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This thing happened a couple of years ago actually, but it still goes to show that even you're never safe from entitled people running in your family. I am currently living abroad with my parents and we sometimes go back home to visit the family, but also to visit museums and the like since we do travel during the summer and that year we had decided to do a small road trip to visit the small town where my grandfather was living in (really beautiful place btw.). My aunt (the EM) convinces my mom that it would better for all of us to stay in her house instead of paying a hotel. My mom informed both my dad and I of my aunts offer and I could not think of a reason why we should not take it. Saving money and getting to know my "new" cousin was not a bad idea, right? Wrong. That was a very wrong assumption. We get there and I find out that we're not going to stay not in the house I assumed my aunt was still living in. She sold it a year prior to our trip and was now living in an apartment downtown. Since it's the wealthy kind of neighbourhood, I wasn't too concerned, as I know that the bedrooms in those buildings are big enough for my parents and I to sleep comfortably, even if we were all in the same room. Besides, we were only going to return there to make dinner and sleep most of our stay. It was nothing major for me and the first week and a half passed smoothly. During the 4 days before I was supposed to leave for the trip with my parents, my aunt's vacations ended and my parents were out doing paperwork that did not really concern me. I ended up accepting to stay to take care of my cousin during those days. She is really a charming and intelligent kid, honestly. I didn't mind doing my aunt the favour to look out for her child until I left. Besides, everyone in the family knew perfectly well my family's plan to stay in that small town for the last couple of days before we returned to our daily lives in the country we're living in. The day before the trip, my aunt got home earlier while my parents texted me that they were stuck in traffic and would come in later. I was sitting on the couch while my cousin was playing with legos. My aunt sat next to me and flashed a smile at me that instinctively told me that I was going to get screwed over. It was Wednesday. EM: You know, I don't have a babysitter for my daughter. How about you do me a favour? Me: Uhm...I have to go with my parents tomorrow. I'm sure my mother has already told you that before we even got here. EM: Surely you can talk with her and postpone it to the next week. Your cousin's kindergarten will start by then. Me: It's our last week here, aunt. Grandma doesn't live that far away, it's a 15 minute drive from here. You could leave my cousin with her. EM: Is this the way you'd treat your parents if they asked you a favour? You can come back next year. At this point, I was just trying to contain my indignation the best I could. She had no business trying to imply that I was being unreasonable for wanting to profit from my last high school summer vacations the best I could. I had been looking forward to this trip for mostly personal reasons, but I tried to explain to her that this would be the last summer vacations I would not spend working. The next year, I would enter college and I wanted to raise money to pay for my textbooks by having a summer job. That, to me, sounded like a better argument to convince her, since she was the kind of person that got where she was by working hard and finishing her degree. EM: Oh, so you will work from now on, huh? You don't plan on staying in college, I see. Me: That's not really- EM: If you're planning on working, surely you can save and come back here later on your own to do that trip. Taking care of your family comes first, you know? I was trying really hard to keep my cool, but the tone of her voice and her words were really not helping. Me: It would take me a very long time to get the money for plane tickets and a hotel here with a summer job, aunt. During the summer, there is no college and I plan on getting a degree. EM: Well who knows when you'll get a degree with such an attitude. You're only thinking of money and pleasure. That won't get you anywhere. Me: Excuse me? EM: Listen, I don't get why you're suddenly being so selfish. My daughter can't stay here on her own. Her safety is at risk and you have the responsibility of keeping her. You've accepted that responsibility so far. At this point, I was just outraged that my kindness was taken for granted like that and would be taken advantage of. Me: I'm sorry, but you are the mother. It is, first and foremost, your responsibility to keep your kid safe. EM: So you would abandon your family when it doesn't suit your interests? I just sighed at her, trying my very damn hardest to not downright slap her and throw a diatribe of insults at her. EM: Look, it isn't that hard for you. She loves you more than her grandma. Therefore, you must be the one