This has been a year of ups and downs that would make a newlywed's bed look quiet and tame in comparison. From the extremes of last winter's nervous breakdown, miserably failed relationship with a lard assed idiot, and the problems surrounding dad's continuing health issues and APS involvement with his "care," I've now started getting my life back in some semblance of long overdue order.
I'm finding that while I dislike having to answer to someone else, now that I have a job out in the wider world again (as opposed to the job of being mommy, home caregiver, nurse, maid, accountant, chauffeur, crises councilor, nutritionist, laundry service, physical therapist, speech therapist, social and entertainment director, etc ad nauseum) I'm truly enjoying being out of the house, earning a living of my own again, and no longer dependent on either someone else's income or good will. Granted, things aren't yet where I'd like them to be, but they're getting there. It's a slow process, crawling up out of a hole deeper than a grave, nearly 25 years in the making. It feels good, being able to do for myself again after all these years, even if it's not doing as much or as quickly as I would like to see happen. I keep telling myself "Patience is a Virtue." Then the other voice in my head answers with, "But what did Virtue ever get for us??"
The down side of things not moving as quickly as I wish they would comes in the form of my Relatives. Yes, those same relatives that I used to dread having to spend obligatory holidays with. Especially that guilt trip inducing grandmother whom I Still refer to as "The Bat" (though honestly, that's a bit of an insult to harmless little night fliers the world over.) I make a distinction between Family and Relatives for a reason. Those whom I consider my Family I've chosen over the years, and they bear no relation to me as far as blood. My relatives are a joke the gods played on me prior to my birth, and for which I doubt I will ever completely forgive them.
The Bat has taken it upon herself to contact my idiot brother - the same one that tried to Shoot Me a few years ago in a drunken fit, having decided I only moved back to Oklahoma to steal "his" rightful inheritance - and inform him that I no longer have any room mates living with me in the familial home we grew up in. She was rather put out, when I told her that hell would freeze over, I would go without utilities or groceries and live out of a cardboard box on the streets, and put a gun to my Own head before I would ever allow him to live with me again for Any reason. I put up with his crap for a while because I was obligated to do so. I kept my mouth shut to dad about things my brother was pulling after dad's stroke in the interests of not aggravating dad's existing health issues.
But Not For Love Nor Money Does Anything - Even Shared Blood - Obligate Me To Tolerate The Abuse, Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, Threats, or Attempts On My Life Ever Again. I will cut The Bat out of my life once more, even via infrequent phone calls, should she make any further attempts to subject me to guilt trips in an attempt to coerce me into allowing my brother to move back into my home. I will shoot him myself should he make the mistake of showing up on my doorstep, and not bother to pause for questions.
Right now, I'm Angry. Angry at the interference from a manipulative, abusive old bitch. Angry at the attempts to coerce me into compliance. Angry at the attempted guilt trip. Angry that ANYONE would let my drug addicted alcoholic brother know about ANYTHING concerning my life. Angry that he now knows that there is no one staying with me to act as a witness, should he show up and attempt to finish the job of murdering me. Angry at the very idea that I have to once more start living my life in fear of the dark, and the possibility of a knife in the back or a gun pointed at my head, just when I'd finally gotten to a point where I felt like I could sleep soundly at night.
Later I'll quit being angry, and I'll just be sad and afraid. Though being afraid tends to make me particularly angry at the world. Especially at the portion of the planet that caused the fear. I guess it's time for me to start keeping all weapons loaded all the time again, and one within hands reach regardless of whether I'm out or at home. Even if I'm home and in the shower, or relaxing in the hottub on the back deck, or catching a bit of sleep before I head off to work.
We ask ourselves, when we get something like a Concealed Carry permit, and learn to use a handgun for our safety, whether we're capable of killing. It's not a pleasant thing to contemplate. And yet, here I am, contemplating it again, and debating whether I can afford some extra range time, and more ammo. And asking myself whether I have what it takes to kill rather than risk being killed.
Because I know my brother. He may be stupid, alcoholic, and drug addicted - but he's also persistent, and doesn't give up once he decides to do something particularly foolhardy. Like killing me, to make certain that I can't steal a non-existent inheritance.