Things are… not good with his family now, but maybe better because everyone is accepting that things are bad. That makes lots of sense, right?
Beloved has not connected to any great degree with his parents and there is a lesser, but still painfully present, distance between him and his sisters. Parents and sisters have encouraged him to close the gap and Beloved isn’t refusing all contact – but nor is he encouraging fluffy closeness, comfort or particularly frequent or extensive time spent together either.
I have to say, I have not encouraged him to close that gap. In fact, I am probably instrumental in keeping that distance there. I’m not ashamed of that; while I think Beloved needs to define the relationship between himself and his parents and siblings according to his needs, endurance and desire (and I will support his choice there, no matter how much I disagree), I’m not going to pretend it’s not my business.
Beloved’s family have tried to seek peace… by pretending nothing happened. No apologies, no “we’ve learned, we don’t think you’re a terrible threat to children any more”, no backtrack, no attempt to address why Beloved is hurt or why Beloved doesn’t trust them. Just an expectation for him to get over it and pretend everything is as it is before. Beloved, in turn, is guarded, wary, tense and, generally, incapable of relaxing around them because he can’t trust them not to bring out something awful.
They burned the bridges and have made no attempt to rebuild them – just expect him to swim across the shark infested water to be bitten again. It’s not a tempting offer.
Clinging to the positive – he managed to maintain a level of trust and hope far beyond what I would have in his place and to a far greater age than I managed or anyone would manage through his life; it’s a credit to his general positivity (or an indictment of his iron hard naivety). Frankly, I’ve always been slightly in awe (and, I admit, savagely envious) of Beloved’s ability to recuperate, to let nothing touch him, to still be so light and shiny and golden no matter how much shit has been thrown at him. It has been kind of humbling to watch over the years and it makes it a little harder to see that sheen dull. But at the same time, I have a feeling of relief – because I always expected it to shatter and it was always nagging there – how bad would the crash be when it actually happened?
He has a new plateau. One which, while less friendly and upbeat than before, is certainly safer and probably more reasonable. There is good here. It’s a hard good, it’s not a fun good – but it’s a sensible good, it’s a realistic good. He's spent a lot of time in the garden which is really good and healing for him - which surprises me, I have to admit. I did kind of put his gardening down as another one of his silly hobbies he'd eventually get bored of and abandon for the next little fad - mea culpa.
Life moves on and we’ve got it. I think that’s the main thing – we’ve got it, we live, we thrive, we move on.