so after the absolute shitshow that was grandma’s birthday “celebration” a few days ago, when i brushed off stuart’s friend denise, i got to thinking (i think again? this can’t be the first time i’ve had this impression) about family. specifically familial obligations, even more specifically the seeming obligation that people have to love their family members.
i don’t like stuart. as far as i know, i’ve never liked stuart. i definitely have never liked sussie, but she’s family by marriage so i don’t think that counts as much. anyway i don’t like stuart, and he doesn’t really seem to like me either, or if he does, he has a weird way of showing it. i mean, he’s quiet, he’s awkward, he stutters like he needs speech therapy, he’s obstinate and close-minded, and i do not like him. also he smells weird, which is just off-putting. he was all chatty with denise, though, when they were reminiscing about high school or talking about their common friends or whatever they were doing (i wasn’t paying attention), so i have to imagine that he’s got, like, a friendly version of his awful personality, but i don’t know if it’s only turned on by nostalgia or what, because if that’s the case, i definitely don’t have access.
on a related note, i don’t like denise, either. i mean yeah i just met her for the first time a couple days ago, but i immediately didn’t like her; call it the bad aura effect or something like that, she put me off real hard. she’s loud and chatty and smiley and pretty much the exact opposite of everyone i get along with.
this circles back to the notion of familial obligation. i didn’t want to go to this stupid “party,” i never like socializing with stuart, i had no particular inclination to meet his friend (who actually i didn’t know was going to be there, come to think of it), but i was forced to do all these things because my mother is my mother and stuart is my uncle and grandma is my grandma and denise is stuart’s friend from high school. i was forced into this event in which i was profoundly unhappy and expected to keep up this veneer of being somehow not profoundly unhappy because they’re family and i’m supposed to love them. and the result of that love is i think supposed to be a desire to make them happy? or like, be nice to them?
i didn’t sign up for this shit. mom and i make friends with very different kinds of people; pretty much everyone from luzerne is a fucking psycho, and i can’t stand laura, who actually reminds me (now that i think of it) a lot of stuart. i wonder if that’s why she and mom get on so well.
anyway after two days of this awkwardness of mom being in a bad mood for reasons unspecified (although i strongly suspected it was because of this), she comes into my room and says she’ll be derelict in her duties as a mother and doing us both a disservice (or something, i was already kind of zoning) if we don’t talk about how super rude i was. then she rambles on and on for seriously about five minutes with some recounting of the incident, and fyi, i do remember it, and “not if i can help it” is not a one word answer, so, fuck you. i also remember what i was thinking at the time, which was basically, “i don’t want to be involved in this conversation that seems to be carrying on just fine without me and why are you trying to bring me into it when i’m so clearly doing something else,” but that’s kind of indefensible to someone who’s already decided i was very very rude, so i went with the good old “i remember the event but i don’t remember what my motivation was so that’s gonna get you nowhere.” some grade-a “regret,” i’ll-try-harder-in-the-future, and all i have to do now is hope she gets the fuck over it sooner rather than later because this is getting really boring to live with.
and, you know what, i try to talk to stuart. i ask him questions about things which don’t remotely interest me because i’m trying to engage him in conversation. i ask him about himself. he doesn’t reciprocate. he doesn’t have emotions, he has like, awkward laughter and awkward atonal speech that he alternates between. and, what the fuck is this “you don’t ask people about themselves” bullshit, i definitely do ask people about themselves. i can converse with other human beings in a seeming-to-have-interest-in-them sort of way even though i absolutely don’t, and it’s tiring, okay? it’s hard and it makes me tired and it makes me unhappy and i don’t like to do it, but i do, because that’s how you be social. i wonder if she ever talks to stuart about how he doesn’t converse with me? i kind of really doubt it! she’s not responsible for shaping his behavior. not that she’s responsible for shaping mine either, but he seems to get a pass somehow, either because he’s her brother or because “that’s just how he is” (worst excuse ever).
so part of the reason this is all culminating in my brain the way it is is that thanks to my sociopathy or asperger’s or whatever the fuck, i actually feel…nothing about any of this. mom said something about not wanting to bring it up because she doesn’t want to make me feel bad when i’m feeling good about something, and i’m like hold the fuck up, what on earth do you think i’m feeling good about right now, i exist in an undulating state of wanting to die, although i think what i said was closer to “don’t worry, i’m not feeling good about anything right now,” which you might think would be something she’d want to follow up on? but no. oh, shit, i wonder if she thinks i’m feeling bad about the way i acted, ’cause that’s…not it.
whatever, so i said i’d try to act better in the future and she’s all worried because she knows i can fake it when i want to but she thinks it’ll negatively impact my future in the jobs market if i can’t do it all the time or something? and like, no, i can do it whenever i want to, it’s just that i don’t usually want to do it around family. because that is an obligation, and all i’m getting out of it is maintaining the status quo and making them feel good, which is frankly not something i’m particularly interested in. you guys made the decision to have a child, okay, and if your child is depressed and sociopathic and has occasional suicidal ideation, well, maybe you fucked up somewhere along the line, huh? derelict in your duties as a mom, indeed.
you know what this is doing is just making me more antisocial. if i can’t let down my guard around family, if i have to keep up the fake act whenever i’m in social situations, all that’s gonna do is make me more inclined to avoid social situations, especially those in which i’m not directly benefiting.
ooooh, unintended consequences…