Dysfunction Junction

Dysfunction Junction

I’m estranged from my family. That means we have virtually no communication except for the random email I receive when one of my siblings feels some guilt or ulterior motive to reach out. When that happens, I usually reply with a series of questions or statements indicating that I have glaring questions about why they literally threw me away at the most difficult time of my life. That, of course, leads to defensiveness on their part and accusations that I’m “full of rage” and “lobbing grenades” in their direction. The frustration is excruciating because I’ll never rest until I have answers. I need to come to terms with the fact that nothing justifies what happened, but they will never admit their failure to protect and support me.

But as sad and hopeless as that is, I find myself laughing at the blatant dysfunction in my family. It’s something I’ve always known but never realized the extremity of until recently. For example, my siblings and I will go months with virtually no communication and then suddenly one of them will copy me on an email about my mother that sounds like something in an office memorandum. They have no idea how to communicate except on a superficial level, complete with a list of what she ate, how many bowel movements she’s had and closing with “regards”. I live 3000 miles away and I’m copied on emails asking if anyone has seen mom’s wallet. I laugh out loud thinking how these people that pretend I’m dead still copy me in their “mom” emails. And I watch as each one of them pipes in with their two cannolis worth in an “I concur” type reply. And when they all agree that mom needs Metamucil, they pat each others’ backs and stroke each others’ egos and all is well for the next 24 hours.

The reality is, I am so much happier far away from Dysfunction Junction. The shackles of being the good little Catholic girl are history and my future is free to be me, Muse87.

Lily Bell


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