Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Just hold on there, Bucko!

Just when I think I'm really down with my entire nutty bio family, someone does something that totally astounds me. As in, "oh my Gawd, they remember I exist." It's odd, it's unusual, but sometimes things happen to me for reasons I just cannot understand. I learned to just take what comes. If it's bad, I turn my back and ignore it. If it's good, I'm almost always distrustful and wonder what the catch is. I have good reason for that. But sometimes, just sometimes, someone is actually nice to me with no strings. For that, I must admit, I am confuzzled.

My brother called me tonight. I haven't spoken to him in so long I can't even recall when. Maybe 6 months ago, probably longer. He lives 90 miles west of here. I never call anyone because I'm poor and I don't want to waste money on long distance when I can email. He never responds to email. Which means we do not communicate. So when he called, the Girl answered the phone and said in this shocked tone to me, "Uncle J is on the phone!" and passed to me. It's quite the unusual occurrence, believe me.

We talk, he invites me to a engagement party that I probably can't go to, he talks about his DIL to be and how she's very high maintenance, he catches me up on his daughter in NY, who just got a new job, his daughter in DC who is graduating from college, and his son in VA who is just about to graduate from law school and is getting married to a law colleague in October. Then I catch him up on the Girl and how well she's doing, and how much she's like her cousin, his youngest. They look alike, they talk alike, the have very similar styles... it's really cute because they are both social, funny, smart girls. I tell him about the Boy, the recent hospitalization, which I keep in very vague terms because it's a big bone of contention between my brother and me, and how he's doing in general.

We talk future college plans (gulp) and this and that, and then he asks me about my car. He cannot believe that I'm driving the same car. OK, the car is very old, in terrible shape, barely makes it around town, and that's the GOOD stuff. I tell him that I've still got it, can't afford a new car, but that this is the very last month that I am paying on my back taxes, and starting next month I'll have more money, which is going to be an amazing Godsend. He asks me if I have enough to buy a car, and I say I have enough for payments, but not for a down payment, and.... get ready for it...... it's coming....... he offered to help with a down payment.

This is monumental, people. MONUMENTAL. Nobody does anything for me in my family. I've been totally and completely on my own financially since I was 18. They didn't pay for college, they never helped with anything. ANYTHING. I have no clue as to how to even process this.

I want to trust it, honestly I do. But then... well, let's just say I've been down this road before, not with my brother, but with other family members. However, I am hopeful because his kids are all done with college at long last, he has a big increase in disposable spending after 10 years of college and grad school payments, and he knows what we're living on. Let's just say that his daughter in NYC, 2 years out of college, makes more than we live on. And she works in publishing, a notoriously low paying field.

But that's not all. This is astonishing information. I can't even begin to explain how big this is. My crazy bipolar sister, who has almost no contact with anyone in the family and hasn't in over 40 YEARS, is emailing my equally crazy bipolar mother. They have so much in common, I guess. They are seriously both very high maintenance people, but evidentally my mother, since my father's death, has been improving and is no longer as toxic as she has always been in the past. Which is news I don't even know how to process, as she has always been just evil in my book. But my brother said that she's old, she's alone thousands of miles from her children, who don't have much, or anything to do with her, and maybe, just maybe she might have caught a clue in her 83 years of life. Unbelievable. There's so much more, but it's just too complex to go into.

My brother also said that he thinks my younger brother might be bipolar too, undiagnosed. No surprise there. I think it's probably more like chronic depression, and since my other brother has depression issues, and I have depression issues, why would my younger brother not? What a happy family we are!

The whole bipolar issue is very difficult to discuss because of my mother's crazy ancestry. Her entire lineage is rife with insanity, bipolar disease, suicides, alcoholism, etc. When you look at the number of suicides, it's very telling. For my brother J, who seems to have escaped like I have with just chronic depression, his childen all are fine. My other brother has 2 kids, one of whom is PDD-NOS, which is neurological and not mental. The other is fine. So the only grandchild to have inherited the illness, so far at least, is the Boy. Lucky us!

All this information is so hard to digest. Plus, he offered me a 12,000 BTU air conditioner for the upstairs of the house. Can't say no to that. I'd love to have a cool house all summer. It would make life so much easier.

I have to process all this stuff. But it does make me wonder if, just if, my mother might be mentally healthy enough to allow her back into my life. I guess we'll see in October for the wedding, when for the first time since the 1960's, all of my siblings and my mother will be in the same place at the same time. This should be VERY interesting. I'm placing bets that my sister totally acts out. It's what she does.

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Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

Good gracious. My sisters's so of 12 years is bipolar. It's hard enough to deal with one person, I can't imagine dealing with a whole family. My heart goes out to you!

4/5/07 5:39 AM  
Blogger Rhea said...

One thing I can say is that people can and do change. I wouldn't have believed it, but I saw with my own eyes my difficult, ungenerous siblings became nicer after my parents died. Even generous. So there is hope.

4/5/07 7:52 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

Michele sent me.

I have to say - you can open the door and let your mom in, but take it all with a grain of salt. Mental illness is not something that can be easily ignored and if you've suffered because of it, it's always harder to "forgive and forget". BTDT...I know!

Sounds like your bro lives close to my sister!

4/5/07 7:07 PM  

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