looking out for her until you leave. This was already too much for me. I was done playing nice and avoid raising my voice. Me: These are my vacations! What right do you have to say how I choose to spend them?! EM: You know, when you were still living here, you were such a charming kid, always ready to help. Did your foreign friends teach you to be this entitled? Your parents would be so sad to learn that they gave you the opportunity to travel when you don't even deserve it. I clenched my fists and tapped the armrest of the couch with my fist. I was at the verge of tears, but I repeated to myself that I should not give her the pleasure to see me cry. My cousin was starting to stare at us and when I noticed that way too late. At this point, I just didn't care if she was going to pretend I was giving my cousin a bad example. EM: Are you going to throw me a tantrum now? Not even my daughter would act that way and she's three. Fourteen years younger than you. Me: Is it too much to ask to spend some time just with my parents in another town?! Look! I'd love to take care of my cousin during those days, but we already made reservations and everything! I just can't cancel those plans at the last minute! EM: So it's just a matter of money, huh? Me: It's not just that! EM: Then, please tell me why you want to go so badly. I'll listen. Promised. Her tone had shifted to a more comprehensive one, but I should have never trusted that friendly tone. I told her that not only my grandfather used to take me to all sorts of small shops and even taught me the basics of pottery. My grandpa was struggling with a sickness for two years now and the doctors were not exactly optimistic about his case. He decided to spend the rest of his days in the town he had lived a great deal of his life in and that was also a big reason my father insisted on travelling that year. Of course, everything I was telling her were things my own mother had told her via Skype months in advance. However, those reasons didn't seem to be strong enough for her to let me do anything else but take care of her kid. She patted my shoulder and told me she understood me. She told me that she now understood why I thought that she was being unreasonable by asking me to stay behind. I sighed, just glad that I had seen the end of it. I thought the ordeal was over. Then, she simply asked me to go out and walk to my grandma's place so I could leave my cousin there tomorrow morning. I was not familiar with that side of town, so I believed her and accepted. It ended up being a 35 min walk. When I was on my way back, I received a text from my mom, saying that she wanted to talk with me once I got back. This is when I began to panic. I ran back to my aunt's apartment building, cutting the 35 minutes distance by seven minutes. I saw my mother standing on the entrance's hall. She looked to be disappointed and at that is when I just began to cry. I had no idea when my parents had come back nor what my aunt had told them, but I could only guess what was about to come. She put a hand over me and gave me some tissues. We headed out to talk. My aunt had offered them a refund for the cost of my stay so they could leave me behind without worrying for their money getting to waste. I hoped my mother would refuse, since she is a very strong-willed woman, but things with my aunt were not so simple. I learned that she had somewhat of a bad habit to take things to court when her family did something she did not approve of. For example, she had sued my uncle's ex-wife for child abuse just because she did not like the kids to stay with a "witch that had treated her brother like dirt". And now, she had threatened to sue me for child negligence and god knows what else, I was crying too much to pay attention to what my mother was telling me. The only thing that was clear was that she was going to get away with it, just like she had gotten away with her previous accusations. That night, we went to eat out for dinner and I explained everything that had happened to my parents. My father was outraged over what my aunt had told me, but neither of us wanted to have legal troubles with someone that won the cases most of the time. Specially not me, since I was about to enter a good college, have a job and we really had no idea to what extent a legal issue would affect my future. It was best to play it safe and let my aunt have what she wanted the good way. The next day, I stayed in her house with her damn brat and I never slept well for , thinking how I could sue her instead and take my revenge, but I couldn't do nothing more than sentencing my aunt to prison in my head. My mother decided to stay behind with me as a gesture of solidarity while my father went there and only stayed for two days, visiting only my grandfather, which was the only thing we all really wanted to do before the end of our trip. We left for the airport Saturday morning with nothing but bad feelings in our minds. Those were, by far, the worst summer vacations I ever had.