Monday, January 2, 2012
Run, save yourselves!
Well, that dreaded time of year..."the holidays" is finally over. It was exhausting. I quite enjoyed some aspects, being off work, eating out, going to movies.... It's just the "getting together with family" part that I would rather avoid. I hear this sentiment over and over from those who don't quite fit into their families for whatever reason, so I know I'm not unique. When I say "family" in this context I'm referring to my birth family (parents, siblings, etc.), not the family I've had a hand in creating.
This year it ranged from f**king awful to the approximation of sincere interest in each other. I say approximation because it never quite gets there. Faux sincerity is about as good as it gets with my family. Here is the cast of characters:
Me: the semi-closeted queer with occasionally pronounced OCD.
Mom: the veritable tower of ice. Amazingly strong and able to support the weight of the world without flinching but never quite able to show weakness, fear, or love.
Dad: distant and unknowable as Pluto.
Crazy alive sister: by crazy I mean not just wild or untamed. I mean literally psychiatric crazy.
Crazy dead sister: died this year by drug overdose.
Twin brother: the only person from the above list that I might actually choose as part of my family, if given a choice. He lives far away so we don't spend much time together but when we do it's generally a pretty good time. However, like the rest of us he is better at being analytical than showing emotion. He is currently estranged from his wife and daughter. Not gay (as far as I know).
I spent a couple of nice days with my brother before the others showed up. It was really the first time I was completely open about being gay. We watched a few of my favorite gay themed movies and went out to eat. He expressed support for me, which was nice.
Crazy alive sister (CAS) has a 14 year old son, that she's lost custody of, who also came along for the holiday. His father comes from a wealthy family so he has a nice trust fund waiting for him...if he can survive being raised by weirder than shit parents.
Before they arrived for the holiday, we installed locking door knobs on two rooms we wanted them to stay out of. What does that say about our family relationship? It can't be very good.
CAS spent much of the holiday babbling incessantly about crazy dead sister (CDS). They absolutely hated each other in life, but somehow in death CDS has become CAS's obsession. CAS also spent time showing off her stamp collection that she meticulously maintains with home made price tags showing each stamp's value. Their tagged values range from several hundred to several thousand dollars each. If you look them up on the internet they are really just junk stamps worth a few cents each but in her delirium she is sure they will fund her legal battle with her rich ex-husband to get custody of her son. Another of her pastimes is collecting worthless "gem" stones. She gave me a "diamond" that weighted several grams, which she later wanted back, and then lost somewhere in the house. By the way, if you need a good deal on furniture or a car, she knows just the person to contact. She also has a cure for cancer. Oh, and she can get you the "good" drugs.
Mom and dad live in her co-dependent psychosis when they aren't being otherwise good Mormons. They successfully pretend that she doesn't have any real issues that can't be solved by "supporting her". This includes, buying her a car, a condo, and providing for her every need and just "encouraging" her to be better. They've told me they don't believe they can face Heavenly Father after this life if they don't do these things.
The payouts are quickly followed by disasters of various types (car crashes, arrests, pawning whatever can be lifted from the family home) and verbal/nonverbal abuse of many varieties. It would be comical if it weren't so sad to see mom and dad bounce back and forth between treating her as a normal adult, as a child, and as a schizophrenic. Yet the co-dependent drama continues year after year.
Such a perfect Mormon family. In truth, I guess I love my family. I just can't stand them. It might be easier if anyone was willing to open up a little. We keep our cards pretty hidden and showing emotion is just a big "don't go there". How can you love and trust people who never let you into their lives or openly discuss their fears, desires, heartache, or love? I'm a terrible example, having been raised in the above described mess. However, one of the wonderful things about being me is the desire to be open. I'm slowly learning the fun and excitement and deep joy of being honest, emotional, and vulnerable.
Oh, and by the way, I didn't even get a gift from mom and dad for Christmas this year. We gave them tickets to the theater. I think it was a good choice for folks so accustomed to family drama.
Some say gay marriage is a bad idea. Looking at my family, I'd say straight people should be required to pass a test before being allowed to procreate.