Today is All Souls Day, and I am dealing with ghosts from the past. Yesterday, I updated my facebook cover photo, which prompted my aunt to get in touch with me. She wanted to know how I was, so I politely wrote a one-liner saying that I was fine and asking how she was. As a response I got a private message that started with a line that translates into “Well you are fine!”, followed by lamenting about how much legal trouble she has been going trough after my grandma’s death. (Something about her, her sister and my father suing each other for what-do-I-know. ) She then ended this remark with “Well, it doesn’t matter anyway.” and asked my if I was coming “home” from time to time. I replied with some polite sentences, but her message struck me as unnecessarily passive-aggressive, so I wish I would have replied the following:
Yes, I am fine! I am fine due to a mixture of luck and my own hard work – and despite the fact that half of my family – your half to be precise – has ignored my existence until I was fourteen years old and standing on my grandmothers doorstep asking her if I could come in because I was her granddaughter. I am fine despite the fact that after this you all acted as if you were super happy about me being there, although you did nearly nothing to integrate me into the family. You send me a couple of postcards and we celebrated a few birthdays together, but when my grandmother died, you wrote me a fucking text message. You couldn’t be bothered to call. You also couldn’t be bothered to tell me that you sold her house. While fighting over the inheritance, you and your siblings couldn’t even be bothered to get me the one thing I asked for: a picture of my grandmother, if possible even one of us two together from when I was very little. You want to know when I come “home”? Well, the place where I was raised and where you still live is not home to me, and this is partly on you.
A couple of years ago, I would have. But I haven’t. I have learned that there is no point in doing it. But I will probably always want to.