For a substantial period in my life, family was my open book to unresolved angst.
The plethora of annoyances from each family member led me to temporarily abandoning them all; escaping to a foreign country for almost a decade; keeping a safe geographic distance was the only solution to finding some emotional respite.
Even with being apart, the constant bickering continued. It was the only form of communication my parents knew. Ironically, it’s their secret to surviving decades of marriage.
Out of pure obligation, I would briefly return home.
With dread, I would face the horrible music of domestic tension.
There was an instant shudder when crazy Aunty pranced through the door, claiming her presence. With an ear piercing voice that makes fingernails scratching down a blackboard a far more pleasing alternative.
Someone poke my eye out with a burning stick…STAT!
Then the equally annoying cousin would strut in, full of pride and self-indulgence. His words filled with hot air and a sole purpose to prove others wrong. Foolishly convinced by his overly doting mother that his own existence and opinions were what mattered most in this far less-inferior world.
Seriously? I’m related to this??
The vitriol lashes flinging across the dinner table from the competitive older brother; the bitchy comments bombarded by the jealous sister-in-law; all succeeding in making my head swell with stress.
It was only a matter of time the childhood taunts of being the only family member found under a bridge seemed accurately true…and even more so appealing.
Somehow, life discreetly turns its pages into a new chapter. Whether it’s due to circumstances of raising my own family, the one I grew up with has remarkably turned amiable.
Recently, family get-togethers haven’t only been bearable, but actually festive. Some grievances are slowly diluting into the past. And anything else that pisses me off? I’m trying hard to perceive them in a less bitter and more humorous light.
Miraculously, my Aunty is no longer a wayward witch but is more of a parrot. Still screeching but at least now harmless.
Unintentionally, my family have become, dare I say, surprisingly…funny.
Maybe my children have become the buffer; suggesting not to take life so seriously. Particularly the flaws of family. Perhaps as I’m becoming soft(er) in my old(er) age, I see my parents do the same.
Finally, there’s the acceptance of these imperfections as merely a reflection of my own.
A wise friend once asked me, “How can we constantly be mad at the mistakes of others when surely, we make plenty of our own?”
And who best to remind us of this but our dysfunctional family ?
Do you get along with your family? Do you enjoy family get-togethers? Or would you rather poke your eye out with a burning stick?
Hangin’ out today with Team IBOT…