April 25, 2021

I need to call my parents more

I get insanely sad thinking about not being around my family as life goes on. It's not like playing a video game in which you can pick up where you left off with them. It's not even like Animal Crossing where things go on without you because they don't really change that much in that game. The time that you do not spend with people is a whole set of experiences and observations that you will miss out on. You will leave them at point A and then return to them at point B and then your brain will try to interpret the path between the two. It might be punctuated with phone calls and face times and photographs and social media posts. My dad forwards me a lot of chain emails and I don't ever read any of them. None of them are very important or worth remembering but the action of him sending them is something that I'm already feeling sad about, thinking about how one day he won't be sending them anymore, and here I was not reading any of them. I could read them right now but they won't very good because they're just silly conservative and right-wing and boomerpilled jokes and articles. The idea of my father being feeble minded and unaware of his surroundings or his own mental state makes me incredibly sad. Imagining something bad happening to my mother is even worse. With my dad it is natural for me to take everything he has learned, to use what my mother gave to me to form a better version of my father, and to take over where he left off, in a sense. My brother is also a version of my father that exemplifies the parts of him that are rebellious, quick on his feet, and able to work in the grimiest part of the city, but also more capable of compassion. Even though I'm a bit more analytical and take the time to process things, that has led me to mirror the part of him that chose to hold off on things like marriage until well over 30 years old. These thoughts help dampen the fact for me that he will one day not be here any longer, because we are passing things down for him. Not really "for him," but as a function of some sort of manly/patriarchal duty. It allows for detachment this way, is what I'm trying to say. Like a romanticized idea that helps make it good that we are alive even though it's bad that he's gone. I don't know what would happen to my father if my mom were to pass before him. He might turn out like his own father when the same happened to him--a rapidly declining mental state. I can only hope that nothing happens to my mom and that she turns out just like her mom: mentally well even into her 90's, widowed but still entirely lucid and playing Candy Crush on her tablet. The thing that worries me the most with her is that I might not be able to get through to her about how much I love her. At a certain point I started to blame her and resent her for giving me the side of myself that was overly sensitive--it caused me a lot of trouble growing up and made it difficult for me to fit in with others. I reactively jumped to the other extreme and decided I would harden myself as much as I could; to expose myself to things that were dark and twisted and cruel and petty. I landed somewhere in the middle but I still find it difficult to talk to my mother. I'm so much inside my own head that it's hard to explain to her what's going on in it. I used to think she wasn't capable of understanding it, or that she just was too dim to inquire further about what was going on inside my head, but I don't think it's that. I think it's that I conditioned her to thinking that I will get upset or defensive if she tries to pry, so now she just waits for me to come to her, but I'm not really the type to go to her. But at least I realize this--the burden is on me to repair it since I'm the one who sees it and has the faculties to restore it. Something like that. But anyways, this is all to say that I need to make a better effort to call my parents regularly.