life is governed by an endless cycle
of resentment and retaliation.”
It was long ago, September 2016, one of the first evenings of autumn, and from the fireplace, comforting flames created a luminous atmosphere. We sat in my living room enjoying the best popcorn in the world, a few beers, a bottle of wine and merry conversation. Then it happened. Again. This time was different though. This time I pulled their words in, their expressions and the very timbre of their talk. It was intensely familiar, distressingly repulsive and really shitty. Family.
For a day and a half I played it over in my head, moving it to my guts and then I lit a bowl full of white sage to start the process of releasing it. Their Resentment.
My original family has rarely supported my aspirations or acknowledged my successes. Instead, my family has been quick to judge, dismiss and disrespect. Now it is time for me to be honest about what I kind of relationship I can have with them and stop pretending that it something else. That fantasy only hurts when it falls short. Without a doubt I have irritated and annoyed just about everyone I have spent any time with, however, my mother, brothers and sisters seemed to be unable to forgive me and therein lies resentment and retaliation.
And the family comes by this resentment honestly. “Although resentments may be provoked by recent, specific angry conflicts between two people, they usually encapsulate an enmity that goes much further back. Your parent, child, sibling or partner may accuse you of a recent snub or slight but the venom is more than likely fueled by years of other imagined or real episodes of disrespect or disregard. For example, your spouse may become enraged by a broken promise or breach of attentiveness, but if they can’t let go of it, it’s probably ignited by a long history of neglect, exasperation, and frustration.”*
Thankfully my father, Rags, and my brother, Joel, treated me with loving consideration, so I have some frame of reference. And several lifelong friends have shown mercy and grace, allowing friendships to move beyond bitterness and vengeance.
There is a disappointment that travels with this awareness, but I believe as my acceptance of my family is embraced, what was an endless cycle may start to breakdown. It is my hope and ambition that my words, deeds and work help create an atmosphere of camaraderie and genuine goodwill. If, in anyway, I injured or insulted you, please accept my apology. And for those who have done the same to me, You Are Forgiven.