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Was My Family An Illusion?


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It's closing in on a year now since Mom died. I'm not "good" but I'm surviving the past year. Things have a way of never coming out quite how I planned or even expected them to and I'm just learning that THAT is my "new normal".

I take blood pressure medicine, antidepressants, and antianxiety medicine.

I quit drinking, cut back my smoking to less than a pack a day (from almost 3 packs...yay me!) and have tried a few times to actually quit (something that terrifies me..but that's another post for another time).

But...I just don't get my family.

My stepdad I can understand. It was his wife and he dealt with losing her in the way I expected him to. He and I talked about every other month or so regularly and in between those times if we needed something or just wanted to talk. We'd laugh, we'd get choked up, we'd laugh some more. It's ok with him.

However my brother and sister...the last remaining part of my biological family...I never see and never talk to. I live 4 miles from my brother and his family and the only time I ever hear from them is if they need a babysitter for their kids. I try to call on a regular basis, trying to set an example of what I'D like from them. It doesn't help.

My sister I've talked to twice since Mom died. Once was when she came to see Xavier at the hosptial. I've just learned that it's ok that I don't LIKE her, I don't have to like her. I do, however, have to either tolerate the things I don't like or just don't deal with her. I've chosen the second option because I just CAN'T tolerate some of the "stuff".

I always thought, said, imagined that we were an extemely close-knit family. We were ALWAYS together doing things, almost every weekend. Now...we just exist in our own lives and don't involve eachother at all. I miss my family. I don't have any close friends that I like to visit with that even live in this state with me so my family was my socialization, too. I'm just confused as to why we're no longer a "family" but now are separate pieces drifting around. Does this happen often or are we unique???

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Ditto to what Katie said. You Mom was the center if the family (universe). And now she's gone and there's nothing to pull you all in.

I only have one brother, but I feel it too. I also sometimes try to call and set an example, but don't get very far. Other times I just don't feel like talking. And he probably doesn't either.

It's like all of those family times are just memories...like the ones we have of our mothers themselves. Just "pictures" of happier times.

I "get it" too,


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Ditto on Mom being the center of our universe. If it was someone's birthday, Mom called everyone else and told them where to be and when to be there. No questions. Other family events, same thing.

What I have learned in the last year is that it takes MUCH more work on my part, and that I have to step up and be that person. I'm trying. Tay has her 'graduation' next month---I've told my brothers where and when. Not with as much authority as Mom, but trying. My brothers and I are very close in our hearts (and geographically), just not good at picking up the phone, etc. Mom kept us in touch with the daily parts of our lives.

So I'm lucky in that we all get along--just have to work at it, I suppose you could say. Now for extended family, that can be quite another thing. Like everyone else, I miss 'the good old days' when it was easier (as in, Mom did all the work). I don't feel like I'm ready to be the emotional touchstone for the family, and yet here I am. Trying.


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