Where did we go wrong?

It’s a stupid question, really. I think I know the answer and I’ve been too chicken shit to accept it.

It takes two people to make thing go bad. In our case, it’s a party of 7. I wish I could chalk it up to a series misunderstandings, but it’s bigger in that these bruises were left to deepen. These petty wounds grew to become infected, toxic…poisonous. We hit DEFCON 1 fast.  We knew what we were doing the entire time.

Why didn’t we ever just sit down and hash shit out? Maybe we did and I don’t remember? Maybe it wasn’t enough? Maybe we just got so caught up in our personal dramas on the daily, we forgot to realize we had each other in common.

We have turned ourselves into a microcosm of Washington Politics, making deals, sending secret Emails, releasing redacted information, all power plays for gain.

I have seen the black and white of their version of “The Truth,” which has triggered this “Rashomon” movie in my head. We finally have that other half of the narrative. Neither version is good as all were written in a state of acrimony and retribution.

I can only speak for myself as I will not be a mouthpiece for siblings or cousins. (And, no, I will not put my uncle in the middle of a war where he is forced to choose a side.)

Writing is where I do battle best. At times, my aim is all over the place because I am an emotional creature at heart. My sisters are adept at being frosty, which saves them from the often exhausting emotional hurricanes I allow myself to experience. I’ve seen the effects of my written endeavors, both in positive and negative contexts.

This year has never offered me such a reason to explore, to question and just plain feel a life that I felt was losing its purpose. Perhaps I took that too far? Or maybe I had an agenda after all? No. I had something to say as we careened toward The Reckoning brought by the death of my aunt.

Enough was enough.

I’m tired. Tired of the series of events that have transpired since my aunt’s passing. We are behaving like children with our “She did THIS!” or “He did THAT!” When are we going to step off the playground already?

Dammit, I want them to know that many of us were wounded by what we perceived as cruel indifference and loathsome machinations of people who know no other way to live. Someone had to say something because we were lacking answers to some tough questions. I don’t regret a single post this week on “Las Hermanas Coraje.” Yet, I learned a lesson from turning our moment of grief into a telenovela.

I already knew that you can’t make all people love you in this life. It is my context of family that has been redefined! The actions of certain family members have forced me to question my definition of who we all are in this complex family dynamic.

And for the record: I do know the pain of losing a parent. I lose my Dad a little more every day. The cruelest thing nature has to offer us with Alzheimer’s is forcing us to watch people disappear slowly and methodically. We have to be reminded of losing that loved one EVERY FUCKING DAY until they don’t even know themselves. No one parent’s death is worse than the other. Cancer. Diabetes. Heart attacks. The end result is the same: you lose someone you loved and they aren’t coming back.

What unites us is how we deal with that grief, how we show our support, how we choose to move forward. You aren’t better off or more adept at being supportive to others experiencing the death of a parent if it happened to you earlier in life. The fucking arrogance of that is mind boggling, enough to make me scream out my hurt on Wilshire Blvd. at the twilight of a difficult week.

No, this is part and parcel an extension of the indifference we’ve shown to each other, which has grown steadily over the years.  We made being a family such work. It should have been a total pleasure to want to be with the people who supposedly share your blood. We have the same ambitious natures and desires to succeed in a world that is already stacking the odds against us. But our propaganda machines worked overtime and we chose to believe the spin of being wronged by the other.

What I have witnessed this week has been the best and worst of human nature. I’m not the only person who has yelled, “Who does that?!” at the top of their lungs more than once of late. And the answer still leaves us shaking our heads before sending one more missive to stand on top of the other. (If I never see another text or Email again, it will be a relief. I took at them all like daggers between the eyes.)

We are battle weary, with some resorting to desperate tactics to gain control. I chose to offer my own campaign of rational thought in these blog postings. Yet, if I step away and look at the entire picture, I can’t help but feel all of our efforts are useless and demoralizing. We are moving further and further from a truce; we are leaving each other to tend to our wounds without looking back.

I do believe that sometimes you have to destroy a village in order to save it. Things need to come to a head when you deal with such A-personalities like ours. It’s the only way to clear the air and restore balance. We have to recognize that we aren’t that different from each other. In fact, we are very much the same in so many ways. And I don’t mean just the eyebrows, either.

We did more than destroy our village and saving it may no longer be an option. Here’s the irony, I still do think it can be salvaged. I believe this for the sake of my uncle and my mother, who feel they maybe losing too much as a result of this petty squabbling. But their version of the truth has yet to be heard, which may silence all parties once and for all.

In the meantime, we, their children, have only succeeded in irradiating the landscape; where the half-life of hate may never let anything grow again.

Okay, that’s the dramatic side of my mind. If I feel it through my heart, I can sense something hopeful, because that muscle personifies resilience, right?  Maybe time and distance will help in restoring the balance again.


As we careen towards our next chapters, I only see this legend:

“Two tribes went to war. And no one scored.”

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