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What’s so great about ‘family’ anyway?

May 14, 2015

{Questions and comments sparked by re-reading my recent blog post on my series of personal traumas in 1990.}

Was it just my mother who arranged for me to be ambushed by EvilCousin in OKC? Or was my aunt also involved?

Was EvilCousin bribed? Or did he want to be there? What was he hoping to accomplish?

Did my aunt know before I arrived that I wouldn’t actually be allowed to drive her daughter’s “spare” car? If she did, did it occur to her that that meant I was trapped in her house of horrors, that escaping (on foot) would mean I’d have to leave Gram behind? (So, I would never ever do that.)

Was Gram [77 years old, mostly deaf] lured into the trip under false pretenses too? The lack of the spare car impacted her too, as she was trapped in the house all day, just like I was.

What was my aunt’s intention when she made sure I ended up in EvilCousin’s car that Friday night? Did she hope we would kill each other? Or did she truly think that I just needed to be trapped with him, afraid for my life, for us to reconcile?

Have any of my relatives actually ever considered that maybe, just maybe, I’m not actually a crazy paranoid liar?

Do any of my relatives remember that, before late 1985, I had never ever ever lied to my parents about anything? I Did Not Lie. Period. 18+ years of Utter And Complete Honesty! (I aspired to becoming a Catholic saint someday.) Did anyone… notice… that about me?

What does EvilCousin remember about 1985? Is it possible he’s blocked it all out? Or has he just been lying to everyone for 30 years?

Did destroying my life in 1985 have anything to do with him becoming a heroin addict, or nah?

How come David rescued EvilCousin, and turned his life around? What’s so great about him anyway?

When my mother was bashing me by saying EvilCousin was a good person while I was a bad person, and she wished I could be more like him, so that she could be proud of me (like his parents were proud of him), were his parents actually proud of him? Why?


Did my mother ever feel guilty for dumping all her fears on me, and expecting me to mother her?

Did it ever occur to her that I might also be afraid she was going to die? And I might want/need some emotional comfort?

{Short answer: Nah.}


Whose idea was it for EvilCousin to accompany his parents on a visit to my parents’ house? Why did no one give me a heads-up that he was coming?

Did my mother and my aunt even notice EvilCousin chasing me, while I ran away, afraid for my life?

Did my mother and my aunt notice EvilCousin pounding on my bedroom door, yelling for me to let him in? Maybe they thought that was a sign we were “getting along”.

Did my ex-brother-in-law ever wonder if marrying my sister was a good idea, when he considered how shitty my parents had historically treated both my sister and me?


If EvilCousin did try to enact my recurring nightmare* in front of our entire extended family, would my mother hand him a knife? Like in the dream, would everyone else either watch, or ignore it?

*Not a metaphor. I actually had this nightmare, repeatedly.

Did anyone ever notice that I got addicted to sleeping pills, twice, before I turned 25? Did they wonder why I might need sleeping pills? {Hint: Hard to get to sleep, knowing I’ll have godawful nightmares; maybe I can at least not remember them in the morning.}


Did my parents ever notice that I treated them… differently… after that horrifying conversation about EvilCousin?

Why does my mother hate my guts?


My sister swore to me that EvilCousin wouldn’t be invited to her wedding, but he was anyway. Did she ever… mention… to my mother that he shouldn’t be invited? Or was my sister actively setting me up for another ambush (like the one I got at my brother’s wedding, 3 years later)?

Why was my sister jealous of my shittastic post-1985 non-relationship with EvilCousin?

Why does my sister hate my guts?

Has anyone in my extended family ever noticed… just how many people seem to hate other relatives? Since the hate seems concentrated in my direction, maybe no one cares. Maybe Hate is a Family Value.


Something I didn’t know, when I wrote the November 2014 post… the visual thinking you do when you rotate imaginary objects in your mind’s eye… it’s a skill. It can be learned, or at least, improved. The people in my Drafting 101 class had probably taken Drafting in high school. Maybe they had mechanical aptitudes that they’d been exercising all their lives too.

Why did my parents insist on sending all 4 of us kids to a “college-prep” high school, if, as they’d always said while I was growing up, they had no intention of helping any of us attend college?

Is there some non-patriarchy/kyriarchy reason that (in the late 1980s/early 1990s — not the Dark Ages) my parents shelled out $$$$ to pay for both of my brothers to attend Catholic universities, paying out of state fees (!), for 4 years, plus spending money… but they begrudged paying for my sister and me to attend the local community college? Why is it that my sister and I, after age 18, had to pay room and board and do chores, while my brothers had to do neither?

My father spontaneously gave me money exactly once in my life — a $20 bill, when I was 20 or so. My cousin David did the same thing, but when I was 13 — a beautiful, magical moment, never repeated. (I think David did it to piss my parents off. It probably had nothing to do with me personally.)


I’m really fucking angry about shit that happened to me 25 and 30 years ago.

Why, though, am I raging about this stuff today? Well, I’ve been revising a poem about 1985 that I began working on 3.5 years ago. That led me to re-read my recent blog post about 1990.

And… 25 years ago, and certainly 30 years ago, I was afraid anger could get me killed. I was afraid. I was always afraid.

Somehow I lived through all of it. Hundreds of miles away, many years later, estranged from everyone, I… finally feel safe enough to… be ANGRY.



That my Faith in Humanity … except for Mike … vanished, never to return.


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