I watched a clip of Will Smith basically telling me if someone hurts me, the responsibility of my heart healing and moving on is mine. Regardless if I find fault in someone else. Regardless if the reason my heart hurts is because someone else said or did something to me, that it is ultimately *my* responsibility to get up and move on.
This needs to be in as positive a manner as possible because this world has enough hate, animosity, stereo types, victims, under privileged, over compensating, under appreciated people as it is.
Last year, a week before my wedding my future sister-in-law read an email I sent to family and friends that traveled far for the wedding, inviting them to our rehearsal dinner at Klondike’s Pizza for All-You-Can-Eat on Tuesdays. That email follows:
Hi! You are getting this because we are going to have our “rehearsal dinner” at Klondike’s Pizza in AG on Tuesday 9/19 (All you can eat!!) and even though you are not IN the wedding, you are more than welcome to join us because you are family!! MIND YOUR ALLERGIES. This is a place with peanut shells on the floor, it’s that kind of pizza bar.
It is $10/adult (kid prices are listed on the site below). Unfortunately we will not be able to host/pay for everyone’s dinner. So double check if you can make it out financially. They also offer soft drinks, beer and wine.
Please let me know if you will be able to go or not as I need to give the manager a heads up for the group count.
My husband, who knew I’d send an email but didn’t know what it said (and I honestly don’t think that part matters, but I don’t want to forget the detail that he didn’t send the email *I* did) was slapped in the face (figuratively) by his sister because to her the email was, and I quote….
“not only offensive, it is hurtful. While I understand you do not live near us and may not fully understand a day in the life of ______ (adult family member) and ________(a young family member), you are smart enough to understand how allergies work. He cannot simply “MIND HIS ALLERGIES.” What your email is stating is that he is excluded… … .________ who deals with being excluded on a daily basis, has been excluded fro your rehearsal dinner in a manner that was extremely tasteless. _____ (adult family member) deserved a personal phone call letting her know your restaurant choice and that you are sorry they won’t be able to attend…..____(adult family member) does an amazing job of helping _____feel special and I know how much it hurts her that he feels “different” and can’t do all the things others do because of his allergies. She works tirelessly to help him not feel left out. No an easy job. But, we will find a way to do just that out in CA on Tuesday evening. “
Yikes. I mean, I can’t tell you the hundreds of questions and emotions that flooded me when my husband looked at me and told me what she said. I, lashed out. I lost my marbles, I lost my cool, I lost my collectiveness, and I texted her swearing all over the place. I posted on fb, and I got what I wanted, people voiced their comments in my favor. I did not post details more than a family member doesn’t like my choice because other members have allergies – which MY HUSBAND AND I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT…That probably hurt more than the email. My sister-in-law did not bother giving us the benefit of the doubt. She did not hesitate leaping to our throats to “stand up” for someone she believed we attacked, when the truth is…we just wanted everyone there. So..I posted on fb. Fumed. Got some sarcastic comments that made me feel better. Then…my sister in law “outed” herself. Claiming she was the family member and she was standing up for so-and-so and that’s when i lost my shit for the second time. Her attempt at being the hero or standing up for someone she loved turned into her parading names and ages and personal information that is no one’s business to know, in my opinion. I didn’t use any names. She did. She wanted the “credit.” She wanted to become the victim, and the hero of a younger family member because she thought he was a victim. There were no victims…I wanted to invite people to pizza and because I said”mind your allergies”…well…It blew up. And it blew up fast. In seconds my husband was calling me asking me to remove the post – which again named zero people – because someone else was now calling him saying comments are making fun of ______. I’m going to take a quick moment and say this “no, they weren’t” In fact ZERO people said anything mean or distasteful. Sure they were backing me up “you can’t accommodate everyone. People have allergies, you do your best.” “way to make it weird, lady” “it’s not about you or the person who has allergies, if Aiyani and Derek want pizza for the rehearsal dinner and you can’t go…then just don’t go” No, and I really mean it…NO ONE said “whoever has these allergies is an asshole.” or something awful like that. NO ONE said ANYTHING like that. But I took the post down. And, like I do, I reposted with something like “that got heated and crazy fast.” Which also created a thread of comments that required me to shut that one down, too.
But…we were never given the benefit of the doubt. No one called us and said “hey…we don’t know if you knew this but ____ can’t be around peanuts. Not even peanut dust.” I mean, I have friends with allergies. A lot of allergies actually, but I didn’t know any family member had “severe peanut allergies” What I knew, however, is that the young family member probably could not have the pizza, I thought if anything they could bring something and have it there so we were all together. it was…a huge…bomb.
