Mostly I just don't want the first thing one sees on the blog to be announcing a sale that ended yesterday.
In my life... things suck. Yeah, more venting. If you can't deal with that right now, don't read. I understand completely.
Still dealing with my sister, and I just got a call (on the answering machine, I didn't have time to answer and wouldn't have if I did) from my aunt who co-owns the property my sister is at with my mother. The call was claiming that, after saying she would again and again for years now and utterly failing to come through every single time, she wants to get together with my mother and go through her parents' stuff to divide it.
This is almost certainly because my grandparents stuff is at my grandparents property which is the same property she's currently half-renting to my sister. (My mother being the other person half-renting it to my sister.) Given her stalking habits (when she's not having her eldest daughter break and enter to steal electronics) she's no doubt noticed the activity there and wants to fuck things up.
She loves fucking things up.
The best example is probably the fact that when it looked like the property could peaceably be divided soon after she and my mother inherited it she completely changed what she claimed to want in order to throw a wrench into the proceedings and make sure that what was a win-win became an intractable situation that could only be solved via litigation she knew my mother would not undertake.
That cost her all of the money she was hoping to make on the property, a prospect she was looking into at least as soon as my grandmother's wake. She went from being within reach of getting the land she wanted to break up and sell to spending years not earning a penny until my sister moved in and started paying her rent. (My sister didn't have to pay her rent because by the time my sister moved in my aunt had already established extremely firm rules saying that a daughter could move in and do whatever she wanted no matter how damaging to the property without ever paying a cent. My sister chose to pay rent because of some, in my opinion misplaced, sense of obligation.)
Anyway, she wanted the money she thought she could make badly, and made no secret of that, but in the end it turned out she wanted to hurt my mother more. It wasn't enough for her to get what she wanted, which it turned out my mother was ready to agree with, she had to get what my mother wanted or make sure no one actually got anything.
Which she did, with quite a bit of success. She managed to draw things out incredibly causing a slow financial bleed because, since she's more well off financially than we are, she knew that in the end she could out last my side of the family. The only thing she didn't count on was that the rules she established by, basically, bullying my mother would allow my sister to move in. Would allow my sister to move in indefinitely and free of charge if my sister hadn't decided to sign a rental agreement with my aunt of her own free will. At her own suggestion. (I maintain that this was a fucking stupid move because it means that my sister has an unnecessary financial drain monthly and means that my aunt has an agreement that, if violated, would give my aunt the power to evict my sister.)
I've previously mentioned how, under my aunt's oversight, the property became the heroin dealing --not using, dealing-- capital of the town it's in. I've mentioned how she kicked her daughter out of said property shortly before Christmas. I've talked about how winter in Maine is cold and unforgiving and suddenly becoming homeless in December could have amounted to a death sentence for said daughter. I've talked about how this was part of a plan on her part to force her daughter to come crawling to her (December in Texas isn't nearly so cold) so that she might control every aspect of said daughter's life (the offer to give the daughter free passage to Texas was already premised on her daughter breaking up with then-current boyfriend, and that was supposed to be just the start.) I've also mentioned how the plan didn't work because the daughter never left Maine.
What I don't remember if I mentioned, and I'm not going to look up, is that the exact timing of the kicking out of her daughter wasn't based on her choice. (The ideal time for her plans to work would have been early in the next year, which is even colder than December.) The exact timing was, and this only came out well after the fact, determined by a deal with the police to get my aunt out of any legal problems the whole heroin dealing capital thing might have caused. The police wanted the heroin problem to go the fuck away, and to them it was easier to do it by emptying the house than by actually making arrests. (This does not speak well of the police, but that's another story.) So the deal was struck that if my aunt got the house to be empty by the police's deadline there would be no legal repercussions to what had gone down there before. My understanding is that the police got what they wanted. When the safe harbor for dealing closed things largely migrated into a different jurisdiction.
So, there's that.
After that the house was empty which would have been fine except my aunt didn't want it to be fine and used a willingness to help cute animals on the part of my mother to make it not fine. Who could refuse, "Listen, these two cats need a place to stay for just a little while while things are rearranged and since we've got an empty house do you thing they could stay there? Please..." *puppy dog eyes*? And who would think to ask, "You're going to give them a litter box, right?" I mean, she had a litter box, we all knew she had a litter box, why would anyone think she might decide to lock the cats in the house with food and water while specifically making sure not to put in a litter box?
By the time we figured out what she was actually up to (and the fact that her supposed reasons for keeping the cats there were total bullshit) the entire house was doused in urine. Every fucking room.
She'd made a deal with the police that, for the moment at least, her family wasn't going to be in it. And if she couldn't have it, well covering it in urine was apparently plan A. She'd get to later letters of the alphabet afterward.
Who the fuck intentionally douses a house they own half of in urine? My aunt, that's who.
She didn't even need to do that much. All she had to do was keep the cats fed and watered while withholding the litter box. Of course by the time we found out what she was doing it was hard to breathe in the house, so giving the cats food and water probably involved a fair amount of personal discomfort towards the end, but she's always been willing to put up with personal discomfort if it could hurt someone else.
