Saturday, December 17, 2011

Something I'll never have

So, I'm catching up on this season of Bones on Hulu. I missed most of last season, and I often find myself wondering how that show remains on the air. I mean, some of the murder scenarios are so desperately stretched that I shake my head in disappointment. It's not like Law & Order, where they get to tag an episode, "Ripped from today's headlines!" It's more akin to, "Ripped from the minds of our murderous writers while they were tripping on magic mushrooms."

I just finished an episode, and as part of the ongoing dramatic story that runs alongside the case, Booth's abusive, alcoholic father dies. He gets the news at the start of the episode, and Booth's reaction is one of cold determination to just focus on the case. And, of course, Booth is forced to confront his feelings about his past with "daddy dearest." One of the things mentioned is that Booth would never get to have closure with his father.

Well, it occurred to me that I'll never have such a thing with my parents, either. It was my step-mother, of all people, who shouted into the phone, "Have a nice life," and promptly hung up on me, without me hearing so much as a complaint from my father. My father, who's been oh so good at criticizing my every decision in life, finally had nothing to say, as he's made no effort to call me. I would call him, but...Well, I was told to have a nice life. I'm trying, but I don't think it'll be so nice. But that's a post for a different day.

My brothers...?

Well, Barry simply faded into the background, and his view of me having no value to him certainly made it clear how he wanted things. Mind you, during my very first suicide attempt, he arrived at the hospital in tears. You'd think he was afraid of losing me. Somehow, I think he saw himself in a similar emotional state and was afraid for himself. Honestly, someone filled with that much hate for so many ethnic backgrounds doesn't belong in my life. Odds are he'd have a racial slur for every one of the people whom I've befriended over the years.

Stu...Well, he got stuck somewhere between childhood and adulthood. He managed to learn all about responsibility to one's self, but never to another person. He cares for his son the way people care for pets; until they're directly within sight, they're fine on their own. Hence, his son being reared by a television set. And his wife seems to have an entirely different lifestyle from him because Stu doesn't know how to connect to anyone but himself. So closure with Stu...? Yeah, that's never going to happen.

Finally, (and I saved the best for last), there's my biological mother. There's a list of questions I'd love to ask, and expect no reasonable answers. "Why didn't you LOVE your children? Why did our cries for help fall on deaf ears? Why is it, when the whole world seemed to be complaining about her, did she not sit up and wonder if the problem wasn't HER? How is it that she was perfect and everyone else was flawed?" And the greatest questions of all time: "How could you want to see your son dead on the streets rather than call for help when he needed it? Why did you only summon the police when you felt YOU were in danger? With your eldest living child hurting so badly, how could you be so damnably selfish?"

How could she possibly answer any of those and not seem like an idiot? How could she see herself as anything other than the abusive harpy that so many psychologists warned her about when I was still a child? I was taken, you see, to a number of psychologists when I was so much younger, and a variety of therapists saw how fearful I was of my mother. Instead of seeing a problem in her behavior, she became insulted, forcing my father to accept how "wonderful" she was, and shopped around until she found a therapist whose diagnosis she preferred. She waited until someone said, "It's not you; it's the boy." That was...What? Psychologist number four or five?

Today, I carry the scars left by my family, along with some of the ingrained behaviors. My first instinct when I feel the need to argue with Becky is to diminish her...make her cower...belittle her so that the expression of hurt in her eyes is TRULY felt by her. I mean, if she's going to shed a few tears, why not make sure she's wailing in agony, as well?

Instead, I grab that beast with both hands and hold it back as hard as possible. No one, not even a misbehaving dog, deserves to be treated like that. I believe myself blessed by the fact that I somehow grew up to recognize how people should be treated. With kindness...with loving...with caring. I tried to treat my family in these ways, and they didn't know what to do with it. Stu glossed over it and moved on to things far less emotional. My father brushed it off as foolishness or...

When my father lived in FL, there was an almost daily ritual of visiting the nearest Dunkin' Donuts. There, a regular group of seniors would gather, and I went along while visiting my father. One woman was complaining about her relationship with some other woman, and I sat calmly, listened, and then distributed what I thought was the best advice I could muster. I spoke of the needlessness of anger, and how, if this other woman was being as spiteful as she seemed, she wasn't worth the complaining woman's time.

When I was done, my father wanted to know what was with the spectacular act I'd just put on. It wasn't an act. I was being myself. And my father didn't even know who or what I was at that point.

I'm the only one who grew up with a heart. I'm the only one who did his level best to hang on to anything positive in life, despite the horrors of diabetes thrust into my lap as my own doing. For this, I am lazy. For this, I am foolish. For this, I am an actor.

I'll never have closure with my family. And for that, I'm very, very sad.

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