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21 April 2010 @ 11:23 pm
We're Sorry, Your Call Cannot Be Completed As Dialed...  
There should be some sort of universal mandate stating that, once you reach a certain age, you mother simply should no longer have the ability to make you cry.

*sigh* I should have reached that age at least a decade ago.

Family issues are not settling down around here-- they're getting worse. This morning, I turned off my cell and took the landline off the hook, just so I wouldn't have to take any more calls from nosy relatives eager to tell me what 'they' would do in my situation. As if they'd put up with this situation at all, if it actually happened to them. Gun-toting little cousin is going to get himself arrested if he's not more careful. I have no money to post bail if this should happen, and no real desire to do so for a young man who had the nerve to point the (supposedly) unloaded firearm at me and call me an 'emasculating c**t'.

My brother is actually egging this attitude problem on further. My mother says I am 'overreacting' and 'with-holding affection'.

... They sent said little cousin ('little' only in the sense that he is younger than I am-- he turned twenty-one in January) down here from RI because he was causing so much trouble. Now he's doing the same thing down here, except I'm somehow magically supposed to be responsible for him.

I don't really know what to do to solve this, in the long term. In the short term, I know he was out irresponsibly late last night and will probably sleep until this evening. Therefore, I will go upstairs to watch my new copy of MST3K's The Blood Waters of Doctor Z, and try to take my mind off things by laughing. This is by no means a solution, but it is a pressure valve, and I need one. Huzzah for new Mystery Science Theater dvd releases!

*hugs* Sorry to dump this here. I appreciate the willing 'ear' (or 'eye'! ^_~).
-Meredith
 
 
Emotional Temperature: irritatedirritated
The Band Plays:: "Just the Girl"-- by Click Five
 
 
 
Elanor Graveselgraves on April 22nd, 2010 03:36 am (UTC)
I am concerned that you are living with someone that will point a firearm at you, loaded or unloaded.
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: ineedadrinkgarnettrees on April 22nd, 2010 06:58 am (UTC)
Believe me, I had the same reaction. As soon as my brother and I managed to agree that the gun needed to be out of his possession, we discovered he had taken it out of the lockbox and hidden it somewhere. It is not in the house, though I suspect he may have it hidden in the woods nearby, or at a friend's house. I am more concerned about him carrying it around while he's out clubing, because he doesn't have a very good hold on his temper. Though it was very, very scary to have it pointed at me.

*hugs* Thank you for listening.
-Meredith

gamesiplaygamesiplay on April 22nd, 2010 03:56 am (UTC)
Oh my god, Meredith. Echoing the comment above... why exactly has it been decided that he should live with you? And are you okay? :/
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: ineedadrinkgarnettrees on April 22nd, 2010 07:05 am (UTC)
It was actually decided that he would live with my brother, because he "needed a strong male influence in his life". Problem is, my brother and I moved in together for financial security. It's as much my house as it is his-- both our names are on the papers-- but I was never consulted. He basically showed up on our doorstep in January, shortly after he turned twenty-one.

I'm okay. I'm just... trying to keep the peace. My cousin has a temper to match the chip on his shoulder, and he makes no secret of the fact he hates me. I will not wait on him, and I expect him to be respectful of other people in the house. This 'cramps his style'. *sigh* There's a reason why no one asked for my opinion about this to begin with.

*hugs tightly* Thanks for being a concerned friend, and for listening. Sometimes, he gets me so riled up I think I'll die of a heart attack before I ever have to worry about this gun.
-Meredith
disco_floozy: elizadisco_floozy on April 22nd, 2010 05:00 am (UTC)
*hug* I am so sorry honey. I don't think you are overreacting in the slightest and am appalled for your sake that someone (especially your mother) would suggest that. I'm actually impressed with how you are handling this as I would not be nearly as calm. *hug*
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: ineedadrinkgarnettrees on April 22nd, 2010 07:07 am (UTC)
It's a forced calm, I can promise you that. But thank you. *hugs* I appreciate the support. Sometimes I feel like the only sane person in the mental ward. Everyone else is so charged up around here, which is exactly why I have to keep my cool.
-Meredith
hab318princesshab318princess on April 22nd, 2010 05:24 am (UTC)
I agree, that is not overreacting... and nobody has the right to tell you how / what to feel! They are not you and they are not in your situation (which sounds incredibly frightening btw)

