Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Family Feud - Take Two

Just when I thought things were all back to happy and normal, once again I'm treated like the problem child...

I love to do genealogy, and my family tree is quite large (with a few famous cousins, I might add). I work on a specific website where you can link up with other trees and such. I invited several of my closer family members to the website so they could help me build, one of them being the person who isn't happy with me lately. For simplicity and anonymity sake, let's call her X.

A few days ago I linked up with some cousins on X's side of the family. These cousins and I have been emailing back and forth about a specific person on that side of the family (long since deceased) who they wanted more information on. I didn't readily have the information, but I'm very good at this kind of research and within the hour I had found a pretty incredible document which basically filled in the missing pieces. I was so excited about it that I called up X's mom and told her about it. She then told me I should email it to X. BIG MISTAKE! I also uploaded the document onto my genealogy website, but I did this privately, so that only family members with accounts on this website could see it. Keep in mind that I found this document on a public website within a half hour...

I get an email from the cousins practically kissing my feet. They were thanking me up, down and sideways about how amazing I am and how they're so happy we're connecting the cousins again, etc. etc. I felt all proud of myself that I had helped out the family so much.

Then I get an email from X, basically telling me that the document I found should never have been found, it's offensive and could ruin my life and my children's lives...and therefore I need to immediately remove it from the genealogy website and stop nosing around about this deceased person. I emailed back saying I was sorry I had offended her, but that I was just helping these cousins and that I wasn't nosing around any more. I found what they wanted and that was it. I also informed X that the document I uploaded was completely private and could not be found by anyone without having been invited by me to see it. Her response? Just remove it...and do it cuz the rabbis said so. She either hadn't read my email or had completely ignored what I had written. I removed it not because she asked, because removing it was completely useless if she's worried about people finding it, but just because I didn't want her emailing me complaining about it - and she did thank me for taking it down. I then proceeded to block her on the genealogy website so that maybe now she'll understand the meaning of private. Maybe when she realizes she can't see anyone's information in my family she'll get it... Now she can't edit any of the profiles that I manage, but unfortunately it also means I can't edit any of the profiles that she manages. Luckily I had already done my research on them and probably won't need to edit them.

Anyway, the whole thing was just completely ridiculous. The way she reacted to this document was so out of line. Yes, it had some disturbing information in it, and I can understand how it would have upset her, but so far she's the only person that's reacted at this level. Anyone who says their family doesn't have at least one skeleton in the closet is lying or in denial. And seriously, outside of the family who cares what happened to someone over 50 years ago that's not even a direct ancestor??? The cousins had no problem with it. They accepted it and moved on, saying they were going to say kaddish for him (that's a prayer for the deceased person's soul) and would dedicate a memorial plaque in their synagogue for him as well. They also want to try to find his grave so they can pay their respects directly.

So now I'm back to square one. I cancelled my special phone plan so that I could call X (and so that she could call us for free). She never used it to call before now, so it was really pointless in the first place, but that's beside the point. It's just so sad because this is a person I was willing to do anything to help get pregnant. I was willing to do a special IVF cycle and donate my own embryos to her, but the rabbi said it wasn't allowed. But now I'm wondering why I put in the effort.

If she's acting this way because she's jealous that I have children and she may never have children, I totally get that 100%. It's how I would feel in her situation. I'll tell you a little story to prove that, too. Back before I had the twins one of my good friends got pregnant with her 4th baby. I was so jealous that I was seeing green! I stopped going to her house on Shabbos, didn't call, didn't visit, etc. I just couldn't face her because I was so jealous that she could get pregnant so easily and I couldn't. I was afraid I'd say something or act inappropriately because of that jealousy. And I knew if I did go to see her and saw her big belly, I would go home and cry about it, bemoaning my childlessness. When she had the baby, I brought over dinner for them and met the little cutie. I even held her for a bit. Doing that started to chip away at the jealousy, although I was still pretty green. A few months later is when I got pregnant with the twins and no longer had anything to be jealous of. I was an awful friend to her during her pregnancy by being absent, but hopefully I've made up for it over the past 2 1/2 years.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I understand if she's jealous but would rather her be completely absent with no communication rather than have animosity thrown at me when I try to be helpful. It's sad, because she always used to tell me how much she loves my kids and how much she misses them, but by alienating me she's risking her relationship with them! It's not like I'm going to fly my family halfway across the world to see her (it's crazy expensive anyway). And if she's reading this, I hope she realizes just how sad this whole mess has made me, but if I get stressed out and insomniac every time she emails me, I don't know what else to do.

(If you've read this whole post, I'm very impressed!)

2 comments:

Celia said...

I read the whole post and that woman should go suck a lemon. Seriously, it's in the past. I think you are trying too hard to keep people happy. If you don't mind that is one thing, but I get the sense from your posts that they are like a bunch of chickens just clucking around. Only you can decide where to draw the line, but it sounds like this woman will find a new way to get in your face.

Deborah said...

I read it all. Wow. People need to keep in mind others' feelings when they treat them this way. It sounds like the document was already far more public than you made it, plus it's your family too and you have a right to the information as much as she does. I'm sorry they are making things so difficult for you.