Wednesday, December 21, 2005
MY CHRISTMAS RESOLUTION
Well. So for 22 years, I watched as the other people in my family fought. I never took sides, and I kept my head down (if not my mouth closed). I watched my sister shun my mother, then my other sister slowly break away. I watched my aunts and uncles secretly gossip and plan behind each other's backs. I watched my mother steal a fiance from my sister. I watched that sister go from goth to wiccan to pagan to born again to dominatrix.
Through all that, I really did try. I successfully helped my sister get on her feet. I reached out to my other sister. I reached out to my mother. I tried to get her to wake up, to become someone I thought I remembered. I watched my favorite uncle slowly go insane. I tried to pull him out, and tried at last to visit him when no one else would.
And at each turn, I cut a cord. A string holding me like a marionette to my family's disfunction. I got out to college, and graduated. I met people with normal families, and I never lied about my past, to anyone. Finally, the day came when I was cut free.
And here I am. Right now, and I know how this sounds, I care more for the people I have surrounded myself with than I do my blood family. I care more for Mike, and Josh, and Sean, and Carly and Heather (who happens to be my sister) than I do for Lisa, or Warren, or my mother.
And most of the time I try not to think about it. Or rather, most the time I do not think about it, and when it comes up, I try not to think about it, if that makes sense. It is something can easily becomes a non issue.
Until the holidays. I have hinted at the past I had. It was never easy. But during the holidays, when they were good, they were VERY good. We had love and fun and family. And I was unaware of the way my family operated. Or rather, I chose to be unaware of the way my family operated. It seems they choose one person to be mad at, for one reason or another. Some of them reach out, and offer everything from salvation to advice, and others shun and gossip and openly yell at that person. And that person slowly falls away.
And now, that person is me. Because I refuse to talk to my mother, I am now the target. Nevermind her fiance (the one who was engaged to my other sister) stole money from me and my company, and she covered it up for him. Nevermind that she charged me rent when I got my first job. Nevermind she used to pawn our shit for drugs, and then use rent and utility money to buy drugs, and we sat in the dark and the cold. Nevermind I spent over two years without electricity. Or that I watched her steal things from stores, and put men above everything in her life. I am the bad guy for choosing to be the child, and wait for the parent to reach out, for once. She has my number, and she has not once called or even inquired after me since I made this choice.
And all that, glossed over as it is, hurts. But what hurts worse is when it was HER the family decided was bad, I was the one defending her. Trying to explain to people what I saw in her as a mother and a person, and the potential she had. Eternally optimistic in my assessments that one day she would turn it all around. Promising everyone that was the case. Bristling at backhanded compliments of how far I made it...Considering. That is so far beyond hurt, it is almost a comedy. I write this and I want to cry, cry out, and laugh all at once.
And all this wells up in the way of explanation, that will never be seen, to my grandfather and my Uncles, who I really wish I could see this Christmas. But I know my aunt will be there, telling me how wrong I am, and pretending she is Christian while she does it. And my uncle will be there, pretending to be my friend, and out the other side of his mouth doing the same for my mother. And my sister, recently reconciled for lack of a place to live, will be there, forced to defend her or be turned out. And my mother's fiance, staring behind his stupid, lifeless eyes when he thinks I can't see him, never meeting my eyes, so I can't get myself mad enough to break etiquette, and his nose. And HER. Always on the verge of tears, as if she is the martyr, and I am the executioner, and she JUST CANNOT figure out what she did wrong.
So, I am Sorry Grandpa. I am Sorry, Warren. I won't be able to be at Christmas this year. I don't have the strength, or resolve, or desire, or care, anymore.