Looking back, I see that the only times my mother and sister had anything to do with me, were for emergencies and celebrations/scheduled gatherings. I guess those times made them feel, maybe, benevolent, by showing up as rescuers, hosts, or gift givers. But I think life, for me, is what happens in between the events.
Relationships, as I experience them, are strengthened and clarified by day to day showing up and connecting, for no reason at all. I stopped accepting gifts and help from anyone who can easily live without me. That is not love. It feels icky and confusing.
I suspect that if they could honestly express their sentiments with words, they might say “Who the fuck do you think you are, going off script?”. My marriage was similar. Big efforts toward planned gatherings and crisis, little attention in between. It died a natural death once it became clear that only sustained connection would lead to physical intimacy. Again, off script. Why am I not more grateful and indebted and willing to throw myself away, feigning closeness? I will not accept any more opportunities to show gratitude in the from of submission.
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