I’ll be alright !

I became an aunty !

I found out that from the net.

Aside from the fact that I have reached another milestone in my life, the news did me no good.

It takes all sorts of people to make a family and most people have an ideal family where everyone loves each other and  for them such a news as the birth of a nephew is really good news. Some of us aren’t that lucky.

All my life I wanted a perfect family, I worked hard to create the perfect family. But all that I was getting out of this need to create a perfect family was emotional scars. ( I refuse to accept that there are no perfect families, because I see them everyday in my life, it is just that you just can’t make an imperfect family perfect)

One thing I remember the most is how Amma would make us fight with each other and then get us to forgive each other by saying “you have no one else, only each other, you must learn to forgive”. If there is one sentence that I hate the most, it would be saram illa, nee angu kshamicheru.There was never a conflict resolution, just deep seated anger and resentment. Amma played the role of the victim and the martyr with great flair and thrived on dividing and ruling us. ( yes, she did that along with feeding us and wiping our butt)

There comes a point in life where you realize that staying back is more detrimental to your health and well being and walk away.

It isn’t easy to walk away. First of all you have the rest of the society to deal with.

While I was away on holidays, I was worried about my house going under flood waters and couldn’t get through to my neighbours. ( phone lines were down). I then had to call a friend whose child is Yaya’s classmate. But she was away in Cairns and she asked “Don’t you have a sister in Gold Coast?” Obviously Yaya would have mentioned to her friend that her aunty lives in Gold Coast. How do you tell someone that “yes, I have a sister in Gold coast whom I haven’t seen for the past 3 years because my family is really screwed up?” You just don’t want to admit to others that your family is screwed up, it reflects badly on you because most people have good family and even those who don’t ( like me) have to pretend to the outside world that all is well in our family. I lied and told her that I don’t have a sister in Gold Coast. ( I feel bad for Yaya, surely my children end up paying the price for the mistakes of my family and I think may be it is true what is said in the bible ( Exodus 34:7 and no I didn’t suddenly start believing in the bible because of a single verse, I remember that verse from my childhood)

I was asked once if I hate my sisters or if I am indifferent. I don’t hate my sisters. I am just indifferent. ( Avarayi, avarude pad aayi, and life goes on)

Of course I am thrilled that I became an aunty. I wonder if the baby looks anything like his mother? Did he inherit his mother’s dimples? I wonder kochiney naal enthayirikkum? And I miss holding the baby close to me and giving him a million kisses and tell him that I love him to bits. I  miss the baby smell. I l miss singing lullaby’s. I will miss buying him a kasavu mundu, that he would be wearing for his first onam. I  miss shopping for baby clothes, the biggest joy of having a new born in the family is the opportunity to go back to the baby shops..something I don’t get to do anymore because my kids are older. Those sailor outfits for little boys have always been my favourite. Those little shoes, the drinking cups, the toys..the list is endless.

Surely, you would ask “Why don’t you pick up the phone and call your sister and congratulate her?”

It isn’t about picking up the phone, it isn’t about forgiveness, it certainly isn’t about ego.

It is all about knowing how toxic your family really is and taking a stand to protect yourself from further harm. That one phone call would lead to more miseries. The abuse that happens within the family is a never ending cycle. It doesn’t go away and you just can’t stop it. You can only walk away.

And I know that Amma always kept one of her daughters out of the family loop, it was my sister younger to me most of my childhood ( amma even send her to a boarding school to keep her away), then it was chechy, then it was me and then it was my youngest sister. Now that I am no longer in the picture, Amma will be at peace and will treat my sisters well ( for all her anger and frustrations are presently directed at me)  and hopefully my sisters will look after her. ( selfish I know, but I don’t want Amma to end up in an old folks home with none of her daughters taking care of her)

As for me, today is my neighbour’s grandchild’s birthday. I will not ever get to celebrate my nephew’s birthday, but that is a choice I made. I bought a pretty dress for the birthday girl and refused to look at the boy’s cloths while I was at the Pumpkin patch shop. It is the best I can do and I will be alright.

11 thoughts on “I’ll be alright !

  1. I agree that there are all sorts of families… and some of them are really messed up. Almost no one acknowledges it and it is tough keeping up pretences. They think “why dont you go to kerala often” is a neutral question. I wish it was…

  2. No, I don’t have a perfect family , yet I love them. But I keep some members away from my life or it is painful. I don’t want to go to india either

    • S: For me the hardest part living outside India is during holidays.. when everyone I know go back home to India.. I find it very hard to cope with the simple fact that I really have no home to go to.

  3. You will most definitely get to celebrate your grandchild’s b’day!! 🙂
    Your kids will get to celebrate their niece and nephew’s b’day.. you are creating that perfect family that you wanted, it takes time .. so hold the vision and trust the process!

    • 4peach: I did think of you recently, because it has been years since you left a comment and wondered if you are alright. It was good to see your comment. When I was writing the blog, I had this image of a malfunctioning merry go round that can’t stop. That is the abuse within the family..if you are being abused by your family, the merry go round keeps going round and round and it never stops,the only way you can escape is to jump off.. I did just that and am not willing to get back on the merry go round again

  4. Dear Sarah,

    You will always have the wonderful family that you are creating with your kids with you and they’ll make up for all the loss you had. I feel you have immense pain about your relationship with your mom and sisters whenever i read a post related to them. Because you do write a loooot about your mom, for me that shows deep down you love and misses her a lot inspite of all the differences you have. did you ever try to tell her how you feel ? try to make peace with her, so that you’ll become more happy inside..take care dear…

    On a lighter side, if you know the recipe of the “kappi” that your paternal grandma used to make with ghee, please do post it .

    • Lux: amma lives in denial and telling the truth isn’t one of her forte. So there is no point trying to tell her anything. She still considers herself to be the martyr. And no, I don’t have the recipe for the coffee with ghee. I tried many times to make it and so far have never been able to replicate the flavour.

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