I have to fight with my parents today about whether I’m going to go down to Georgia for some as-of-yet unspecified number of days over my birthday to sit in a hotel room while they attend my nephew’s graduation.

He can only have ten people come to his graduation. If there’s a choice between his siblings and me, obviously, his siblings should get the spot.

It’s been a kind of grueling spring for me, for a lot of reasons. I think I’m shook by Jim’s death more than I realize, because, man, have I been hit hard by the feeling that life is too short and I’m not going to get to do the things I want to do–both because of that shortness and my own shortcomings and bad luck and the luck of the draw, etc.

And, fuck me, man, the second “my own shortcomings” comes into play, my brain has a whole litany of those shortcomings to run through on repeat, just to see which ones will cause me the most misery.

Added to that that I feel like my parents have been spending this Spring acting like I, because I don’t have “my own” family, am just an emotional extension of them, a pawn they can move around the board in their quest to make sure that everyone they care about is getting the kind of love and support they need, and it’s a bad scene.

Bah, I wonder how much longer I’ll feel able to even write these kinds of posts. I’m already leaving so much unsaid just because I feel more public in a way I haven’t.

But I’m worn out. I’m worn out from shit in my own life and I’m worn out from doing stuff for them for their friends and the family members they think need taken care of. And the thought that I would spend my birthday watching my dad and my brother reenact their life-long drama and hurt to not even go to a graduation which is ostensibly the reason I’m needed in Georgia?

It makes me want to throw up.

This is the other thing, too. Sometimes, I think, “Oh, my god, what if I died and I’ve not sold this book and I’ve never found true love and I’ve never seen a Viking burial mound and I didn’t laugh one last time with the Professor and I didn’t tell the Butcher I loved him” and all that kind of stuff that fills me with dread and anxiety. And sometimes I think, “Well, when I’m dead, I won’t have to give a shit about any of this stuff any more, whether I’m doing right by my family, whether I’m making the right decisions and balancing them against my responsibilities. Oh, glorious death, where nothing matters.”

And that’s not a good head space to be in.

On the other hand, if there was any doubt that I had some strain of grouchy German in me, it’s that I’m now comforting myself with the thought that someday I’ll be dead and this shit won’t be my problem then.

3 thoughts on “Bah

  1. Aunt B – I wish you all the strength you need to take care of you. Your words resonate with so many people, it would truly be a tragedy if you died without more people having read them! (I wish I could make that sound as light as it did in my head, sorry.)
    And families suck, quite literally. Emotional vampires with ancestral imperatives.

  2. Thanks, Karen. I talked to my dad and told him that I wasn’t going and he seemed surprisingly good with it. I just said that i wanted to speak honestly and then i said that the idea of going down to Georgia, not getting to go to the graduation (which, there’s just no way, as he has two sets of parents, a bunch of grandparents, and a bunch of siblings) and sitting in a hotel room while my family squabbles and my brother and dad act like big weirdos to each other depresses me. I said I especially didn’t want to end up in a situation where I’m trapped in a hotel waiting around for my brother to decide if he has time to see us, not over my birthday. And I especially don’t want to get trapped navigating weirdness between my brother and his ex.

    And my dad said he wouldn’t do that. And then there was a giant silence, of course, because we’ve both lived that scenario.

    I know part of this is on me, in that holidays for the last bit with my brother have been grueling disasters, which makes me less willing to go have some lower-stakes time with him. But, if I went and had some lower-stakes time with him, these high-stake things wouldn’t be so fraught.

  3. I am happy that you worked it out so you don’t have to go. You get to stay home, and I hope you have the best, non-family-est, happy birthday weekend ever; do exactly what you want and revel in the fact that you are not there!

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