Family shit show
Friday, Mar. 22, 2019 - 7:27 pm.

I submitted my thesis...sort of. I sent it out for printing. It will be ready and I will submit it on Tuesday. So it still feels incomplete, this process, but I'm relieved nonetheless. As Andrew says, this is now out of my hands. I mean, that very fact is also a source of stress, because I'll have to read my thesis, and I'll find mistakes, and I won't be able to fix them until after my exam, which will also leave me with corrections from my examiners. But hey, it's done! I can dedicate my energies to other things for now. That alone is a triumph.

Right, one thing about my friend K from last entry: she's a friend, overall. She may not be able to provide emotional support, but she's always willing to help and offers material means to do so, which is just as important. She and her husband, G, have kept our stuff in their house for almost four years. They've offered us their house so Andrew and I can stay with them when we move back to Chile. They'll travel 800 km to pick up our cats when we send them ahead of us, and they'll look after them while we arrive. 

So I'm sorry I was so harsh in my last entry. I mean, I *am* frustrated and angry by the things I recount in it, but also, I was quite overwhelmed at the time of writing it. But I really value them as friends...hell, otherwise I wouldn't have come out to them in the first place. But this is a friendship I'll figure out when/if we see each other on a daily basis.

K and G returned to our house during the weekend, just to spend the night with us while they jumped from one country to another. There was no chance to address my coming out to them, and they said nothing. I've made peace with the fact that who knows what they'll say about that when I'm not around, if they took it seriously at all, but in the end, it doesn't matter. What matter is that I did it. I came out to them, and I felt relieved. 

Throughout this week, there was some nasty family drama which sort of involves me, but doesn't. My sister is coming in one month's time for two weeks, which YAY, but she's coming with my aunt, my mom's sister, which NAY.

I did not invite my aunt to my wedding in Chile, and I did not invite her to come here. Shit, we don't even speak to each other; no bad blood, we just have no reason to. But my aunt and my sister are, well, like sisters, and it was not in me to say "hell no, she's not welcome here". She can be quite intense, and she doesn't speak much English (and neither does my sister), so instead of joyously anticipating my sister's visit, I'm just dreading being handed a burden.

Anyway, there is bad blood between my dad and my aunt, for long and complex reasons I won't get into. It's been nasty enough that my parents talk (or rather my dad, who does all the talking) about being on the edge of separating. Which, quite frankly, I think would have been good for my mom, but they've been stuck together for 50 years and they're quite traditional.

This week I got a letter from my dad, one of those long letters he sends about excruciating family conflicts. He addressed it to who knows who because he hid all the recipients. I bet it's my siblings, at least. In the letter he says he found out through a third party that my sister is coming here with my aunt, and he was hurt by the secrecy. He says something like he didn't want the topic of his problems with her become taboo in the family. Then he tells a few things my aunt did which were indeed nasty, like asking my dad for a signature that would help her commit fraud, and then screaming at him when he refused.

This doesn't surprise me. I didn't notice or think about this growing up, but I can see certain members of my extended family getting involved in shady businesses. I'd say my mom is the white sheep of her family, she's practically a saint. 

I'm really sorry my dad has been hurt and treated unfairly over assorted themes, by both my mom's side and his own side of the family (and yo, my aunt's late husband was my dad's cousin). But he's not easy to deal with either. I'd be pissed if I saw any man treating my sister the way my dad treats my mom. I mean, hell, I was pissed as a daughter! I used to wish they got divorced when I was a kid (maybe I even wrote that in this diary in my early years?), and then I'd feel horribly guilty for wishing that. Now I just pat my kid self on the back: I could tell something was off in my parents' relationship. 

The letter does not point fingers at anyone, really. It's just my dad saying he's hurt about the secrecy, reminding us multiple times that he's "on his way out" (i.e. dying, even though he's cancer-free now), and he's "tired". But he' keeps fueling the secrecy. He writes these long letters to everyone, but does not bring the topic up in face-to-face conversations. I talk to my parents once a week and everything's always "fine". My dad ended this letter with his "do not reply to this, do not comment at all" order, which I've already mentioned here. It's his thing now. My brothers called him out on his bullshit once, and he replied by playing the victim, and since then he adds that line. He doesn't want anyone asking questions, let alone holding him accountable for his share of this mess. He's the only one who gets to talk. 

I'll leave this family shit show alone for now. 

Andrew and I are going to Iceland next week, for seven days! I've barely had the chance to think about that, but the trip is fast approaching. More details in my next entry. It's Friday night and it's pizza time. 

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