….well…it can break your heart right in half if you let it.
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.