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I put off writing this post because I wasn’t sure how to write in a new way the same scenario that’s played out again. I feel stupid for letting it occur, and I feel even dumber that you, my loyal reader, are faced with another post about the same family drama. But, because this blog is a dedicated space for what’s going on in my life, and this falls into that category, here we are…

To those who may not know, I’m estranged from my family of origin, with the exception of my youngest brother. It was not a decision I made lightly, but one that was necessary for my own mental well-being, and one that protects my own family I’ve created since then. My estrangement was limited at first, but as the enmeshment became more evident, more ties were cut. This is the story of the latest tie.

My father betrayed me last fall, forfeiting his inclusion in my life by providing information to my estranged mother about the existence of my son. I found this out when he bragged to me about rubbing it in his ex-wife’s face, completely oblivious that his behavior was yet another knife in my back. With that, I ended contact with him. But I still maintained a relationship with his sister, my aunt, who I had foolishly also trusted.

I was on my own with my son on Monday, my husband traveling for business. I put the little man to bed, and came downstairs to find my phone had blown up with missed calls from my brother and his girlfriend. Apparently, the photographs I’d given to my father before things went south ended up in my mother’s possession. My brother described them to me, and I knew where they’d come from. However, my father had not been the one to pass them along, it was my aunt.

She had sent me a card for Mother’s Day, filled with family pictures of my cousin’s children, sending a note along with it, wishing me well. I hadn’t had a chance to respond, but had a card with pictures of my son in my purse I’d been meaning to write and send. I realize it was very late in coming, but time was not my friend these days. But now, faced with this betrayal, I am left with the difficult decision of what to do next. I should send the card, because to not would tip my brother’s hand that he informed me. If I do, to not send photographs would be suspicious. But to do so, knowing they will end up in my mother’s possession, is more than I can bear.

I wish my family would be normal (not that the word even means anything), but that’s impossible. Nothing healthy ever happens with them, and this is just another example of how heartbreaking it is to be part of it. I wish I could even muster an emotional response, other than depressed acceptance. But I just feel empty, as if no matter what I do, no one is trustworthy, and I’m left without allies in the one place I should have them.