August 12, 2018

When You Do Not See Who You Have Impacted

Many of you were quite unhappy with me about bringing down the website but understood where I was coming from with my decision. Some of you were involved with the situation. It wasn't done with malintent but I had reached the point of being tired of the selfish behavior from quite a few and my cousin was the tip of the iceberg.

Many have also come back and said that I should not permit another to control who I am. This is a hard pill to swallow when you're dealing with selfish individuals. It is true that there will always be someone who is toxic waiting to impose their behavior on you. In my anger, I felt that my father had no idea what he was talking about as he felt that sharing and speaking to the family would help change things.

In truth, as I think back on all the feedback from people I have impacted in a positive manner, it truly outweighs the negative behavior. When you have reached that point, it doesn't matter and my anger was in full force that individuals can have their hands out but never offer their hand.

Via genealogy research, I was able to connect to many of my Bayala cousins that I didn't get the pleasure of growing up with. Many in the Bayala family didn't know we were one big family, our origins, or our connection to slavery in Puerto Rico. Some lived thinking they had no family, while others were separated from the rest of the family through situations from the past. Although we didn't cause that past, it impacts us in ways that are impossible to change. I personally am still impacted directly by these events but I keep it moving along.
Today I think about my grandaunt Maria Ines Bayala, who I met via a phone call many years ago. Through that call, tia Maria was able to connect with my dad. My dad was so happy to speak to her that he felt that this was my calling; uniting the family.  It sadden me when tia Maria passed a year after my father in August of 2012.  She was instrumental in me searching for family, understanding what went wrong with the family, and her wanting to know more about her own mother, and the Bayala family. Unfortunately, I found the information she sought but years after her passing.

This past week, I was shocked to discover that her sister, my aunt, Luz Virginia Bayala, has passed. With all the distractions of life, I thought I had time to see her and now she is gone too. Tia Luz's passing occurred on August 9th. My heart breaks for the family left behind.

Couple all of this with that I'm humbled that I have met some genuinely great Bayala cousins that bring smiles to my face because they accepted me with open arms and with zero doubt that I was family. I also have Bayala cousins that never got to meet their dads and were concerned of being rejected by family. Speaking to them I assured them that that would not be the case. They too have reached out to me and advise me not to stop as I made it possible for them to connect with family.

I then have my Betancourt and Aleman cousins sending me private messages and thanking me because I made them feel like we were all family. I keep this in mind when I think of all the negative aspects that have transpired. I get it that not all family will be perfect and those on my Facebook account know about the bad seeds that we have encountered along the way. In truth, there are bad seeds in all families and they are not just unique to me or you. Unfortunately, I just keep finding them because they take advantage of someone offering them free help.

Taking advantage was quite apparent after me dealing with a selfish cousin a month ago. He, of course, has since deleted his Facebook account and his DNA kit. I believe that many family members pounced on him over his behavior. He isn't the only one of course, but he was the last straw that broke the camel's back of me helping.

Let's not forget the many friends that I've known since childhood, genealogists that have known me over the years, and friends from recent years have come "knocking" to let me know that I should not let individuals change who I am. In truth, am I angry at people for their selfish self-centered ways? ABSOLUTELY!

I had deleted all content from this website as I am over the behavior and changed DNS settings on the URL to stop the traffic. However, when I have countless people calling and leaving me voicemails when I wouldn't pick up the phone, it starts to let me know how many recognize that the behavior of others can come off extremely negative and tiring.

So between my mentor and many others at my job and are aware of my involvement with genealogy, gave me back feedback. The one to really let me have it was my mentor as she knew what I was giving up. If you want to ever thank anyone for pushing me to bring this website back, it would be my mentor. My mentor truly felt that I should not permit individuals to have power over me; whether personally or professionally. That permitting others to do so allows them to change who I have become over the years and most importantly, people do appreciate being helped.

So while I have restored both websites, it comes with a change. The change is that all communication is shut off. I should have done this from the get-go. There will be no comments permitted on either website. I have also turned off the "Contact me" option. The content provided will be one way.

I hate to do this but I'm opening the websites on my terms. Please do not attempt to reach out to me via Google+, email, or Ancestry as it will get ignored. Thank you for understanding.

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