My husband and I think we have clarity concerning family dramas; certainly our geographical distance from most family members allows us to weed out the BS and clearly focus on the true issue. Sometimes this super power is a good thing. And sometimes it gets us into hot water.
The good: You will only see us sigh, be uncharacteristically silent, and basically pretend like we are invisible when in the immediate presence of drama. When family members call us with a grievance about another family member, we acknowledge their issue, restate in our own words, briefly argue the other side, give suggestions only if asked, and sign off with a "good luck and let us know how it turns out." Then we drink a toast to being umpteen miles away from that mess. And also for not being in the center of it.
The bad: Sometimes when the issue lies with us, we cannot physically be present to duke it out, resolve the situation, and then hug it out. Just not good. Fights on the phone are long, drawn out, and it is too easy to accidentally hang up. Oops! Also in this category are on-going never-ending issues that fail to improve, yet the lament is just too juicy to not hear every detail on the phone and get sucked into the drama all over again. You aren't there for the battle, but sure wish you were so that you could have your say as well. Then, as with the good, we drink a toast that we are umpteen miles away.
The ugly: Involves festering wounds. Just sounds nasty and indeed, it is. Distance, both physical and mental, allows time for new things to pop up or old things to fester. The drama only builds and then explodes at the most inopportune time and usually at a family gathering. No toasts here my friends. This is the worst of the worst. Distance also makes it very convenient to not take an issue seriously. And hell hath no fury like a family member taken lightly.
The truth: The truth is we could care less about most of the drama. Every day we come into contact with deployed families and every couple of years deal with moving, new jobs, new schools, new houses, no friends, and now you want us to assist with that ax you have to grind? No, thanks. It may sound cold. It may even be dismissive, but when it comes to small petty dramas, we are done with playing an active role. We can't, no, we won't get on the family drama merry-go-round. It is called self preservation...we can't handle our own drama if we are wrapped up in yours. Sometimes we do have to get in the middle, and if we do, it will be short and sweet.
While stationed in Florida, I found a drink koozie at a gas station which pretty much states the guidelines for life:
"Never sweat the petty things. And never pet the sweaty things."Yes, of course I bought it. Clarity at its best.
Photo by Look Into My Eyes