Wednesday, July 10, 2013

When you realize that you don’t have the power to end a destructive cycle…

….well…it can break your heart right in half if you let it.
Remember me? 
I’m the girl who breaks ugly, painful, abusive cycles left and right.  If I were a Superhero my name would be CYCLE BREAKER.  I’d wear a bedazzled pink cape and 6 inch heels with crystals all over them and whenever I broke another destructive cycle, I’d leave pink glitter in my wake so that everyone would know that I had been there.
Who the hell knows how long some cycles have been in existence in certain family’s lives?  I mean thinking that it’s easy to stop one or break one is kind of stupid…and sometimes magical.  I’ve seen something shitty  that’s been done for decades – changed in one moment, one word,
or even one touch.
Other cycles are tougher to crack.
Last night I realized that some cycles cannot be broken…no matter how much my heart wills them to.
The sadness that comes with admitting that is a deep crushing sadness.  In fact, I haven’t really allowed myself to think about it fully for fear of breaking down, falling to my knees…and not being able to get back up.
As a little kid, I swore that when I grew up, I’d make sure my siblings and I didn’t continue the cycle that our Aunts and Uncles and Grandparents had set forth for us – because they too – had been taught that way.  Very little talking.  Very little interacting or memory making.  Fear of closeness.  Fear of needing each other or fear of not being needed back. 
Separation – even when we were within inches of each other.
At one point, my Dad had 7 brothers and sisters all living within miles of each other and they’d talk and see each other twice a year.  Two times in 365 days.  For years at a time.  No phone calls.  No visits.  No knowing each other’s kids.  No knowing the daily joys and struggles of each other.
Hell – when they lived in the same house with each other as kids they didn’t even have relationships.  Why on Earth would they have them as they got older? 
I swore me and my siblings would break that cycle.  We’d be different.  I even saw some of my cousins doing the same as they grew up.  They made blatant efforts to get together as families and talk and hug and call and such.
But our family?
Well – we never made it.  We never will.  I know that now.
I didn’t think I cared.  I thought I accepted this a long time ago but I didn’t.
I have tried reaching out over and over and planning get-togethers and texted and everything.  With no response.  My brothers actually want to forget they have a family here that exists.  They know nothing of my children.
I could pretend that doesn’t hurt – but that’d be a lie.
Sure – it is what it is.  I can lay my head on my pillow at night and know that I myself – tried. 
But the truth still hurts – a lot. 
I do know that in a heartbeat my brothers would be there for me if something tragic were to happen…however…I’m selfish and I want more.  I want the day to day.  I want us all to want to spend time with each other as a family.  I want the f*cking Andy Griffith fairy tale.
And I can’t have it.
I know nothing of my own siblings.  I don’t even know where one of them lives.  Haven’t heard or seen either one of them since Cmas…and that was the first time in one whole year I had seen them…and they only stayed a few hours.
If you’re thinking the not seeing each other thing is about distance…it ain’t.  They only live about 2.5 hours away…which kind of adds to the pain of all this.
For them, it’s like torture being home.  Being with us.  Back here – where they grew up.  They’ll tell you they never come back because they are so busy but it’s more than that.  Some parts of their childhood are too hard to face – and they have to do that here.
Some parts of their childhood haven’t changed and let’s face it – that’s just plain unbearable to face.  I know.  Because I face it – back here – all the f*cking time.
Part of me is finally angry at them for walking out.  For not being brave enough to break this stupid historical cycle that wounds all of us.  For being willing to just forget everything here.  I think it takes a really pain-filled and cold person to be able to do that and I hate that we all pretend to be okay with how things are.
I guess it’s just frightening to realize that in the way of family…I will never even have the chance to know what could have been.  Everyone seems content to just say “it’s the way we are” and let time pass without ever making changes to this disgusting way we function – without being a part of each other’s lives at all.
I know full well that many people would give anything to have multiple, healthy, living siblings and parents.  Mine are alive – but unavailable.  Un-present.  Right there in front of me – but I can’t have them.  It almost seems worse.
It’s like a constant reminder to me that I don’t have the power to change it – or I did at one time…but I failed.
Wanting to be a real, true family does not make a family make.  It’s sooo much more than that.  And perhaps now that I finally have my own little family of 4 – it hurts worse.  Again it seems that each joy I feel daily has a tiny little bitter twinge to it – knowing what could have been.  Knowing this joy – could have been felt and shared with so many more than just Rambo and my girls.
The whole thing is sad.  And I realize I bear some of the blame.  I’m no longer banging down my brother’s doors begging them to let me in or pleading with them to need me or love me or even recognize me as their sister or friend – or just a person in their life. 
I’m not reaching out.  I stopped texting.  Stopped sending cards.  Stopped putting my heart into their hands for it be rejected.
I can’t change whatever this cycle is that has become us.  I’ve changed it beyond us in our own home.  I think my sister will do the same. 
My brothers?  I don’t know.  They have no families of their own so it remains to be seen.
Part of me wonders if this is why they are alone. 
They don’t know how to be together.  With anyone.
They’re content to live in the cycle.
They cycle I simply cannot break.  The cycle I have given up on.
It’s done.  Over.
I have to let it go.
 Even Superheroes have bad days, I guess.

