Just like any living breathing organism, our relationship has suffered the ill effects of neglect and deep wounds. There is so much history that no one wants to really look at it, it is a disease process so entrenched and progressed that my family would rather resign to its death than to fight for eventual health.
It is so sad for me to look at this, it tears at my heart. Most members have given up completely, trudging through their days looking desperately for someone to fill them or give them a moments joy. This is how I have lived most of my life until I stepped out of the dance. Until finally I am free of the cult. That thinking doesn’t rule me anymore. It wants to though, it taunts me daily until I almost am admitted as a psychiatric patient.
But so far, I have won. My soul that has persisted this long still glows in there somewhere, sometimes faint, sometimes singing and strong. Today is better than yesterday. Do I miss my family? You bet. I have missed them for years, crying distantly for them, wishing they cared enough to call during my 7 year illness. The only calls come as updates to their daily affairs. New baby’s here. Coming to the wedding? Saw an old friend at the market and they said hi. Someone I am supposed to have remembered from the old, dying town has died. These are the things to which our relationship is based. It is shallow, empty, superficial and hollow. Its hollowness echoes deep and resounding within me, absolutely unnerving me. Am I the only one who hears it? I guess I am. Sometimes I think that they hear, it flashed across their face as a sign of life and hope and then its gone. I am family but not the kind of daily reminder that they want around. Too strong. Too intense. Too knowing.
I will leave them in their denial, it is a good place for them and a bad place for me. I will stop going to the proverbial dried up well for water. I will stop hoping for change. But these are my people, our blood is the same, they were my first memories, they are imprinted on my psyche so deep. They inhabit my dreams of the past but I will not let them inhabit my recovery and future. How I wish one of them would join me, learn my language, ease my pain of being without a family, let me see what it is like to have a loved one choose life. But I have resigned myself otherwise, found the beginnings of a sense of peace. Just like the woman who finally realizes that her wayward husband doesn’t look at her directly anymore, doesn’t smile when she enters the room, who is distracted when she speaks. Just like that woman, I know when done is done.