Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Comment On Se Comprend

Anna,

You're wrong about me. I have the same tendencies as dad, which is to surround myself with distraction so there is just barely not enough time in the day to get around to doing the emotionally important things that weigh so heavily.

I have lived elsewhere, one of my most poignant memories is staring through a chain-link fence at the Mediterranean on a cold night. With nothing around me but a dilapidating French resort town and palm trees that months before had lost their lustre, I was sucked into a point on the horizon. The limit of where I could see, though probably only 30 miles away, stretched into an impassable infinity between myself - alone and weary from so much introspection - and my home.

I was alone. I understand it.

We've never known each other, Anna. From the very beginning we were in competition, which is why I tormented you and why you ran to mom and dad afterwards. We turned out very different people, and now that adolescence is finally waning we have to find out how to connect with one another.

I'm sorry when my dislike for talking on the phone is misinterpreted as a lack of interest in who you are. I talk about you all the time now, in fact last night I was explaining how quickly you'd qualified for SAG membership. The whole world you entered in LA isn't something I understand very well, nor is it something I would have gone up against myself. I'm a coward, I live at home with mom and dad avoiding and sort of movement that isn't lateral.

You were lucky in one instance, something that I've realized is still a very strong force on me emotionally. When I was in France, mom and dad were going to come visit me. Mom showed up without him, and I had not been told about the debilitating depression. Little did I realize it would be his failure to complete one of my fantasies at the time - to show my parents how much I had learned and knew about life in France - that would lead to my own downward spiral. I have a 5-page journal entry that is nothing but the words "It's all my fault" repeated over and over. These problems are cyclic, from father to son and from son to sister.

I'm doing the same thing to you.

love - I promise,
your brother,
Ben

2 comments:

Sheena said...

Parents abroad.
My Irish friend has lived in Norway for nearly 20 years. Her father has visited her once. He said, 'I've seen Norway now. Tanks - lovely place. Don't need to go ter again' She was mad for 15 years - and then she just increased her own visits to Ireland.

This started a debate. My father came far fewer times to visit me than my mother. My mother didn't exactly overstay her time when she came to visit, nor did she visit often. And I was not alone, actually my parents were globetrotters in comparison to some other parents who were discussed! Perspective is good.

What this is, I do not know. When Melisa went to Aus.- I let her go. I sms'd her and phoned now and again. But I didn’t know that she needed me just to sit back and listen to her frustrations and trepidations on the other side of the earth. This of course...she told me after the effect.

Families often don't tell each other of their needs. You get to know stuff that makes you feel like a little shit only many moons after the event.

My dad.
Dad lay in hospital with tubes coming in and out - looking most likely like someone had just dug him up! But did anyone tell me? Nope. I phoned him and he sounded cheekily chirpy and I was conned. I sent him a large bouquet of flowers. Or so I thought - interflora gave him one single rose. That bugged me - almost as much as when I had Melisa and mum and dad sent me NO flowers. None of it matters.

Mum didn't phone me when dad had a massive heart attack so I did not get there in time. In time for what? He knew I loved him. I knew he loved me. He still died.

My brother
My exceedingly strained relationship with my brother has made me more determined to help my kids to ‘be’ with other. Of course the best way would be by trying to be at ease with my brother.

Your mother
I chose the friendship with you mother to cover the ‘loss’ of a brother – by adopting her as a ‘sister’.

Which brings me back to the reason I wrote this. You wrote:

-not enough time in the day to get around to doing the emotionally important things that weigh so heavily.

That hit me on the head. I spend far too much time doing ‘important shite at work’. Time spent with friends and family is what I ‘say’ I want. Swift said something appropriate about conversation being the essence of living. We do our best and we do our worst to those who are nearest us.

Hope old woman writing drivel is ok for otherwise hip-blogg!

Yours bloggingly, Sheena

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!