I admit it. Certain members of my family get on my nerves. I suppose I should feel guilty and a teeny-tiny slice of me does but not enough to not put it in writing and on cyberspace for the entire universe to see. It’s like Sandra Cisneros and her references in her novels and short stories to an “awful grandmother”; love for your family doesn’t free them of flaws.
My family member is a good person. Hardworking. Intelligent. Affectionate. A good spouse and parent. Loyal and appreciative to elders. Warm to my brother and me.
But I cringe at what this person’s presence does to my relationship with my mother. Over the years, I have pointed out that one of the most harmful patterns of behavior in our immediate family has been the comparisons drawn between people and how they create a sense of rivalry and competition. I’m completely done with hearing about my family member’s opinions and experiences, shared by my mom as if it were gospel. I’m tired of not being invited to dinner parties and poolside barbecues. I’m incensed at my parents looking out for this family member, sometimes as if this person was their child.
Call me selfish, jealous, insensitive. I am all those things. I own those ugly qualities, these ugly thoughts and the ugly heaviness I feel in my chest.