There seems to be a common theme lately, among other writers participating in the 40 Days Of Writing “challenge”, to write about their siblings. It’s gotten me thinking about my siblings.
I am the youngest of three. I have one brother and one sister and we are all very different. We have our similarities, but they are few and far between and my relationship with both of them has, overall, been pretty tumultuous throughout our lives (more so my relationship with my sister).
I wish that I could have the kind of relationship with my siblings like the siblings on Parenthood have with each other, but there’s just too much dirty water under a very broken down bridge.
I’ve done a lot of work over the past few years to gather tools and materials to repair that bridge, so that I may cross over to greener pastures, but I have yet to actually start building it. I’m too scared of falling back into those dirty waters and being pummeled by them, once again. I’m too scared of everything that’s ever happened happening again. I have a lot of scars from deep wounds acquired from trying to stay afloat in those not only dirty, but also raging waters.
So I’ve kept my distance- one way or another. For the most part it’s worked out just fine because the path that I’m on is a lovely path that I worked hard to forge, through dark woods and prickly, ensnaring vines, and now, after all that work, I’ve never felt more on the right path. But no matter what path I’m on, all roads lead to, well, muddy waters. Maybe not the original waters from which I fled, but some sort of tributary that leads back to them. And eventually I am going to have to cross over.
See, I’ve realized that in order to have the kind of relationship that I want to have with my siblings, it would require them being completely different human beings than the ones that they are. And that’s not fair to anyone. Basically, we don’t speak the same language. And we are not able to understand each other because of it.
I have spent much of my life angry at them for not being the people that I wish they were- or angry at them (and myself) for exhausting so much of Who I Am and the precious energy, that I took for granted for so long, on trying to be who they wanted me to be in order to have a close relationship with them- thinking that being close for closeness sake was what I wanted.
I think there’s a major disillusion that closeness is good merely because it is closeness- even when it is deeply unhealthy. I struggle with this. I still find myself being disappointed by the reality of our relationships not matching up to my fantasy of what I wish they were- a fantasy that I don’t think has a chance of becoming a reality because, again, it would require all of us to be different beings than the ones we are.
But just because we are not able to have the kind of relationship that I want, it does not mean that it always has to be exactly what it is now- which is, not estranged or anything like that, it’s just that we are not that close- but I guess that’s all relative (no pun intended).
So if I want to get to the other side of these muddy waters I’m going to have to build that bridge. And I’ll never get to fully experience the broad expanse of life, and of relationship to another- even another who has failed me or hurt me in some way- unless I do build that bridge and cross those waters.
The thing to keep in mind is that it takes time, especially because I want to do it right. It takes meticulousness, focus and determination. I won’t do it half-assed. Everything must be measured properly. Each plank must be laid slowly and carefully.
I don’t know if I’m ready for all that.
But sometimes it isn’t up to me. How many times must these waters impede my journey before I finally decide to build the damn bridge and cross them? Maybe having all of this come up for me right now is the Universe’s way of giving me a kind nudge and whispering in my ear “Attraversiamo”.