I talked to my mom on the phone last night, and it finally struck home to me.
I will never have her support for the traumas I’ve been through in my life.
We were talking about a friend of mine who moved back to Florida, & when she asked where she lives, I told her.
Mom: “Oh, that’s the same city *he’s* (my male sibling) lived in.”
Me: Yeah, mom, I know.
“And btw, the girls (his daughters, my nieces) are coming up to visit this summer. I need to get in touch with Youngerdaughter to see if she wants to schedule her time home to coincide, so she can see them”.
Me: It would be nice, I don’t get to have any contact with them.
My sibling made a big deal of telling me years ago that he had the passwords & logins for his wife’s social media, as well as his daughters, so I believe he would not just watch if I tried to interact with them, but actively block contact or attack me through their pages.
You can think me paranoid if you want, but he’s attacked me verbally & emotionally so many times I have blocked every attempt he’s made to contact me. He is toxic in my life, & I won’t put up with his abuse.
Mom: “Oh, honey, he’s changed.”
Me: Not enough to say he’s sorry for what he’s done & said. Last time, Mom, he said “I’m sorry if you felt hurt, but sometimes you’re just too sensitive.” He didn’t say he was sorry for hurting me, he put the blame for my trauma back on me, then told me that I was “too sensitive”.
BEING SENSITIVE TO PAIN IS A TRAUMA RESPONSE.
Me: Mom, he has never apologized for what he said, or for what he’s done, he’s always just “I’ve grown up, & want to move past this”
Me: Translation – I’m tired of being called out for the real harm I caused, & want everyone to sweep it under the rug, because it doesn’t fit my “benevolent Christian man, husband & father” persona.
Mom: “Did I tell you my dog hurt her paw? She won’t let anyone anywhere near it.”
After about 10 more minutes of basic, surface conversation, I told her I love her, & hung up.
Avoidance, thy name is Mom.
Same thing happens whenever I bring up anything regarding the sexual assault I suffered from my best friend’s brother when I was 16. Her best friend is this (now man’s) mother. Every time she comes to visit, my mom wants me to see her, & they end up, somehow, working his name into the conversation, which sends me into a PTSD- induced panic attack.
Mom once: “Its been XX years. You should move past this. Let it go.”
I was never believed, not by anyone from either of our families. I was never allowed to talk about it, except when my parents tried to send me to a Christian counselor, & then told him that I thought I was molested. Not that it had actually happened, but that I thought it did.
I love both my parents. And I’m lucky to still have them in my life.
But, that hurts.
It hurts to know that my pain will never be valid in their eyes.
That they don’t believe that one instance even happened, but that I made it up or dreamt it.
And that they don’t remember reading the actual email my sibling sent me that ripped our family apart.
“My little sister died years ago. I don’t know you.”
Oh, fucker, you don’t know how right you are.
She died at 16, when a boy she trusted sexually assaulted her, and no one believed her.
She died at 17, when her parents sent her to a counselor & told him they thought she was delusional.
She died again at 19, when she was raped in college, and didn’t feel as though she could tell her parents, because why would they believe her now, when they didn’t before?
She died AGAIN, when at 20, they accused her of being on drugs, and forced her to get tested, when she’d never taken drugs in her life.
And she dies again, and again, and again, when they excuse her abusers for hurting her.
I still love my parents.
Don’t forget that.
But, loving them, does not make what they say & do, right.
My parents have always been the “turn the other cheek” people.
I can’t. I won’t. I will NOT give you another chance to hurt me, after being repeatedly struck on one side.
I still love my parents.
They’re good people.
But, the pain is real, when I know I’ll never have their unconditional love & support.
I spent a lot of time thinking about this, yesterday, on my drive to & from my folks’ house.
I am a tangle of contradictions.
Most people know one side only, as I keep its opposite pretty well hidden from view.
And nearly all the people who know me IRL, know the jokester, who mixes in with the caring, nurturing part of me. (If I care about you, I care enough to joke with you/about you)
Something I don’t say often, though, is that – once I love someone, it’s forever. No matter how much this can hurt ME in the end. And I’m not just talking about being in love with someone, I’m also talking about Chosen Family love. And there’s a few of those out there.
Beloved Nephew is first & foremost of the Chosen. He is now, and has been for years, my best friend. There could never be anything intimate between us, because we’re family to each other, but he knows me better than anyone else alive.
And he’s seen both sides of my personality.
There are also kids, well, they’re not kids anymore, because they’re godsbedamned grownups now, (yes, I’m feeling the age, here). Kids my children brought home with them, who needed an adult at the time to tell them that they were going to be ok. That they were enough, that they could do this thing called life. I don’t get to see them, or talk to them anymore, because they’ve moved on & past needing me, but I still consider them Chosen Family.
And yes, it stings a little sometimes when I think that, once I wasn’t needed to prop them up, I was forgotten. But that’s what happens. And I don’t want anyone to feel any kind of obligation to me because I was kind to them. That’s selfish. I’m just glad they’ve grown, and hopefully gotten themselves to a good place.
And, yes, there are people whom I’ve been involved with in the past, exes. Who doesn’t have those?
And yes, some of them I love.
To this day.
NOT to say that I’d go back to them, because most I wouldn’t. There was a reason behind the split, and it was needed. I’m healthier, emotionally, mentally, without them in my life.
