Resistance Is Futile

Six members of the Duncan Clan: Edith, Barry, Norman, Enid, Stanley and Damian. Two parents and four of their children had organized themselves into an inter-connected collective with a hive mind, consumed by jealousy, competition, resentment and excessive entitlement. They had become humanoid drones living in a dysfunctional familial hive.

When Faye first saw a Star Trek episode featuring, ‘The Borg,’ she knew this to be the perfect metaphor for Michael’s family. The Borg was a terrifying pseudo-race of half human, half computer entities, created from conquered species. Against their will, they were assimilated into a collective mind to be ruled by a Queen. The Borg rarely spoke, but when they did, they sent a collective audio message, as dictated by the Queen: "Assimilation Inevitable. Resistance is Futile." With bemused resignation, Faye realized the Borg imperative permeated the Duncan family.

During their childhoods, they had learned one single-minded purpose; to acquiesce to their parents’ demands in the hopes of feeling approval and love. Even as adults, with their own lives and families; the Duncan children were expected to behave as a collective, with unquestioned allegiance, in all things, to Edith and her consort Barry. No matter how strongly they might disagree with Edith and Barry, when the final tally was taken, to submit with passive acceptance was the path of least resistance.

They were assimilated into the power of the Queen. Her name was Edith and she ruled with manipulative control and calculated precision. Often, Edith masqueraded as a helpless, confused and tearful victim seeking the pity and understanding of others for her tragic plight. This was a particularly powerful tool when it came to her marriage. Barry was Edith’s ‘knight in shining armor;’ rescuing her from danger and all the evil and vengeful enemies she deemed a threat.

Barry fiercely protected Edith’s royal protocol with weapons of anger and physical intimidation. His children learned to fear him. They had been well-trained in the co-dependent practice of burying truth, reality and legitimate questions in the family grave marked RIP - Restricted, Illicit, Prohibited.

The Duncan children knew that to disagree with Queen Edith’s edicts resulted in dismissal, rejection and banishment from the Duncan Kingdom. As they grew into adults, the stirrings of discord and rebellion rippled through the family for many years. Most of these minor uprisings were dismissed or summarily squashed.

An ironic consequence of this state of affairs was that Michael’s brother, Damian, and his sister, Enid, began to model themselves after their mother, Edith. Eventually, they successfully captured their parents in a well-crafted net of deceit, manipulation and control; getting exactly what they wanted, when they wanted it.

During an argument, Michael passionately told his sister, Enid, he believed mutual respect between a parent and child was essential to the success of the relationship. Enid was annoyed. Her reply stopped Michael in his tracks, “Mom and Dad are old, stupid and feeble. Tell them what they want to hear. It’s easier that way, and you’ll get what you want.”

Edith and Barry had built a foundation of dysfunctional clay which, year by year, eroded and led to the family’s explosive disintegration. They were morbidly blind to this devastatingly sad fact. Barry and Edith had become the targeted prey in their own game of control and manipulation.


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