Reconciling whether it is to do with work or in your personal life can be very daunting especially when you try to call it a truce but your opposition is not willing to come to terms.
You should never beg or grovel to get someones attention. If they are not ready or willing there is little you can do and you need to give them time and space.
Today I tried to offer an olive branch as I am in the middle of a legal battle with my family. Due to the court case being on going I will not name anyone for legal reasons and all I will say is that the said people live in Poland.
With a heavy heart I will say what the argument is about and the reason why I have come to my decision.
About 10 years ago I was visiting my distant relatives in Poland as I had lost my mother and wanted to be close to her family in some way. I knew my mother had been left land by her parents and a house but could not finalise the deeds as everytime she wrote a letter my aunt claimed she never received it.
Furthermore my aunt refused to give the last will and testament of my grandparents to my mother and then later to me, hence I took a photograph of it as proof that she had it.
My mother then came to the conclusion that my cousin’s (a) wife was intercepting the letters as something my cousin’s (a) spouse said could only have been known through the letter my mother had written.
My visits were a few months at a time and I paid for my upkeep. So a year or so later I meet my abusive ex-partner (I did not know he was abusive at the time) and we are invited to my cousin (b) wedding.
We travelled from the UK to Poland and the bride arranged accomodation in the hotel where the reception was supposed to be. Upon arriving we are led through the kitchen to the hotel room.
My observation on first impressions was that there were large black bugs crawling in the kitchen. Seeing I had never seen anything like this up close before, I did not think too much until the night of the reception. It did not cross my mind that the bugs were in fact cockroaches. My second observation was the hotel was a workman hotel very basic and the sheets were filthy dirty. Without a second thought we did not checkin and immediately found another hotel close by. (This is something my family most probably were not aware of and the reasons why we never stayed at that hotel, but now they will know). The night of the reception I became very ill and left early with my daughter back to our hotel but left my (ex) partner who was not an ex at the time at the wedding reception. In true Polish style he became paralytic and was brought back to the hotel unconscious by the taxi driver. It would be interesting to know how many other people were sick after the wedding.
Cockroaches are a health hazard and carry bacteria that can contaminate your food and make you sick! Cockroaches can contaminate food with their waste and saliva which contains bacteria that can cause food poisoning, diarrhea, and Staphylococcus infections. (I had vomitting and diarrhea).
Unaware of the traditions in Poland the following day there was an after party in the evening and the groom (cousin b) came to my aunts and was talking to all member of the family apart from me.
I thought it curious but did not say anything and instead decided to walk through the village to try and help my ex with his hangover, thinking the fresh air would do him some good.
As we approached the village hall I noticed a lot of cars and commotion and then I saw the groom (my cousin b) taking food containers out of the boot of the car and that is when I realised that there was an after party that I was not invited to.
My cousin (b) once he noticed me was in shock and said we can come after if we wanted to. I decided instead to show my face to the brides mother and asked if they needed any help preparing the food, knowing for a fact I was not welcome, just after my cousin (b) had gone. The brides mother also looked in shock when she saw us. She said she did not need any help and that we should come to the afterparty (I politely said I would knowing full well I would not).
So I had flown a few thousand miles to come to the wedding gave a lot of money to the bride and groom for their wedding (tradition to give money not presents) and this is how they treated me and my daughter.
So moving on a week later I ask one of my cousin (a) spouse to look after my daughter as we were planning to go to the Ukraine.
Cousin (a) is my aunts son which I have a dispute with.
We had heard stories it was unsafe to go and I did not want any harm coming to my daughter. The spouse of my cousin (a) which will remain nameless for now was hesitant and did not want to comply.
I thought that that was very odd considering all the months we had visited before she did not have a probelm.
I remember she was in the field picking raspberries, I told her I would come back in an hour to try and change her mind. I went and withdrew 1000zl knowing my cousin’s (a) spouse earned only 600zl per month working in the candle factory.
When I returned I said “maybe this will help you change your mind”. She muttered something under her breathe and took the money.
So a week goes by and we return from the Ukraine and every Hotel we tried was fully booked so begrudgingly I phoned the spouse of my cousin (a) up and said there are no hotels and I have a probem as we have no where to sleep.
Now you have to picture the scenario I am in a taxi and the taxi driver and my ex are in the car with me and the phone is on loud speaker and my cousin’s (a) spouse said “there is no room for you here”. Obviously very disappointed with the way she handled the situation, the taxi driver phones his wife and makes up a bed.
