Some lessons are hard to learn, and some are just incomprehensible. I remember the first time I found out I couldn't trust my mother's family; it was when my cousin took a swing at me "because I was stealing her favorite cousin." That was the first time ANYONE had ever swung at me (she missed, but she kept coming). When it came time to defend myself, I didn't strike back, I just pushed her, and she stumbled. Nobody expected me to have any fight in me at all, but they praised me as I walked away from what would have been a fight.
It was at that same cousin's funeral (the one who attacked me) that my other cousins turned on me (the ones who previously praised me). (By the way, my cousin died of a congenital disability so no pointing fingers, this isn't that kind of story.) I had a cousin fly in from out of town for the funeral who was staying with my family and me, her dad trusted me and knew I would keep her out of trouble. I was pretty lame at this time in life, all I did was go to school and research ancestry. She was a couple of years younger though and wanted to party (I was only nineteen). My other cousin offered to come pick her up and take her out; I thought it could be fun if we all hung out, then she told me I wasn't invited. A phone call later to her dad to see if she could go without me and we were all back in limbo. As long as I'm responsible for her, then we're together. Plus, that was pretty messed up. She's staying with me, were all bored but you only want to come hang out with one of us? That's when the animosity began to grow.
My cousins funeral was nothing short of a spectacle. The presiding pastor took it upon himself to hijack her funeral to tell us all that we're going to hell unless we come back to his church. It was so disrespectful that the majority of us sadly walked out in protest before the services concluded. At the repast, we all went to my aunt's house; people were stumbling drunk, it was not my kind of scene. I stayed though because I knew its the exact type of thing my cousin had been searching for, plus, everyone was there, so it was easy to keep an eye on her.
I went to the bathroom for two minutes and came back out just in time to see them driving away, laughing and staring. I called my cousin, the one that was staying with me, and my other cousin answered with her, they told me to leave them alone and they just want to have a little fun. She knew I was compelled to tell her father that she ditched me at the repast and wouldn't tell me where she went. This was why he asked me to watch after her and not my other cousin, she needed mentoring. I had already put myself in an uncomfortable position trying to keep her satisfied and she still ditched me. And she got joy out of it, she thought it was funny. By that time, my phone was dying, and I was now at an empty house of a repast of a funeral that was protested. So, I called my mom to pick me up. When I got home, I took all of her stuff out of my room and tossed it down the stairs like I was a woman scorned. When she got home, I told her she is no longer staying here. Her father decided to send home early. She ended up a teenage mother working the pole, but I gave her what she wanted and left her alone.
“Our scars make us who we are. Wear them proudly, and move forward.”
― Jane Linfoot