I WON'T ACCEPT MY AUNT'S FRIEND REQUEST AND I DONT HAVE TO JUSTIFY THAT CHOICE

But I will a little here because I need to get it out.
  1. For years now I have refused a friend request from my aunt
    It's a stupid small thing, I know. And she has repeatedly resent it and sends weird messages that go in that folder I don't actually have to see.
  2. It's a thing that has caused some extremely awkward holiday party moments
    With distant relatives and immediate family. Some members thought I was being inexcusably rude.
  3. Social media is a very small corner of my world, and I have the right to control it
  4. Often it's my mother saying things like "it's not that big a deal, you cause more harm by ignoring it"
    Which sounds reasonable but frankly isn't true. My mother is a saint though.
  5. Or my father saying "it's not that bad it's actually kind of funny sometimes"
    Idk if he means HAHA funny or sad funny. Or both. I choose not to know and anytime she posts anything really nutty someone tells me about it anyway.
  6. They've mostly given up because I have stood firm on this. I won't back down
    I have compromised constantly with them over this aunt. There are other battles I probably should have picked but this one is something I have the most direct control of.
  7. I justify it as gatekeeping
  8. If I give her access I'm not just giving her access to information about me
    Very public information, I know. I'm not super private in the first place.
  9. I'm giving her permission to comment on my life and my choices in a public forum
  10. And there is no predicting or controlling that woman
  11. It's also giving her access to people I care about
  12. And information about them
  13. All of these are weapons to someone who feels they've been victimized by my existence
  14. Someone with a history of verbal abuse towards me and my immediate family
  15. Someone who has shown no remorse for cruel or hurtful actions and suffered very few consequences for them
    And continues in a pattern of behavior that we all allow because "she's family" and we keep hoping the glimpses of tolerable moments mean a new chapter of behavior. (They don't)
  16. So I miss some baby pictures. And countless unintelligible rants with subtext directed at the people I love most in the world
  17. It's a small act of control. But it's the one I have left to me in this relationship
  18. What I'm saying in too many words is it's okay to protect yourself first. Sometimes we need to be told that.
    And I'm not sorry for it. Or that in this case it protects my people too.