There’s something about the holidays that really just makes me reflect and think back on my experiences and relationships with my family. Probably why I tend to feel the most depressed during these months. I said in an earlier post that I have come to learn that I do not need the validations of the members in my family because they often are unable to see what I’m going through from my perspective. I live in a different world and I’m aware of that and I’ve been judging my progress and backslides accordingly knowing that I am playing catch up right now. I don’t need to deal with that on top of everyone who I spent my whole life trying to appease, telling me I’m just not being tough enough. Now that probably sounds like I have some disdain towards them but believe me I do not. We are not connected as I’d like to be. Part of that’s my fault due to how much isolating I have done in my life, but also when they continuously make a big deal and pile onto me loads of ridicule and unwanted attention every time I did try and come out there’s no question as to why I stayed away as a kid. I was punished either way, I’d rather at least be comfortable. All that being said, I love my family and I do have genuine close relationships with some of them. It’s difficult to try and maintain a relationship with family members and also distance yourself from their judging statements and any need for approval or validation from them, in a family where gossiping and judging others is so integral into our family dynamic.
Because of how difficult it is for me to talk about the subject I started this whole post for I’m going to try and make my way towards it, let’s start by of course bringing up again the repeated theme of posts being inspired by songs. “Wounded Healer” by Watsky. This is an old song actually I was listening to that inspired me to write this. I was listening to Hall and Oates’ cover of Rich Girl and even though it had been several times I had heard that song that week this time it reminded me of a different cover that Watsky had done and my mind immediately went “I want to do a song for karaoke when my brother and I go to the karaoke bars on Mondays by Watsky because rapping is so much easier and I am not confident in belting out in the presence of anyone other than Lilli yet. I put on Ninjas in Paris on spotify and thought damn this song would be incredibly fun to sing along to. Next thing I know Wounded Healer pops in my head and I don’t know why but I have the incredibly strong impulse or motivation– whatever it was it took over and I just knew I had to do this song. Didn’t know why until I listened to it again for the first time in years. I make associations all the time, and it’s non stop these connections based on emotional responses and it turns out my memory for those responses are much clearer to me than the actual memories. I listened to the song, of course singing along because this was a song I was very fond of probably back in my high school days but the lyrics were coming back to me as I sang along. And so were the emotions and I bawled listening to this song. This song is about Watsky reflecting on seeing his father growing up and aging, about the suicide of a family friend who like Watsky’s father was a therapist, and being afraid of the day their father passes away.
My brother’s dad has been ill for a good while and for the sake of respecting both of them I want to keep the actual details to an absolute minimum but I will say that since things initially got bad it has been a roller coaster not knowing if things were taking a turn for the better or the exact opposite. And the situation at home especially with how my brother’s reacted to all of this has been just as chaotic and unpredictable. We are very similar in how we react to tough situations and that is to avoid it until we can’t anymore. And that has made it and continues to make it tough to connect with or help him other than to just keep going and getting drunk with him but hey if that’s what’s helping than at least it’s something. I still hold onto a lot of guilt because of how emotionally stunted I felt when I first heard the news, it almost didn’t affect me at all initially I just had that “Oh okay” moment when I heard they were sick, I suppose I thought they would just get better because they always have, and I felt that fear that what if this was real. Something between my brother and me happened– it was an accident, a series of hundreds of misunderstandings and fear leading to jumping of conclusions which led to a real big scare in the family. One I felt personally responsible because I technically was the catalyst– even if everyone tells you how much you couldn’t have known and that it wasn’t my fault.. Sometimes you still have a hard time not telling yourself that “Hey you no matter what did have a hand in that and you should be ashamed of yourself because of it.”
