Check your Facebook privacy settings!

Mine are set quite private. But somehow, and I haven't quite figured out why, the settings began to be public beginning yesterday. I thought I'd fixed it, and proceeded to post two new pics of my nephew that I had found.

Yeah, I have a nephew. My brother and his wife have this cutie pie who is growing SO fast. He has my brother's head. Actually, we call it the "[surname] head," because it is characteristically round. Just transplant the hair and maybe a few different facial things, but we all look alike. He also has my sister in law's eyes. Adorable. I can see him growing in my brother and his wife's publicly visible profile pictures.

When there is a cute one, I share it with some of my Facebook friends (who know to one extent or another about my family's abuse and disowning), and we squee over it together. I deliberately do not share it with the whole wide world, unlike what Facebook thought I wanted to do.

Well, I posted two small ones yesterday, assuming that my settings were fixed. They weren't. So they stood on my profile, visible to the public, along with some articles I shared since then.

I found out about it because my brother sent me a Facebook message through his wife's profile. She didn't have me blocked, he did, so that's why he went through her. I can see why they might be upset that I was looking at those pictures.Anyway. I went back, fixed my settings for good this time (for now anyway), brought up my mother in law online to talk about it since she was available.  I crafted a response to my brother. But by the time I was done with it, his wife blocked me too, so I couldn't reply.

And my MIL couldn't send the message for me because she has been blocked, too, so I asked a friend of mine, who grew up in a dysfunctional home herself, if she would mind sending it for me. She wisely said

"you can't teach someone the truth they have to find it."

I was too hopeful, I think. My friend is right about my message in reply--he wouldn't understand what a golden child/black sheep is, or the dynamics of that. He wouldn't see how our father was abusive to all of us. He just would refuse to see and understand--so no reason to keep on trying to let them know if they really don't want to hear what I have to say. So I'll share it here instead. Look for the FOG, the Fear, Obligation, Guilt (not to mention the foggy part of messing up facts) that keeps so many people trapped in unhealthy familial relationships.

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Holly,

This is [brother] writing through [sil]'s profile. You need to take down the two pictures of our son (reasonable enough request, but they were public already). They are not yours and he is not your nephew. (ORLY? Brother's son...aka nephew). You lost that right when you abandoned the family and decided that your parents were no longer your own. (Who did the abandoning here? FOG. Nice guilt trip, too.)

At that point, you disavowed all rights to my siblings, my parents and my son.(More guilt) If you have any respect left for the family that loved you and guided you to adulthood (Using all three. here. Theoretically I fear not showing respect to my father, as he says I'm obligated to--but my definition of respect is not my dad's narcissistic version of respect.) you will take down the photos of my son.

If you have any shred of decency left in you, (niiiice) you will take down the photos and forever leave my son, my wife, my siblings and my parents alone. (Note the emphasis on "my" for the siblings and parents. As if they're not mine, too. They are OURS.)

[brother full name]

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Hey [brother],

I'm not sure if you read what you just wrote, but it's all bullshit. You know what? Dad abandoned me. Dad disowned me. I don't know why the talk about me abandoning him because he was the one who started it all with those emails without ever approaching me about concerns. And it's sick and twisted how you guys have abandoned and disowned [family member] because "she's not on your side." Do you guys think that [same family member] disowned you, too?

He abused all of us emotionally and psychologically. I don't know what koolaid you drank when you joined in his twisted, narcissistic sense of reality, but I can understand why you did. It's hard being the black sheep, and when you became the golden child after I moved out, I was both happy and sad for you. Happy, you finally deserved it. Sad, because now you're entangled. I was secretly hoping all these years that when you moved out and got married that you might eventually remember all that, so it's kind of nice to know now that you still think I'm utterly worthless. I guess I don't have to worry about how you are doing anymore, but I probably still will.

Why? Guess what? You are still my brother. My siblings are still my siblings, too, and I think and pray about them every day that they may come through safely. Our parents are still our parents, even though dad is abusive and mom is an enabler. And my nephew, who is adorable by the way, is my nephew, and I will treasure him in my heart. Love is a complicated thing that lets us still love people who hurt or have been lost or I have never met.

I didn't take down the photos because I do have a shred of decency left that enables me to love and heal and grow. (I felt like an auntie showing off a cute nephew.)I only changed the privacy settings so you can't see it again when you or [sil] check my profile now and then (or obsessively, however you're doing it).

Well, it was kinda nice hearing from you, even in an unexpected manner, and I'm glad that you guys are apparently doing pretty well, aside from the bullshit you sent along.

Best wishes to you guys--and I really do mean it.
Love,
Holly

 

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