Getting Kicked While Your Down

     Hailey is my one and only niece – my oldest sister Sharon’s daughter.  When she was around 14 years old, she and I began to get somewhat close but when Sharon and I started having issues, Hailey suddenly became distant and un-friended me on Facebook.  She sent me a private message though, apologizing and saying that her mom was making her choose between her and me.  It was ridiculous that a mother would do that to her daughter but I told Hailey that I understood and that I didn’t want to create any problems for her.
     Over the next few years, Hailey and Sharon fought like crazy.  It’s difficult because this relationship is important in explaining my current situation but I also don’t want to air their dirty laundry – it’s not my story to tell.  Let’s just say that Hailey definitely had reasons to be upset with her mother.  Somehow, Hailey and I reconnected online a couple years ago  – she told me that she had missed me and that she never understood why her mom and Sandy kept saying I was such an awful person.  She told me that those two were conniving and that they had everyone in our family fooled.  Apparently Sharon and even Sandy were no longer in Hailey’s life after some terrible things she said they had done to her. For me, it was nice to have my niece back in my life but it was also nice to know that someone else in the family was seeing the truth of what my sisters were capable of and what they were doing.  Most importantly, I felt like I wasn’t alone anymore and Hailey seemed to express the same
     We started to grow closer but I will admit, I had a hard time totally trusting her.  I wanted to but I always kept it in the back of my mind that she could be lying to me, maybe using me to get back at her mother.  It was a self-defense mechanism. My husband and even my best friend kept telling me they believed Hailey but I had already learned what my family was capable of and I couldn’t just let that go.  We wrote to each other a lot over the course of about 8 months, with her telling me the crazy things her mother was doing to her.  If it was true, then I really felt for her – I knew what it was like to have a mother turn on you.  I didn’t talk badly about my sisters to Hailey, always choosing my words of support carefully. I did keep in mind that Hailey could be exaggerating her stories or just straight out playing me.  It was a tough situation to be in but I wanted to be there for her in case she was telling the truth.  It’s just that I kept catching little things that were suspicious – like in her messages, she would call her mom “Sharon” instead of Mom, stuff like that.
     The one story I will tell – Hailey messaged me one day saying “thank you for grandma’s wedding rings” and that she was going to “miss her”.  Excuse me?  Long story short, according to Hailey, Sharon had called her a few days earlier to tell her that her grandmother (my mother) had died.  Then a couple days later, Hailey received her grandma’s wedding rings in the mail from ME with a note that I thought she should have them!  Wait a minute – what?  My mom died??  And who faked the note from me? Something wasn’t right here.  Hailey was upset and I told her that I had heard no such thing, that I certainly didn’t mail her any rings and that  I would make some calls to figure out what was going on.  The thing is, I didn’t call my mom, I called my brother instead – if it was a lie, I didn’t want to upset my mother with such cruelty.  Sure enough, my brother told me that our mother was just fine and that Sharon and Hailey’s relationship had been going back and forth at each other for years. I called Hailey to let her know her grandmother was okay.  She was livid that her mother would lie to her like that. Here was my problem though – I don’t know that I believed Sharon could make up a lie like that!  Lying about your own mother dying? Was she capable of stooping that low?  Or was Hailey lying and just using me in hopes of getting her mother in trouble?  I asked Hailey to send photos of the mailing envelope that the rings arrived in and/or the hand-written note that supposedly came from me, hoping to recognize the writing and see where it was mailed from, hoping to see that Hailey wasn’t playing me – she couldn’t produce either.  I also found it odd that she hadn’t contacted me when she found out my mom had “died”. It just didn’t make any logical sense.  Someone was cruel and calculating, but was it my sister or was it my niece?  If it was Hailey, then she was just making everything up. If it was my sisters, then they had literally found fake rings and mailed them with a fake note.  These people are sick!
     Hailey and I stayed in touch for a while and I was there for support when she went through some additional difficult times. Suddenly though, I noticed on social media that Hailey was friends again with both her mother and Sandy, whom she had previously completely blocked. It surprised me considering the things Hailey had told me they had done to her, terrible things.  Suddenly all three of them were besties again, as if nothing had ever happened, and Hailey was no longer contacting or talking to me.  She even made a new Facebook profile and didn’t send me an invite.  It was clear that she had tossed me aside yet again.  As it turned out – my reservations about Hailey may have been completely justified.
     There were two possibilities I could see – Hailey had greatly exaggerated or lied about her situation with her mother or her mother had found out we were getting closer and she swooped back in to hurt me.  I believe it was a combination of both.  It is that or they were all conspiring against me together from the very beginning – but that would make them monsters.  The thing is, it didn’t really hurt me –  I knew that Hailey could be playing me and that kept my heart from becoming too attached.  I haven’t heard from Hailey since and I am okay with that.  I just hope she doesn’t endure her mother’s wrath again and come running back to me for support because I won’t be there.  Fool me once…!
     So, I am alone again with no family other than my wonderful husband.  I can’t count my son just yet – I still have to see how things go at his wedding.  I am sure that Hailey will be there and I’m not sure how I will handle seeing her.  I will be nice of course but I won’t be all hugs and kisses with someone who knowingly hurt me the same way twice.  I hate to say it but it seems as though she may truly be her mother’s daughter.
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