Sorting it out. Bit by bit. A crumb after a crumb. An echo of facts — here. A token of shared memories — there.
Sorting it out, for a sliver of some truth…
But that’s where it gets tricky: My truth — does not equal their truth.
With my family, I’ve taken the easier way out, according to them. For whom exactly have I made it easy, though? I’ve made it easier on them, NOT on myself. My truth — were it revealed — would break their little hearts:
“We didn’t know. We’re sorry. What a waste!”
Ideally, my truth would actually deserve their compassion. For, in my truth, survival has been difficult, yes (and it is such, most of the time); but in the choices that it took to do it — my survival has been tragic.
When one starts from the bottom and walks the tight rope of having no such option as to fail, the choices suddenly become quite brutal. They are self-serving most of the time. They are uncivil and mostly driven by fear. Because to fall down, in such a case, means having no place to land; no home to crawl back to, where by the means of heritage or hopefully some unconditional love one could be healed, recovered, reinvigorated. One could begin again, and try again, if only one could have a home. But having walked away from family — means having no choice and no space in which I could afford mistakes.
The mistakes that I have made, since orphaning myself — by choice — have taken years to actually forgive. In most cases, that forgiveness demanded more walking away: from the living witnesses; from those who have promised to step in, in place of missing family, and then gave up. And from my own wrongdoing self. And it is my truth that I hold no grudge; but in those case (of mistakes), forgiveness has demanded silence. Because, as I have learned by walking away from my own family: Their truth — will never equal mine. So, I prefer to walk away, in silence — yes.
The way one justifies survival is not up to me to judge. In their truths — in anyone’s truth — survival is difficult, yes. (And it is such, most of the time.) When it turns out to be tragic — it asks for myths: Justifications for one’s actions. And so we choose to make up our own truths, not necessarily lies, but truths — the way we see them: Truths by which we choose to stand, in order to avoid self-judgement. Are they delusions? Maybe. But when survival’s tragic — they may be the only way to go, without losing one’s mind to sorrow.
A decade of delusions in my family is ending with a crunch time. We have been separated for long enough to acquire myths about each other. And after all these years, I am the one to make a choice — to go back, so that we could finally compare our truths.
Their truths — will never equal mine. I know that. But neither do I any longer want that. I simply want to hear their side of it, and give them mine; so that we can put it all to rest.
What made me do it? It had to be my mother’s face that I began to see in the reflection of my own. A lifetime of walking away — from truths — has compressed that woman’s forehead into an accordion of guilt. And silences — from all the abandoned witnesses and failed stand-ins for her loves — are floating above her head, like storm clouds waiting to release their electrical wraths.
One day, that storm may break out. Who could possibly survive its horror? The flood of all the choked tears and the thunder of the silenced truths would then create a havoc. Her truths — would break the oblivious hearts of those from whom she’s walked away. And that’s the heritage I do not wish to carry, any longer.
I’m going back then. I am reversing the pattern of the family — and going back. I know better than the delusions of my mother: That their truths — will equal mine. They won’t.
But their truths may give me answers to the eventual questions of my firstborn, who has been murmuring into my dreams since I have managed to find a love that stays. This time, I haven’t walked away. This time, I have allowed for the flexibility of truths. This time — I HAVE FORGIVEN.
So, I’m going back then: to sort it out, bit by bit. A crumb after a crumb. A sliver of some truth, so that we could all move on.