I was sitting at the dining room table with a friend once, when our children were very young, There was a loud, three way squabble underway on our second floor. When I got up to intervene, she placed her hand on mine and said, “My Mother would never interfere unless there was blood involved. Otherwise, she felt that she was showing favoritism”. She grew up with eight brothers and sisters so I supposed that there might be some genuine experience and insight on her mother’s part. This has been my approach, ever since. I have listened to ours duke it out on more than one occasion, although not too often. They are so completely different but they have learnt to respect each other’s quirks and love each other in spite. I know that they take pride in their sibling support system. Although they have seen our interactions (yours and mine), most of their family experience has, definitely, been otherwise and never so fraught with frustration and anger. When you and I really try to communicate, these are the feelings that usually surface for both of us.
Charlie says that the first five and a half hours of our Thanksgiving celebration were great. It was only the last five minutes that were completely unacceptable and childish. In addition he says that we both spent the end of the evening pushing each others buttons supremely and hurtfully. He’s pretty observant and gives good counsel.
I think that as long as it’s superficial, we’re good. The question is, after all of these years, do we want it to remain superficial? I’d vote yes. We’ve missed too many of each others’ big milestones and tragedies. Hell, we didn’t even share tears over the death of our Mother. It was somebody else who rocked me, sobbing along in desperation on the floor for as many hours as it took to make the sick feeling subside a little. I’m still sick over that.
I have learned to push back hard and mean. You are the only person with whom I am so reactionary. Most people will never see this side of me. I think there was too much mediation in our childhood, at least for me, because I wasn’t permitted to retaliate. I don’t have to be that any more. That’s the part that changed. I take full responsibility for my side of our relationship. There are two sides to every arguement.
I’m sorry and I forgive you.