Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dwelling on the Family Dysfunction

Sometimes I get so entrenched in trying to solve the problems of my family in my head. What caused this or that, why does it seem like everyone in my bio-family are jacked up and what can I do differently with my own children to try to break the cycle of dysfunction?  

I sometimes even wonder if I should have had children at all considering that this dysfunction might be hereditary and there may be nothing I can do to stop it.

My family doesn't have extremely awful habits or behavior that can really damage a kids psyche or life (physical/sexual abuse, drug abuse, violence, etc.), it's just more or an emotional neglect and general lack of parenting that make us dysfunctional in my mind. 

Having my parents split up when I was 2 and then my mom being mostly unavailable and uninterested has created a big hole in my heart that I'm still healing from. 

I feel that I'm generally a well-functioning member of society and have made many smart choices in my life to get to where I'm at.  However, my older brother and younger sister are complete failures it seems. My brother's life has been a train wreck and it continues to get worse. I can't stand knowing that any day I might receive a call saying that he's dead - murder, suicide, overdose, seizure, run over by a car... ??? 

He's 39 years old and still an immature child.  He's completely unable to care for himself or make rational decisions. He practically illiterate and can't find or keep a job. He's always a victim and never a grown up.  "No one will help me". Yeah, well, no one helped me either so you shouldn't expect it. Plus, he's burned bridges with everyone by always getting in trouble, asking for handouts, never changing and also stealing and mooching.

I was brutally honest with him again yesterday and he hung up on me. Good - maybe he'll stop calling.  I'm his sister, he always made my life hell growing up and I am not responsible for bailing him out. I listen to his sob stories over and over again, offer advice and none is taken. It's the same shit over and over again.  Unbearable. I have my own burdens to worry about.

I believe he's used so much drugs and alcohol, had such horrible nutrition, in addition to chain smoking his whole life, that his brain and body are completely shot.  He has seizures, stutters, has been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and who knows what else. He takes advantage of younger, chubby girls to use them to support him - I don't know how since he's no prize.

Now he's a dad and has a restraining order against him so he can't see her. No car, no money and can't see her. It's driving him even more crazy.  Poor girl.  

Yesterday I asked him if we should start planning his funeral.  He didn't like that very much. But I'm not going to sugar coat it with him. It's tough love baby.  He needs a 'Come to Jesus' moment and I don't know how low he has to get to have one.  If he were my son, I'd throw him over my knee and spank him. Lock him up in a secure basement and do my own detox and boot camp for him.  But I'm not his mom. My own mom is just an ostrich with her head in the sand. Doesn't even acknowledge she has a son practically. Seems to not care a bit how bad his life is and how bad he's hurting.

It stings a lot not to have a mom and a dad to care about you and nurture you.  To not experience the security and comfort of a family that loves you. But you can't spend your whole life dwelling on it. At some point you have to pick yourself up and live your life.

Now the cycle of dysfunction is also being passed on to my 17 year old niece. I just shake my head at how my little sister can just repeat the patterns of my mom in her neglect and disinterest. She had her when she was 17 herself and now she's lost custody of her. My niece and I are now friends on Facebook and I'm second-guessing that decision. 

I will write more on her and her embarrassingly raunchy and personal Facebook posts later, but I am seriously concerned for her future.  The lack of parenting... UGH! What bothers me deeply is that when she was born, I felt such an intense desire to be an awesome aunt, take her under my wing, be a good influence and hopefully help her break the cycle of dysfunction.  NOPE. That is not how it's gone down. 

For some reason she won't talk to me or write me back. It might be because I offered to let her move in with us a few years ago. That rubbed her the wrong way? Insulted her? When I was a teen, I WANTED someone to rescue me. She thinks Californians are a bunch of snobs and implied that I was one too - whatever - I'm far from a snob. I just refuse to be illiterate and scummy.  Yeah, drinking Mountain Dew for breakfast as a child is horrible - didn't you get the memo?

I will share some of her obscene Facebook posts in my next rant. Share any advice you may have for me to cope with this family nonsense.

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