I’m approaching 4 years pretty much consistently with Scrappy. My wife well down the road of understanding as are my kids. However, none of the rest of my family (meaning mother, father, brother) know what has gone down. Should they? Would it matter? Would it help? Would it hurt?
I can rationalize it all sorts of ways, but mostly it comes down to me being a big chicken. Or perhaps not. Having lived in London, Germany, popped around Europe, Sydney and now Hong Kong. My family most sense something is wrong. But they have access to the grandkids who seem fine, I call regularly with no sound of stress in my voice. But clearly they would have their head in the sand to not think something is amiss.
But no one asks. It’s personal. You don’t go digging into someone’s life even your own family without a clear objective and simply being nosy (which my mother is) is not good enough.
I thought about whether this was in effect, lying to them and that they would be hurt because I didn’t tell them something had happened. But the reality is if I tell them, they will have questions and be ultimately supportive. It’s the questioning bit I’m not sure I want deal with. They’ll want to rewind the tape for 4 years and get the story. How did this happen? What does this mean? Are you OK? Is your wife OK? Are the kids OK?
It just sounds painful, so I continue with this don’t ask, don’t tell policy, I’m happy, and they’re none the wiser.
Scrappy is brown (hmmm brown, more of a tan brown, but brown), he’s very young and the odds of my family, a hard core bunch of Southerners accepting him is probably pretty remote. They have an image to maintain. At first glance, Scrappy is very young, brown (hmmm brown, more of a tan brown …) and a bit let’s say exotic to look at. It’s not until you see him and I interact do you realize we’re an old married couple, squabbling about little stuff and very comfortable with each other. Scrappy also is just cool, it only takes a few minutes to realize his sincerity, his way of putting you at ease, his ease with himself.
But I’m not so sure my family would get that far, at least initially. So I continue down this road, whether I made a conscience decision it is hard to tell. I will either have been right in my decision or wrong and unfortunately, I’ll just have to live with that.