Family: isn’t it about. . . frustration? A Message from the Dysfunctional side of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Sometimes, I just want to scream. And sometimes, I do. Surprising, right?

My dad’s fed up with my mom (can’t say I blame him). After twenty-three years, he’s finally talking about leaving her, and I support him fully. But we’re Mormons, so divorce is anywhere near natural for us, when we’re taught that “Families are Forever.” This isn’t the doctrine for those of us who really don’t want to spend eternity with some of our family members, though. Second, my dad’s already been through one divorce, and he never wants to do it again. Can’t say I blame him.

But on the other hand is my mother, who won’t ever admit there’s anything wrong with her. She’s gone to counseling, but stopped because she didn’t like the counselor. That’s not the type of person you can get to admit they have a problem. We want to get the house cleaned up, but she won’t allow it. To put it mildly, she’s a very difficult person to live with.

And then you have my sister, who was stupid enough to get herself arrested for domestic violence. Ordinary people know that you don’t go after a sibling with scissors! She and I are both still dependents of my dad, but she’s righteous and I’m a leech, apparently. And then, what really annoys me, she has the NERVE to tie my dad up in a phone conversation when I’m trying to talk to him about Mom! Seriously!

Yeah, I know it’s impractical to be mad at her when she doesn’t know what’s going on (because someone was dumb, got herself arrested, and can’t legally be around her ‘victim’ right now). Latent hostility bubbles forth, I guess.

Maybe it’s also because whenever I’m at home and one of my parents is on the phone with my sister, I feel unwelcome. Unwanted, even. Like the un-favorite. Because they’re always so happy when they’re talking to her. Laughing, making plans. Then I (forgive my language) get to deal with all the shit. I wish I could talk to my sister too—I wish I could be laughing and happy and making plans, even though I know the phone won’t get passed to me. I wish I could be the one living with a happy, functional family and having adventures. I wish I could refuse to come home.

But I can’t. I’m the one who’s gotta be the chauffeur when Daddy has surgery. I’m the one who’s gotta help out. I’m the one who’s catching all the flack. The one sleeping on a board, serenaded by a symphony of flies and mice accompanied by the soothing smell of mold, cooking everything in a barely-functioning microwave, and all that fun stuff. Sheesh, why couldn’t I be arrested? Oh, yeah. Because I don’t have any friends who’d take me in.

Damn, that’s depressing.


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