I find it amazing how crazy families can really be. I just spent over an hour on the phone with my mother and I heard about every ailment that every relative has ever had in their entire life. I even try to steer the direction but it always comes back to that. What is with that!? Thank God for friends!
My Mother always finds the negative in everything to the point that sometimes I hate sharing things. If you knew my family background you would know why. Lets just say think Woody Allen and Mia Farrow. I was a product of a very messed up situation and this situation had a profound effect on myself as well as my adopted sister. Nothing was ever directly addressed in my family and a lot of guilt and blame was placed on me for something that I had no choice over.
So today on the phone, after enduring an hour's worth of ailment retelling, I said to my mother that I have been seeing a therapist. Of course her immediate reaction was "why, whats wrong with you?" You see, where I grew up, which is a place that I often refer to as the Black Hole of Humanity, it is considered a weird thing to go to a therapist. Only those screwed up big city folks go to head shrinkers, as my mother and father so lovingly like to refer to them. If you go to one you must be crazy, or at least that is the generalized gist of it.. So, after sharing this with my mother she proceeds to ask me a thousand questions. Whats wrong? Is it you and your partner? Is it me? I assured her that people actually can to to a therapist because its THEM that needs fixing. Its so easy to consider all of your problems as some mysterious outside force that has taken control over your life when in fact its actually YOU that is just doing a poor job of playing driver with your life. As usual, my mother completely missed the concept. I wanted to tell her,, yes mother , part of it is YOU. I didn't, I held it back because my mother is such a fragile person that she would have questioned her mothering skills from the day I was born until present day.
For most of my developmental years, all of my parent's energy was focused on covering up the big family secret and not focused on me or my sister. My sister is much older and had already flown from the tangled family nest before I was sentient enough to have any valuable input. She went through a lot. Learning that her father had slept with her foster sister and had produced me. I grew up with who I thought were my mother and grandparents and then had my foundation bull dozed at the age of 13 when my mother and "grandfather" finally came clean about stuff. From that point on, my life was never the same. I was angry, upset, rattled, insecure, damaged, and profoundly hurt. My sister, had the unfortunate pleasure of catching things at a much earlier age and it was never addressed to her. She was told to shut up about it and was sort of treated as an outcast. All my life I was told that my sister has issues and that you cant trust her.
So this week my father had a pacemaker put in at the age of 87. My sister contacted me via face book and seemed to be in a tail spin about it and I could tell that something was up. I sat back and thought....here is this poor woman who throughout her life has been treated like she was just a problem child. I realized that this is not fair and she has every right to be angry about stuff. I am angry about stuff from the past as well. So I called her and we spoke for two hours an I assured her that she is NOT crazy and that she just needs to consider that you cant rewrite history and you sure as hell cant change people. I connected with her in a way that I hadn't ever been able to do.