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2001-04-16 02:24:59 (UTC)

Family Togetherness

Family Togetherness

I attended Easter lunch over at my Aunt Mary and Uncle
Mickey's house. My mother's side of the family was there,
but my paternal grandparents attended as well. There were
cousins everywhere, and the young ones, which really just
means the younger generation, sat in the kitchen to eat. We
all sat around talking.

My cousin Ashlyn lived with my cousin Sharon when they were
away at college. They got really close, and they were always
hanging out. After about 3 years together, they were at
odds, sick of living with one another. It was a relief when
Ashlyn graduated and moved in with her now-husband, Nick. As
soon as Ashlyn moved out, Sharon and her became close again.
The three of them were always doing stuff together.

All that time, I was three hours away from them, back at
home. We never did anything, and even when I took road trips
up to their city, we never saw each other. They've always
excluded me, unintentionally, I think.

This goes back to another entry I wrote a long time
ago, where I discussed how my family treats me like the
dirty secret. I mean, they're nice to me during holidays and
all, but they don't act like they like me. They never call
me to see how I'm doing, although I call them from time to
time when I know something's afoot. I realize I've made
mistakes in the past, although they were self-destructive
mistakes and nothing that ever effected them, but that was
close to 10 years ago. They won't forget it. They won't
allow me to redeem myself.

You know, I've been hanging out with Ashlyn a little more
lately, and we've been having a good time. Her and Nick are
almost done building a house not too far from my house. I'm
happy with how things are going, even though it took her 4
months to get bored enough to call me, once she got back
into town.

We were sitting around talking at the table, and Sharon and
Ashlyn were talking about all the things they had been doing
together. They discussed taking an art class at the
community college together, just for the fun of it. Right in
front of me, knowing damn well that I'm an artist, looking
to fill some of those credits. Maybe it sounds like I'm
being whiny, but it hurt my feelings. It seems that no
matter what I do to try to show them how well-rounded I've
become, they just don't care. The point is, they just don't
like being around me much.

Besides all that, before all the bruised ego and slapped
face, they were discussing all kinds of things that they've
done. They were talking about one another, about other
family members and friends. That's when it really, really
hit me...

I don't know any of them.

Seriously. I don't know anything about them. I don't know
what's going on in their lives, I don't know what they're
doing, I don't know how their health is, I don't know a

I can honestly say it's not all my fault. I've been trying
for years to repair my image. Since I didn't do anything to
them, I can't say I've tried to make up for anything. I have
been trying to show them that all my serious shortcomings
and problems are gone.

Maybe at first I tried too hard. But when I noticed that
nobody else noticed, I just started being myself, figuring
that was the best way anyhow. So I've been a good, caring
person (like I should be towards family) for years, and no
one gives me the time of day. No, they're not mean, and they
don't hate me. It's worse. They ignore me.

You're supposed to be able to lean on your family, to trust
your family, to love your family. I can't do that. Not even
a little. Of course, if something happened to me, every
single one of them would say, "Why didn't she just come to
us...why didn't she tell us something was wrong?" Because
they made it impossible for me to do so. They make me feel
unwanted and trite. They make themselves unapproachable.
Maybe it's because I'm not really like 'them,' because I'm
more like my father. Maybe it's because they just refuse to
give me credit for changing my life for the better. I don't
know, but I can tell you that if I needed something, I'd
rather go to a complete stranger than any of my family.

None of them take me seriously, or even think I'm capable of
thinking for myself, apparently. And my parents are the
ringleaders of the 3-ring circus.

This is why holidays are hell for me. This is why holidays
are so hard for me to live through. What was our last
holiday? Christmas. Do you know what happened to me two days
before Christmas? I tried to commit suicide. There's a
reason for that. (Actually there are several reasons,
but this is the only one pertinent to this entry!) Because
the thought of having to spend special times with people who
don't want me just kills me.

It's funny how a family gathering can turn itself into such
a dangerous trigger for me. I'm sitting here, thinking
irrational thoughts, knowing that I shouldn't. But I can't
stop them. I just want to run away forever. And never look
back. I'm so tired of my daily struggle. I'm so tired of
constantly fighting to keep my head above water.

And I just want to know why they think so badly of me...