So Tell Me ... What's The Weather Like on YOUR Planet?

23 November, 2007


So last night I called all my immediate family members -- both parents and my brother -- to wish them a happy Thanksgiving.

Talking with my brother is ... complicated, sometimes. It's like we grew up in slightly different worlds. He was never close to Dad, particularly, for reasons I understand, and maintains a closer relationship with Mom than I can imagine ever wanting. He asked me why I was finally in therapy, and I told him I'd hit rock bottom, and after a moment he said, "I'm happy for you", and ... it's a funny thing to say, though I know what he meant.

He apparently went to a Thanksgiving gathering with Mom and about a dozen (according to him) or twenty (according to her) other people. She had a great time. He felt alienated by all the strangers having their family togetherness holiday, pretty much.

And he said, "I hate holidays like this."

I asked him why.

"I don't have a family," he said.

The divorce and all its chaos happened while he was still living at home -- I was off to college, and then I went mad, and I stayed here rather than come back. Which I needed to do, and at the same time I wasn't there for him. I'm pretty sure he was upset by that, by not having my support, but I could barely keep myself together at the time.

I know he walked out somewhere in there, lived with friends for a few weeks, just didn't deal with them, because of something Mom said to him, trying to pull the coercion tricks on him because he wasn't bending to her will, because he was trying not to take sides.

I know he was a lot more scarred by the dissolution than I was. I don't know how to soothe that at all.

I just ....

"I don't have a family."


Daisy Deadhead said...

I heard that once, too, from someone in my family... and I've said it, also, in the past...

I just remember what Robert Frost said: Home is the place that when you go there, they have to take you in. A good definition of FAMILY also, I think.

If you go by that definition, and I do... well, lots of those people (who will take you in), ain't blood kin, but another kind of family.

And that's the lesson, huh?

Dw3t-Hthr said...

A couple of lessons here, yeah.

The one I'm still stuck on is "Nobody can break your heart like family."

And that doesn't depend on bloodkin family or chosen family, either.

WordK said...

My sister and I were having this discussion last night. We're pretty close. But with both have a sense of alienation from the rest of the family.

For me, this Thanksgiving was the best in recent memory, and that mostly because I wasn't embroiled in an argument the entire time.

As for "heart breaking," I feel your pain. I'm finding that they're even better at doing it by way of e-mail.