Monday, October 10, 2005

Fly on the Wall

Flesh Fly, Sarcophaga haemorrhoidalis,
are found in association with carrion and excrement,
although some feed on decaying vegetation or are parasitic.

Every so often, when I am experiencing a major life event, I become curious about the rest of my abusive and truly dysfunctional family. I wonder how and what they are doing; if my siblings are single, married or divorced; if my siblings have kids and whether they allow the parental units to interact with them; if my parental units have ever been arrested or jailed because of their violent behaviors; if my family is still alive and, if they are, if their lives are as pointless as mine is. I have no clue that they ever wonder any such things about me, nor would I particularly care if they do, although I did remove from them the option to easily spy on me using the internet when I legally changed my name. Despite the fact that it was not my intention to hide from them (I am not afraid of them; afterall, I did nothing wrong), my name change apparently had the happy effect such that I am no longer contacted without warning in the wee hours and threatened by any members of that group of people with whom I unfortunately share genetic material and early dysfunctional social conditioning.

But that said, there is one sibling of mine who, for whatever reason, actually seemed to harbor some small affection for me. He, in fact, is the one sibling of mine who I wished to remain in contact with. But since I was only 15 at the time when I made that decision, and I realized that remaining in contact with him would have placed him in a truly precarious position with the rest of the family if they ever discovered that we still spoke, I spared him that agony by allowing the tides of coincidence to sweep us apart. Probably forever.

So today, I was snooping around on the web and discovered that this particular sibling of mine is currently living about 20 miles away from the familial "home"! and he is married (six years)! and most shocking of all, he and his wife are active in an evangelical organization that provides refuge to abused children who are endangered by family situations that include poverty, homelessness, substance abuse and domestic violence. Wow, I wonder why he is doing that? I wonder what the evil parental units think about these activities? Do the parental units even recognize that their abusive behaviors might possibly have triggered these activities or are they still in denial? If they do recognize their likely role, do they regret their violent past? Or perhaps they don't know anything about these activities? If that is the case, does this particular sibling and his wife socialize with the family? And given our shared past, how could this, or any of my siblings abandon all rational thought in favor of even more extreme (reactionary?) religiosity than what we were inculcated with when young and defenseless?

This one discovery accentuates how I'll never understand people nor why they act the way they do, even when they are my own damned relatives. Nonetheless, suddenly, and for the first time ever, I wish I could be a fly on the wall during their familial Thanksgiving dinner this year.

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© 2004, 2005, 2006 by GrrlScientist

9 Peer Reviews:

Anonymous psilo said...

Been a while since I had a chance to look in here...I think you should contact this sibling. You should at least meet for coffee or something. You don't have to give away your contact information, but if you are interested in his life and willing to make contact with the one person you wanted to stay in touch with, then do it. Just my thoughts. From what you indicate, I can understand why you would want to have nothing at all to do with most of your family.


6:24 PM  
Blogger Tabor said...

Even if you have such a bad history with these dysfunctional people, you will always wonder about them hoping for change, because they are your roots and I think it is human nature to want to fix those type of relationships. They appear to be the type of people that can drain life's energy, so you are better off focusing on your new life. Be aware that if you contact your brother and he still talks to them, your new life will probably eventually be discovered.

6:19 AM  
Blogger GrrlScientist said...

Psilo; I'd like to contact my sibling, but it would be for purely selfish motives (to satisfy my curiosity, and then to write a few stories for my blog, of course) because I don't think we share anything of value any more. I can't think of a reason to speak to him otherwise and contacting him might cause him problems, or me, or (most likely) will cause problems for both of us.

Tabor; I agree, which is the reason I've remained silent, even when they had (in the past) contacted me. It's kinda nice to think that I might never have to worry about them crashing into my life unexpectedly. And I do agree that my sibling might reveal my whereabouts to them. One other relative whom I had maintained contact after I was thrown out of the house betrayed me to my parental units only after I started college. That started a whole suite of problems that I had to somehow overcome.


10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK. Now you have tweaked our scientific interest. Just what caused the split between you and your family units? You don't have to say if you don't want to, but keep in mind that people are going to want to know these things if you talk about them.

8:25 AM  
Blogger GrrlScientist said...

anonymous: since I don't know who you are, I think your curiosity is not scientific so much as it is the result of unabashed nosiness. However, that said, it is true that people are er, nosy by nature and they do want to know these things for their own indecorous reasons.

