Whilst growing up I always thought of my family as perfect. Everyone loved each other and we'd all pitch in to help each other out when we could. Whether that be lending money, fixing appliances, handing down clothes, babysitting.
Every weekend was spent as a whole unit - grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends - in my grandparents tiny house where. All of the kids played in the back room and all the adults sat around the living room chatting, laughing, watching the racing, spilling tea in each other's laps etc.
All aunts were homemakers and all uncles worked around things to do with cars. All cousins went to the same primary school, so we were all scattered about the years looking out for one another, meeting up at lunch time to eat, waiting together at the gates waiting for someone to pick us all up...
All of that closeness yet we now seem to be falling apart.
Either that or, now that I'm older, I'm beginning to see the cracks.
I should explain who everyone is a bit more now otherwise my complaining will get damn confusing. The family I'm talking about is my Dad's side. My Mum's side are all a very different kettle of fish (A bi-polar HIV suffering uncle, a schizophrenic aunt, an uncle in prison, another uncle with attention deficit, an aunt I can't even describe, an alcoholic granddad, a dead grandmother and a dog that looks more like a toilet brush).
I have my Nan & Granddad who live with my uncle Reggie. He needs constant care because he's wheelchair bound with Spina bifida.
From there I also have my other uncles: Chrissy, Brian, Ron, Ray and Steven. Along with them are my two aunts: Sharon and Gill.
Ray died nearly 4 years ago after being crashed into by a drunk driver.
Ron created a feud way back in the mid 9os when my Mum's sister and him were married then divorced. He stopped speaking to everyone and no one gives a toss about him anymore really.
There's tons more to nag on about, but it's not needed.
What seems to be going wrong at the moment is with my Aunt Sharon and My Uncle Chrissy. They've turned into WANKERS!!!!
Sharon is an alcoholic...a veryyyyy bad alcoholic. It's now gotten to the point where she is pissing everyone off, but she seems to really have a vendetta against my mum at the moment. When we go to visit my grandparents and Reggie on Saturdays she refuses to acknowledge the fact that we're there, makes everyone else cups of tea apart from us and brings mass amounts of food to share with everyone but gets the right 'ump if my mum touches anything complaining that all she ever does is eat all the food and doesn't leave anything for anyone else. Firstly, my mum is tiny and feels full up just eating a sausage roll. Secondly, the food never runs out and they end up having to throw tons of it away.
Sharon starts arguments with Mum, Dad and me for no reason at all and then cries when she starts to lose. The latest three were her telling my mum that I was exaggerating about what happened when I got bullied in secondary school "Oh it was a lovely place and we all know what Shelly's like...), she had a go at Dad simply because he said planes can fly without pilots (he's friends with a bunch of them so...) and that made her cry, and she started on me because Nan asked me what Ben's job was - Primary school attendance officer - and, after I replied, she started going "Oh, well he's a tosser then. Who the hell does he think he is telling parents what they should do with their kids, I hope someone gives him a smack."
When I had a go back about tarring people with the same brush she started crying!
Anyone talks about anything other than her and her kids she starts tutting and rolling her eyes. What's worse is that I think it's rubbing off on my cousin, Emma, now. She and I got really close at one point, but now she doesn't even speak to me...even when we're the only two people in a room!!! If her boyfriend tries to speak to me then she drags him away. Sharon constantly scowls at me when I sit with my other cousin, Frankie, and talk...apparently I put bad ideas into his head (fuck knows how...I let him listen to my iPod and tell him where I buy my shoes. Is that bad?).
We can't stand going round there on Saturdays now. I gave up going after she went off on one about Ben, Mum now refuses to go and visit until after they've left to go back home and Dad has finally seen what we've been complaining about and he's joining us.
We think Chrissy turning into a complete twat has something to do with her as well. She goes to visit him every weekend too now. She, my uncle and my cousins leave Nan & Granddads at around 4 to go and sit with Chrissy, his partner and his two kids until about 8/9 in the evening before they go back home to Kent. From being a nice, kind and funny guy, Chris has now turned into a money grabbing, thieving grump!!!
He constantly takes food and drink from my Grandparents in return for doing some mediocre cleaning around their house, he never pays us the money he owes for things we've ordered for him out of catalogues and now, just to make it about a 1000 times worse, he's started taking things from Reggie. Things that Red actually uses all the time. He's taken mobile phones and sold them, Gameboys and their accessories, stereos, laptops, MP3 players...everything the rest of the family give him for Christmas and birthdays!
I gave him an MP4 player a couple of weeks ago so he could watch music videos, but Chris has taken it. My Dad bought him an Xbox a couple of years ago and loaded it with all of Reg's favourite games and music...Chriss had that yesterday. Took it without asking whilst the house was quiet. Dad even warned my grandparents that it would happen. Reg is so upset because he used that pretty much every day to listen to music. Because of his condition, when Reg complains or gets upset about things like this happening, no one pays much attention to him. It's wrong!
Chris has also taken to using their van. It's a special van to fit Reg in so he can be taken out. My parents used to take him for trips out every Sunday to give him something different to do. Chrissy now takes the van every Sunday to do boot sales so Reg can't go out anymore. His excuse is "Oh but I need to sell things because we don't have any money."
They have more than us. He sells Reggie's stuff, Nan always gives him money and does his shopping without taking a penny for it, they have their benefit money.
It's just one big mess really. Those two are causing so many problems for everyone else now that no one wants to go to visit anymore. It's ripping the family apart.
It's horrible to say, but I know for a fact that once my grandparents are gone no one is going to bother visiting each other anymore.
7 years ago