That ship has sailed

For a few days, I toyed with the idea of sharing with my family all that I have been pondering on my blog lately. To speak of my diagnosis for the first time and explore its impact on me back when our relationship was so poor, in my late adolescence and early twenties. But in the end I concluded: “What’s the point?” What’s the point of speaking of it eighteen years later, when it can change nothing at all?

In life, we have gone our separate ways. Our relationships are okay today, though I wouldn’t say close. They have accepted my journey of faith and an unconventional marriage once considered hasty and ill-considered. We have had frank conversations about both over the years. I’m just considered the eccentric of the family. The prodigal son — or the lost sheep of the family — who went his own way for a bit, but later returned home, quirks overlooked.

Perhaps it is enough that I have taken it out of my system, and put it down on paper. Perhaps that was all I needed to do: to let off steam, even in front of complete strangers, or no one at all — for, in truth, little I write is ever read. Indeed, little anyone writes is ever read; we’re all just talking to ourselves, while the masses watch videos of cats being cute and funny. Let’s face it: I am a grown adult, living an independent life of my own. My wife and kids are my family now; too many years have passed to discuss all those moments when we lived on top of each other.

Isn’t it sufficient for me that they see my face has normalised, no longer gaunt, inexplicably youthful? Isn’t it enough that my arms are no longer all bone, that I now have the body of an ordinary middle-aged couch potato? What does it matter that I remain the introvert, opportunities curtailed by self-doubt? It’s not as if I am alone in that. Why rake over the distant past, as if it will make the slightest bit of difference to the present?

In what way does it help them to understand me? And why demand that they do? We each have our own path to walk in life. All that brought me here is gone. There is so much that I never shared with anyone. Why be so self-indulgent, believing it to matter? Nothing will repair what once I broke; only the passage of time could heal us. Let’s just admit that ship has sailed, leaving port long ago.

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