what a weird week.
i spoke to my father's mother.
She's so glad to have her babies back. i don't mind her, though i hate drama in all its forms and am coming to see where a lot of stuff came from in the family.
I also spoke to my father's significant other. Oh, my gods, i adore her. She's smart, collected, and seems well grounded. Ever meet someone and say, oh, the world is a sane rational place in spots, after all? Yeah. She's like that. Kind of a murphy brown sort without the sarcasm or alpha traits.
Of course my mum feels lost in all this, it's hard for her to have us speaking to that side of the family. But we have to. We were the kids, it's our lives here and our father who died.
My brother and i have totally forgiven each other for our parts in each other's pasts. We had to. Sometimes it seems like we're the only ones interested in breaking the cycle.
I couldn't sleep last night. I'm on overload after all these conversations. I needed a good cry and some quiet time. I had a long IM conversation with my brother about all this. He couldn't sleep, either. Funny how we react the same to some things.
We were brought up angry. We grew up obediently angry, and mine turned inward as eating disorders and such, and his turned outward as rage. We've both had to fight those fires as we got older, and aren't done yet.
We spent some time talking, because it would be easy to turn on our mother, for keeping secrets, for teaching us to hate. Easy, but ineffective. We don't WANT to hate any more. If there's one thing we agree on, it's that we don't want to repeat their mistakes. Our parents were both hardened in a lot of ways by their hard lives, and we don't want to live like that if we can help it. So we talked about this being the reason to forgive- not because it is deserved or undeserved, but because we don't want to be punishing people. It doesn't matter whether turnabout is fair play. This isn't about what is fair. This is about something else, maybe about what is true to us, i don't know. But it has nothing to do with fairness. I give up on fairness; i don't know enough about circumstances to know fair. I only know about keeping people from doing more harm, and keeping ourselves from turning out like the people whose mistakes harmed us in the first place.
For me, it's a little easier. I'm a little older, and mum thinks i'm a girl so she relates to me as one. Also, i'm profoundly softhearted and want to stay that way. So i really understand my mother's mistakes. She was so very young when she had us, and had it so tough dealing with our dad's addictions. She relaly believed that he would hurt us and wanted to keep us form that, and i understand this. We're adults now and don't need that protection. We might not have needed so much then. I don't want to drag my mother over the coals of regret. There's been enough sadness and anger and misery on all sides of this. Surely, as adults, we can choose to have less of it now?
That's what i'm choosing. I'm too tired for all the drama, i really am.
We were not given much chance to love out dad- the bitterness of the split left us with that. I think it would be a mistake for us to now take away from the validity of our feelings for our mum because she made mistakes. After all, the whole point is that it was wrong for us to lose that, and i don't want to be back in therapy in ANOTHER twenty years, trying to get my feelings straight about my mum's side.
So we talk about anger, and my brother's anger, and our struggle to forgive all sides while still keeping some perspective on where things went so seriously wrong.
We're trying to choose who we want to be. I want to be someone who isn't angry any more.
My self image has changed a lot in several days. My father painted. He was a musician, too- go figure. He was also a genius of the first water- he turned down a full scholarship at MIT in his adult life. I never knew that. I never knew any of it. I always thought of myself as a sort of clone of my mum, because i've never had anything else to compare to. My talents that i didn't get from her were aberrations, inexplicable and foreign.
Now they aren't. His handwriting, Kate tells me, is something i will have to see to believe. He had an absolute knack for assessing situations and that's why he did so well in geology and hydrology, where he spent his time seeing what was under the surface.
I dream of water; i always have. These things suddenly have context, i suddenly know why i am earth and water. I suddenly know where i got the crazy painting gene, and the intense music gene. And suddenly my brains are not the gift of only my mother, and i'm related to someone else who went to school.
My grandmother- "Gramma," she insists on being called- is a colourfully verbose, dramatic woman with an overbearing nature but a good heart, i think. I think we're in for some being babied for awhile while she grasps that we grew up. (Or doesn't grasp it.) I can live with that; i've certainly put up with worse from family before. When i need distance, i'll take it.
I'm wondering whether this will force a reconciliation with our sister. I don't know, though. I don't have it in me to hate her, either. I'm just done with that. I still have my angers, and they are powerful, powerful feelings- but i just don't feel the need to take them out on anyone. I'm tired of that kind of thing, i just want people i can love even if they make me sad. I'm too tired, too whole, too old. I just want to be soft of spirit and independent of all of them; to be my own person and love as i see fit.
i'm not good at it yet. I finally got to sleep around 245 and got up at 6, so i'm exhausted... but a lot more peaceful. Even the bad dreams couldn't break my sense of calm over this. We'll see.
My bro comes up this weekend, we'll go meet Kate. She wants to meet blinder, too, and considers him to be part of her family.
Well, so do i, so that works out nicely. They better get used to him now, because otherwise they'll just have to later.
Who do you want to be? Do you know? Who do you have to forgive to get there, and how are you doing it?