Saturday, June 8, 2013

Fealty Oblique

I have been accused of "not participating in the family" before.  This is not a new thing.  It was years ago, and I am using this blog with the chance that this could possibly be read by family members, so clearly it is not an issue, or accusation, that truly bothers me.  More than anything, I find it funny.  My BFF were talking about this the other day.  And I guess I just feel like giving it some text.

Partly because of the way I was raised, and partly because of my own personality, I have never felt any kind of blood loyalty.  That seems to be quite a foreign concept for many people.  I do understand.  I mean, there are thousands of years of cultures developing upon a foundation of blood loyalty.  Family comes above all else.  You have a responsibility toward your family.  You love them no matter what.  You're expected to maintain those relationships.  Some cultures go farther than others, but there is some function of that mindset in all of them.

My brain has never worked that way.  Never.  Not ever.  And to be 100% honest, I have trouble understanding that concept at all.  In my mind, I have no responsibility to anyone but myself, my husband, and my children.

In my mind, I have no responsibility to maintain any relationships that are not emotionally fulfilling to me.

In my mind, I have no responsibility to maintain contact with anyone I don't like.  Anyone to whom I am completely apathetic.  Anyone who, were they not related to me, I would never cross in the course of my life because we live- psychologically, emotionally, mentally- in completely different worlds.

Uncles, aunts, cousins, even grandparents, even parents, brothers, sisters, great aunts, steps, second cousins twice removed, on and on it goes.

The scope of my emotional focus is quite narrow.  One could even say I have tunnel vision in that regard.  I really don't think I have the mental capacity to maintain relationships with such a tangled web of what is, to me at least, a seemingly random gaggle of people all tossed loosely together by blood and marriage.  If I tried (and I have), everything and everyone I actually DO owe my loyalty to, will suffer.  Including myself.

Why should I be expected to maintain a relationship with an aunt or uncle I don't even really like?  And who I know don't really like me?  Why should I be expected to send 100 Christmas cards every year, complete with some hokey-ass family picture, to a bunch of people I see once a year, or less, or never?  WHY?

I love my mother.  She is probably my best friend.  That is why I love my mother.  Not because she is my mother.  But because she is an amazing person who did amazing things for her daughters and continues to do amazing things every day.  That is why I love her.  Were she a piece of shit, I'd have no qualms about walking away mumbling "have a nice life" under my breath.  No qualms whatsoever.  None.  I've done it before.  It means nothing to me.  Nothing at all.

Heartless?  Absolutely NOT.  As a matter of fact, it is a tribute to those who deserve all the heart I have that I am able to do this.  Otherwise, the people I love the most would be loved with a fractured heart, one that has been fractured under duress by blood loyalty, the feeling that I must continue to care for someone who is not worth my time.

Why should we spend time in our day having conversations with those with whom we have NOTHING in common?  They aren't bad people.  They've done nothing to me.  They are just.... aside from being related to me..... well..... they are just nothing at all.

Why should I use my time and my money to attend their weddings?  Or reunions?  Or get-togethers?  Or anything?  Taking time and money to do those things would be taking time and money away from those who actually deserve it, those I actually love.

It shouldn't really be that shocking to anyone that I feel this way.  From the day I was born, I have never traveled paved paths.  Aside from the few who understand me and love me, it has always been to the chagrin of others.  And once again, I just frankly do not care.

I've never understood why apathy is such a hard concept for most people to understand.  There are times in life when the ability to embrace apathy is the closest thing to true freedom we will ever experience.

To those in my family I love, I would give my life.   To those I don't, please don't take offense.  It isn't that I dislike you.  It is nothing more or less than an act of self-preservation.  I simply cannot see you at all.


1 comment:

  1. Showed this one to my [Maris]. Now she wants to be your BFF. "But not really, because I'm very apathetic." :)

    Anyway, I get this and like it and totally approve. The concept has occurred to me in my own assessment of emotional (and other) bandwidth. My apathy is not as strong as yours, but still. I get it.