Home > Life or something like it > The Five Things I’ve Learned – Part V (Conclusion)

The Five Things I’ve Learned – Part V (Conclusion)

04/01/2006
[To Conclude]

     No matter how good the intention and the want to make peace — sometimes family is so fucked up and dysfunctional — it’s better to sign off on them and write them off never to talk with them again, than open yourself up to the world of hurt peacemaking and bridge building can cause.

     The final lesson that I’ve learned…  One that comes with the highest price, and the most amount of disappointment.  I had two things in mind when I left the mission in Pennsylvania three weeks ago.  The first was trying to reunite with Will; the second was my desire to rebuild some bridges with parts of my family that I’ve burned bridges with so many years ago — a sort of way of making peace with those people that I had cut out of my life (either years ago, or recently).  And to also ensure that the parts of my family that I had kept in touch with, were doing okay. 
     But coming home left me doing several things…  One I was hurt from the fact that things didn’t quite go the way that I had hoped with Will.  As I had said in that part, I didn’t get the chance to say half of the things that I wanted to say.  Another was that dealing with home, and with family left me returning to old habits of numbing myself, and keeping myself from facing the pain of loss that I should have been experiencing when I did come home.  Another was trying to re-acquaint myself with the surroundings that I had left behind more than a decade prior.  
     The first person that I thought about facing was my mother and all the shit that she had put me through several years ago — the theft and the credit card fraud.  I got the address from my aunt as to where she was living — and one day I decided on killing two birds with one stone and not only visit my stomping grounds on Federal Hill (and Providence in general), and the other was to sort of surprise my mother when she got home from work by waiting near to the address that my aunt had for her… 
     Getting there onto the Hill was more than a little surreal.  The apartment that I used to live in with Darin had been converted to offices.  The main floor which used to be a children’s clothing store was moved two buildings down, and the office in its place was to take reservations for the condominiums being built three buildings over.   I wandered over to my apartment that I used to share with Rick on Vernon Street had been painted a beautiful color of blue with yellow trim, and the yard had finally been cemented over for more than just two cars to park in it.  (It’s too bad that an apartment there wasn’t up for review — I would’ve loved to have wandered in just to see whether the interior had been spruced up as well as the outside).     
     I waited outside on Atwells Avenue for about ½ hour to ¾ hour, until the sun was going down, and it was getting too cold to stand outside for the autumn coat that I was wearing.   As I was listening to my MP3 player, I came to the conclusion that I really didn’t want to make amends with my mother, and thought that perhaps she should stay in the purgatory I had put her in and leave it at that. 
     I remember talking a little with my brother sometime around the same time I was making up my mind as to whether I was going to see my mother or not, just to make sure that he was doing all right after his ordeal…  While he said that he was doing all right, and that he was seeing a counselor about his ordeal — he wasn’t in the mood to talk all that much to me at that time.  According to him, he didn’t want my aunt to know about it at all.   I said that it was all right, and that I would catch up with him later. 
     Someplace after that I remember setting up a date with my father, to talk to him about what he had done New Year’s Eve about trying to drink Jon’s ordeal out of his system, see what else had gone on that neither of them would talk about over the phone, and to fill my father in on some of the shit that I had gone through in my life since the last time we had talked, and to admit to him that Jon and I had similar ordeals — with mine being 20 years prior. 
     I had thought that with what little time I had spent with my father, that things had gone relatively well.  I felt as though I had cleared a little of my conscious and did rather well as rebuilding a bridge that I had burned so many years ago with him…  At the end of the conversation, while I had admitted the truth that I wasn’t sure whether I would be staying in this state or not, I did say that the vacation was over, and that I needed to land a job.  He even offered to talk to a couple of people to see if he couldn’t help. 
     How wrong I was in that assumption…
     During the first week, my aunt had suggested that I move out to California to live with Jon — both to help Jon out with whatever issues that he was going through and to work through my own.  I had turned down the suggestion immediately knowing full well, the thought of Jon and I living together would have us fighting to the point of bloodshed in no time flat.  But that didn’t mean that I didn’t think of making a joke of it, by firing off an e-mail to him to tell him that I was going to be heading out in his direction. 
     How wrong that was… 
     Jon called me a couple of days later, handling the joke horribly…  In fact, he displayed the Briere trait of not taking the joke at all.  However, in the next three minutes of that conversation, Jon had done what I had thought I had gotten over…  He had pressed all of my buttons, and thought that it was his position to play not only the patriarch of the family, but also try out “tough love” in order to motivate me. 
     I was so pissed off with him; I had hung up, and refused to pick up the phone the next time he called. 
     My aunt had answered the phone instead and proceeded to talk to him about why I had been so pissed, and why he was doing what he was doing. 
     To be honest, I don’t remember everything that was said, or the order that it was said in…  But I do remember the points that had burned me so badly, that I had decided I am signing off on him, Charlie, Herbert, and even my mother (through the old phrase, “guilt by association”):

  • That my father (Herbert) told Jon everything that we had talked about and just how disgusted he was with me. 
  • How Jon, Herb and Charlie are so concerned about me, but the only person to actually pick up the phone to discuss this concern was Jon (apparently he had made himself the  spokesman for them).
  • Almost two years later — Jon brings up how “negative” I was at his wedding, instead of talking about it during the wedding, or in the time he and I had been talking…  Yes, this was apparently another method of him trying to press a button, and it worked because my buttons were pressed.
  • Without even listening to anything I had to say about Will and how Will and I had broken up — that I should “just move the hell on” and “get over it.”  (Excuse me…  But unlike him — I don’t date everyone that says “hi” and don’t fuck people indiscriminately in order to get over my issues and my inadequacies.)
  • While I mentioned it in passing at the beginning of this list — the fact that with all the shit that’s gone on in his life — that he thinks he needs to take control of everyone else’s life (including mine), and be such a fucking asshole about it. 
  • In spite of all the shit and the ordeals the two of us went through with our mother pulling “tough love” on the both of us and how much of a dismal failure it is as a tool — he still thinks he can use it.
  • In calling me a coward for not actually talking to my mother, and forgiving her for all that she’s done — when he refuses to talk to her, and used the words “fuck her” when I suggested he talk with her. 

     What a fucking hypocrite.  How fucking dare he preach shit to me, when he himself can’t practice what he preaches. 

     Since this little implosion, and the meltdown that had followed that — I had not tried talking to Jon, Herbert, or my mother (out of default).  I’ve been thinking about what I would say to any of them — and realized that the only thing that I wanted to do is mail a copy of these five parts to them, and tell them that once I’m finished paying the two of them off, that I would seriously consider filing for divorce from the lot of them — that way I wouldn’t ever have to deal with them ever again. 
     Instead though — I’ve decided I’m not going to tell them.  I’m not going to launch any attack in vindictiveness as a form of revenge..  But at the same time — I’m not going to waste my time talking with them anymore…  I guess that I had it right that cutting them out of my life so many years ago, and am planning on keeping up with this tradition — right up until the time they die, or I die — whichever comes first. 
     I have come to the conclusion that I was born in a family of backstabbers, and pathological two-faced liars that would rather go around to each other saying shit about each other behind people’s backs, instead of facing them and telling them to their face.  And with the exclusion of my mother’s sister (my aunt Monique) and brother (my Uncle Armand) who have been by far more supportive and understanding than the fucks that I’m directly related to (brother, mother and father). 

     With all these things in mind, and all the things that I’ve learned, I’ve only got to ask…  Where do I go from here?   Well — that’s something that will come up in my next journal entry…   Until then…

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