Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Have a Theory


With the holidays coming fast I'm thinking about my family. Not just my amazing family of my husband, daughters, son-in-law, and newly added boyfriend of Lorenzos, but the rest of my family.

My dad, my step-mom, my sister, her husband, and my brother. And their children, my niece and two nephews. And two of them have children. My brother's two children have kids; nearly four from what I'm hearing. His lovely daughter has two children and his son is having child number two.

My brother and I don't talk. It's a long and multi-faceted story; most of which is old family drama and not worth your reading, but some of it is relevant to everyone. How we got to this exact place is something I do think about. But, sorry my adorable sister, I don't think about him that much.

What I do think about is our, and by that I do mean my, childhood and the way we were brought up to think about family.

My momma and dad were pretty typical 60s parents. My mom ruled the roost and my dad would come home from work, sit in his chair reading the paper, and wait for supper. That my mom prepared. We had many many aunts and uncles from both sides of the family, but most of my life we weren't talking or seeing my dad's side of the family much for reasons long forgotten.

And there were times when we weren't talking to certain members of my momma's family. Also for reasons long forgotten.

Reasons long forgotten.

That's the saddest part of any family story of dissension. The original reason for the disagreement is long lost against the passion of the reactions.

I've often said that while I do not make too much drama, I am totally comfortable with it because of our family life while growing up. No blame there, just a realization I came to long long ago.

So . . . my brother and I don't talk. He has his reasons - spewed out to me in a phone conversation a couple of years ago - reasons I was rather stunned to hear, but they are his reasons. I can't change how he feels, but I did decide to change what I'll brave. I made a decision to no longer seek out any connection to him. It sounds horribly harsh, but he has no desire to take my hand so I'll no longer stretch it out. This breaks my sister's heart and makes for some tough holidays since I've asked to not be included in any celebrations that include him.

I knew that when I wrote this out it would cement in my mind what this means. And after reading what I've just written I can't believe this is what it's come to. Breaks my heart as well.

My little family is not perfect. But it will be a cold, dark day in hell before I'll be a part of anything like I experienced when growing up. I try my damnedest to stay out of any fray. I'm not saying I don't put my foot in it. I have big feet. Where else are they going to go for the cryin' out loud? But I am saying that I keep an open mind. Admit my errors. Try to make amends. And love as hard as I can.

Love as hard as I can.

That's all we got peeps. Love them until they can't stand it.

Smooches my hooches.

Family quarrels are bitter things. They don't go by any rules. They're not like aches or wounds; they're more like splits in the skin that won't heal because there's not enough material. 
~F. Scott Fitzgerald

8 comments:

Diane Cayton-Hakey said...

Family dynamics can get very complicated, but we all have them to some extent. Do what makes you feel good. :-)

Ms. A said...

I truly understand the whole family dissension thing. I've been involved in it myself and am trying to put it behind me and stop worrying about fixing it. I can't fix it, because I didn't break it and don't have the pieces to put it back together. However, it is one of the major reasons I hate holidays.

deb-oh-rah said...

It seems, from the outside looking in, that there are families who get along, are close, take joy from each other. I didn't grow up in such a family either. Maybe that's one of the reasons Deborah and I became friends when we met as teenagers.

But, in adulthood, we can decide who we will include in our lives and exclude the rest. We don't have to take the abuse, the arguments, the drama. Life is too short, as we know. We can pull close to us the jewels who will return or at least appreciate our love.

Karen said...

it's a sad truth. I think you're doing the right thing. How many times can you extend a hand, only to have it slapped. Wasted energy.. move forward and enjoy those who enjoy being with you. And don't stew in the juices of those who don't. Let them stew in their own.

So. Cal. Gal said...

Oh Lordy, do I get this!!! We put the 'function' in dysfunctional.

Do whatever makes you comfortable, sweetie. Life's too short.

Deborah said...

Thank you, all of you, for the support. The holidays really make us think about this stuff don't they?

smooches smooches smooches

Blogging is crazy. You can feel it from so far away.

Sarah said...

Oh this made me cry a little, especially considering I had to do something similar with the "family" of friends in my social circle so recently.

It's why the promise that we'll never be like that in our immediate family, no matter what, means so much to me. Forewarned is forearmed and we can avoid the mistakes that tripped us up in the past.

Anyone who doesn't choose to have us wonderful people in their life is the real person to pity!

Not So Simply Single said...

I haven't spoken to my sister in 12 years. She is angry and bitter, and no amount of me pleading for her to get over it will help.

Years and years I apologized. Now she owes the WHOLE FAMILY an amends.

Sometimes friends are just plain better than family....