I proceed to go to the village that very same night and take my daughter in the middle of the night and not one person in the household got up to speak with me.
So now I know something is not right with them and cannot wait to go back in the morning and visit my aunt and say “I have never been so humiliated before in my life”. I also said “I would never treat my family they way they have treated me”.
This is where everything comes to light when my aunt says if I had not brought a drunk to the wedding and shamed the family and that he had tried a accosting the brides mother, maybe the family would have treated me differently.
She then went on to say I had never paid any upkeep in which most weeks I would pay for a full grocery shop. So my aunts son (my cousin a) and his wife were not telling my aunt that I was paying for things….rude.
My aunt then said and I will never forget these words said “why did you visit so often no one invited you”.
So in anger all my suitcases and belongings I could not take with me back to the UK I threw into the courtyard and told them they can sell it or burn it as I could not care less and my final words were “I will never step foot on the land again but I will take it off you”.
A decade later my aunt tries to claim the land as her own and says she has been paying all the taxes on the land. Yet she ommits the fact that she never paid my mother a single penny (grosz – 1PLN) from the income of the land which far weighs the taxes which I have been told are about 100zl per annum. She was also paying for taxes in a dead mans name (this is fraud).
So the other day another cousin phones me (cousin c ) and says I should try and reconcile the differences with the family and that I really do not need the land.
I agreed I do not need the land (although there are opportunities to harverst commercial hemp and I have contacts) and I have enough money for this courtcase and this was just personal satisafaction payback for what they did to my mother and to my daughter and I.
So I decided I would make a proposition that my cousin’s (a) wife publically apologises to me. I was also going to say I would help them harvest hemp, but I was stopped in my tracks and was told that the letter I wrote to the court was too damaging to overturn a reconciliation. (All I did was just tell the truth).
I was also told that I must have not have understood his wife had said (under normal circumstances that could have been possible but I had two witnesses who heard the whole conversation what his wife had said) who spoke fluent Polish.
He went on to say that for there to be no hotels that was impossible and that I was a liar and making it up and the taxi driver in someway was wanting to make money from me.
What my cousin (a) did not realise was I paid the driver to pick us up from the border of the Ukraine and I paid him handsomely, so he had already made some good money and did not need to make any more also how would the taxi driver have know what would transpire from all the hotels we tried and each one said they were fully booked?
We drove to every hotel in the next main town to the village. How would the taxi driver in advance have known that my cousins (a) wife would say what she said to us?
When I said I will get the taxi driver to phone him to verify what I said my cousin’s reply was that he was not going to speak with him. (I wonder why because the truth hurts).
Furthermore my cousin’s (a) sister had room in her house that night and lived only a couple doors away according to my daughter. His sister’s family apparently had gone away for the weekend leaving only his sister and her husband in a 5 bedroom house.
All his wife could have said was phone her sister-in-law. In my defense I was not going to ring the whole village up to see if there was room in the inn.
Now my cousin (a) today says that the whole village knows what I wrote to the court (what happened to data protection).
Talking about data protection I did not have my cousins (a) telephone number as he appararenly changed it two years ago and some stranger answered so when I tried getting the number most recently from other members of the family they said due to data protection they would not give out my cousins number or pass on any messages.
After my cousin (a) said the whole village knew about the court letter I replied if I wanted the whole village to know I could just copy the letter and publish it on www.raczyna.pl or www.raczyna.com as I own both domain names and also if I wanted a worldwide audience I could have published on www.polandmonthly.com
Now I do not want their lame apologies, they had their chance to reconcile and chose not to. So as far as I am concerned it is too late to make ammends. Either they settle out of court and buy me out or I continue contesting until they run out of money.
Denial and protecting other people when you know for a fact you are in the wrong will eat you up and will eventually destroy your soul.
I have been honest and upfront and they have just caused even more animosity by not trying accept my olive branch.
I know that the conversation with my cousin (a) today is just hearsay and cannot hold up in court. I have not approached my aunt considering she is 93 years of age.
I am angry that they still want to be greedy and have no doubt said bad things about me and my mother hence there is no coming back from that especailly when they have been bad mouthing me to the whole village.
How can they make ammends they would be a laughing stock if they did?
I was told by someone that they are simple folk and do not understand about certain things and I should just keep it simple.
The 12 Steps to rebuilding a broken down relationship.
1). Recognize that reconciling is different to forgiveness. You can make ammends but you do not have to forgive. If you can do both you are an awesome person.
