Thank you Bruce :)
My favorite episode of the Simpsons is the one where Lisa decides to become a vegetarian. At the beginning of the episode she is at a petting zoo, gently petting a lamb. Later, at dinner, her mom serves lamb chops. She looks at the lamb chop and it transforms into a lamb. It speaks in a lamb voice.
"Don't eeeeaaattt meee Leeessa"
This triggers thoughts and feelings in Lisa. She begins to think of the lamb as a worthy creature and feels nauseous about eating it. A fire is lit in her belly.
She looks up at her family around the dinner table. She sees Bart and Homer. They are fighting over a lamb chop. They are fighting in the way dogs do, by biting onto the meat, snarling and growling while twisting their heads back and forth. At this point, she fully realizes where she is and what she comes from. Lisa Simpson comes from meat-eating savages.
She stands up, knocking her cartoon chair backward, arms thrust down at her side, fists in tiny Lisa Simpson balls.
"THAT'S IT!!" she blurts out, "THAT'S IT! I'M OUTTA HERE!!" And she storms out the room.
Which I have done, in my noncartoon life. I had left where I came from. It was an act of rebellion and anger. Of my own righteous thoughts and feelings. My thoughts included thinking I was nothing like my family, that I was better than that. I though there is a different way. My feelings were hurt and anger about many things. Mostly though, I was hurt and angry that they never saw or accepted me. They still don't. They still suck.
These thoughts, I realize, may not be entirely reality based. After all, in the throws of being hurt and angry, rational thought is not always possible. I factor this in as I work through the next step.
Nowadays, I find myself back in the belly of the beast. Back where I came from. I am living with my parents. And if there was one thing I could have done to prevent it, I would have. This includes cutting my left arm off. Yet here I am, at least for a few more months.
All my triggers are swollen in this house. Black thinking clouds swirl around me. Overeating urges tug at my sleeve, begging to start up again. My intolerance of obligation and discomfort steadily sounds an air horn. My numbness is growing and I haven't fought it much. But most of all, the anger is getting twitchy. I am starting to slam and bang.
But. I'm a grown up now. Fully formed. My life was created as an experiment to produce my own happiness.
I cannot underestimate how much I have created, how much I am. I have this awesome husband who loves me to bits. And these kids, these kids are so golden. And I have achieved so much in my work life. All good, all in the service of others. I've created a life unlike my parents. It is a tremendous and mighty life.
My experiment is now cemented into who I am. This is where I start the next step.
There is no doubt there is unhealthiness and disquiet with my parents. At this point, my kids find all the disquiet kind of funny. Like slapstick comedy.
I am teaching myself, and the kids, how to live with this for now. That even though there is unhealthiness in their midst, we can be who we are. We can still thrive and be joyful.
As for me, I am shutting off the anger, shutting off the unease. I don't have to fix anything over there, their ugliness can stay were it is. It's not my responsibility to take care of them.
Their pain is not my responsibility. And if I feel angry, irritable or snarly, I can calm down. I can deboard the crazy train. After all, I got off a long time ago.