10 comments:

Rachel said...

Sorry you're hurting.

MBreitel said...

I applaud what you've done in trying to give your girls a close extended family filled with loving aunts and uncles. But it's always been one of those wise sayings... you can't change anyone but yourself.

Angelwithatwist said...

Sweetie there are days I would swear you and I are sisters separated at birth. I have 3 sisters. They are close with me if they need something from me, holidays and family emergencies. I am much younger, they were grown and gone when I was about 9. I am still fighting battles with jealousy and outright inability to be happy for me or my kids. I have come to where you are. It is what it is and I cannot change them. I can only work on me and mine.

Chris P said...

Sorry you are hurting....this is a hard thing. I wish I talked to my family more too. I wish my family was really a family. Unfortunately you can't change who they are. You clearly have a heart of hearts. I hope you feel better soon... Hugs to you...

Marc said...

I don't believe there is a perfect family. I have bonded with my daughter and her daughters because we (she and I) both made the effort. Her mother (my ex) chose not to bond with any of our children. It was very painful to watch the kids try to bond with their mom and feel rejection. My granddaughters call me Grandpa. They refer to my ex as their mom's mother. They don't know her as a person and vice versa. She is just a picture and a face on the wall in their home. It's her sad choice. We have an amazing daughter and amazing granddaughters. Her loss. You are an amazing person. Family doesn't have to be about blood. It can be close friends that treat you like family and vice versa.

Marion Shaw said...

I think you can only fix it with your own kids. I grew up in a similar detached family--and it was how we were raised by our parents. But I did things differently as a mom--and my 4 kids really enjoy each other. The 2 oldest are young adults now, but call up the teen kids quite often. And send them lovely thoughtful birthday gifts. And have lots of cell phone conversations, not involving us parents. It really warms my heart to tears because I never had that in my childhood family. So I do get what you're saying.

MandaPanda said...

I agree with others that maybe you won't see this fixed in your own generation but in the next. Your girls are close and they'll stay that way. I have the same issue with my family. With my sister, it's always been about distance and I've seen her quite a bit since moving closer. With my brother...well, he didn't even come say goodbye when I moved cross country. some people ARE just like that. But you can stay close with your girls and create and environment where they stay close with eachother. Make Sunday family dinners a tradition NOW and it will carry on. ((HUGS))

Joanna said...

One thing that you have to remind yourself is that you have done your part at trying to break the cycle - and then some.. and they are the ones that will pay the price.

The best part is you have done your part in your own home. When your children are grown, with families of their own, the same distance and disconnect will not be there. You have done everything to make sure that your kids don't follow the same patterns. You have instilled the love, bonding, and priorities for your children to love each other and care for each other... that will continue on in to the future.

You may not have broken the cycle with your brothers... but the cycle stops with your children. They will always want to be a close family, their children will always want a close family, and so on and so on.

And that's something to be very proud of and that you can hold on to. It does stop with you. :)

speck said...

Ohhhh, how many people will relate to your post! Great topic.

I think it's great that you got your feelings out. Sometimes we need to take the time to do that.

I'm sorry you are hurting.

I was close to my only brother and to my oldest sister.

They both died. Guess who that left me with? The one I didn't have a close relationship with.(god works in funny ways!)

Some things can change so don't give up. Keep reaching out if you want, you never know.

It sounds like you have made some decisions. And sometimes that can be sad. Hugs!

Jewlz280 said...

I honestly don't know if it is a cycle, or just a personality that some people have. Some people are just distant like that. My family is the opposite of yours. We always had a tight nit family growing up and we always all kept in touch. My parents and their parents and cousins and things were always together. But now... my brother could give a fig what's going on with me. And he lives 15mins. down the road. It use to be about 2hrs., but when he moved closer, I thought he would want to visit more. But he doesn't. And doesn't seem to want us there. I use to try to call and text and all that just like you, but he just doesn't care. His kids (who have now moved across country) are the same. They don't care one bit about keeping in touch with us. It hurts me, but at the same time, what can I do? Nothing. I can't force him to care or to want to be bonded. I can't make him see that when our parents are gone, there will only be the two of us. I just don't think there is any way for him to be more than what he is -- and that is finally ok. I love him and accept him just the way he is. And even though it hurts, I can't make him give more than what he has. I'll never have that Andy Griffith family, either. But from all of the comments, I'm not alone. And neither are you. Sometimes, things just are what they are and we have to find a way to accept it and just move on. ((hugs))