2) Set realistic goals. For me asking for an apology but that will not happen and even if it did I do not want an apology now.
3). Put away your personal difference. Set your ego aside. Be the bigger person.
4) Weigh up the pros and cons of a broken relationship, sometimes it can cause more damage perusuing ita misuderstanfing or an argument than it will do good. If it is going to cause more grief, is it worth your health and your time persuing it.
5) Make the first steps and start the reconciliation process. Everyone has to start somewhere right?, otherwise you may be waiting forever to sort something out. Just bite the bullet and get on with it.
6). State what you want the end goal to be and be clear of your desire for a positive outcome
7) Admit any anger and resentment. In my case I asked my cousin did he know why I was feeling disdain towards the family and he claimed he did not have a clue. (Denial). Even though the day I threw all my clothes out into the courtyard he would not have asked his mother why (Very hard to believe).
8) Give the other person an opportunity to defend themselves and listen to the other person’s perspective. (In my case all he kept saying was that the whole village know about the letter I wrote to the court and it would be difficult to reconcile).
9) Had I have done anything wrong personally I would be the first to apologise.
Hence apologize for any wrongdoing. (However bringing a drunk to a wedding not knowing the person cannot hold his alcohol is not my fault)
If anything I should apologise to the brides mother for my ex partners behaviour and seeing he was a grown man had he have raped her surely that would not have been my fault?
I cannot take responsibility for someone elses actions unless they were my child.
10) If you feel you are the wrong doer apologise it is not hard or if you have been done wrong ask for an apology and if the other person apologises accept the apology and try to forgive. Sometimes you can accept an apology without forgiving and have a mental note somewhere just in case the person repeats the same thing again in future. We can all act civil without proclaiming being anything else other than neutral.
11) Rechurning the Past. Instead focus on the present, reconciliation is focusing on rebuilding and repairing relationships. Constantly repeating the past cannot help you move forward to the next hurdle. Get over what has happened and move on.
12). Begin by rebuilding trust. Trust once it is broken can be very hard to rebuild. I personally only trust a handful of people and these distant relatives I cannot trust as far as I can throw them.
I personally think I had a fairly good relationship with them to the point I introduced them to my ex-partner and everything went downhill from then on.
I should not be so naive, if my cousin (d), (I have a lot of cousins) was hitting the back of my head in a courtroom saying “why do I want with the land” and all my cousins leaving me on the courtroom doorsteps in cold sub zero degrees snowy temperatures, why would I expect a reconcilation or anything different.
To think they could have had a options like to buy me out or work with me haversting hemp, but instead they believe I have contacted them as it is costing me money on the contrary this can go on for an eternity for all I care. So for my cousin (a) to say the whole of the village knows, when this courtcase is over the whole world will know what they are like. I kept repeating myself, “if I treated him this way how would he feel” and he could not give me an anwser.
They are not my family any longer. As of today I have washed my hands of them and want what is rightlfully mine.
“Hell hath no fury like a women scorned”.
Once this court case is over each and everyone of them will get a letter from me and everyone of them will be mentioned in my autobiography book I am writing. This will be etched and I will make enough carbon foortprints that their great great grandchildren will know how they treated me. My mother is most probably turning in her grave knowing the antics they have got up to and the lies they have spread.
Even my aunt in court said she tried giving me the last will and testament, What really happened she threw the document on the floor rather than handing it to me. I said if it meant so much to her I would just take a photo as proof. No sooner I did this she claimed her blood pressure was high and she was feeling unwell. My cousin’s (a) wife said if anything happens to my aunt it will be all my fault.
My aunt also did not have any respect for my mother and called her lazy. She even stated her parents helped my mother to emigrate, but what she failed to say was my mother paid them back. So this argument can go on forever and somehow this blog post will help cement how bad my mothers side of the family really are.
Footnote, always try to be kind to one another and try to help one another out. Do not judge and try to help people. Never be greedy or selfish.
By coincidence today I received an email from my solicitor in Poland that is working on my behalf and the court have decided that my Aunt is entitled to half the land. My solicitor said I can appeal but I must do so within 7 days and there was an initial court fee of 100 zl PLN in which I transfered over to her today. I assume this is a notification fee to the court to prepare the paperwork and I assume the other fee is for appeal to pay for the judge and the court hearing. She went onto say that I will then have a further 14 days to pay 2000zl PLN.
I assume that my aunt will have to pay solicitors fees to defend herself.
Lets see who runs out of money first.