I’ve always said that despite the roller coaster ride that is my life, I really wouldn’t have it any other way. Everything that I’ve done – all the decisions, the achievements and the mistakes – it made me who I am. No matter how “colorful” my life has been, no matter how imperfect, I still believe that I am a less-broken person because of it.
Being less broken also means being aware and accepting the fact that I am, in a lot of ways, still broken.
One of the biggest shards of my broken being is my ability to form attachments. I was originally toying with the idea of saying I had intimacy issues, but that’s really not the case. You see, I can share my deepest and darkest secrets with someone… I can bare my soul… and yet when it is all over, I can also move on the next day.
When I look back at the first chapters of my life, I think I’ve only truly attached myself to four people – and three of them aren’t even in my life anymore. But there is a pre-requisite to the inability to form attachments – it’s the inability to accept.
I have trust issues. I’ll smile at people and say all the right things, but that doesn’t even guarantee that I like you, let alone that I’ve accepted you as a part of my life. But I am glad to say that I’ve had a recent breakthrough in this particular area.
Most of you know that I have a rather interesting family history. This time, I’d like to introduce you to my Segundo Tio, a man who reminds me so much of my father and (obviously) brings out all of my daddy issues during family gatherings. Segundo Tio’s Primera Esposa was an American – and, while growing up, I was fascinated with her. She was a quiet woman who wanted to lead a simple life. They lived in the US and I loved her as much as I could love someone I saw once every how many years.
After having disappeared for five years, the first time I showed up for another family occasion was during her wake. She died of ovarian cancer when I was twenty-two.
I disappeared again, after that. This time, however, it was less of a surprise, I think, for my family. And not as “important” (for lack of a better word) because for years after Primera Esposa passed away, Segundo Tio disappeared too. To think he was the only one I wrote to. After a while, I stopped writing to him as well.
Then four years ago, Segundo Tio came home, saying that he was seriously considering staying for good – after all, they had no children, he lived alone in his humongous house and most of his family is here. I found myself at crossroads that day. I had not spoken to my family in almost fifteen years (not counting that one day in Primera Esposa’s wake) and, at that point, it was so hard to break out of inertia.
In the end, it took me thirteen years to realize that it was better to have a family than hold on to a grudge. I learned to accept my family that night – the good, the bad, and the ugly about them. Thirteen years.
And we’re just talking about acceptance.
This thing about acceptance goes on for a little bit more… But that is another story and will be told another time.