Today marks two years that I’ve been estranged from my biological family. There’s a long and dramatic story attached to that decision and what ultimately pushed me to “pull the trigger” so to speak, but I don’t want to share that quite yet. Today, I just want to share the transcripts from the final voicemails that I received from each member of my family of origin. I think that the messages actually do a great job of outlining the type of relationship I had with each person and the role I played both within the family itself and in each individual person’s life:
“Andi, I’m trying to call you to vent about people who’s IQ’s are inferior to mine and you’re not picking up and I really need to discuss this because this dumb twat bitch in my class is talking shit and thinks I can’t hear her and she needs to get slapped right in her little bitch face. Bye.”
“Hey sister, this is [Sister] (as you probably know). I just wanted to wish you guys luck on your run tomorrow if I didn’t catch you before that. Um, I’m working late so I figured I’d catch you in between jobs. But, um, I hope everything goes well tomorrow. Also, I got this great job notification about a job working for the government. So I’m gonna work on my resumé and update it with my cover letter and stuff. I was just gonna send you my cover letter just for you to look over and make sure it looks okay just to get a second set of eyes. Um, so I’m hoping to work on it on Sunday and get it emailed to you and then get it emailed to them by Tuesday if you’re gonna be available. Um, so anyway, hope you have fun and good luck with your race and I shall talk to you when you get back. Okay, love you. Bye.
“Hi Honey, just wanted to let you know that…If you didn’t get my text message…that the dress came in – around 6:30 they dropped it off. So it’s here in our house safe and sound. Love You. Bye.”
So these are actually series of a voicemails. The first six were all left within about 20 minutes of each other, interspersed with scathing text messages of similar content. She was upset with me because of something going on with my older sister (the prompting event I referenced earlier):
VOICEMAIL #1 (9:36PM):
“Hi, this is Mom…on the way to Georgia. Wanted to call and wish you a Happy Easter. Can you please call me?”
VOICEMAIL #2 (9:38pm):
“Well, let me think…Since you don’t want to answer the phone and you don’t want to call me back and you don’t want to…whatever. Maybe I should just like, I don’t know, call [Wife]’s parents tomorrow? Maybe you’ll actually pick up the phone and talk to your mother?!”
VOICEMAIL #3 (9:39pm):
“You better just throw this phone away because I am just gonna keep on fucking calling you until you answer the damn phone. I have done nothing to you. Nothing!”
VOICEMAIL #4 (9:42pm):
“If you don’t call me back and discuss whatever your problem is. I will never call you again. I will never have ANYTHING to do with you again…. as long as I live.”
VOICEMAIL #5 (9:55pm):
“You know, I think I finally figured it out: um, we’re not quite rich enough for you. You can go have your precious little dinner with your [married name] family because I don’t have an Andi [maiden name] anymore. That child died a long time ago.”
VOICEMAIL #6 (9:58pm):
“Um okay, Andi… How would YOU like it if your father and I asked [Sister] and [Brother] not to talk to YOU? How could you be so selfish?! You couldn’t even call your own [younger] sister back on your birthday! What did she ever do to you? Why are you doing this?! What is wrong with you?! Andi! I gave my life….my LIFE for you. What have you…Andi…EVER done for us?!”
This final voicemail came in about two weeks later, just following the Boston marathon bombing. We’d had absolutely no contact since she left the above messages. She had no reason to believe I would be near Boston, but I think since I live in NYC and at the time we weren’t sure exactly what was happening, she may have been concerned that NYC might experience terrorism as well. Either way, here is the message she left (she is sobbing by the end and does not finish her sentence):
VOICEMAIL #7: (4/15/13)
“Hey, they got a big explosion at the Boston marathon. Two bombs went off and I just heard another went off at the JFK library. Call me when you get home. I want to know you’re okay and you’re not….I….”
So….yeah. Those were the last words I ever heard from each of my immediate family members. I don’t miss them. And when I brought this transcript (as well the recordings of the messages) to session today, the therapist said that this was literally all she needed to hear in order to understand why I cannot have contact with my family. She was particularly impressed with how quickly my biological mother escalates. She also told me that two years without contact was no easy feat and I should be proud of myself.
I am. But I’m also a little sad, I think. I don’t miss them, but sometimes I do miss the illusion.