Then there's the little things, like illegally taking what she claimed was an equal half of my grandfather's tools with nothing more than a note to my mother saying that what was left was totally the same as the stuff she took without allowing anyone to see it to check if it was the same. (And moreover she and my mother hadn't inherited the property yet so even if they had gotten together, divided up the tools in a way both agreed was equitable, and had her take her "half" that way it still wouldn't be legal. The estate was still in probate. It was stealing no matter what.) That's not the thing. That's the set up. The thing is when, after waiting a while, she claimed she had no memory of the whole thing, and tried to get half of what was left. (For those counting, even if her original theft really was merely half, her full plan would still leave her with three times as much as my mother when she was supposed to get exactly equal.)
Or there was when she claimed that my father wasn't related to my sister and I. Even if he somehow had no genetic link, he's still the one who raised us meaning... she seriously should not have made that claim in front of her two adopted daughters. Of course this was after the whole thing where she tried to force one of them to choose between obeying her every whim and freezing to death, so any illusion of love was probably already dead at that point.
And just when it seemed like things couldn't get any worse regarding the bullshit I have to put up with with my sister, this is person who has decided to interject herself into the situation.
The worst part is that she gets away with everything. If you want to have any belief that there's justice in this world crushed, talk to me some time about all of the laws she's broken, then ask me how much time she's spent in jail (none) and how much she'd had to pay in fines (nothing). Even when she's not breaking laws she tends to be doing something somehow bad.
Her career until she retired was as an ESL teacher certified by the French government to teach English to French children. To get that certification, I'm told, she had to know English grammar better than most native speakers. That fact, and the fact that she is someone with English as a first language, didn't stop her from managing to forget even the most basic aspects of English grammar and keep on teaching French children something that she claimed was English.
Now put aside for a moment the dishonesty of teaching English as a profession when you don't actually know English. Keep in mind that presumably her students went on to another teacher after her who would undo the damage she had done. Even then, there is the inevitable truth that every student who passed through one of her classes would have to unlearn what she had taught them and then play catch up just to get to the place they were supposed to have already been.
I've had some horrendously bad teachers, and I know the damage that they can do, but I've never had one who knew their subject matter as little as my aunt knew hers.
I feel very sorry for all the children, most of them now adults, who went through her class even though I've never met any of them. I can only hope that the textbook they used was very, very good to offset their instructor's lack of knowledge in the area she was meant to be teaching.
In the end the simple truth of her character seems to be this: when she isn't making things bad through one of her annoying, damaging, spiteful, never-ending schemes she seems to still manage to do damage by a callous refusal to give a damn.
Her grasp of the English language is proof enough of that. She now lives full time in an English speaking country. In fact, two of her three houses (not counting the half of my grandparent's property she owns) are in the USA. But for most of my life that wasn't the case and so it's not surprising that someone living in the various places she's lived might see their English atrophy. What is surprising is that an English teacher would see their English atrophy because an English teacher is expected to care about teaching English. She, apparently, didn't.
And now I can add dealing with her to my pre-existing problems. I, along with the rest of my family, am on her list of people to actively try to destroy. She's been trying to gaslight me since I was in high school and actively slandering me for at least as long. She's the person who, when my father saved her mother's life, said that she wished it hadn't happened. Yes, she said that she wished her mother, my grandmother, was dead. And when she finally got that wish things just went downhill from there.
She's also the person who announced the upcoming birth of her grandson by calling him a problem. And the one who tried to disrupt a devout Catholic's funeral by making a show of guffawing every time God was mentioned. That devout Catholic? The mother she made no secret of wishing dead.
She tries to hurt people I care about, and that includes her own daughters when it suits her purposes. I really, truly, intensely dislike this person. It shouldn't be possible for me to love someone more than her own mother. It just shouldn't be possible. Equally, sure. But more? And yet, I love my cousins. She treats them as possessions whose free will is an annoying flaw to be punished. And for that, and many, many other things, I hate her. Most of the time when I use that word it's hyperbole. Hate is an incredibly strong emotion and not something that I'm really given to feeling. With her it's not hyperbole. I do, in fact, hate her.
That annoys me. It's frustrating to know that she has such a strong emotional force on me, but to her I'm nothing. Yes, I'm on her shit list, but so is someone who was insufficiently kind to her in the second grade. Her shit list is vast. She cares about me enough to put some effort toward damaging me, but that doesn't seem to be very much. She just has an extremely low threshold for how much she has to dislike someone before she puts an effort into destroying them. In fact, there's a decent chance that she doesn't care about me at all and when she tries to hurt me it's part of her efforts to hurt my mother by proxy. It's a very one sided fight since my mother has no desire to hurt my aunt and no idea why my aunt wants to hurt her.
And so there's this massive imbalance. I have a great deal of emotional investment in her because hate requires that --hate is that-- she probably sees me as a tool that she doesn't give a shit about but is simply using to do something to someone else.
If I could magically stop hating her I don't know if I would. On the one hand I don't like the power she has over my emotions. On the other hand, given that she more or less constantly hurts people I love (both intentionally and via not caring about them when she should), hate seems a rather appropriate emotion. Something that is deserved.
I can imagine forgiving her, but before that could happen she'd need to change on an extraordinary level and she's never shown a capacity for change in my memory.