This cartoon was inspired by the following (excerpted) letter to Carolyn Hax:
“I come from a toxic family full of addiction. I’d love a relationship with some of them, but they come as a package deal. We haven’t spoken in four-plus years and I have no plans to change that.
“I thought I was marrying into a ‘super healthy’ family, but eventually, after years of therapy, I realized they are just healthier than mine, which isn’t much of a standard….
“The point is that my poor son is getting very low on family members. All five biological uncles and aunts are estranged. He has four grandparents, two estranged. We have two cousins far away, and my two best friends, who are the most involved ‘aunties’ you’ll ever meet.
“What is this teaching my son about family? That it is expendable? Not worthwhile? That there is no permanence, import, between parents, children, siblings?
“… I’m truly fearful he’ll get the idea that you estrange from a family member as easily as you throw away a napkin.”
May 31, 2017