Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

PSA: Stay Safe

This is a PSA, specifically for all of you in NYC, but it’s relevant for everyone, especially those not yet fully vaccinated against Covid. I’m using this platform today to issue a warning that I wish our leaders were issuing loudly and clearly: If you live in NYC and are not yet vaccinated, these next few weeks will be the most dangerous of the pandemic so far. The seven-day average for Covid cases has increased nearly 200% in ONE WEEK. That’s not a typo – nearly 200%. We have the benefit of seeing how this wave of new variants has gone in places ahead of us in the trajectory (like many countries in Europe, and even now Michigan, and places in Canada). These new variants hit differently than OG Covid, and we’re seeing a significant increase in infections and hospitalizations among people under 50. (This includes children, and in fact the 10-19 age group has the highest infectious rate in most places already experiencing this new surge.) Today New York state finally expanded vaccine eligibility to anyone 30+. I recommend downloading twitter, following Turbovax, setting up alerts for new tweets from Turbovax, and having a laptop open to New York state’s vaccine page and NYC’s vaccine appointment page. When appointments open, they’ll likely go within seconds. It will feel frustrating. Hang in there. Maybe Biden will get a clue and send NYC loads of extra vaccine supply, which is needed more here than anywhere else at the moment.

The good – great! — news is that in one to two months we’re going to be on the other side of this and will be looking forward to what will likely be a fantastic summer, all things considered: open streets and picnics and reunions with family and friends. Hang on just a little bit longer. And get vaccinated when you can!!

I grew up as an adopted member of a seemingly close family. In 2007, my mom left my then-17-year-old brother with her ex and moved in with a hermit in the mountains of Tennessee. (I was living in college dorms at the time.) The boyfriend won’t leave his house and won’t permit her to leave either due to his “anxiety.” When his mother was still alive, my mom could leave for short periods of time to go to the grocery store or by paying his other family members to stay with him for a few days every 18 months or so. Unfortunately, his mother died and now my mother won’t come to see her children and grandchildren.

This man of hers is very aggressive and manipulative. When she had a job at Wal-mart during the beginning of their relationship, he would change her schedule so she’d miss her scheduled shifts and show up when she wasn’t scheduled. In 2020, when I was eight months pregnant with my second child, I got into a fight with her boyfriend and his brother. Technically, I posted a picture on my mom’s Facebook timeline and her boyfriend became very aggressive with me. I blocked them. Since then, he has gone on other people’s accounts and had my mom’s friends post derogatory comments on my public Facebook wall. Mind you, this is from a 50-year-old man.

I finally gave her an ultimatum. Either she be a present grandmother, which she hasn’t been, and be involved in our lives without this man’s control over her, or we were done. She chose the man. I had been paying for her cellphone at the time and also paying some other bills. I stopped since there’s no reason to pay for these things for someone I don’t even speak with. It’s been six months since this decision and, from what I understand, she’s okay with it. She hasn’t reached out, and I know her terrible boyfriend has rules in place to not communicate with us.

As a mother myself, I don’t understand how you could ever not be involved with your child. As a strong woman, I don’t understand how you can let a man dictate whether you can go to the grocery store or doctor or to see your family. As someone who spoke with my mom twice a day my entire adult life, I don’t understand how she’s just okay with letting it go. To be completely transparent, I don’t know if I want her back in my life, even if she wanted to come back. She really screwed me over by not being here for the birth of her second grandchild. I don’t know that I want to be there in the future to support her health emergencies or provide financial support for her when she needs it. All of this has put a real hindrance on my relationship with my brother and aunt. I feel like they don’t want to talk to me anymore and I’m not sure what to do about any of this. — Feeling Abandoned

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