I am not sure how helpful perspective has been in trying to understand the end of my family. The sudden upheaval of our family once again, half way through grade 10, without notice, was violent enough, but the lack of explanation seemed inexcusable. This move did not make sense. It was not a promotion. It was not a lateral move. In fact, as I pressed for answers it came out that my dad had taken a demotion. He stepped out of management and back to just a meat cutter. In the moment there was some vague language around burn out that was meant to appease and shut us up.
My mom was angry. My brother was angry. I was angry. It would seem the only person that wasn’t angry was my dad. He was making the best of a bad situation.
I couldn’t care less. Here I am, sitting in my living room, some twenty plus years later and the truth is I couldn’t care more. With events that have unfolded in my parent’s lives over the last couple of years it has opened up some new possibilities as to why we left that mountain top village and I don’t like any of them. Something happened there. Something that made uprooting our family once again, having my mom suddenly quit her jobs, and pulling my brother and I out of school without warning, the only option.
The only option for what though? To save our family seems to be the only explanation but that can’t be it. Our family ended with that move. The shit hit the fan. I moved out when I was 16. My brother moved out when he was 16. None of us spoke to one another and in my brother’s case, never again. Then what?
My conclusion, now, as an older adult who has some life experience under him, is that the move was to save their marriage. And consequently that lends itself to speculate as to why and what and the rest of the ‘w’s.
But, that is their story, not mine. Their shit to deal with. Their mess to clean up. Their regrets that they fall asleep to each night.
One move too many.
Sure, I can, and have, rationalized that God orchestrated everything because in this next city is where I eventually found the love of my life, my best friend, my lover, the mother of my children and my wife for over twenty years, but that was after a whole lot of shit that I wasn’t looking for. A whole lot of me almost not being around to meet my wife so, yeah, one move too many.
I snapped. The anger that was imploding within and fermenting over the last few years exploded into an outward blast, not giving a shit about who it was hurled upon. That was the same for my mom. And my brother. As a family we ended up in the care of social services for a brief period of time in the new city, in an effort to try and bring some repairs to this fractured picture of a classic nuclear family but it was too late. We all hated each other and we no longer cared who knew about it.
In the end we shared the same roof for a little longer out of necessity but we never saw each other. I was out, carving a new path for myself. My brother was doing the same. My mom, found similar work that filled up her time, and her family was closer by, which helped fill in the rest of her gaps. My dad, lost himself in his work, even more than before, but given that he was an employee, and no longer management, that restricted his ability to do so as much as he wanted, so he found community events to fill up the rest of his gaps.
We never worked so hard as we did in that year as a family, except our motivation was not to spend time together but to make sure that we never had to again.