My family, both immediate and extended, absolutely confounds me. We’re an odd clan.
On the surface, we’re a disparate bunch. Special little snowflakes we are, no two alike. Our commonality seems to lie in our quirks. There’s a darkness in there, a desperate attempt to continually rationalize our existence. We’re deep thinkers, mullers, worriers. Several of us, myself included, are chronic insomniacs. We’re introverts. We’re hard to get to know, and not easy to understand. Anyone who partners with us needs infinite patience.
There’s a stubborn streak a mile wide, too, which over the years has caused separations, feuds, misunderstandings, and estrangements. Some get mended, but some fester to the grave. I think my deepest fear is that the next time we all see each other will probably be at a funeral, and even then, it will not be okay.
I do not exclude myself from the above. I may be the culmination of centuries of neurotic, existential angst. I am the Apex of Angst.
A colleague said to me once that her family put the “fun” in dysfunctional. I wouldn’t say that of us. It’s not “fun” being like this. It’s torturous.
For me, I leave the door open. If things are to be mended, they will be. If not, so be it. Some of my family are beyond mere ties of blood. All connection is important, as orphans know, I’m sure.
And yet, there are ties, things that only your people understand. There are stories, and histories, lore and legends. There are ancestors and heirlooms. There is love, deep love, for those who have been our people forever. Sometimes your family are the only ones who get it. Home is where you hang your hat, and quite often, your head. We cast off our company manners, our best behaviour, and are our real, true, warts and all, butt-scratching, nose-picking selves. It’s a relief, this idea of “home”, and often the only place we want to be. It’s refuge, and certainly of safety.
Family. You only get one, and you don’t have a choice.