A couple of years ago, when I was still going to therapy, I remember quite clearly discussing a passage from Paradise Lost with my therapist. Let's see if I can find it.
I fled, but he pursu'd (though more, it seems,
Inflam'd with lust then rage) and swifter far,
Me overtook his mother all dismaid,
And in embraces forcible and foule
Ingendring with me, of that rape begot
These yelling Monsters that with ceasless cry
Surround me, as thou sawst, hourly conceiv'd
And hourly born, with sorrow infinite
To me, for when they list into the womb
That bred them they return, and howle and gnaw
My Bowels, their repast
That's family, right there, that's what they're like. They crawl up inside you and gnaw you from within when following all natural courses they should just leave you and pack up to live their lives.
There's been a bunch of insane stuff happening with my family lately because a second cousin of mine committed suicide. Of course an event like this one brings up a lot of bad blood between people and general neurosis among all family members. In the last month my mother has been dealing with it by being bloody furious with a couple of people who deserve quite a bit of fury thrown in their general direction. The problem with families, as illustrated by Sin's babies in the above passage, is that you can never deal with it out in the open. It does no good. You can't tell family members they suck because you have to deal with them on a regular basis and you don't want them mad at you. You can't say "Fuck this shit" and cut them out of your life because even when you do the fact remains they're still family, what they have done and failed to do you will carry with you the rest of your life.
My family has seldom paid attention to me or my interests. I mean, yes, they're family and they ask you things, but they ask you what they're interested in knowing, what they value as important. Not what you value as important. Which means conversation stays pretty universal: kids, significant others, success at work, school, occasionally friends... They never ask about my writing, they never ask about my drawings. They are not even marginally aware that I roleplay or that I've been nursing a horrible writer's block since I left High School, which has left me completely hopeless on my ability to write professionally. These things are completely outside of their sphere of influence and sphere of interest and therefore completely unimportant to them.
This blog has been active for eight years now! EIGHT. Not once has a family member stepped their metaphorical toe inside it, to politely ask what has been going on. Or even not so politely.
On April 24, 2005 I wrote the following: "So right now... I want to die. Honest." I've written about my life and my writing here. I've written about my creative outlets and about the men I've fallen in love with through the years; some of them, people who have left me devastated and hurt, seemingly beyond recall. I've cried while writing. I've screamed. I've been hopeless and helpless and utterly alone.
I've also been happy and creative and oddly expectant. I've been forgetful. I left this place for years, and recently I've left this place for a couple of months. But it doesn't matter, everything is there. I have no regular followers because I don't write regularly or for other people. I write this because it pleases me. Occasionally, the friends I cherish and the boyfriend I love happen upon this place and take a look around. Occassionally I even ask them to, if I want their opinion on something.
This is something no one in my family, not even my mother or father, has ever taken the time to appreciate. But so what? Who cares? It's not like I'd want them here or feel comfortable if they were. Who wants your mother reading about your adolescent angst of how much you hate her and everyone else in the world?
But there are certain other means of communication which require decidedly less effort or interest or knowledge of the subject. Because let's be honest, just about anyone can write your name in a Facebook search and send you a "Friends Request" and then go on, thoughtlessly assuming that they are closer to you because of this new-fangled, very simple and efficient mode of communication.
Tonight I made a joke post on my Facebook Wall: I wrote an Apocalyptic Log besides one of the iconic pictures of Slender Man. I was even slightly unhappy with its sappiness since I was silly enough to include an "I just want to apologize to X''s mom..." I was thinking just one post was not such a good joke and maybe I should have started slower and more genreish and slowly built up to a crescendo. Maybe with some Photoshopped goodness thrown in for good measure.
People who have not called me or sent me an email or phone message to enquire about my recent move away from my Mom's (at last!) suddenly started enquiring into my state of mind. They wanted to know if I was feeling alright, if I was going to burden the family with another act of self-destruction. On Facebook. Because calling me or emailing me or anything else is just TOO DAMN HARD. It was, however, not too hard to call my mother and disturb her Sunday evening, not to ask for my phone number so they could attempt communication, but to ask HER to call me and check whether I was doing good.
I know I can't say this to your faces, I know if I did it would accomplish nothing but hurting people who in spite of all evidence to the contrary I still appreciate, I know this might be completely out of proportion but DAMN, FUCK YOU FAMILY! I'm closing my goddamn Facebook because I don't want to afford easy access into my daily life to a bunch of people who will neither care nor understand unless it can somehow bring them closure or an illusion of knowledge were there is only the shallowest glimpse into the person I am. You can damn well call me and ask like everybody else from now on! Or if you really care that much you can come check out my blog. It's on the Internet and completely public. There is absolutely nothing holding you back form it except maybe your own apathy and self-centeredness and of course the fact that you'd have to sift through all those other things you don't give a damn about in order to get to all the juicy, juicy gossip you really want. Fuck you and your kids, seeing their fucking pictures is not enough of an enticement to tolerate these fake attempts at concern.
I may be a selfish, self-absorbed hermit but DAMNIT, I don't pretend to know you through a fucking Facebook application or a half-heard rumour.