For thirty eight years, I have been told about a curse within my mother’s family.  Oh yes, I couldn’t agree more, but it is latent with mental illness and addictions.  Last night, my 54-year-old uncle, hung himself.  He was the youngest of fifteen children who always struggled with alcohol abuse.

The song “All my Life’s a Circle”, sung by Harry Chapin rings through my ears this morning, as I’ve been here before.   I always expected to receive a phone call about my brother’s death, but I never expected to hear that he escaped jail and hung himself in 1999.  Despite being a drug addict,I knew that he believed in God and would never take his own life.  I refused to believe this claim. Ridiculously enough, I was the only one adamant not to believe this even though his road to addiction started when I was 5-years-old.  I barely knew him but obviously I was the only one who truly listened to his heart.

After speaking to the Hamilton Police, thankfully it wasn’t true.   He simply died like every other unfortunate drug user out there; an overdose.  This falsified story did not come from the Police in Hamilton, but it came from one of my mother’s family who heard on the news that someone escaped Kingston Penitentiary and shot himself.  I guess he assumed it was my brother since Ontario is such a small province.  None the less, my brother’s funeral was latent with gossip because the first story was much more juicier than the latter.

I go back to 1995, when I was a young girl excitedly planning my wedding.  Now, I don’t know if my mother is the devil or if it’s mental illness, but her family did everything in their power to destroy my wedding.  From the minute the invitations were sent out, to my grandmother and the majority of the family not coming, to turning off the toilets and causing a flood in the reception hall, they were determined to make our wedding a fiasco.

I didn’t know my mother’s family at all.  I have at least 40 cousins, I don’t know any of them!  Why would they be so determined to ruin a 21-year-old girl’s wedding?  For years prior to my wedding, I wondered why I was never invited to any of their weddings. For that reason, I always stated that when I get married, everyone would be invited because family was important!  After that, I disconnected myself completely.

For a while after the launch of Facebook, I tried connecting with a few cousins, but after my aunt’s death last year and with all of the animosity I decided to disconnect myself completely.  Before Facebook, I didn’t know them so why should Facebook make things better?  To this day, I’ve been happy with this decision and would never go back to the level of hypocrisy I experienced.  Of course, this doesn’t mean that all of my mother’s family is “bad” as I do know of a few who are awesome individuals who keep to themselves as well.

My biggest fear in all of this is that Karma did happen.  Was it the curse or was it really karma?  It’s happen to every person who touch my life with deceptive intentions (basically my mother’s family).  I’m not cheering about it because despite karma always being a bitch, I’ve never wished ill will on anyone.

My biggest concern is that I have teenagers with a touch of genetics from my mother’s family.  All I can do is hope and pray that the long list of mental illness and addictions doesn’t trickle down to them.

I feel like such a bitch writing this today, however, call a spade a spade, my concerns of mental health trump everything because…

I’ve been here before.


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