Sibling Day. So that’s a thing is it? Well, here is what I have to say about that.
I still don’t know what I did. I thought everything was fine. Mom died, leaving us full grown orphans. We buried her together, next to our father, each of us shouldering some burden of not being anyone’s kids anymore. We spent time together and we watched Honey Boo Boo. We laughed, and we ate the odd food combinations that we’d been raised on, even though our spouses and kids didn’t like them. We were siblings. And we ate mayonnaise on our broccoli.
And then…I don’t know. Maybe not even a year in. There was a meeting at a bank, where I was annoying? I didn’t understand the terms of the deceased’s estate, because the terms were spoken in Lawyer with an impenetrable Banker accent. So I kept asking, determined to have it make sense. They sat at the long mahogany table while I did it and became irritated. I don’t think they’ve ever liked it when I interfere with my environment. I tend to try and shape wherever I am to my comfort. They’ve told me to stop. I can’t. Won’t.
And after that they were busy on the weekends I wanted to visit. They didn’t call. Then I asked, “Is something going on?”…and then came the silence. The filthy fake “peace” that ensures true peace can never be restored. It grew and became our new identity. Not siblings or family. Just crushing emptiness.
My son has been diagnosed with a minor developmental delay, but they don’t know. My daughter loves gory, gritty science and history, but they don’t know. I held the body of each friend who came to see me give my performance last week so tight against mine, in part because they filled the seats my family will never take. Should my husband die tomorrow…I honestly have no way of telling them. I’m blocked, defriended, hung up on. Which might suggest…they wouldn’t be much help should I find myself alone in the world.
They haven’t talked to me in years. But I used to see them all together on Facebook. Holidays, vacations, birthdays that me and mine weren’t told of or invited to; loving each other in their rough way. Filling family shaped holes that pocked all our lives. No cousins, aunts or uncles. None of that. Just each other.
I had to defriend them as the pictures became more painful. I flared up in anger once, twice. But mostly just so sad. I love them. Imagine I always will, even though this is a love made of stuttering frustration and hurting stomachs. I have been told to let it (them) go. That they are hurting me on purpose and the more I try to win back their love the more they might like it. I say that can’t be. We were raised in love, by our mother. They are hurt somehow is all. They don’t mean to exclude my little children and I, they don’t realize how much it hurts, is all.
No one believes that but me. And after two years, I only believe when I’m alone in my shed under the night and the rain with all the old photos that I have in the purple Samsonite suitcase under my desk. Daylight shows the lack of evidence.
They were a family for near a decade before I came along. They lived together as adults for years 3000 miles away from me. I was always trailing behind. Until I stepped off their route and went in another direction. One smooth and paved by random luck, older parents, and education. Education is the ability to easily remember what I read, and I was unfairly born that way. That’s all school is. But it results in disproportionately good things.
If I felt pain I shouted about it. They did not. If I didn’t understand something, I said, “Wait. Stop. Say it again with smaller words.” They did not. They abide; avoid change and seldom acknowledge what is ugly, scary or painful. One refused to admit it existed, drowning it in drink and jokes; the other I think just threw it onto the sprawling landfill of quiet pain inside himself. And there I was, complaining that a room was too hot or announcing that I had Generalized Anxiety Disorder and lots of pills for it. Where did I get off showing the discomfort they worked so hard to contain? How irritating that must have been.
So maybe I have always just been guest in that family, anyway. Really, they probably don’t know me very well. Contact was limited, facilitated by a gentle mother who never had a favorite and an intimidating hard to please father who seemed like he might.
They’ve been set free of me, the bleeding appendix of the family body. They didn’t need me in the first place, and then I began to cause aching, maybe even burning pain. I still don’t know what caused that infection.
But I know I have been removed.