To answer your question, I wish I could wrap up "the reason" in a neat package that makes sense (for my own sake), but I cannot. I can only tell you what I suspect and what I know. Basically, I suspect that both my parental units were abused as children themselves, but I'll never know that for sure because they never spoke of it. But if they were abused as kids, that would go a long way towards explaining "the reason".

I do know that my parental units never wanted me because they told me so ever since I could first remember. I also know that my mother (at least) had a serious mental illness because I remember her being committed involuntarily -- twice -- to a hospital where she underwent electroshock "therapy" when I was quite young. I think my father also had some sort of mental illness, but he was never committed -- and I'll bet it was due solely to his gender.

In retrospect, the fact that the parental units threw me out of the house for that last time when I was 15 was hardly surprising since they had been "practicing" by throwing me out of the house frequently since before I started kindergarten. I have no idea what triggered it (I never smoked, used drugs or alcohol, never snuck out to see men, I always earned very good grades and spent my time hiding in my bedroom, reading, writing, painting and drawing). But that last time, they were apparently upset about something and reported me as a runaway after they threw me out, unknown to me. The next day, hoping that they had come to their senses, I called them to let them know I was staying at a girlfriend's house. But I misjudged the situation and gave them more credit than they deserved: they reported me as a runaway to the police, who then arrested me at my friend's house. The entire experience was humiliating beyond words. And, because I was locked up for quite some time after that, that was only the beginning of the humiliations that I endured.

Even though I have thought of lots of interpretations for their behavior, I have never been able to learn the "real reason" for their pattern of throwing me out of the house. This was a pattern that started from the time I was somewhere between 4 and 5 years old. I have spent agonizing years trying to suss this situation out, without any answers whatsoever. Now, I simply accept their simple statement as fact: they never wanted me. As a result, I have concluded they were too immature and weak-willed to go against social pressure to do the right thing by putting me up for adoption.


11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you did the smart thing by changing your name and letting go of all that past. Life is way to short to haveto EVEN worry about these family units finding you and taking up any of your time. I'm sure most of your family has NOT changed, while I don't know about the 'nice' sibling based on 'current' behavior.

My take is don't contact. Why step to the edge of that puddle of potential shit. While it might be nice to know what he's doing, he might feel the need to 'not lie' anymore and give you up to relatives. If you want to touch base with him, do it in a letter which you mail from some place other than where you live. Like if you're on vacation. Or send it to me and I'll mail it from here in Vegas for you. That way, you can connect and still keep your privacy.

I recently learned that I have a half-sibling. The last thing her Mother said to me in my only phone-call with that woman was, "You'll like her when she's on her meds." Just great. I try not to put my name anywhere out there either.

Stay stealth I think.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... I think we better understand your reasons not to want to have anything to do with these people. A good friend of mine went through a similar experience and now owns her own company. Along the way she was an exotic dancer, a union organizer, a street urchin, among other things. What are we to learn from all this? Hell if I know.

4:08 PM  
Blogger Tabor said...

I have a real thing about mothering. I so wish I could have been a bridge in your life when you were little. Children are so fragile and precious and need a good healthy start. I am so glad that you seem to have grown through this and are normal---well as normal as we all are.

5:35 PM  
Blogger GrrlScientist said...

Anonymouses; thanks, I will "stay stealthy" (that's a cute wordplay). It seems the most reasonable choice. Oh, and er, lessons? I don't think that life teaches any lessons, and for good reasons. For example, if I thought that, then my "life lessons" are purely negative, and for unfathomable reasons. But I try to not allow myself to think about it because such thoughts pave a one-way street to a deep depression.

Tabor; I wish I was normal but I am not normal by any stretch of the imagination! One example that you do mention in your comment is a powerful, terrible weakness that I have; my semi-conscious desire to build a family where ever I go. It is incredibly unfair on my part to look to the people around me for so much (emotionally, intellectually, socially), and I struggle every day to force myself to stop wanting so much, but I cannot. So I often isolate myself instead, especially when things are going badly, and try to get what I need from work, books and writing. But in truth, I am a very damaged person because I simply cannot stop needing people, yet I remain so isolated at the same time.


11:07 AM  

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