Oh, Sister of Mine?

When people ask me about my family of origin I pause and take a deep breath. “How much time do you have?” I ask. It’s never a matter of rambling on about all the amazing memories I have (or had) with family, it’s a matter of, “How much do I tell?”

Do I talk about the feelings of despair, the urgent need to get as far away from my childhood home and town as possible or, do I simply compose a quick verbal synopsis? Even that would be a task destined for failure since there is zero possibility of a speedy deposition because anger, pain and darkness go too deep and have traveled too many generations to be given just a cursory glance. This is a disease that must be examined with the keen eye of a scientist or, at minimum, with the paranoid skepticism of a rabid conspiracy theorist.

“Show me your proof.”

“It’s all made up!”

“You have an agenda!”

Who doesn’t, pal?

I wish I had made up everything I felt compelled to share about my childhood and the people enlisted to birth me and then failed to raise me properly. I wish I had made up the interactions with my many siblings that drained the rose color from my preferred view of the world. The dream of a life I felt excited about as a five year-old was the same one ground to dust at eight by a brother who acted entitled to be doing so without explanation or recourse.

If only I could recall, rewind, rework and then reissue my life. But, I can’t and it must stand as a work unto itself with no revisions because truth is truth no matter how dirty and the lies of others, desperate to silence you, have no power anymore. That, right there, is what sparks the greatest fear in former oppressors, instigators and apologists. I will TELL. I will say it ALL. And, my truth will follow them to the depths of every self-imposed hellscape they find themselves in or into any carefully curated tale of a supposed “life well-lived” they may attempt to create.

It’s the price we all pay for pretending.

But, what happens when the pretenders stop and stand still within their game? What happens when the camera, the one meant to capture a staged joyous moment, starts documenting reality at every press of the button? Sure, we can smile for the camera but we have no control over the image projecting from our eyes. They are the real keepers of truth after all.

I entitled this “Oh, Sister of Mine?” for a specific reason and to document a specific hurt. I have two sisters, born from the same parents and both subjected to the same dysfunction (at varying degrees) I was yet each approaches their wounds very differently. One chose the stance of a pacifist or rather, a “compartmentalizer” and the other, further down the pedigree chart, chose to morph into a volatile cat o’ nine tails ready to inflict as much mental punishment as humanly possible on anyone she decides to level. Did I see that coming my way? No. Am I really surprised in hindsight? Again, no. Some people learn from their pain and some carry it with them like a weapon to be used whenever they need self-soothing. It was just a matter of time.

Now, here’s the rub. From time to time I see strategically posted vignettes of their “and a fun time was had by all” soap opera. It hurts, initially, that I have been purposely cut out of their lives but, in a way, I also see it as needed medicine. The depiction of how their lives easily go on without being invited to share in any joy or pain can feel scalding but, it is also the hurt I need to heal, if that makes sense? The more I see of these surface only interactions the better I feel about my decision to untangle from the diseased spiderweb. I can’t go back to pretending anymore. I won’t go back there yet, at the same time I am irritatingly human enough to still long for closeness and also feel bad for all of them.

https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/people-are-revealing-truth-behind-their-happy-looking-social-media-posts-its-heartbreaking.html

And by ALL I mean ALL, even the parents and other siblings who worked so hard to grind my soul into the ground. I wish things were different but, they are not and they never will be. That wish is now released to the wind. It floats away, along with pieces of my regret and anger, to be replaced by a satisfying self-awareness I never even knew I could posses. By “self-awareness” I mean I own up to my faults, my lies, my rage now with zero shame or embarrassment.

It’s never embarrassing to be authentic.

The TRUE shame is in continuing to willfully live that lie.

© 2020 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

When begging to be more connected to your fellow humans makes you feel even further apart…

How did we get to THIS point in time?

How in the hell did we let this happen?

Oh, and we definitely let this happen. Whether through anger, apathy or psychotic spite, WE let this happen and only we can pull our battered hearts and minds back from the gaping black maw of total emotional, intellectual and moral annihilation.

Welcome to the Ununited States of Division. In this new world, we insult those who refuse to adhere to outdated mores and we dig in deep, shaking our heads in steadfast opposition to any belief that is counter to those taught to us by good old Mom and Dad. Never giving a thought to the times Mom and Dad espoused racist and misogynistic ideologies by applying labels like “those people can’t be trusted” to minorities they had a beef with and “women need to know their place” when discussing equal pay for equal work.

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Or, when announcing your plan to go to college. “What? Do you think you are better than us or something?” Get married to a nice man who will take care of you they said. Okay, umm, but what if that isn’t what I want? “What YOU want? That’s a fairytale. People like us (women) don’t have the luxury of independence.” 

Damn Mom! Great fucking advice. Sorry, but you’ll need to step aside because my free will and intense determination are about to do a burnout on your puritanically Stepford-esque mindset. Does not compute…..never will compute.

Personal refrain aside, I hear the rousing cry from the male caucasian throng and from distant school acquaintances and formerly close family members alike; “Why can’t it be like it used to be?” You know, when everyone didn’t know everyone else’s political or religious views. Like, you know, in the good old days! Yeah, let’s go back to that!

When? The 20th century or before? Anytime from 1900 to before the internet being gifted to the populace and before they really got to see just how badly average people were being taken advantage of and abused? That time? Yes?  Oh, I see…before people became aware of how shit really goes down! Got it.

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I rant about my wish for humanity to get it together. To think about how purposeful insensitivity maligns and erodes the hearts and minds of the altruistic until there is nothing left but take, take, take it all before THOSE people try to get it first! Win at all costs even if it means trampling those with sincere intent and compassion to spare for any and all.

A pleading hand is extended to bridge the massive gap that divides us only to be slapped down in derision. “LOSERS! Only the smartest, richest and most devious will prevail! Suckers won’t know what hit them again in 2020!” 

It’s all pathetic and sad and also, predictable. So predictable that even though it hurts my heart to see and hear the evil the supposed righteous perpetrate I am comforted by the notion that my soul’s hot rod, fueled by renewed determination and copious amounts of free will is still ready to hit the road!

We are only isolated if we allow it and I DO NOT allow it! I get that some fear a power shift and they fear this because of how shitty they treated those viewed as “beneath”  them and worry that the desire for retribution will be too strong to resist. I get that completely and, trust me, dishing out some sweet, sweet retribution does sound mighty delicious but, I’m better than that. We are better than that.

Learn it and then live it so the chains of fear may release you. It’s a big world out there! Stop being a fucking disappointment!!!

© 2018 L.A. Askew
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.