Minding My Own Business

Off the hook
Image by Darwin Bell via Flickr

I like to help.  It’s what I do.

Unfortunately, over the last year or so, I’ve become involved in situations I either shouldn’t have been involved in, or where I wasn’t welcome.  I’ve learned the hard way that sometimes my help is neither wanted nor needed.

Last summer I got a Facebook message from my brother’s live-in girlfriend.  They’ve been together for nearly a decade (possibly longer) but she is not someone I would consider a friend.  Her message was a scathing bit of nastiness about my brother.  I was shocked at the venom, and couldn’t understand why she felt the need to unload on me, as we have never been close.

I responded and so did she, and let’s just say it didn’t turn out well.  My brother is still with her, and still keeps in contact with me, but I limit my contact with her.

He called me the other night and left a brief message, though it was actually longer than he intended.  His end was short “Hey, it’s _____, call me”, but then he didn’t get the call disconnected properly because there was another two and a half minutes of him and his girlfriend arguing.  He tried to stay calm, but she was very nasty, using the word “retard” in reference to him several times (she’s a special ed teacher – nice, huh?).

It made me really angry to hear it, but I didn’t call back.  I did forward him the e-mail with the voicemail attached so he’d know what I heard.  It was a rare peek into a private life I’d rather not see.  I didn’t call back because of how angry it made me.

He made his choice.  I have told him time and again I’m here if he needs me, but I refuse to get involved.  If he wants to stay with her, that’s his decision.

I just wish he respected himself enough to walk away.

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