Force of habit, or deep distrust?

Can ignoring eachother be considered a family tradition? Not being facetious, it’s just that we don’t – or can’t – get in touch very often. The Zukics have never been the sort to avoid clannish intimacy or seasonal gatherings, but nor do we maintain contact outside of those events when we are physically in the company of one another. ‘Out of sight, out of mind’, you might say. The more I think about it, the more I remember that even on the rare occasion that we do get together, the atmosphere is more cordial than comfortable. We seem to erect walls between us that withhold our true feelings and keep honest interaction at bay.

Given my experience with other families – my fiancé Radmila’s, for example – it has gradually dawned on me that this sort of distant relationship is actually quite peculiar. Abnormal, even. In fact, certain friends of mine regard it as a running joke that I never know where any of siblings are at any given time, and take great delight in my hapless ignorance every time I’m unable to say what my kin do for a living. I only have two sisters and three brothers – pretty average for a clan in Sarajevo – and our father Feda died in the war when I was five, yet even this small number of people are unable to interact regularly enough to have even a rudimentary knowledge of eachother’s lives.

What is the reason for this? Maybe we just don’t like one another. Maybe we don’t like the feelings that arise when we communicate. Maybe we are not interested. Maybe we do not value family in the way that others do. Giving eachother such a wide berth may be unusual, but perhaps it is just advisable. Why rub shoulders with those you disdain?

Solidarity, brothers & sisters…

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About Seba Roux

Gooner, Socialist, Historian, Slacker. That's pretty much all you need to know.
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