040. The Cast of Characters

Just for clarity, and because I’ve never actually given a list, here are the people in my life that I either have already talked about or may talk about in the future. I’ve attempted to roughly sort them from most-probable-to-talk-about to most-insignificant:

It should be noted that these are all either false names, nicknames, or names I’ve made up for them.

  • Lev – my husband of four years. We met on Christmas Eve over 11 years ago, and he’s been the best Christmas present of my life. We come from very different backgrounds and even cultures, and we try to listen to each other’s point of view before making decisions. It mostly works. I love him, always, and I like him, almost always.
  • Bear – my three-year-old daughter. She’s opinionated, independent, and stubborn (which could also describe both Lev and I). She needs frequent doctors appointments and continuing care. It’s stressful, but I would give up everything I had in the world to try to make hers a little better.
  • KJ – my younger sister, biological. We were raised by my father and my mother together, and both mental / emotional scars from the experience.
  • Brent / Buddy – my younger brother, non-biological. His bio mom died when he was young, and his father married my mother, making him family. He also has mental scars from the experience. He’s now in college. As of this posting, he has plans to join the military when he graduates. As the youngest of the three of us, both KJ and I are proud of how well he’s been handling college and life in general.
  • my mother and step-father – two people whom I’m estranged from, mostly by my own choice. My siblings and I are convinced that my mother is a narcissist, and she’s emotionally / mentally manipulative and abusive / neglectful. My step-father (Brent / Buddy’s father) is really a victim in this scenario, but he’s also an enabler for my mother, which makes him someone to avoid as well.
  • my father and his wife – although I still talk to this set of parents, they have been no less destructive for my life; they simply have apologized for parts of it. KJ does not talk to them at all. They have never parented Brent, so he also has no contact with them. My step-mother would prefer for me to not call her “step-mother”, as she has never actually parented me and has no intention of doing so. This makes it seem like I’m disrespecting her all the time, but I’m really not.
  • Sunshine – Lev and my best friend, at the moment. She has two daughters, and has been one of the only people we’ve seen at all during the pandemic.
  • Queen Cleo – Bear’s cat. She loves no one except Bear, and bites strangers.
  • Baba and Deda – Lev’s parents, whom I love, and are frequently frustrated with. They do whatever they want, sometimes at the inconvenience of their children. They have also been very accepting of me when few other people have been, so I give them more leeway than I would other people. Also, it’s smart to try to get along with your in-laws.
  • Adam and Eve – Lev’s brother and sister-in-law. Lev loves his brother and generally won’t let anyone say anything bad about him (unless it is him, of course). But we can both agree that Eve is annoying and feels like she knows the right way for the whole world to be run and the right way to think and the right way to act. I do end up talking to Eve quite frequently, and I try to steer the conversation to “safe” topics; I inevitably fail. I feel sorry for their children. Sometimes I feel sorry for Adam. But generally just for the kids.
  • Lil and Nunu – Adam and Eve’s two daughters, Bear’s cousins.
  • Iris – the woman I went to prom with. She currently has custody of my old, teenage diaries.
  • Harmony – one of my best friends in high school. She has several health issues and sees doctors about as frequently as Bear does. I keep in touch with her infrequently because we both have problems remembering to keep in touch.
  • A Very Smart Man – my main teenage crush, ex-hubby of Harmony, explained here
  • Aunt Bee – my favorite aunt, my mother’s younger sister, who is still not always a “safe” person to talk to in my family because she likes to stir up trouble and wants me to keep contact with my mother. She also thinks my father is either the devil or close enough.
  • Grammie – my mother’s mom. The description for Aunt Bee works here too.

There are other people whom I don’t really have “open diary names” for yet:

Lev has six cousins (first cousins? second cousins? third cousins? idk), two of whom have spouses, two of whom have a child already, and one who’s spouse is currently pregnant. He’s close enough to keep in touch with three of the six.

I have a ton of extended family, none of whom I really keep in touch with, and only three or four that I actually care about. I’ve been estranged from my family through large parts of my life and thus haven’t grown attached to them.

Questions? Comments? Did I make this clear or more confusing? lol.

Read more: Intro | Smoke Dragon: Ever Clearer

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