There was volume in my yells, tears in my eyes. I was shaking as I was texting family members and my husband, my husband who did nothing wrong, was now begging for his family to talk to him because it all got out of hand. He…begged them…to talk to us and talk everything out. What he got back was “no…we do not want to talk about it” Which brought him to the extremely heart wrenching decision to un-invite them to our wedding. He said we can’t have any unspoken tension at our wedding, it’s a celebration. Their response, to my surprise, was “we respect your decision and wont’ go.” I truly thought if Derek had said if you don’t talk to us you can’t come to the wedding that they would pull it together and realize this is IMPORTANT this is FAMILY and family shows up and talks about it and fixes it…I thought they’d come to their senses.
And…they didn’t come. They didn’t reach out to mend anything. They were here for a week, having traveled hundreds of miles and…an email that was misconstrued or taken WAY out of proportion landed on us like a heap of bricks.
My husband’s heart broke in areas that week.
What people don’t know…I didn’t want to have a wedding. As some know I was married once before and had a big wedding, and supporting my family of four and planning a wedding – which we all know costs money – was not really in my heart or on my mind. I was honestly fine with going to the courthouse. But, my husband, whom I love so hard and so much, wanted a wedding so his family could be there and celebrate. His family, who all live in Wisconsin, parents and siblings and their children, were all coming out to celebrate and then….and then they didn’t. They came to CA, and didn’t see us or celebrate with us.
Misunderstandings. Swearing. Text messages. Comments. Victims and Heroes. Emails. Etiquette. Benefit of the doubt. Heart breaking. Loss. Pizza. Allergies. family…
I’ve gone over and over the events for months. What consistently stands out is the word “behavior.” My email, casual and quick but apparently heartless and offensive…triggered a reaction with a behavior that was hypocritical and condescending. “______ deserved a personal phone call” but…*we* didnt’ deserve a phone call? We don’t know the ins and outs of daily life but “surely we know how allergies work.” so now I’m stupid?… I did not PURPOSELY kick anyone, and certainly not a young kid. I wasn’t given the benefit of the doubt, i wasn’t given the opportunity to defend myself or my husband. We were…blind sided. The behavior of someone who decides they can stand on a pedestal and speak down to us without even once thinking what a stressful time it was….what an expensive time it was…without for one moment thinking “they aren’t trying to be mean or exclusive, they are being casual and don’t know about his allergies” …the behavior that reflected as a means to maker HER the victim of what I was saying, or make the young family member the victim and her his hero…is what I keep getting stuck on. This is someone who genuinely thinks she is right. She thinks standing up for a young family member against us is right. Now….I would commend her heroic efforts if we had in fact BEEN exclusive and heartless and offensive, but we weren’t. We really weren’t.
And that week will not come back to us for a replay. Our wedding photos, although lovely, are missing chunks of family members because I wrote an email that said mind your allergies – in all caps…and that one email triggered a bomb that split up family members.
I am so disappointed and sad. Yes I’m angry over the drama and stupidity and the Behavior. I am not sorry for standing up for myself or my husband. I doubt she is sorry because she thinks she was right. She thinks standing up for someone getting kicked down is right – and she would be right, if we were actually kicking someone down…and again…again and again and again and again – that’s not what happened. that’s not what I said or did or meant. I hope, sarcastically, she remains proud of herself for tearing us all apart because ultimately that’s what happened. And no one will speak of it. Derek is not ready to address it with them, I am not ready, I imagine months and years going by and people thinking it will just go away or get swept under the rug. I personally have to talk things out in order to find resolve. If I am angry with you, I am not talking to you until I am able to, but I am not going to act as though everything is fine. Because it’s not, and I don’t pretend like that. There are always consequences. There are always different sides to a story. I’m disappointed in the people who did not step in to help put the fires out. Who literally said “i’m staying out of it.” when if the tables were turned then we would be called out to make things right. I’m disappointed and sad and hurt and heart broken for my husband who loves his family so much and simply wanted them here to celebrate with us – and my inviting people without the etiquette of royalty resulted in…..in all of this.
I will always think it is “her fault” and I so badly want her to say it. And apologize for jumping to conclusions or accusations, but I will have to continue to remind myself what I want will probably never happen, and the responsibility of *my* healing from this time, is on me.
I do not find resolve in this, and I fight for resolve. I want it. I want to yell and scream and blame and swear and cry and punch a punching bag or pillow and I want resolve. I won’t find it here, on this page. i won’t find it in an email from the person I want it to come from. I won’t find it in a voicemail, or text message. I won’t find it in a card or letter or in a face to face apology. I don’t even know if an apology would assist in the resolve.
I suppose, if I’m to take responsibility for my own healing I have to first define what it will take to heal. I can’t, and I won’t, take responsibility for her behavior or self righteous antics and attempted heroism. I can take responsibility for my own words. My email, as you read above, my text messages full of heat and anger, and this post here – I take responsibility for this post.
I cannot control or predict the actions or reaction of others. I cannot control or predict the actions or reactions of others. I cannot predict, nor truly prepare for, the actions or reactions of others. And who knows, maybe someday the other side of this will get posted somewhere else and we can all see through their eyes what I looked like during this time.