Thwarting

Un autre jour, une autre bataille avec les vautours. (Pardon my French).

Selfish.
Gaa. I really dislike that word. I dislike the connotation even more.
Growing up I was always admonished to share.
“Don’t be selfish!”
Perhaps I took that a little more to heart than I should have. In retrospect, it seems that not being selfish translated into never putting myself or my needs first.
Ever.
That’s why a recent, seemingly sudden, influx of “requests” (an unfortunate series of not so thinly veiled “demands”, actually) momentarily caught me off guard.
Momentarily.
I’m flexing my newfound “me” muscles right now.
Part of that flexing includes rediscovering the word “No”.
Part of that includes realizing and accepting that I no longer have official “standing” in some areas and, because of that, I am now choosing to let go and move forward in a new direction.
There is a woman in the circle of my extended family who is the quintessential golddigger. I’ve watched her for years as she has ingratiated herself with a certain family member, knowing full well what she was attempting. (I *am* a PI, after all).
While my late husband was alive, he and I did our best to thwart her. (I love that word, by the way. “Thwart”. There is not nearly enough thwarting going on these days. But I digress).
Perhaps it’s the grieving widow in me (I truly suspect not, though), but last spring, when it became abundantly clear that our efforts would be in vain, that’s the point where hubby essentially gave up. His tenuous health started to decline rapidly once he figured out that he could not be the protector that he’d always been and there was going to be no way to prevent her takeover.
We’d watched helplessly as she successfully inserted wedge after wedge between this beloved family member and anyone in his life who could possibly pose a threat to her.
Despite my warnings and his, our protestations were waved off. “We’re not being taken advantage of” sounds a little silly when it’s painfully obvious to everyone but you that… you are.
Golddigger woman even had the chutzpah to show up at the hospital and stroll into the dialysis unit to see firsthand how close hubby was to death (until I kicked her out, of course. Redheaded pit bulls don’t take kindly to interlopers, after all).
Although I made it very well known that she was not welcome at his funeral and prevented her appearance there, she could not resist one final slap in the face.
At a recent family luncheon where there was an empty chair next to me in hubby’s honor – she plopped herself right down in it.
Purposely.
I’ve never clutched cutlery so tightly in my life.
Her unspoken message of “I’ve won” was crystal clear.
I left early.
In the future, I will seek ways to gracefully avoid any gathering that she might attend.
That will most likely be all of them.
Although my redheaded pitbull genes are still intact, and there are a ton of ways to legally and satisfyingly annihilate her, it’s simply not worth it.
Anger and rage have never been a good fit in my life anyway.
I’m learning to pick my battles, and the “battle” I’ve picked to join is the one that brings me more opportunities like those that I’d allowed to pass me by in the past, when I was mistakenly trying not to be “selfish”.
You cannot reach for the future if you’re still clinging to the past, and I’ve concluded that for me, the best “revenge” will be a life well lived.
Selfish?
Perhaps.
And I’m okay with that.
I think I shall call it “Thwarting” instead.
Yeah. Thwarting. I love that word.

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