Most families have a bad egg or two. And when I say ‘bad egg’, I’m not referring to the kind you might fry up and pair with a slice of bacon and possibly an english muffin. I’m talking about bad people. I know that sounds rather harsh but in this case, it’s true. These are people who have issues with morals and ethics, who can be quite charming when there’s something that they want, but can also unleash some pretty nasty verbal (or physical) attacks when you don’t comply with their wishes or you get in their way. Our family has at least two. Now that’s not to say that they’re 100% bad. They have good in them, too (maybe 5%). But you can say that about serial killers if you want to get down to brass tacks.
After a great deal of therapy (believe me, I’ve had my share), I learned that our family operates through fear rather than love. And, boy, those bad eggs know how to use the fear factor to get what they want! One is a boy and one is a girl. They both claim to be victims and think the world owes them a living. ‘Entitled’ is a word that comes to mind. Both have manipulated my parents for their entire adult lives. The encounters usually start with a phone call. They’re loving and supportive at first, but as soon as they really get down to it and ask for money (which is the only reason they ever reach out), if the answer is ‘no’, watch your back! This is when the scales emerge and the forked tongue and tail, they puff up real big and then start assaulting you with accusations and foul language.
Thirteen years ago, I finally felt it necessary to confront one of my siblings. I had heard the same ‘story’ for the umpteenth time and I’d finally had my fill. I was a living, breathing example of the term, “I’ve had it up to HERE”. My sibling was complaining about their employer and what a terrible person he was. If it’s not an employer, it’s the landlord or the roommate or any number of people. The thing is, it’s never my sibling that takes any responsibility. You see, they’re a victim. Always have been, always will be. I do believe if there’s intervention at a younger age, there is hope that things can change for people of this persuasion. But this is not the case. This person is now firmly in their 60s and short of a miracle, you can count on this behavior to continue until they meet their maker.
Needless to say, I chose to be honest with them. I was gentle. I tried to help them ‘see’ that maybe they should speak with a counselor and to also consider looking inward to gain some clarity. Introspection can be very helpful. But the whole thing blew up in my face (or my ear, since we were on the phone). Most siblings would have been able to have their little spat and move on. Didn’t happen that way. No words have been spoken for many years. Our family’s heritage is both Irish and German and a bit of English, so we are all exceptionally stubborn. And, man, we can hold grudges!! Can we ever!!! I have sent about 3 letters at different times over the years, trying to reconcile and get the healing started to no avail. Each letter has been met with silence and/or hate mail.
At first, I used to really get spun up about it. But over time I realized it was a blessing in disguise. It has been 13 glorious years that I haven’t had to listen to this person complain about how miserable their life is and blame everybody else for their problems. I am sorry to blabber on and on about something so negative, but I am mired in something right now that involves one of these bad eggs and it has been incredibly challenging and draining. Fortunately, the majority of the rest of the siblings are forming a united front and it has been very helpful and appreciated.
Are you dealing with a bad egg and are interested in some advice? My advice to you? Ask yourself the following questions: 1) Do you always feel bad after you talk to this person? 2) Is there anything truly positive that they’re bringing to your life? 3) Are you hanging on due to some twisted sense of obligation? If you answered ‘yes’ to at least two of these questions, it’s time to cut and run. You’ve got to treat this stuff like cancer because if you don’t cut it out, it will consume you. Life is short. Surround yourself with people that lift you up and support you and treat you with kindness and dignity. The rest of ’em? Tell ’em to take a long walk off a short pier. I promise, you won’t regret it.