06 September 2009

Separation bites

It's been a heckuva year so far.

Here's but one example of what in the rear-view mirror looks like a major trend.

The outcome of recent events has left me feeling like an ass to some of my family. On the other hand, I don't feel obligated to get into it with these people just because I'm from the same fucked-up family. I keep coming back to this fundamental reality for me: I don't want the kind of drama that swirls around them in my life any more. I still believe it doesn't need to be that way, and years of experience are bearing this out handily.

Since living closer to these folks, I've picked out some family: my husband and child and mother and best friend. With them I've found another love and acceptance that is sweeter and truer and more direct in a way there's never room for in the crises or the utter absences of the characters in my nuclear family. Sure, I miss that chance with my family of origin to connect and overcome our differences to find out what we have in common. Yet every darned time, the cost seems so terribly high.

I did find it exciting to clear out some massive swaths of space earlier this year. Made a big, overwhelming task shrink way smaller in one fell swoop. It was a fun demonstration of what could be done in a day.

But what little I have to offer never feels like enough. Especially if you start talking about compensating for a certain kind of parenting lacking any valuing of emotional intelligence and growth nor any acceptable physical reality except looking good.

Gee whiz, I'm a tough audience.

And about the drama: I know, I know, I'm the one who threw the shitfit at the end. Look, that was a bit of sleight of hand (and I was pissed at the way something was done with me). Plus: things the rest of the family did not know nor was it any of my business to share were going down at the same time. I threw a wall up to try and help with that.

I've gotten pretty good at getting the biggest bang for my travel bucks and got us a great deal and the right number of rooms. One of my family was amazing, relentless: wheedled for our locations and commitments and forced me to declare out loud that I didn't want to stay "with the others." That one wanted every detail under their control, everyone in place at all the right times.

Thing is, I stew about this murky stuff of origin, but mostly I find it preferable to not go into it with them, not stir it up. I feel sad about that in turn because I do know what I'm giving up. I know we won't have many more opportunities to reminisce about people we have known and places we have been, relatives we share. I know I'm sacrificing our communal desire to reclaim shared memories. But I find I have to let go of my need to share that journey toward an old age in which the more we age, the more we recall the older stories. But at the end of the argument I keep coming around to that small still voice in my gut telling me yes or in this case no no no not that way don't.

And yet, I'm reconnecting with others in my family, and putting one foot in front of the other, and continuing to work on my stories. They're all I have, except for the vast, buoying love of my current family, my family of choice.

You know what? It's true: love hurts. But separation bites.

Thanks for listening.

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