a positive and a negative thing), maybe just stop responding to her when she leaves that kind of comment? Don't even acknowledge that kind of comment from her. If she leaves a normal, reasonable, pleasant comment, respond to those, but just don't engage at all.

*hugs* Family is hard.