Denver has been weighing heavily on my mind—not the city, but the character in Toni Morrison’s Beloved. Denver’s insightful and feisty as hell, like when she asks Sethe and Paul D, “How come everybody run off from Sweet Home can’t stop talking about it? Look like if it was so sweet you would have stayed.”
When Beloved comes, Denver kinda likes having someone her age in the house, but then she sees that Sethe is consumed with Beloved, far more than she was ever consumed with Denver. How lonely that must be, to see your mother’s face light up for someone but not for you? But Denver’s a scrapper. She doesn’t feel sorry for herself nor does she reside in delusions. Instead, she mobilizes herself and starts problem-solving. She gets a job and starts to open herself up for a life and a love of her own. I need to be more like Denver.
After communicating with my family for the last six months I’ve come to the same conclusion that I came to so many times before: These mu’fuckers are crazy! Communicating with crazy people is exhausting! And I’m equally crazy because I keep trying to make it work.
I keep thinking about the family members whom I actually want in my life. I miss them, and I tell myself that I can tolerate the other crazies if I can maintain a relationship with these people. But that is a delusion; enmeshed families don’t work like that. You can’t communicate with persons D, E and F without communicating with persons A, B and C.
I feel so terribly sad. I love my family despite everything. I keep trying to re-write the past and make it less painful. I keep trying to make myself over (which is the ultimate delusion), so I can be whatever it is I would have to be to maintain a relationship with them.
- Delusional Attempt #1: Brain-Dead Angèle
Willing to pretend I don’t know all the fucked up shit about my family that I actually know.
- Delusional Attempt #2: Docile Angèle
Willing to eat the massive mounds of shit my family flings at me and never complain!
- Delusional Attempt #3: Woman of Steal
Willing to allow my family’s emotional ammunition to explode all around me and pretend that it doesn’t faze me in the least. (Oh! Is that shrapnel in my flesh?!)
I can’t do it. It’s simply not possible for me to be an active member in this family and lead a sane life. From now on, I’m channeling my inner-Denver. I’m not going to feel sorry for myself nor will I reside in delusions.