Eroding patience

In a few days, I’ll be turning 32. That means it will mark 32 years of constantly being guilted for living a “privileged” life during which I always had a roof on my head and food on the table to eat. It will mean 4.5 years since losing my brother, who had not only that guilt daily, but our parents’ constant criticism that led to his untimely death.

It’s always the same repeated issues with them. I found out when my mom called today that the doctor had told her that some of her recent x-ray results were in, so they presume she had pneumonia, but they’re still unsure. To see if it is this, they’ve prescribed an antibiotic specifically to attack the potential pneumonia. She has a five-day course, and hopefully she will be better. Assuming this all works and helps her, she’ll be fine. What I told her today was not fine was that my dad failed to answer the phone and purposely avoided answering the phone when she had made it clear that there was an “emergency” yesterday. That’s not acceptable. Here I am, on the other side of the country concerned, and he just ignores me. And THEN he tells me to ‘quit calling’ over e-mail, which is just stupid.

Maybe in a normal family, my mom would acknowledge that my dad should have just answered the phone and was flustered, and he should have just told me about the x-ray results and just said not to worry. She would have said, sorry that we made you worry; we really didn’t mean to. He was just exhausted. Next time, we won’t do that again. That e-mail he wrote you was inappropriate.

But that didn’t happen. Because… My family isn’t normal. It is everything but.

Instead, she defended him, saying he does so much for her, that no one else has done anything for her while she’s been sick (including me, of course), that I need to be grateful for all he’s done for our family because neither of us would have anything without him.

“How would you like it if you called me 20 times and I never called back when something was wrong?” I asked her. “If I call and you don’t answer the phone, then I’m just not going to call anymore.”

She completely misses the point. “Well, no one is forcing you to call. If you don’t want to call, then you won’t call,” she responds. “And, are you saying that if something were to happen to me that you wouldn’t even call home? You know, you’re so Americanized. You always see things the way you see them. You need to learn to be grateful. Who do you think paid for your education?” (It always, always comes back to this, doesn’t it?).

“Have you forgotten that I’m not your only child?” I was steamed. “Do you think Ed should be feeling grateful right now? The two of you do all sorts of things and you never, ever want to admit you are wrong! You think you are always right! You’re not always right! He isn’t here anymore!”

It could have easily gotten a lot farther than that, but I managed to temper my words. “I can’t believe you would say that to me when I’m sick,” she said.

I’m just so sick of all their arguments, their immaturities, their lack of logic for almost everything, from the simplest situations to the worst emergencies like when Ed went missing. Nothing they have ever done has had any logic. It all followed some irrational thinking, some immature path that led to nowhere. In their eyes, I am always wrong. Everyone else is always wrong. They are always right. There is absolutely no other way it could be. The older I get, the less and less patience I have for all this.


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