I never write about or identify my family on my website. They absolutely hate that and have raked me over the coals numerous times, pouring out their venom and anxiety if I so much as dare to mention them on AirBeagle.
So, of course, being the contrarian that I am, I have to post an entry about them after yet another nasty phone call with one them last night, a nameless, sexless sibling.
The conversation, which frequently veered off into the absurd, the freakish, the loud, and the just plain weird, was fairly typical of what’s been happening with them the last few years, particularly after they finally got the message that Frank and I were together.
Their desperation and venom and anxiety (and I can’t quite think of any other words for it) is coming through more and more. A huge list of topics is off-limits for discussion, everything from the usual politics, sex and religion, to work events (the family thinks public schools are demonic and should be closed and don’t want to hear about my teaching) to the dog (dogs are to be kept outside and killed when they become inconvenient usually within a couple of months and usually either by a car, a predator or a blow to the head), to … well, just about you-name-it.
After last night’s extreme unpleasantness, when I found myself saying things I had kept a lid on for 20 years, and even in spite of the sibling stating that they didn’t want to ‘cut things off,’ my conclusion is increasingly that things should be cut off.
At issue, of course, is that one tiny part of myself that enrages them so much, along with my political and religious beliefs. They can’t accept any of this and I can’t be anything or think anything else. I can’t be a different person, a person that they wish I were and that they think they could be proud of. To be so would be to be dishonest and deceitful and I can’t do that anymore.
The ultimate irony, of course, is that they demand total honesty from me, but then go completely off the rails when I am honest. They’ve set up a Catch-22 situation which is guaranteed to hurt themselves and others around them and cause pain and I’ve long wondered or thought that they really must enjoy it, they wallow in it so much.
I was supposed to call them tonight for Thanksgiving. I think I’ll be only accepting calls from now on. For over ten years, I’ve shelled out mega-bucks for phone calls, cards, gifts and travelling to Oklahoma. In that same time, my siblings have been to see me exactly twice and my parents have been to see me probably less than a dozen.
At what point do you stop fooling yourself and realize how one-sided things are? At what point do you stop the dysfunctional insanity? I really think I’ve reached my point. I’ll answer the phone and be polite when they call. And because I have some treasured things still in Oklahoma that I need to pick up, and because the parental’s 50th anniversary is coming up in April, I’ll make one final trip, and then I just have to be done. It’s not healthy for any of us.
None of my friends treat me this way. Families are simply nuts. I wish them much health and happiness and good, long lives. And I also wish they would grow up and get a clue about the world around them.