September 18, 2005


(Warning: Typical family rant below, followed by family and personal introspective rambling.)

There is no place I know of where I feel more out of place than when I am at my cousins' home.

The same things seem to happen every time. My father and his siblings immediately begin to bounce conversation between them, and my cousins have developed the ability to jump in and participate. I might be able to do so if the topic would drift away from hunting, my deceased grandparents, or far-right conservatism.

The food is eventually ready to eat. Someone will offer some idiotic prayer thinking it remains funny ("Good food, good drink. Good Lord, let's eat.") Everyone then fights for the food, which is generally some variation of BBQ.

While eating, conversation remains on its typical course. Usually when I'm in the middle of eating, someone will make some racist comment or bring up some political untruth that makes my insides begin to boil. Occasionally, the two are combined. Last night, they were. ("Those damn n-----s in New Orleans stayed so they could take control of the city.") When this happens, I finish eating as quickly as I can and then excuse myself. I would confront most of my family if we were speaking privately. In a crowd, however, I am definitely the minority.

While I may not enjoy the company of my extended family, I do envy one aspect of their life. Their family talks to one another. They joke and play around. They are comfortable with one another.

The accident that killed my sister also killed one of my cousins. Their family pulled together. While they still have their problems, they have one another.

My family, on the other hand, drifted apart. I spent the night my sister died at the house of a family friend because I could not handle my family. The next few days, it seemed as if we all suffered on our own. We didn't really speak to one another. When we went to see the mother of another kid (Justin, my sister's boyfriend) that died, I remember my mother finding Justin's jacket in my father's truck, picking it up, and holding it to her chest while sobbing to herself. I didn't know what to do, so I just sat in the backseat of the truck quietly. I have no idea what my father was thinking, but he started driving. I don't think we said a word to one another during the drive.

My family never was very close. I don't think my sister's death tore us apart, but I do think it constructed a barrier between us. Most of this weekend, my father watched television in the living room, my mother watched DVDs in their bedroom, and I was on my computer in my room. We usually even eat in separate locations.

Most of the time, I am happy with this arrangement. I'm a private person, and I enjoy spending time alone. However, when I want to engage in a deep and serious conversation with anyone, I don't really have anyone to speak with.

I have surrounded myself with an impenetrable shell. Most people are aware of what is outside it, but only very few have I allowed inside.

This is mainly because I have a severe trust deficiency. (I blame my father for that, but that's a totally different story.) I'm afraid to really open up, even to the closest of my friends.

As a result, I always end up feeling like I don't belong. Like everyone is just tolerating my presence because they don't want to be mean. When I hit that point, I start to withdraw. I slowly pull myself away. And then I never know what to do.

. . .

You know, I am blaming Martinez and Dr. K. for this post.

Posted by Randy at September 18, 2005 05:47 PM | TrackBack