The only metaphor I can think of: Stick to your guns. You know what I mean...
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: ineedadrinkgarnettrees on April 22nd, 2010 07:09 am (UTC)
Re:
I know exactly what you mean! ^_^ Thank you for empathizing. Thing is, I've been around guns all my life-- and been around people who respect them and know how they should be handled. My cousin is the first person I've dealt with who doesn't understand the power of the thing he's holding in his hand. No matter how many gun safety classes relatives make him go to, it's still just a toy to him. And that makes it more dangerous than ever.
-Meredith
hab318princesshab318princess on April 22nd, 2010 04:55 pm (UTC)
Re:
See, I've only ever seen guns on TV, so the most dangerous thing I can relate it to is a car... which can be a lethal weapon too if not used rightly
captannecaptanne on April 22nd, 2010 06:25 am (UTC)
The gun pointing is very, very problematic and indicates a much bigger (and very dangerous) situation than any family member should have to deal with. You're his second home because of behavioural problems at his first home. This young man most certainly needs serious counseling. He is not mentally stable. First and foremost, all fire arms should be taken away from him immediately. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS OVERREACTING TO BEING ON THE RECEIVING END OF A WEAPON. Ever. I was in the First Gulf War. I know what I'm talking about. Please, please report this behaviour to a professional and get someone --who is trained-- to help you. Do it tomorrow morning. Do it NOW if you can.

I know that free advice is worth just what you pay for it but I, like other wise people here, am worried by this turn of events.
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: ineedadrinkgarnettrees on April 22nd, 2010 07:23 am (UTC)
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS OVERREACTING TO BEING ON THE RECEIVING END OF A WEAPON. Ever.
This is exactly what I have been trying to communicate to my relatives, and even to my brother, who lives with me. I've been around guns all my life-- my grandfather was in the Korean War and builds muzzle-loading rifles, my older cousin is a marine, all my uncles hunt. That's what makes it so crazy that no one can seem to understand where I'm coming from. It's like they have blinders on when it comes to this particular cousin. He's always been 'favored'.

First and foremost, all fire arms should be taken away from him immediately.
The gun is no longer in the house. Unfortunately, I don't know where it is. As soon as the 'pointing' incident went down and my brother finally agreed with me that the gun needed to be taken away, we discovered my cousin had taken it out of the lockbox. I suspect it's hidden in the woods near our house, or that he is stashing it with a friend. The problem is, he is currently dating a girl whose father is a right-wing nutcase police officer, This man has no problem with encouraging my cousin to arm himself, taking him to buy ammunition, and generally egging him on. When my cousin pointed it at me and I yelled at him, he told me 'not to freak out' and that 'it wasn't loaded'. I replied that many people had been shot by supposedly unloaded guns. His flippant answer was that obviously they weren't 'really' unloaded. *grinds teeth* It's his attitude that gets me. He has no respect for the weapon. To him, it's just a toy.

I was in the First Gulf War. I know what I'm talking about.
Having support from you means a lot, then. I know my grandfather is disgusted with my cousin's attitude, but it's actually the women in my family who are causing the most trouble. They keep insisting it's "a phase". It's a phase that's lost him his job.

My brother and I are going to have a very serious discussion about this in the morning. We are only able to afford this house with both our incomes, and I refuse to live in a dangerous place. My cousin must see a professional, because this effects everyone. There are three young girls in this house aside from myself and, knowing my cousin's distaste for women, they are not safe either. I have a repsonsibilty to my nieces as well as myself.

