For Better Or Worse


‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, all the children were screaming their little voices hoarse…

Truly amazing what the correct writing voice can do. In this case, it’s far funnier in the written version than the actual. One ten a.m. Christmas morning and I was woken to kids screaming. Not screaming with joy. Terror. Pure terror. A man yelling. A woman screaming. It went on for 20 minutes, until a door slammed. No child should ever sound like that, especially not at 1:10 in the morning. My brother spent a few hours yesterday finding and filling out a police report online.

Merry fucking Christmas. I found being subjected to the sounds of domestic violence at 1 a.m. Christmas morning a perfect way to break the last vestiges I had of fond holiday memories.

Part of me would like to begin 2017 by killing my FB account. Just take it fucking offline. I hate FB anyway, and I’ve only been using it to keep in touch with a couple of people who do use it. In fact, part of me would like to post on my FB page that I’m dead. Dead and gone, so sorry, all of you mourn me in whatever way you see fit, good-bye.

More of that circumstantial timing in my life that makes me say hm. Less than a week since I sent my long missive off to my uncle regarding my oldest brother and lo and behold! I’ve a friend request from said older brother on FB (I un-friended us; he just pissed me off too much). My goodness! Two coincidental timing incidents back to back, first the message from my uncle and now this.

Tell me again how they’re not talking about me.

Already I feel the pressure to hit the friend button. That’s a built in feature of this 1965 model – guilt. They made sure of that. So I am avoiding FB. I deleted the notice that came into my email so I didn’t have to look at it. And in my fevered brain, deleting my entire account is easier than having to explain (or try to) ONE MORE TIME to my brother why I find his politics, his opinions, and himself so abhorrent.

If he was so damned concerned about keeping in touch with me, he could use the account that’s been my private email for the last 20 years. Does he? Of course not. A yearly note of 2 or 3 sentences on FB, that’s all I get. And mostly, it’s about his political views. Like I don’t know what his political views are! His opinions haven’t changed for the last 35 years. I do not need one more right wing asshole telling me (a) my politics are shit and (b) I really do need to vote for old white guys who think women should be grabbed by the pussy.

It’s like having my own mini-Trump right in my family.

This morning, I feel I’m done with explanations. They want to sling mud at me? Then they got a fight on their hands. And babies, when I want to fight, I can be REAL mean. As I’ve said before, I’m the truth-speaker in the family. I know the ugly secrets, and the reality behind them. All I have to do is tell it like it is.

Why not? They’ve already called me every dirty name in the book.

But I don’t want a war. I don’t want to wake up thinking about this shit or go to bed dreaming of revenge.

I want to be left alone by my family. I’ll find my own support network that doesn’t include them. I don’t want to hear from them, I don’t want to answer their questions, I don’t want to explain my views anymore.

This is MY life. It doesn’t include any narcissists. It doesn’t include the people who automatically think I’m a piece of shit. It doesn’t NEED to. I don’t need that. I put in my time, sacrificed a lot for my parents out of respect and love. “Love thy parents” – there’s one mantra I took very seriously.

No one ever said jack shit about loving thy siblings.

Like it or not, I know I have a war on my hands. Now that the idea that we must be friends is in my oldest brother’s head, he won’t let it go. I’ll get cryptic messages from my uncle, who’ll claim he still hasn’t talked to my bro about me because they’d never gossip behind my back, yet the messages will tell another story, addressing via circumvention all I’ve laid at my brother’s door.

I’m sick of it. Right now, all I want is to outlive the rest of my family by ONE DAY. Just one day of peace!

That’s what Christmas is supposed to be about, right? Peace on Earth and all that jazz. Well, let me tell you – you can’t ever have peace on earth until every person has peace within themselves and right now I DON’T HAVE PEACE WITHIN MYSELF.

Got to find a way out of this. Not for my family; screw them. For me. I can’t write comedy when my mind has these pus-filled pockets of ugly that keep bursting all over me, poisoning me with old hurts.

I’m gonna play the eccentric artist card. Just ignore the world for as long as I can. Write out my angst so I can get back to what I want to write. Be blunt – be crazy, if that’s what it looks like. Talk to thin air, not shower, smoke too much, and laugh at my own jokes. Either I’ll fall deeper into mental illness and really lose my way or I’ll come up with something brilliant.

In the end, I realize everything has an impact on me. The screaming kids downstairs, my uncle, my brother. My past, my present, my possible futures. It’ll all filter into my writing. That’s as it should be: take what you know, and use it.

For better or worse.


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