Thursday, September 08, 2005

ill communication

I'm a procrastinator. I don't know exactly how long I've been like this, but somewhere along the line it got out of hand. And of course, instead of really doing something about it, I'm going to blog about it!

But, do you know how it is? When you haven't talked to someone in sooo long and you just don't know where to start? Are they going to be happy to hear from you or is it too late to make up for lost time? They're still there in your mind, you think about them quite a bit more than they think you do. You want to call, you want to write, but... you just put it off a little longer.

With me, this usually refers to family members. I know, staying in touch with the family is a good and responsible thing to do. Our family has a bit of a problem with communication though. I think that can be okay, as long as everyone accepts it. Like some families I know don't spend a lot of time on the phone with each other and only see each other every few months, but everyone's okay with that. In my case, it pisses people off and hurts their feelings. But you don't know my family! My older brothers have been known to take off without a trace for months at a time, but it's not okay for me. It's too much to explain here, but we're big on the guilt trips and not coming out and expressing our feelings. So, for example if my brothers and I haven't talked for a while, my mom starts nagging me to call them or my dad tries getting them to call me or write me. (For the record, I was almost always the one to take the lead in communication with my brothers, eventually I just got tired of it.)My mom will bug me about talking to my dad on a regular basis, and my dad in turn tells me to spend more time with my mom - even though these two have been divorced for nearly 20 years! They mean well, most of the time.

Sometimes I still find myself avoiding them. As awful as it is, and as guilty as it makes me feel, I know I should just let it go and call. The damn Catholic guilt gets me. I know there are a lot of dysfunctional families worse than mine and I should be grateful that they do want to keep in touch with me, and that I even have parents. But sometimes there's really nothing going on in my life that I care to tell them about. Things that make me happy do not usually make them happy for me. They also have heard for years about my depression and anxiety and while they try to understand, they still make me feel at times like it's my fault and I should just brush it off. I still get preached to and given strong suggestions and comments that make me feel as if they are terribly disappointed in me, although I'm really doing better than I had been over the last few years. It's still not what they wanted, and it's never enough. So why would I want to walk right into that situation if I don't have to?

I know, I've gotta stop being a coward and just deal with it. I've got to speak up for myself instead of taking all the hurt and shame and anger upon myself. So umm, maybe I'll do that tomorrow.


Dave said...

My mom is the master of guilt trips. Eventually you just get over it. There have been a couple of times when I've told my mom "call me back when you have something productive to say", and hang up. Guilt trips are slowly but surely going away.
In you case I would use the "their arms and fingers aren't broken, why should I always make the effort?" Thats what I did with my dad, and fortunately (or unfortunately for those who are morally obligated to love your family) I havent talked to him in over 2 years, almost 3

Blush said...

you dont have a long-lost sister do you? if so, i think we may be.

sweetpotato976 said...

Oh, God, family relationships . . . *ugh* . . . .

Just wanted to say I've only gotten to read a couple of your entries so far, but have really enjoyed them -- your stories are totally relatable and twice already I've honestly LOL'd.