Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Reliving and Rethinking

Every few nights I dream I'm back at Mom's house with Mom, my sisters and cousin, getting the house ready to sell. Clearly, I am not over it. That was July; this is February. Still dreaming. The dreams always revolve around some kind of conflict. In one, my sisters and I were all arguing and they were behaving badly. My dad (dead now almost 25 years) showed up to help me. I threw my arms around his neck. "You came back!" I spent a day with a bad case of the blues after waking up and realizing he was really still dead.

A few nights ago I dreamed that Dad was the one living in the house and Mom had died years earlier. We were getting Dad's house ready to sell. Only he wasn't budging. It wasn't an unhappy dream. There was no drama like the other dreams I've been having. For that matter, none of the drama of the actual event.

I'm not sure what happened, back there. I suppose I've thought about it at least once a day every day since July. My sisters and I have talked about it by phone and by e-mail. One of my sisters isn't speaking to me.

The other night my husband asked me what I wanted for supper. I said "I don't care, I'm flexible." Then I told him, "What I really mean is, I don't feel like making a decision. Sometimes decisions are hard. Everybody in my family has trouble with decisions."

He said, "So I noticed. And those that make them get punished."

He was talking about me. Somehow, I overcame my family's taboo against decision-making. Mostly. My cousin (also immune) and I took over the hard jobs at Mother's. We talked to the realtor and inspector. We handled the food. We put on the garage sale. My oldest sister had asked me to be in charge many months earlier. "It's just too much for me to handle right now." I reluctantly agreed, knowing even back in April of last year that there would be serious consequences for any sign of competence come July. But, the work had to be done; the house had to be sold. I made decisions. I think that's one of the reasons people are angry. But honestly, if I had waited around for them to do it, we'd still be there. It once took them three hours to decide where to eat supper. Even then nobody decided, really. They chose an area of town: "Let's just go over there and see if there's anything good." THREE HOURS.

In some ways, they're like crabs in a pot of boiling water. When one of us tries to escape, the others try to claw her back down. If I get back into the boiling water, maybe they'll speak to me again.

1 comment:

Sandalou said...

Don't do it OA. Even tho' you love them, don't let them drag you back into the pot. Tough love. Maybe you can help them learn to make their own decisions by example. You gotta do what's best for you.