Unvaulted: the Letter to my Paternal Aunt

My family is part Japanese, but you wouldn’t really know because they live on the dark side, leaving every family member in the dark in the name to keep people guessing I think?

Regardless, I wrote an email to one of the aunts in August of 2019, while some had critiqued  the email to be legalese (hey that’s the New Hampshire way!), I treated these family members, as foreign members even if they were blood-related. You don’t treat strangers like family… maybe I am the one with  the loose screws.

Names are redacted to protect the innocent:  

Dear [Aunt],

Hoping your summer is not as chaotic and stressful as mine is so far. 

I wanted to reach out and get a feel of setting some expectations as I slowly reconnect with the family. I understand, you are a working mother of all types, actively involved, and now taking care of [grandmother]. I’ll be honest, I have been struggling on how to communicate to you, how should I approach reaching out, what method to communicate, how long should I be waiting for a response, etc. I presume the feeling is bit likewise, as any reuniting with estranged family wouldn’t have the same story from one individual to another. Mine may be much different than yours.

A couple things I can observe of you is: 1) somewhat of an appearance that you are reserved; and 2) you bill yourself as the “glue” to the family. I’d like to ask some (hopefully not too challenging) questions and w/ the answers I hopefully get, could decide how intense I would like to be in touch with you. I think by reaching out now will prevent conflicts, misunderstandings and insults to one’s tolerance in the future.  I am not singling anyone out, I prefer to have a 1 on 1 relationship with each member (aunts/uncles/cousins…father TBD…like To Be [completely] Determined.) rather than clustering as one (the family). I don’t think families can be strong as a “cluster” as one happy-group, as opposed to multiple stronger one on ones; that can provide a better social value.
I’m aware of message I sent to you mid-winter, and I totally realized it was a bit over-assertive. And to be fair; there was a lot going on esp. in the January 3-way call. With all that said…(no wrong answers by the way and there is no need to answer every question)
  • Have I gone too fast?
  • Is there anything I can improve?
  • Is there something I can help you better understand me?
  • How can I better understand you? Is me reaching out to you just bad timing?
  • What would your ideal outcome in the next month, year, a couple of years with me and you?
  • Are you interested in getting to know me in a very close manner where one would have to throw away all perceived sentiment and is willing to get to know someone on a one on one manner for a period of time?
  • Are you interested in getting to know the very small success in life that have in some ways defined me?
  • Are you also willing to take the time to do that? Or are you in a position to wait till your kids age into college when you may have more time?
  • What is the best method in communicating in the meantime (voice/telephone; video chat/Messenger or Skype, etc? If so how often?
  • Is there a method to the idea of having the family be together? Are you bothered in any means that I am “choosing” my family at the age of 32? Do you feel bothered if the family doesn’t go well together as you would like to see it?
As you probably know that for a long time I’ve had family members of “close” nature was in the low single digits, to potentially expand that into scores, will probably take a long time. I’m aware that a number of people are “eager” to meet me (if memory serves me to not quote in verbatim by you), as this experience has shown, there are some that could be “eager” and some just randomly curious for the sake of being randomly curious (I’ll not name names)
I would like to extend this into a telephone/multimedia call sometime soon. If you can give me your availability, that would be appreciated.

Thanks ~S

Obviously there was no answer, I don’t know if there were “reasons” or they just freaked out. But I can’t speak for them and it taught me that I can’t be part of this type of family.