So, it plays out like the last scene in a Chekhov drama.  The family members are distraught, looking at the flayed remains of their pack,  and silently accusing the others of sabotage.  Family secrets are just that:  secret.  No one needs to know the pain, the mortification, the grief.  A loyal member carries these in silence and passes them on the subsequent generations.

But invariably, there is always one among them who can’t stomach the pretense.  It wouldn’t be a drama otherwise.  The rebel, or traitor depending on viewpoint, divulges family intelligence  and the infrastructure collapses.  What was really important to this family, the well-being of its members or the collusion?

The poor treatment of the whistleblower is a clue.   Branded as disloyal, he’s relegated to non-person as the injured parties take center stage.    Under the spotlight, they tell tales of woe in the best Method acting possible and the audience shivers, knowing they are all carrying the same dark secrets.  And what scares them most, that they’re dysfunctional or that someone might out them?

Pain is an interesting phenomena in that people are willing to live with it rather than do anything about it.   They not only co-exist with it, they elevate it to an artform.  Look how I’m suffering; I’m a really special person.  The implication being that pain creates rank.   If you loved me, you’d agree to wallow alongside.  Nothing proves sincerity more than shared ignorance.  How could you do this to me?   Perhaps the real question here is why do you do this to yourself?

Not that leaving behind learned behaviors is easy.  It’s not only the action that’s abandoned, but all the players as well.


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