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Labor Day Weekend

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Sep. 3rd, 2012 | 01:28 pm

We went to visit my partner's brother this weekend. Once everyone had arrived, all four siblings were present. Each has a spouse and all but my partner has children. Friends of the family, other in-laws, and the next-door neighbors and their friends were present for all or most of the picnic. As I looked at everyone assembled on the deck behind the house, the thought came to me that my partner's family is the type of family that gathers people together.

My family was not like that. They were more inclined to isolate themselves as a nuclear family and to "protect" the integrity of the family from the intrusion of outsiders. Within that kind of environment, I felt bored and isolated most of the time--isolated from spontaneous contacts with the larger environment, and isolated within my own family.

My father seems to be more naturally social than my mother was. She had ways of limiting people's contacts with one another and of controlling their relationships with other people. Then, naturally, she would complain of feeling isolated herself. Duh.

As the weekend began, I started to feel pulled down into depression and nothing seemed to be able to stop it. Eventually it occurred to me that Labor Day Weekend 2007 was the first time I saw my mother after her second cancer surgery. She was in a rehabilitation facility. It quickly became evident that she would not recover, and that this was the beginning of the end.

It amazes me how experiences like this imprint themselves on one's consciousness and how feelings about them bubble up from one's unconscious during subsequent cycles of the calendar.

During that time, each member of my family struggled to deal with the situation as well as he could, but no one had the resources to support anyone else. Since my mother had freaked out about my relationship with my partner, he was not invited to their home during her lifetime, and therefore I had to go it alone each time I visited, swallowing my resentment that my relationship was not accepted, out of "respect" for my parents

No wonder why, when I think of traveling with my father alone (which I did in the summer of 2009), I immediately start thinking of places I would rather be. I spoke to him recently and he talked about how much like "family" it felt on his trip to Europe this summer with my brother. I thought, "no thank you" and was doubly glad that I had stayed home.

I guess people just don't understand that they can't fail me whenever they feel like it, and then expect me to cover for them or to pick up the pieces for them. It doesn't work that way. I don't work that way. Begrudging tolerance is sometimes the best I can do. Acting out my rage is, of course, an alternative to that, but it really is a drag when people act helpless and victimized after finally hearing the truth from me. I find that rather sickening, so I try to avoid that when I can.


Om Kreem Kalyai Namaha,

okm

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