I'm very worried, myself. And I really appreciate the advice. The familial pressure is harsh, and I can't think about the situation too much or it actually causes a panic attack. Thank you so much for listening.
-Meredith

Edited at 2010-04-22 07:25 am (UTC)
captannecaptanne on April 22nd, 2010 07:39 am (UTC)
Good on ya for getting him professional help. You've mentioned before that you live in a metropolitan area so there should be plenty of good options. The good thing about having a family that is familiar with guns is that they are also familiar with proper gun handling. (Although your cousin seems to have forgotten that important part of the program.) The bad thing about having a family that is familiar with guns is that they are dangerous, dangerous things and, unless they are treated with respect, they can become destructive.

Rule One of Guns: The moment a gun is trained on a human being it is no longer a "hobby" but a deadly weapon. That has to stop immediately. No questions, no answers, no debate. Done deal. Finito. Kaput. Over and out. Gun? Gone.

Now, with that said, a young strong man can be dangerous enough without a gun. Therefore, counselling is recommended. He has an anger management problem and probably a drink/drug problem? That is a powder keg just waiting to blow.

I'd imagine you're pretty exhausted at the moment but try to get on this as soon as you can. Otherwise, you may find that delaying will just create a bigger fur ball. If you need to, use me as a sounding board just so someone knows that you're doing all right. Maybe just for the next few days check in here so we all can read your sparkling letters? :-) captanne@aol.com Anytime, day or night. (I'm checking out for the night -- gotta work in the morning.)
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: ineedadrinkgarnettrees on April 23rd, 2010 12:46 am (UTC)
The bad thing about having a family that is familiar with guns is that they are dangerous, dangerous things and, unless they are treated with respect, they can become destructive.
Exactly. It's a double-edged sword. Especially because there are members of the family who have been around guns for a long time, but never handled them. The weapon has just become part of the background, and they don't understand the way those who responsibly handle firearms do.

Gun? Gone.
That may be a bit more difficult. It's not coming back in the house, that's for damn sure, but we still don't know where he stashed it.

Now, with that said, a young strong man can be dangerous enough without a gun.
Yeah. I'm "tall" in a family of short women (approximately 5'4) and I weigh 103 pounds on a good day. He's 6'1, 230 pounds... the math is very bad indeed.

He has an anger management problem and probably a drink/drug problem?
It would actually almost be easier if he did. This is why my family likes to construe this as something that is my issue, not his. In terms of drinking, he's ridiculously responsible. He always has a designated driver or, if he's had too much and drove alone, he texts my brother to say he's staying overnight. Before he lost his job (he freaked out the management by posting pictures of his gun on facebook, and using his physical size to intimidate his female manager), he was very responsible in terms of always going to work, being on time, contributing his share for food and utilities. The gun is the central issue-- he got the concealed carry permit, and he suddenly thinks its totally okay to take it with him to places like Starbucks and Steak & Shake. He takes it with him when he goes clubbing, which is a recipe for disaster. His temper flares up when he doesn't feel like the biggest rooster in the barnyard, so to speak.

I hope you had a good day at work, Capt! Thank you so much for the empathy and the advice. I will definitely email you if I need anything-- like I said, we still don't know where the gun is, ect. Thank you for being you.
-Meredith
captannecaptanne on April 23rd, 2010 05:02 am (UTC)
Well, as far as the anger management problem and/or a drink/drug problem -- one outta three may not ever make the title of a song but it's still not bad....

Work was fine. :-) Took the dog to the park, visited Dad at Arlington Cemetery where I will be one day, visited my Mum in the nursing home and then heard that one of my best friends is getting married! The Girlfriend said, "Yes", God love her! I'm over the moon about it. All in all a smashing day!

Ya know, back to the gun thing, my other Best Friend (who goes on the InterGoogleTube simply as Best Friend), has a cousin who is wildly into motorbikes. Everything motor bike. Like a gun, a motor bike is a neat, fun and entertaining thing that has a great culture and an entire sport built around it. In the right hands, motorbikes are terrific fun. In the wrong hands, they are dangerous as hell. To everyone around them.

