Friday, March 21, 2008

Unmaking of a Family

Sometimes I wonder why God invented families when family can hurt you more than ten times as much as a friend would. Perhaps God has His reason as He always does. If only I can flip through my life’s future pages, I’d find out what the divine explanation is.

If family is perfect then life would be a breeze. And the word “dysfunctional” will pair up with words other than “family.” But then I am talking hypothetical.

In real life, a kid will have to, at one time or another, wake up with feuding parents bickering in the wee hours of the night over things the kid would probably never understand. The only thing that will stick to its juvenile mind is how the mom and dad the kid always loved would split up—an idea scarier than the boogeyman.

But the parents stay together, perhaps for the kid and yet the parents living in one house still bugs the kid just as equally as the impending split up.

And then the kid gets over its versions of ghosts and brushes them aside. Until one day the feud that woke up the kid in the past, finds its way back to the kid’s life and ka-blam! The disaster that started 17, 18 years ago ensues. The only difference is, now, the ghosts have roots from which they draw their wrath and they have arms through which they lash out their rage.

The story then ends up sad, leaving no character happy.

But that story is simple.

I'm guessing mine, just like many's, is complex. Unfortunately I refuse to share my tale in the same once-upon-a-time manner.

Right now I’m wondering how so easily a man and a woman can love each other to the point of deciding to be one in the eyes of their god, their community, and their law. The difficult part is hating each other and hurting each other. And yet it happens.

And the hating and hurting is not limited between the husband and wife. There are the kids and whoever else is drawn (or dragged) into the family. Now that makes a varied combination of people hating and hurting!

It entails a lot of effort to take a step back and realize that the melodrama one’s family is absorbed into is such a waste of time. And stepping back, it really is. Time which should be spent celebrating each other’s company is wasted if it’s spent otherwise.

I lost my youngest brother to leukemia which is beyond devastating. Although, I’d like to believe, I did what I could to maximize his short stay with us, I still get swarms of what-ifs, all asking if there were more which I should and could have done to make his life better.

I fear to face the same loss again. However, lately, not only death is on the verge of taking my family away from me.

I may lose my dad to his oblique way of grieving, my mom to her hard-headedness beyond reason, my sister to circles and circles of misundersandings, my younger brother to whatever life comes up with, and my even younger brother to his rebellious teenage angsty ways.

Or then again, I may lose any of them because of me.

For some reason, there always have to be constant threats in having those people I love around. I’m afraid that those threats, as long as they’re not resolved, will prevent me from having a good night sleep.

Saying that I don’t care about any of them is bull sh_t, because, really, I love each of them. I can never end with “I hate you. Go to hell!” Besides if there was something a family is all about, it’s about not having an end, it’s being one no matter what. Being in a family is not like being part of a contest where one takes sides and keeps track of scores. It’s always teamwork to resolve something at a proper time, venue and manner.

The stinging pain brought about by family problems is proof that unmaking a family is not easy.

Where my family is concerned the word “dysfunctional” is always lurking around. I once told a friend, “sa picture lang kami masaya. Sa totoong buhay, hindi talaga.” But that’s not entirely true. My family has its moments. And I wish to boast that our best times arise whenever life throws us the worst. I guess for that alone, I am proud of the family I was born into. Yes, I wish things would be better, but right now I can only hope things were better.

And if current events turn somewhere less favorable, then maybe my family wasn’t made. There will be no point in unmaking it. And the time we’ve spent together after all these years were all in vain.

Devastating? Yes.

I wouldn’t know how to live with such thought. And if that were really the case, I should start looking for other causes to invest my faith because family, no matter whose family it is, will not be worth all the trouble. So much so that the big, omniscient Man Himself should not have invented it to begin with.

But He did!

But he did.

1 comment:

-tye- said...

Then again it hurts.

Usap sana bago tawanan. Nalilito ako minsan sa inconsistencies, that includes my own.