We are on the crux of a decision that is a crossroad in our life – we can see that very clearly. We having been ‘coming out’ more and more about “us” and our collective pasts over the years . . . but things have come to a point . . .
I can either bail from fears – or go on; revealing about my true self and what went on – or keep the Code of Silence.
This is the Code of Silence that all families, I think, tend to bear: the silence about the outrages that went on behind closed doors; what happened between parents and siblings; the “darker” side of our nature – those ‘things’ which we never discuss – neither with friends nor neighbors . . .
and especially with outside members of the family . . .
the Cycle of Abuse.
We’ve been in contact with what I think is a cousin of ours – about our age, a pastor at her own church – and a very devout believer at that. (Which is all good in our minds.) But here’s the thing.
Our family “split off” from “THE Family” when my mother and father got married. There were issues among his siblings; he got his name changed (even my NAME isn’t my own; or isn’t what it should have been . . . had the cycle of abuse been broken) . . . and so as a result – this person is a person who, while ‘close’ family (daughter of my father’s sister? Half-sister? We don’t know) – is a person we have never met . . .
and yet this person wants to know more … wants to know US – wants to visit sometime (they don’t live real far) – comes through on occasion . . . we should open up our household to them, don’t you think? Them being family and all….
But here’s the thing: should we “ruin” the family illusion? Should we let her KNOW? . . . this huge rift; this ravine – I’ve never had any family of ‘my own’ to speak of, not really, not from my father’s side of the line – and yet …. (sigh) – she asks: what happened? She thinks we were ‘normal’ . . . should I then destroy that illusion – yet knowing she is a preacher, a pastor, has been trained; works with kids and all – a person of “trust” – bound to confidentiality (professionally bound) – but what about when it is “family”? What’s she gonna do there then?
As we are thinking about this we are burdened by the ice on our right wrist. A huge hole has been taken out – about the size of a fifty cent piece, down to the muscle and vein. Right there on the right wrist, right about the knob of bone that forms the radius. (I think it is the radius. The inner bone of the lower arm.) Our doctor cut a plug out of it. Some kinda skin cancer again. Third one, non-malignent from the looks of it. (shrugging) We’ll see. Has something to do with wearing metal on our body. Over time it becomes corrosive – that is, we corrode whatever metal is place on our skin. Stainless steel, silver – even gold shows some slight pits over time. Gave the dentist fits (we gotta root canal that even now is going “wild” – titanium seems okay, but not over time . . . again). We eat the back off of stainless steel watches, which is why we wear one with a fabric covering on the bottom. So it won’t eat our skin.
See that’s the thing: the salts and acids eat it up. And then it eats our skin. Then there are ulcerations. Then we get better (taking the damn thing off). Thing is: sometimes we couldn’t. Sometimes we were trapped in our own clothes for weeks at a time (military). Once couldn’t even take my boots off for a week, down in the marsh (the swamps, actually). Same in the desert. Ate into my skin. But apparently where that metal contacted – the doctor says that may have led to this in my skin. So he has to remove patches. One I cut out myself. (same with a cyst, but that’s a different story).
Had a good time with my doctor despite being mad at him. More and more I realize: it was his wife’s doing; he didn’t know – she did a LOT behind the scenes while I was there – and she’s the one who had me incarcerated by imitating my wife to the police over the phone – lying on some forms – some other things – just to have us shut away. It wasn’t him: he’s kind of a bumbling doc; good for somethings, but a good ol’ guy . . . his wife is the one who ‘runs’ things; not him… so we sat down while he operated on my arm and we discussed . . .
among other things; he has a passion for shooting (as do we) – and we both share a fondness for carpentry (woodwork and decorative, as well as practical: like building a house) – we both have medical knowledge and to some extent (me, not he) medical backgrounds. He trusts me with my own welfare when it come to prescribing prescriptions; letting me manage my own care: letting me pick and chose among pain meds, and giving me ‘speed’ for when the going gets tough (we have sleep apnea among other things) – though we don’t like the speed. Makes us irritable . . .
He commented several times about my pain tolerance – how high it was. The nurse there seemed . . . bemused? Amazed? Just following us back and forth in our conversation . . .
and then he finally looked back up at her and said: “you’ve never heard me talk about this kind of stuff with a patient before, have you.” (She’s been working for him for years.)
She shook her head, eyes widening – glancing at me and him – and said no.
He laughed and said that’s because I’m his ‘special friend’ – us both being ex-military, me being a man – both of us into different things – but somewhat the same . . .
Hard not to like the man. But I hate what he did – or his wife did. Really do. Especially when it makes the wife cry . . .
Needless to say … more to come
we have our brother: should we say more to HIM? Let HIM know . . . anything?? Or let him drift along in his own little bubble, in which he confesses his biggest wish is to simply “be calm” and “get along with others” in a normal sort of way . . . saying he remembers nothing and wants to remember nothing because his entire past is too depressing to even think about . . . and we wonder if it would damage him some more or make him better or perhaps make him realize he has a shoulder to lean on or more . . .
Just don’t know.
The cruxes of decisions; pausing in the crossroads, looking at the motionless signs with their indecipherable meanings . . . their uncertain futures ahead – each road leading to a hill – no way to see beyond until you’ve already taken it . . .
and then it’ll be too late.
Crossroads. How I’ve come to love ’em, fear them, and hate them . . .
knowing that no path lays in between . . .