So, I hope your cousin can work out his temper flare ups. It seems to me that it has to be one or the other. Yes to the gun. No to the temper fits. OR Yes to the temper fits and no to the gun. Seems like a pretty fair choice. (And an easy one to make because, if he can't control his temper then your decision is made for you -- by him. He has no one to blame but himself.)

Then, of course, you get to the sticky issue of enforcing the decision. That's the hard part, yeah?

Good luck and remember there are people you can turn to -- professionals who not only want to help you because it's their "calling" but also because they get paid to do just that. And, those of us out here in CyberLand who genuinely care. You've entertained me (at least) for these past weeks with your wonderful writing so it's really the least I can do in return! :-)
luthorienneluthorienne on April 22nd, 2010 06:26 pm (UTC)
I'm well up in middle age and my mother can still make me cry. It happens less often than it used to, but it still happens.

Your cousin is 21. He is not your responsibility. If anyone tells you differently, they are mistaken. You are responsible for your own behaviour, and that's it. Equally, you are not responsible for your mother's belief system, mistaken though it is. If your mother believes that foisting a gun-wielding jerk on her child is a Good Thing, her belief system is seriously skewed. You're not going to make her happy by accepting the bucket of slops she's handing you, because she expects you to turn it into a satin cushion, and that ain't gonna happen.

FWIW, it has taken me well over fifty years to learn that I can deplore a loved one's behaviour, while still loving and caring about him or her; and that I can still love someone without liking that person at all. I don't know the details of your family dynamic, but just from what you've written, it sounds like they tend to enable your cousin's bad behaviour by shielding him from its consequences. Next time you speak with your mother, you might point out that you are doing your cousin the courtesy of expecting that he will accept adult responsibilities, now that he is, at least chronologically, an adult.
misanthrope1misanthrope1 on April 22nd, 2010 10:08 pm (UTC)
That is some scary shit. You may be tearing apart your family forever but as owner of the house you are completely within your rights to boot your cousin right out. Change the locks, everything. He is your guest and certainly is an adult and you are no more responsible for him than you are for any stranger over the age of 18.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck!!
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: ineedadrinkgarnettrees on April 23rd, 2010 12:56 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for listening. I wish I could kick him out but, since the house is in both my name and my brother's, it has to be a unified decision. We gave my cousin the ultimatum this morning-- if he's going to live here, he needs to get counseling and go back on his meds. He's not happy, and very adamant that he won't be staying here much longer, which actually solves some of my problems for me. ^_^
-Meredith
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: ineedadrinkgarnettrees on April 23rd, 2010 12:53 am (UTC)
I'm well up in middle age and my mother can still make me cry.
Good to know I'm not the only one. It's rare when my own mother can make me cry, but when she does... man, she knows just what buttons to push.

Your cousin is 21. He is not your responsibility. If anyone tells you differently, they are mistaken
This is absolutely correct, from an objective standpoint. However, the cousin is paying us rent to live here, and my aunt loaned my brother some money last year (which he promptly paid back, but he is 'returning the favor' by letting my cousin live here). As soon as money entered the picture, all objectivity took a flying leap out the window.

You're not going to make her happy by accepting the bucket of slops she's handing you, because she expects you to turn it into a satin cushion, and that ain't gonna happen.
My mother's belief system is "go along to get along" when it comes to our family. She's the peacemaker, and she expects me to do the same. It doesn't matter that I'm being taken advantage of, I'm supposed to grin and bear it because, if I say something, then I am the source of the problem. It's screwed up, but that's the way it's always been. This is why I am still in the closet to most of my family members (not that I care, but they make very bigotted statements openly). If I come out, I'm the one causing the problem by upseting the status quo. Ergo, at get togethers, I should patiently endure the snide comments and constant advice on "how to catch a man". X_X;;;

it sounds like they tend to enable your cousin's bad behaviour by shielding him from its consequences
You are right on the money! Sending him away was just one aspect of this, but it's been going on for years.

Thank you so much for the sympathy and the advice. I appreciate having people who can listen and understand what I'm taking about.
-Meredith