‘You can’t come inside my house’ was running through my head when I woke from a dream that pulled me right back to those fervent childhood emotions. I was on a bus where I was being ridiculed for being unable to pronounce the word ‘kite’ when I slapped her. In the dream I was sent to the front of the bus and awoke as I was being prompted by the bus driver not to cry, fighting back tears as I awoke.
Dreams are like that sometimes. You wake up a bit wiser, a bit changed.
It’s okay to let go, to leave people behind, even if those people are part of your family. A lifetime of tension, of words that can’t be unspoken and hurtful actions and words that spilled over into adulthood became more than childhood bullying on the bus.
You don’t have to let people inside your house, you don’t have to let them forge a relationship with your kids. You don’t have to have a relationship with theirs. You don’t have to send birthday cards. You don’t have to make small talk as you chat weekly on the phone. You don’t have to let them sit on your couch. You don’t have to serve them tea. You don’t have to talk about the painting you found and immediately fell in love with. You don’t have to share your passion. You don’t have to let them sit on your couch.
There are times when the door is best left closed. The perfect combination of volatile behavior, strife and this thick layer of icing meant to smooth it all over that leaves a bad taste in your mouth. It’s cathartic to be reassured that you own the front door. You own that front door.