From healthy to toast…

See if you can guess where my family is on this continuum!

  • Something is broken, we know it’s broken, we can fix it right away and we’ll learn from it.
  • It’s broken, we know it’s broken, we fixed it, don’t worry, but we learned nothing, it will break again, I’m just doing my job.
  • It’s broken, we know it’s broken, but we don’t think we can afford to fix it.
  • It’s broken, but we don’t know it’s broken.
  • It’s not broken (it is, but we’re not willing to admit it).
  • It’s broken, we may or may not know it’s broken, but mostly, we don’t care enough to try to fix it, to learn how we could fix it better or even to accept help from people who care.

At one point we kind of did the second one: we “fixed” it (by writing a half-ass apology, by getting angry and writing nasty emails, telling me it was all my problem, etc).

Now things are solidly in the “toast” end.

Seth Godin writes about marketing, but I find his posts to be relevant to many more areas of life.  This list was brazenly copied from “Different Kinds of Broken Systems“.

But What Will They Think?

One of the things I thought about before I started this blog was, “But what will they think?”

I mean, who cares what they think?  They obviously couldn’t give less of a damn about what I think.

For a while I kind of resigned myself to the idea that while writing a blog would be therapeutic — and would get me back into blogging, and maybe even building the new website I’ve been putting off for 4 or 5 years now — and might even be fun — I wouldn’t REALLY dare do it, because of what they would think.

I’ve obviously gotten over that part.  😀  And I need to get past the impulse to be considerate of people who don’t return the favor.

But — what WILL they think?

Well, I can guarantee that their first reaction is either going to be all about them:

OMG what if someone I know has seen this?

How dare she!  How could she do this to us?

or, it will be invalidating:

Is she STILL going on about that?  It happened years ago!!

She still can’t get over it!  How pathetic is that?


Here’s some ideas on what I wish they would think, but they won’t:

Maybe she has a right to be angry at us for letting her down so badly, at the one time she really needed support.

Maybe we should listen to her.

Maybe we should have done something before now.  Maybe it isn’t too late.


I’ll give you a hint:  I can do this, in just the same way Susan and Joe were able to do what they did to me, and the same way that everyone else passively, easily, let them do it.

And some of them even asked me, or told me, that “I needed” to continue being a good little scapegoat, because that’s what is easiest for everyone else.  One even tried to guilt me into it by suggesting that Dad would be disappointed in me.  IN ME??  Holy shit.  Dad would be a helluva lot more disappointed in Joe, and he’d be mad as hell at Susan.  (Of course, that is because my dad really loved me.  That is what is missing from the rest of the family.)

So what.  As if I owe that bunch a damned thing, after what they have most definitely (a) done to me or (b) not done for me.

I DARE any of them to tell me that I can’t do this, that I am not allowed to do this.

They should have told Susan and Joe that.  I’ll be damned if I let them say it to me and not them.


They aren’t healthy people.  In a healthy family, one where people actually cared about each other, and cared about ALL the family members, the elders or the leaders would have talked to everyone, gotten everyone together, straightened things out — they would have done whatever was necessary and they would not have looked for the easiest way out for themselves, nor given up and just let it happen.  They would not allow an in-law to abuse a sibling, control what happened after, let it fester for a dozen years, and just hope and (certainly) pray that it will all blow over, that I will continue to let them get away with it.

They would not pretend that the issue is between me and Susan and Joe, and no one else.

They would not steadfastly refuse to “get involved.”  If they cared at all, they would WANT to get involved.

They would not have noticed me becoming more and more distant, and then instead of asking themselves whether they had done anything to contribute to that, or asking me what is wrong, complain to each other about how distant I’ve become.

I’ve made it very clear what the problem really is, and I believe they are not actually capable of dealing with it.  Either that, or I have to believe that they just don’t want to deal with it, even if it means they lose their little sister.  To them, that is less of a price to pay than to do the right and healthy thing.  They learned these “coping skills” from our mother:  to worry about themselves first, assign blame anywhere else it is possible and safe to do so, and passively pray for a resolution, instead of getting up off their knees and fucking doing something about it.

Untitled-1It’s not as if they haven’t had the tools to do so.  I sent them a fucking diagram of why people become distant.  They are smart people.  If I can do the reading and the googling and learn why things are as fucked up as they are, they can too.  If I can spend the money and the time to go to therapy and learn what is wrong with this family, they can too.  After all, they are all older than me, so they are automatically superior.  They can figure it out, if they want to.

They don’t want to.

They don’t want to.

They might tell themselves and each other all kinds of excuses as to why they “can’t”, but the truth is, they won’t.

That sucks for me and it’s painful for me, but it’s easy for them and it’s true.