Sometimes, it is impossible to find a distraction. Something to distract and keep the mind from dwelling on all that crushes in on us. Sometimes, no amount of Netflix or cheese or internet is enough to drive away the impending. 

When the phone call ended with my grandmother, I knew the last thing she said would stick with me. It would dig into my thoughts, driving like a nail, wiggling into me like a worm into a rotten apple. 

“See you at your brother’s graduation.” 

What I didn’t do was say that I wouldn’t be there. What I didn’t do was to go into the details of why I would no longer be attending. What I did do was simply say, “Take care. Talk to you soon,” and hang up the phone. 

I wonder, especially after this conversation, how long can the facade of what once was remain. Sure, we can still talk about the generic life things. I can mention a work trip coming up this summer. Or, I can hear how everyone is doing. Or, I can talk about a recent weekend getaway. Or, settling into the new apartment. 

But, the bigger things? 

When she mentioned my father’s new job, I had no idea. 

Not a single clue. 

Did she find it odd that I had no clue what she was talking about? 

But, what can I really expect when I don’t talk to him for months? 

Perhaps, I am stuck on dwelling about endings and unendings because of an article a friend sent me today. It was my first message I had received on The Facebook Messenger since returning to that edge of the social media world. The article was “The Realities of Going No Contact with Abusive Families”. 

It was an interesting read, especially considering my own lack of contact with parts of my family recently. The term “gaslighting” is certainly one that resonates. And, there are certainly interesting quirks about being “no contact” and trying to navigate this awkward and, sometimes, crushingly sad new reality. 

For awhile, I tried to keep in contact. Especially, in the beginning. 

I took pictures of my morning Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and sent it to family in a call back to a texting chain we once had, a series of pictures with a caption reading “Hey, from (insert place here). I hope you all are doing great. Miss you.” 

I would write back “Boomer Sooner” during an OU football game. 

I would write “Happy (day of significance)” when appropriately. 

I tried. 

Yet, I still wonder if I did enough. 

I am no longer willing to compromise my identity for others. Yet, I wonder, could things have gone differently? 

Regardless of my own internal questions, it is hard to keep trying when the person and people you are talking to believe you are lost, or that your soul is damned, or that your words are simply cruelty for the sake of cruelty. 

Since I sent one of my blog posts to my father, it has been no contact. Since my stepmom told me the package I sent arrived, it has been no contact. Since my grandparents are still speaking to me, it is safe to say that they have not been given the contents of what I sent. 

So, in the end, I wonder, where do we go from here? 


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