Posted by: Marie | July 13, 2011

(567) A knot in my rope – Part 1 of 2

Post #567
[Private journal entry written on Monday, December 27, 2010]

Well, the hubbub of Christmas is done and over. My family got together at my mom’s house for Christmas dinner. My brother drove up from Denver with his girlfriend (I think she could be considered a wife at this point . . . they are wearing rings that look like wedding bands) and the couple from Germany who live next door to my mom joined us, along with his mother.

I took my laptop computer with me so I could show my family the musical compositions I’ve been working on . . . I tried to play them for my brother . . . but, he couldn’t be bothered to listen. I got his attention for about 15 seconds and then he turned away and started talking to my mom. The piece I wanted to show him has a duration of about four minutes. I just wanted him to listen for four minutes.

But, apparently, that is too much to ask of him.

After dinner, we sat in the living room and visited. We got to talking about the ways in which American Christmas traditions and German Christmas traditions differ. The German lady mentioned that many American Christmas carols originated in Germany . . . and we decided that she ought to sing them for us in German.

Photo by Martin Chen

I scooted over to the piano where she and I had a ball meandering through a number of carols. It was really neat to hear her sing in German . . . it made the carols sound even richer than they are in English.

She asked me questions about playing the piano and about composing . . . and I jumped at the chance to show her the compositions I’ve been creating. We headed back into my mom’s office and I proudly fired up my computer.

She was very glad to listen . . . and her husband came back to listen, as well . . . and I later found out that his mother was straining to hear from the living room (she has trouble walking so she stayed in the living room). But, again, my brother couldn’t be bothered and continued a conversation with his girlfriend and my mom in the living room.

I found myself being grateful for the neighborly audience, and I found myself feeling angry at my brother’s inability to give a damn. I listen to his stories and show interest in all the stuff he has going on in his life, but he can’t be bothered to give me the time of day. I don’t know if he is just that self-centered or if he doesn’t care about me. Maybe it’s the same thing. Maybe the “why” doesn’t matter.

I guess he learned that way of being from my dad – I don’t really remember how my dad interacted with me, but I bet it is very similar to the way my brother interacts with me. I’m sure the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Today, I have a sense of disconnection from my family – well, except from my mom. I do feel connected with her. But, I really feel that I’m an outsider . . . or maybe it is that we siblings don’t know how to really connect with each other. I know both my sisters feel disconnected from my brother, and they feel disconnected from me . . . and I feel disconnected from all of them. I guess that means my two sisters feel connected with each other and that’s the sum of the connectedness among us siblings.

Hmmmmm . . . .

My general demeanor today stands in sharp contrast to my peaceful and hopeful demeanor of a day or two ago. There is nothing like a family event in honor of a family-oriented holiday at which one feels disconnected from one’s family to jerk a knot in one’s rope.

[Continued in the next post . . . ]


  1. I hear you Marie. That can feel so disheartening…I think a lot of people relate to your holiday sentiments, I know I do!

    • Hey, Aaron –

      I do hear/read that often from people . . . I guess, for many of us, our family members are not the people we would choose to place in our personal networks if it weren’t for the primitive urge to cling to our gene pool.

      But, for me, I can’t imagine totally abandoning my familiy . . . that need to belong to my “tribe” is too strong.

      – Marie

  2. I think your brother’s a nutbag. It’s awful, yet recognizable, to read how you are disconnected from your siblings. I have the same thing, with my whole family (except one uncle). I can’t relate to them at all. Sometimes I wonder if i’m really blood related.

    You should be proud of your writing (it’s beautiful) and the fact that you play the piano. Isn’t that impressive?

    Hey, I write a blog about healing from my Major Depressive Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder and Childhood Abuse experiences. Would you like to exchange links?

    I have already added yours to my blog. You can add me as: Journal of a Male Childhood Abuse Survivor and link it to:

    I wish you all the strength in the world on your road to recovery.

    • Hi, Prozac Blogger –

      Welcome to the world of blogging and to the community of survivors!

      Thank you for your kind words about my writing and playing the piano . . . both are creative outlets that bring healing to me!

      I’ve added you to my blogroll . . . welcome aboard!

      – Marie

  3. I guess this is going out on a limb since I haven’t met your family; but it sounds like you might have been the family victim. The ‘black sheep’ or whatever.

    Great that the others liked your compositions though.

    • Hey, Evan –

      I think I know what you mean . . . I think you are referring to what I’ve heard labeled as the “scapegoat” . . . the child who is the lightening rod for all the family frustration . . . ??

      I don’t feel I played that role as a child, but I do seem to have fallen into that role as an adult because I’m the only one who dares to speak out in defiance of what I was taught is “right” as a child.

      It is a very interesting dynamic . . . I have often wondered if I chould shift my experience by calling attention to the issue . . . but, I haven’t decided that I want the relationship with my siblings that much . . .

      – Marie

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