My Pound of Flesh

The pound of flesh, which I demand of him,
Is dearly bought; ’tis mine and I will have it.

– William Shakespeare

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that Debbie (the therapist, not the stalking family member) was right a few months ago, when she said I should write a book about my family. Of course I wouldn’t write it as a memoir. It would be a novel. It would probably be several, because there is only so much insanity that you can include in one book.

After the stalking from my mom’s sister, their first cousin, and the first cousin of my grandmother who was raised by my great-grandparents, the abuse from Dadada, Dadada’s racist rhetoric that caused me to no longer hang out with one of my best friends at my house, the trolling by some of my dad’s first cousin’s kids, the trolling by some of my aunts, the denial of an abuser’s actions and the glorification of said abuser, the alcoholism and drug abuse of so many family members–which became my excuse in high school and college for not socializing, the fervent religiosity of some relatives, the glorifying person telling off my mom about wanting to get our car back–thus causing a middle of the night repossession of said car, various family members going in and out of jail, the abuse from other family members, Dadada’s “organized crime” past, Uncle Johnny working a The Brown Derby back in the Golden Age of Hollywood, a relative being accused (in family legend) of not being able to go back to Georgia because he had killed someone in bar fight, and all of the other wackiness that is a big part of my family’s weirdness, I really feel that writing it in book form would be the best thing. I need to talk about the things that I heard people say about other family members, but never dealt with verbally because of the repercussions. I never wrote the memoir that I always wanted to write because I was afraid of their reactions and that they would abandon me, but I’ve realized that they were never there for me in any non-dysfunctional way. I think writing it down and dealing with it in that way would help me get out all of my anger, frustration, embarrassment, fear, etc. related to my relatives. And I need to do that.

Maybe after that I’ll be able to accept my family for who they are. My actual family, the people that I love and who love me, is very small and mostly made of people that I’m not related to, people I’ve never talked to off of a computer or a text or two. The biological family members that are dear to me are ones who actually care about me, the ones who understand unconditional love. Why should I worry about the others? DNA doesn’t make them my family. And they certainly don’t regard me as theirs, except when it helps them.

I’ve got a lot of angst to get out and a lot of things to deal with by doing this. So, yeah, it’s time to burn some bridges and write some pages.

About Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.