I have refrained for the most part from talking about my family here or on social media. Family issues are a little taboo to talk about in public. Some people let it all hang out, others post angry messages and complaints, others take revenge by posting private messages or other things in regards to the family member with whom they are upset.
We’ve probably all had to deal with this at one point or another given social media and the desire for attention that it brings.
But if I am putting myself out there and trying to be as authentic as possible, I have to tell you I have family issues that go for miles and miles and miles. Books have not been written because no one would read anything so long and repetitive.
The very reason I seek joy and serenity these days is because my childhood was filled with incredible chaos. I back away from anyone who has a flair for dramatics that involve unpredictable antics. I will never go back and relive those days.
The problem most people face is repeating patterns because there is comfort in the familiar, even if it’s crazy.
But not for me. I start shaking. I get ill. I can not handle the chaos or the craziness.
The very sad thing is that some of my family members have not broken those patterns. Many people I knew from childhood passed too young. Some have chosen a path of chemical denial. Many have served time for their errors. Some continue those behaviors.
I got out. And I am thankful for that every day.
When one gets out, however, there is always an effort to drag them back in, drag them back down.
When I was young, considering college, considering change, one of my mother’s friends said, “Sounds like someone thinks she’s better than us.”
That wasn’t it. I wasn’t better than them. I just wanted more or maybe something different.
There are times I have experienced backlash. Harassing phone calls and text messages, threats and name calling – I continue to try to back away, block, lose those from my past who want to drag me down with them.
It’s been 30 years and 3000 miles. The past doesn’t want to let me go. The past, or those in it, are angry that they’ve been left behind in a misery of their own making.
Change is hard. Change is scary. It needs to be continually worked. Some people are not up to the task, they don’t know where to begin, so they lash out at those who somehow found a way.
While my childhood most likely inspired my desire to write, and the chaos does lend fodder for writing, the craziness haunts. It’s a ghost whose touch, long and unyielding, chills me still.
Someday, there will be a book.