Estranged By Choice (long; Inappropriate For Under 18)

I'm 25 (almost 26) and haven't spoken to my mother (60) in nearly a year, nor my brother (29) for a year and a half. My father and I still talk on the phone about once a month. Growing up, my father had to work overseas since he basically can't speak any English, and it was basically me, my mother, and my brother in the suburbs. On the surface, we were a typical family of two hard working parents with bright children and futures ahead of us. Beneath that image was much hatred, resentment, and sadness.

My mother is a traditional Chinese woman, and disciplined me and my brother accordingly. She claimed it was justice. To this day, I resent the misplaced discipline she doled out, being unable to reason with my mother or explain to her that I was innocent as she beat me. Some of these were due to her having a slight hearing disability, many due to her ignorance and stupidity. Thinking back, these incorrect rulings nearly outnumbered the legitimate disciplinary beatings. So much for justice.

Other than these occasional rough patches, things seemingly went well until I was a teenager. However, at this point, I felt more isolated from everybody around me, mostly due to becoming more aware of my surroundings and being more analytical. I never felt I was able to confide in my mother, and hid many of my true feelings from her. My brother and I were close until he entered adolescence and threw me under the bus in any situation that involved his friends. Friends and cliques are important at that age, but he felt that being an ******* and pathological liar was just a harmless consequence of his goals. On top of this, because my father was not around much, my brother felt he should take the role and often acted like my mother.

Fast forward 10 years: in my car along the highway, I kicked out my brother, his girlfriend, and his girfriend's brother (one of my friends since I was 6). The crux of the argument was due to a slur (another long story about my resentment of others) I said while filling my gas tank. My brother immediately ordered me (I was then 24) in the car and reasoned that someone at the next pump could hear me, yet none of the passengers in my own car could. When I posed this counter-point, his response was that it was just a technicality and he was right anyway. In other words, he pulled a the "I'm right and never have to prove myself" card, which to me has always been the tactic for someone who can't argue. My mother immediately sided with him, despite not even listening to both sides. After the dust settled, I drove home, unfortunately with my mother still in the car, but not before they repeatedly tried to call me. The worst was my mother telling me to come back because she was afraid she would suffer from heat exhaustion waiting in the car. She didn't give a **** about me or the argument anyway, and only looked out for herself. Another such instance of her justice.

My father called home me soon after, suggesting I make up with my mother. I refused, and his idea of a compromise was to take her out to dinner. Instead I bought some takeout and left it on the table for her. He insisted it had to be a sit down dinner, but I refused four times. First I subtly hinted this was not possible by saying I'd think about it, but then directly said that I would not forgive them without ample sincere apologies for every transgression. He is also a traditional person, and said our family state was unacceptable. He said we were four people in four families. Months later, I moved out. Since then my mother has called me many times, but I only picked up the first two times. She has also sent letters, which I have instructed the post office to return to sender. Chinese New Year was a few hours ago and for the first time ever, she made no attempt to call me.

Less than a year ago, my uncle (by marriage to my father's younger sister) was in the hospital circling the drain. I visited him six times, and during my first visit, my brother came in the room. I promptly picked up my things and left. As I passed him in front of the doorway, he said "You're not even going to say hello?" His tone was nothing close to a sincere apology, and even hinted that I was at fault for our family's situation. I kept looking forward as I left the room and got in the elevator.

I carry my anger with me everywhere. I've had bursts of anger everywhere except for instances where I can put up the facade of the average person. I have cursed at work, and showed my anger in meetings and e-mails with coworkers and clients. I repeatedly curse and yell at home, despite living alone, purely from recalling painful memories from my past. Generally, I yell what I wish I had said at those instances, and sometimes even act out what I wish I did. Unfortunately, I live in an apartment complex, and neighbors have complained to the landlord and me. Many times after I'm done venting my anger, I hear my neighbors' doors opening and closing, or even some discussion amongst them. My landlord has called me on occasion asking me to tone it down, but would never act on these complaints because I am otherwise a model tenant. I look around my apartment and see the collateral damage caused by these outbursts: dents and holes in drywall, a cabinet door ripped off its top hinge, bent window blinds, broken DVD cases, a door with a hole in it, a guitar with body damage, boxes with stab holes, etc.

Then I look at myself and see the damage within: brooding introvert, dark sense of humor, anger and resentment that never fades. I only have a few friends, and I would only consider one to be close enough to share these things with. The vast majority of my friends are more like acquaintances, and our correspondences are generally shooting the ****, coming up with incisive, caustic, and offensive retorts, and reciting quotes from pop culture and past conversations. I do not feel close to any coworkers and, outside of work and office parties, have only gone out to the bar with some coworkers once. I've only been in one on-again, off-again relationship that ended for good two and a half years ago, and the closest to another was with my former best friend who changed her mind on whether or not we could be together. I don't keep in contact with either of them, and the last time the latter tried to talk to me as a friend and asked something personal, I retreated and asked her "What do you care anyway?" The conversation ended shortly thereafter, and we haven't talked since. Everyone remotely meaningful in life inevitably leaves anyway.

Lately, I feel more angry than ever before. I have dreams and thoughts of revenge, which always culminate in the realization that I can't carry these courses of action out because I would be a suspect. These thoughts don't elicit any shock or horror, but rather disappointment. I can't act on these thoughts and the feelings of that "loss" are painful to me than the explicit violence which I have become desensitized to. Because of that, my thoughts have shifted from violence to vandalism. I think about slashing their tires, throwing bricks through their windows, and other petty acts. I would never commit these acts, though, not because I don't think I could get away with it, but rather that I don't think it could ever substitute the closure of the more violent alternatives. Instead, I sit passively, hold it all in, and wished there was such a place where these acts are not crime.

degnartse degnartse
22-25, M
Feb 15, 2010