I've been feeling guilty about Mom X. A few weeks back, she was after me to attend the wedding of a niece who -- like most of my extended family -- I hardly know. I stopped calling her. She rarely calls me and there the matter stood.
Quite awhile back, I was estranged my family for several years. See, I'm uneducated and was pursuing a low-paying trade with zero stability, hanging around with terrible horrible rock'n'roll radio types, destined for a bad end, etc. etc., issues that look trivial in hindsight. Nevertheless, it was an ugly break and years later when we got back in touch -- slowly, cautiously -- some bond was gone and for me, at least, it's never really come back. Can't trust 'em, after all, and they've been more like overly-familiar strangers than my heart's blood ever since.
I worry about my nieces and nephews, who seem like good kids despite having less-than-ideal parents;* we're not close, too many years lie between us, but I wish 'em the very best. I worry about my Mom and I'd like to help her more than I have been doing -- but dealing with my family is like walking on slippery rocks at the edge of a whirlpool. There's a gigantic, sucking maelstrom of emotional distress and dysfunction howling at my elbow the whole time and I'm not going back into it, period. I've watched my siblings get messed up by it, I've been there myself way too much and only barely clawed my way out, and it's not worth the pain and risk to dip even a toe back in. There's no emotional reward of fuzzy-wuzzy wonderfulness, just a lot of walking on eggshells wondering what's going to go wrong next. If that's family, I'll take the bare-minimum RDA, please. I couldn't cope with any more.
* Says the woman who never parented. My sibs are-- Difficult people. In some ways, challenged; the three of us are reflections in a fractured mirror. But like most parents, they were well-meaning amateurs and sincerely love their offspring.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
9 months ago