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Monday, January 14, 2013

You Get Stronger

Posted by on Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 7:08 AM

Whitney Pow shares a moving story of perseverance in the face of family rejection at Autostraddle ("News, entertainment, and opinion for girl-on-girl culture"):

Jessie's parents will be there. They will be smiling, her father with his long white hair in a ponytail, her mother who looks almost exactly like her, her brother in baggy shorts and shirts that skim his torso. Our close friends will be there, from Michigan, Connecticut, New York, Oregon. There will be handkerchiefs embroidered with anchors for party favors. There might be dancing to the song "Rock Lobster." There will be talking and shouting and laughing and standing out in the grass without shoes, drinking and hugging.

There will be four empty chairs reserved for my family. My mother, my father, and my two brothers.

This is what I imagine from time to time, when I am sitting on the couch or in bed or at work: I'm driving home from the airport in October. My brothers, one 20, the other 16, sit in the back of the car, hugging backpacks decked with flight tags. I will be sitting in the passenger seat because my eyes are tearing up so badly I can't see the road. I turn my neck to look at them, both jet-lagged and tired, in the back seat. I tell them, over and over: "I can't believe you came. I am so glad you are here for my wedding."


Comments (9) RSS

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Kinison 1
If they pass on you, then pass on them. Nobody expected Russell Wilson kick so much ass this season. The 2013 Seahawk season is going to be a 5 month party!
Posted by Kinison on January 14, 2013 at 7:55 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 2
A lot of people reject their children for a lot of reasons. You have to learn to reject their rejection and refuse to let anyone impose misery on you, no matter who they are. You have a right to pursue your happiness. Get to work. Building your own family will take time and effort.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on January 14, 2013 at 8:13 AM · Report this
Too many parents are narcissistic and controlling. For them, children are merely personal possessions, an extension of themselves, junior people who exist solely for their benefit, or to show off to neighbors. It comes as a shock to them to realize (if they ever do) that these are separate people who have their own souls, minds and lives to live. It would be an oversimplification to say that they are incapable of giving unconditional love. Mostly, they are incapable of loving anyone other than themselves.

You don't have to be gay to experience the soul-sucking vacuum of living with a narcissistic parent, but it can't possibly help.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on January 14, 2013 at 8:40 AM · Report this
Can we please stop calling it moving when people respond to bad treatment by oppressors in the most kyriarchically approved self-martyring manner?
Posted by vennominon on January 14, 2013 at 8:51 AM · Report this
Lissa 5
@4: I don't understand what you mean by your comment. Could you expand upon it?
Posted by Lissa on January 14, 2013 at 9:54 AM · Report this
Helix 6
Kyriarchy is my favorite word in words with friends! Look at all those 3 point letters!
Posted by Helix on January 14, 2013 at 11:08 AM · Report this
As heartbreaking it can be to read at what complete and utter shits parents can be to their kids, this part made me smile: "One brother is in college, and he has told me that he will be here no matter what."
Posted by noodleslayer on January 14, 2013 at 11:20 AM · Report this
@5 I think he means it's sad when people are encouraged to keep banging their heads against the brick wall of someone else's disapproval.

I sincerely hoped that the author comes to realize that she and her family are better without her parents in her life.
Posted by msanonymous on January 15, 2013 at 4:48 AM · Report this
Perhaps I was being too nice, trying to broaden the line between what is called moving and what ought to be called movingly written instead.

It's just such a dreary, agency-lacking role, I hate to see people socialized in that direction.
Posted by vennominon on January 15, 2013 at 7:01 AM · Report this

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