There’s a couple that I would, but it probably wouldn’t be good for me, so I keep my damn mouth shut. Go me. (sarcastic eye roll)
Not one of them can say they’ve truly seen my other side.
The dark coldness that I keep for only myself.
Y’all have no idea.
There is a detachment that happens when my switch gets flipped. And I can honestly say I, myself, have only seen it truly come out a couple of times. Always in the most dire of situations, and ALWAYS as a protective measure, either for myself, or for a loved one.
Example – cutting my male sibling out of my life.
I’m not going to retell the story, just know that I did it to protect myself from further emotional harm.
The point here, is, that I was able to do it. With no guilt, no remorse, and no second thoughts.
And no one has ever, nor will they ever, talk me out of it. Familial guilt gets nothing.
Talk of blood, of dna, gets nowhere.
After all, his blood, his dna didn’t stop him from hurting me in the first place, now, did it?
Anywho, before I get completely derailed off onto a rant, this is only one example.
But it’s an effective one.
The level of darkness to which I can descend, should I deem it necessary to the situation, is one which most would never seek, and I’m sure, they would never suspect me of reaching it.
But a part of me lives there.
And only the Nephew has seen it, or heard it in my voice.
Probably because he recognizes a kindred spirit when he meets one.
But, I digress.
My tangled dichotomy is pretty balanced, ironically enough.
Because as deep as my darkness goes, that is how far my love extends. And vice versa.
My Beloved Nephew and I were talking the other night about risk management. He was contemplating something that could change his life, but couldn’t decide which route to take. Which risk was worth it?
Some risks are acceptable, because they are very small, & not likely to cause a shift in your life. They’re easy, both to take, & to live with.
Example – trying a new food. This might end up as a foodgasm, & you’ll want to consume this again, or it could be an ashy dumpster fire, & you’ll wretch, vowing to never let this cross your palate in this lifetime.
Risk assessment? Low, go for it. ✅
Other risks are – possibly life altering, in that they could bring either positive, or negative equity into your life. These risks could move you forward into your goals, sparking joy & abundance…
Or they could draw you into an emotional, financial hole that would be difficult to crawl back out of again.
Risk assessment? Medium to high. Research, research, research. Maybe ask an opinion from someone trusted. Try to see what the benefit-to-loss ratio is. Write down pros & cons. Weigh & measure everything before deciding.🚧
And, of course, there are some risks that are simply too.
Abort commencement. Please back away from the door…it’s on fire… and emitting noxious gasses.⁉❌⛔☢☣☠️
I’ve been rolling along, lately, trying to manage my life by taking only ✅ risks. Sure, it’s a whole lot more comfortable to live this way financially, geographically.
But, I’m left, emotionally, canceled.
This is bland, boring, quiet (which, yeah, I like my solitude& quiet, but sheesh), and I need something else. Something more than taupe, slate and oyster. Something a little more lime, crimson and onyx.
This is where I kind of fell down the philosophical rabbit 🐰 hole in the conversation.
What in your life is guaranteed?
I mean, rock-solid, certified, absolutely concrete, as a result of a myriad of choices throughout your existence?
That’s it. Everyone gets a one-way ticket. What’s at the destination? *shrug* No fricking idea, but we’re all going, sooner or later.
Nothing, and I do mean NOTHING else carries a platinum-plated guarantee like this.
Everything else in our lives is mutable, ever-shifting, transitory & possible/impossible.
Warranties and guarantees are for large appliances.
What does this mean?
Well, for me, this means I need to start getting off my ass, taking only the ✅ risks.
I need to start contemplating the 🚧 risks. I need motion, action, & research. Cause-Effect.
I’m tired of stagnating and waiting for something to come along. Waiting for my life to truly start.
I’m 50 years old.
My life started without me a long time ago, and has been chugging along, watching me sit on the sidelines. It’s been mocking me for years for my inactivity.
Comfort is a lie. The only way to truly be alive is to always be at least mildly uncomfortable.
Because if you’re not uncomfortable, you won’t shift to change anything.
And that, is death.
The only true comfort, is 6 feet underground, with your eyes closed on this plane forever.
-“Get busy living, or get busy dying, the only sin is lack of trying”
I know, Stephen King wrote the first part of that in the Shawshank Redemption, but I would swear another of my favorite authors, Robert Heinlein, wrote that in his classic Time Enough for Love. (I’ll have to go back & reread it for the 50th time to check)
So, here I am…officially 50 years old now. (Birthday was on the 11th)
I sure as hell don’t feel like it – well, most days. Some days, I feel about 106.
I’ve actually been having a lot of health crap going on over the last few months, which doesn’t hrlp.with the “feeling old” thing, but I don’t really feel like talking about it right now, so – moving on.
Instead, I just wanted to blab.
First- I HAVE MY GRANDSON THIS WEEKEND!
Goddess, I love this little boy so much. He & my daughter lived with me until he was 2 or so, & I was like a second parent, rather than a grandparent, so we have a very special relationship.
He’s my Schnicklefritz, & my buddy.
We’ve been indulging ourselves in junk food & gaming, staying up late & laughing.
And yesterday we went to the zoo, & spent a couple of hours just bumming.
I cherish my time with this precious kid, & I’ll be sad when I have to take him back to his dad’s tomorrow.
He just makes everything else seem better, ya know?