I have a cousin who has made it his mission in life to advise others how to live to the point where he once decided I needed to look into a certain career when I had a job I really liked and paid me enough to live on. He, on the other hand, has never been able to keep a job for any reasonable amount of time. Since he’s a bit ‘off’ and I’m the only one of our generation I know of he still has a pleasant relationship with, he writes me messages talking about other family members and subjects I’ve told him to stop talking about. For instance, he talks about my sisters as if they were wealthy snobs and both of my sisters are very generous women I’m very proud of – they’ve both helped HIM! He patted a mutual female cousin on the behind about five years ago and ruined their relationship when he told her, “I’ve been waiting to do that for a long time.”. Basically, I’ve stayed in touch with him because I love him and feel that as a cousin, I should be kind to him.
This month,suddenly I realized I’ve been emotionally and mentally abused by him for over forty years because I have sat on the phone all that time and allowed him to keep me for an hour, easily, especially when I was younger because I won’t talk to him on the phone, anymore. I have a phobia of the phone that was started by him and my aunt who used to keep me on the phone for over two hours, again, easily. Now we email, but he has gotten very toxic with me and is picking arguments. I have reminded him I have heart disease, and suffer from depression and anxiety, to please stop it, and he didn’t. So, on August 1st, I told him not to contact me until September 1st, that he was making me literally ill and I needed a break. About three days ago, he sent me an email with the subject "My brother is OK’, and I opened it up thinking something had happened to his brother, but he was just trying to re-establish communication telling me that through St. Joseph he had been granted a miracle.
I’m not someone people can run over easily. You might ask why it would be so difficult to cut ties with him, and the answer is he is really a very nice person and would do anything for anyone, but he monopolizes people’s time to a degree that people, including his brothers, steer clear of him. That’s why it’s down to one person: me. And I’ve had it. I can’t handle it. Specially now that I realize I’ve been emotionally abused since the early to mid 70s.
Would it be sinful to break ties with him? I don’t think so, but I do suffer from scrupulosity.
Thanks for any advice. And, I do pray for him every day.