I can’t begin to imagine what he’s been going through and honestly I am terrified of what might be to come. This makes me think about my relationship with my dad and how we really never had the chance to have a good relationship. Which is really shitty considering this is the one I feel I have a closer/better relationship with but that’s more to speak as to how awful my relationship with my mother is in comparison. When someone openly in front of our whole family says that their chronic illness is caused by tragedy (it isn’t) and then points to me and tells everyone that she got it after I tried to kill myself (I didn’t– as far as she should be aware but she likes telling that version of the story instead of what actually happened which was I told my brother I was depressed and suicidal– then I talked to a doctor and voluntarily admitted myself to a hospital.), essentially telling everyone I gave her MS. So yeah that relationship is going to be stunted for a good while, hopefully not forever but that’s something that’s hard to ignore. I always loved my dad and because of how often I split on my feelings towards my mother as a kid, my dad felt like that escape from hell. The problem is the escape from hell wasn’t heaven, my dad worked non-stop. I saw him every other weekend and he worked all day those days and got drunk every night those weekends. I used to think this was a cute story or a story that just told of how a little shit I was but I used to pester and bother my dad the nights he drank with his friends because I knew he would always agree to what I said during then. I didn’t know exactly why but I figured these late nights were around the best time to get what I wanted and that was for him to take me to Target the next morning so we could go out and I can pick out a star wars action figure or whatever the fuck it was I wanted that week. I realized later, especially after noticing how a lot of the times I went without any real want for a toy or game in mind– I just wanted to go and get “something.” Turns out I was a kid who quickly learned the only time I could spend time with my sober father was when I annoyed him enough when he was also drunk enough so we could go out when he wasn’t drunk anymore.
I think when you have one parent who lives by the motto, “If your child isn’t terrified of you then you aren’t doing your job right.” (Something they said verbatim as a badge of honor to show how much “better” a parent she’s been compared to the rest of the family…) and the other one is just mostly distant you grow up without any good examples of what healthy relationships are supposed to be like. And you accept shitty relationship for a long time and then you shut yourself off relationships entirely because you aren’t convinced there is such a thing as a healthy relationship in the cards for you. My relationship with my dad is quite a bit better now, he was sober for a while but now supposedly only drinks socially but around the time he stopped drinking he also moved to Arizona so there’s just always been a distance. And that scares me now because I don’t know how to connect with my dad, I haven’t had any negative feelings towards him because despite how awful a lot of my experiences of visiting him were there was something he never made me feel like he didn’t ever care or love me. I wish our relationship was better and I don’t know how to improve it because I’m scared of the day that will come when I no longer can try and he’s gone and I’m just left with more regret.
A day ago the situation for my brother’s father seemed definite. That is why I didn’t want to write this because I am writing this now breaking down and there’s a chance things might get better. They’re in surgery and my brother is with him as I write this and I think I am partially writing so I can both distract myself but also digest and try and understand what it is I’m feeling because this is something I’ve had a hard time coping with and on top of every thing else hasn’t been something I’ve coped well with and I guess I’m just scared because I don’t really know what’s going to happen but I am hoping for a miracle. You know, I used to call him dad too. In fact I got to experience more of a father-like relationship at first with him but my dad didn’t appreciate that all that much and forbade it. Since then I never really got the chance to get close with him again either, despite all our interactions being always positive and friendly I never got to see him as a father-figure like I had before which is upsetting. I want to say no matter what happens I know I am just at least thankful I got to know him, that he was an incredible father to my brother who came out to be the best brother I could probably ever ask for– but even beginning to write shit like that is already entertaining that idea that maybe that miracle isn’t coming and I’m falling apart a little. Things hopefully are going to be just fine and this moment will just seem like another one of just the handful of scares we’ve gotten and that’s all this is. The only thing that’s keeping me together is knowing that next weekend and all of that following week I’ll be able to spend time with Lilli and get my mind off of things and in a few months I’ll visit an good friend of mine and visit a country/place I’ve wanted to visit for a very long time. Oh and I’ll also be starting some new meds now this upcoming month (I had to make the appointment months in advance so ive been waiting at least 3-4 months to be seen– our mental health and insurance systems are fucking fantastic) So hopefully after this scare’s over and we’ve all recovered from this I can get my damn moods regulated so I don’t have to keep dealing with these mood drops and rises because that was my biggest reason I couldn’t allow myself to reconnect with an old friend like I really wanted to and why I had to pause my relationship. That I’m worried resolved a little early, because I admittedly don’t feel like I’m 100% ready to jump back into things, but I am working on things with therapy and my own self and we are both going into this well aware of the issues and are trying to make it work so hopefully we can make it work because I really don’t want to have to say another goodbye. The last few hurt too much.