I come from a broken home. Divorced parents, bitter families, a cyclone of emotional abuse.
Over the years I’ve gone back and forth trying to make relationships work with my family. Parents, grandparents, aunts, and every time I get hurt.
I’d always been, how do you say, uhh, cut from a different cloth? A different kettle of fish? A black sheep. My family could never understand my desire to leave my home town. Travelling? Why? Even going to University got some pretty dismissive reactions.
It’s been over 10 years since I’ve lived with my family. I went back for a few months here and there as a layover between other places, but nothing substantial. Whenever I leave I’m filled with more sadness than I did when I arrived. Visiting reminds me of how very different I am to my family as a whole, how much I don’t fit with them, how worlds apart we really are.
I have this constant battle with myself. I want their love, their interest, I want to be involved in their lives. But I don’t want to move back, get married, have kids and work for the council. I don’t even want to live in that whole area, it’s suffocating.
I had an argument a few months ago with a group of my relatives, and I haven’t herd from any of them since, not my grandmother that was like a mother to me, or my father, who to be fair I haven’t heard from in years, or anyone else. I had a large close knit family growing up, and now I have a small one. I am in a bit of a stale mate right now. I’m not calling because I want them to make the first move, a move I’m not sure they’ll ever make. And it hurts.
Then I remember I haven’t had support from them…ever really. Not having them in my life doesn’t physically change any part of me. And emotionally it’s like I’m only just now dealing with the affect of that.
December is a rough month for this though. It’s christmas, my birthday and a whole new year. Growing up we always had the biggest family parties, christmas day would be chaos in a greeting card kind of way. I’ve never been able to let that go.
I love my friends, but everyone has family centric christmases. So I have Thanksgiving, it’s a way to have all my friends together to have a big day of eating, drinking and games as I won’t have much of that on Christmas day.
Every year I’ve tried to keep up appearances, which is so important for my family. I’ve done all the cards, bought presents for people that don’t even speak to me, visited and spent a stressful few days doing to rounds to various houses, before leaving with a boot full of chocolate, wine and bath products to go Home. Melancholy and empty.
Not this year. This year I’m only seeing the people who are important to me, and who I am important to. It’s going to be a small christmas but I hope that if I keep doing this, next year and the year after will get easier.
Some times prioritising yourself can be the hardest thing to do.