Last night I talked to my sister. She’s the only one in my family with whom I’m really close. I’m not married but I come from a big clan – four siblings, four in-laws, five nephews, four nieces, and my dad (my mom passed away 10 years ago). And then there’s the niece/nephew spouses, their children, and friends. Fortunately, I live on the west coast and they live on the east coast. But every year my Dad asks me if I’m coming home for the holidays. Sorry Dad, not this year. Well, especially not this year
That’s because our family functions are piled with food and drink. The host sibling lays out enough libations for a cruise ship. And on top of that, guests bring more “goodies”. And on top of the on top of, there is always plenty of booze under the Christmas tree.
Except for my consumptive habits, I never really fit in at these events. My siblings are older than me. When I was young and in school, they were starting families. When I was a single professional, they were married homebodies. As I got older the focus shifted to their children. I have no kids. So I’d drink to pass the time. I had nothing else to do. And it allowed me to fit in on a superficial level or, at least, ignore the fact that I didn’t.
They’re not bad people. I don’t dislike any one of them. It’s just that we never really surfed the same waves. We’d get together at holidays or other family events but, otherwise, they never made the effort to be involved in my life and vice versa. It’s no ones fault. They did their thing. I did mine.
I wish I could divorce my family. Not because I hate them but because I’m not a part of their world. Only my sister knows about my sobriety. I’m sure she’s mentioned it to the rest but no one has reached out to me. No one will.
That’s OK. I’m not entitled to anything. Besides I really don’t want their involvement. I’ve never had it. If they offered their support it would just be contrived, much like my participation at family events.
“So, dear family, you owe me nothing but here’s the catch, I’d like to have the same consideration. That means no more forced weddings, birthdays, holidays, or events. Let’s be honest. You were never a part of the important happenings of my life and I was only involved in yours as a matter of protocol. Perhaps that sounds cruel but I don’t mean it to be. I want to be completely honest. I don’t want a divorce to punish you. I want a divorce to let you know that you can be my friend but you’re not obligated. If you choose to establish a relationship with me, we’ll know each other as people and not as products of the same factory.”
I wish it could be that simple but blood shackles us like the binds of Fenris.