In Which I Am Snarky

At a family gathering recently a sister in law of one of my brother’s came up to me. A brother that I had told many years ago that I no longer consider him a brother of mine and exactly why. I haven’t had any conversations with her in over thirty years and even then it was more of being in the same room with her kind of thing, once or twice. I probably haven’t seen her in fifteen years and my attitude has always been, so what, my life is fine without you, your sister, and him. They’re not in my life and even before I excluded them, they exhibited no effort in being in my life.

I don’t normally go to any kind of “family” gatherings, but this was in remembrance of my beloved relative who recently died. I had tried to avoid these three witches that day, but each of them came up to me several times. My ex-brothers knows enough to stand about five feet away from me when he says hello or goodbye. He still persists in doing this, even though I know my other brother has told him I don’t want anything to do with him ever.

The sister in law of my brother came up to me and said hello so-and-so and then asked, do you know who I am? She looks exactly the same, just older, with more weight on her. I mean I have no trouble recognizing relatives, even someone who isn’t really a relative of mine, but a relation of relative of mine. I told her, yes you are so-and-so. I’m still puzzling that one out, she’s older than me, if anyone would have memory loss it would have to be her first.

Later in the day when she was doing her rounds saying goodbye to people she came up to me again and wanted to give me a hug goodbye. Okay fine, whatever, she means nothing to me. It didn’t comfort me or help me in my healing process, but what the hell. By the way she was acting she thought she was doing something healing for me. No seeing the three of them is not healing, is not comforting, it is just the opposite.

My beloved nephew died and now I can’t have his smiling face in my life, bitch, so go fuck off, I wanted to say.  I love him and miss him and you think your presence and your excessive inaneness will do something for me? I didn’t say anything because I had promised one of my brothers to be nice at the gathering and he was hovering just behind her and could hear what was being said. He had told me to just talk to those I wanted to talk to and leave the rest alone. I had tried that, but that never works with my family, if you don’t want them, they have to try to invade your space and boundaries.

I about flipped my wig when she continued with her comments.

She said, you look just like your mom. (Yes she just compared me physically to a sex offender, who beat and raped me while I was a pre-schooler. Yes I look like a 70 year old woman, who had white hair when she died more than 15 years ago, thanks for your tact. Obviously I don’t.)

I bent over, stuck my finger in my mouth and made gagging noises.

She said, seeing you makes me think of your mom.

I said, that does nothing for me.

She said, well I always had a soft spot in my heart for your mom.

I said, again that does nothing for me.

She walked away.

About a month ago I had decided that a big healthy dose of snark was an entrenched part of my personality, that I accept that, and that I love that about myself. I’m not some kind of perfect little kitten, some tiny little victim that others can make be nice and compliant, which is what my family has always tried to do to me. I want to be good and kind and caring, more than anything else in the world, but the first and most important person for me to be good and kind and caring to is me.

Their presence in my life does nothing for me. Bye-bye.

11 thoughts on “In Which I Am Snarky

    • I can always count on family to do and say the wrong thing.

      Mostly I alternate between being annoyed, enraged, and shunning them. It is the only way to go. The three witches don’t touch my heart or wound me in any way, but they do still manage to piss me off at family funerals. And they don’t have a right to do that to me when I am grieving.

      Good and healing thoughts to you.



      • Hi,

        Thanks. I appreciate that. I don’t think that they did it on purpose, because that would take an awareness on their part of what inadequate people I consider them and how I loathe and don’t want anything to do with them and they don’t have any awareness. They think that they are great people.

        They were way out of bounds, but narcissists are like that, they really haven’t a clue. One of my parents’ friends at my father’s funeral went on and on to my mother about how pretty I looked. I was appalled. I wish people would get it into their heads that you don’t have to fill the space with words.

        Good and healing thoughts to you.



  1. as a grief counselor and minister, the kindest thing to say would have been something
    like “I’m sorry for your loss” and then go on to speak positively about your nephew. Any ‘you’ statements, especially. “you look like your mother” is inappropriate, even if well intended. People complain “I don’t know what to say.” Better if her your abusive brother had made himself absent from the area so she could just be herself. She probably felt on the spot but that’s not your problem.

    Your challenge was to have as little interaction as possible with them. You are not responsible for their reaction or for the awkwardness of the situation. It’s one of those moments that are hard. You dread them in advance and try to forget them afterwards (not dwell on them).

    You did a good and courageous thing. That’s not “snarky” in my view. That’s just being appropriately defended. If hugs are proffered and you don’t want to, one thing you can do is put your hand out in advance. But you did great!! I’m so glad you were there to witness to how much you cared for your nephew. My condolences for your loss. Maybe find a grief group if you have a hard time with this death. If well run, they can be a real help.


    • Hi Gretchen,

      Thank you.

      I told others I’m sorry for your loss, he was a wonderful boy, I love him very much. I know that mentioning my love for him was focused on me, but it was an important thing to say, even to family members that I have chosen to have nothing to do with, because I was sharing in their loss, though of course the loss I felt was not the loss of a son.

      I don’t think it was about my other brother being near me while they were saying goodbye. They are just creeps and are often inappropriate. I avoid them 99.9% of family interactions, mostly just because they don’t bother to show up, which is great.

      I had communicated through my other brother some time ago that I never wanted to hug him again and that I don’t want him getting too close to me physically, so it was good that he did stay five feet away from me. Still he doesn’t respect my wishes because I had told him many years ago that I don’t consider him a brother and what I wanted was for him to be out of my life for the rest of my life. He knows why. He is telling my brother now that he wants to be in contact with me, but I have told the brother back that that is never going to happen and that he can relay that if he wants to.

      I should have said tell his wife and sister in law the same thing in advance, no touching, I really don’t want to talk to them, so I wouldn’t have to feel the pressure to do so at the service. I will ask him to tell my brother I don’t want any physical contact from any of them and don’t want to talk to them either. It should be easy for them to avoid me at a service, with about 100 other people they could talk to.

      They didn’t give a fuck about me for decades, but they hate that I have boundaries and they can’t stay away. They have convienently avoided the facts of how they treated me for several decades before I cut off contact. I remember. I don’t need or want them. And that gets under their craw.

      Thanks for your kind words. I do still think I was snarky, but I like that about me.

      Good and healing thoughts to you.



    • Hi Kat,

      I agree with you. I didn’t think that they would come up to me and certainly not try to hug me. I guess that is their funeral behavior. The hugs by others were healing, theirs were not. I am very particular about who I let touch me and why and this was something I had not thought about in advance. Next time they will know in advance I don’t want to talk to them or hug them.

      Good and healing thoughts to you.



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