This is the time of year where so many of us may sink just a little more. Make no mistake, some of us are having a hard time right now and there are a million triggers. They jump up and scare us as if we were in a haunted house, the exit remaining hidden until after the first of the year. One turn leads to a painful stab to the heart, we run the opposite direction, and yet, another trap. I always think I won’t get through another one, but I always do. We all get through it. We smile, hold hands while “giving thanks”, but my heart is as dark as midnight - it’s all pretend. Will I ever find my way out of this labyrinth? I am losing hope.
If people would just be honest, if even for a second, I know it would help. All but my father have exiled me from my family. My dad is all I have left now. What do you do when the people that are still living, who legally should love us, don’t? Don’t they know the rules? This is maybe the only time in my life I am asking to see the “act of exclusion” that has been passed into this family, voting me out.
I have wanted to be a part of my five sibling’s worlds for as long as I could remember, but I never could make it. When we were young, I was too little. As we grew, I wasn’t cool enough and there was always the possibility that I would tell on them. That line of thinking only gave me the idea that I had some form of power. As always, my mom was five steps ahead of all of us. I really didn’t have any information that would be useful to her or I. None of us realized that yet.
I have spent my life wasting too much energy on hoping that one day they will consider me an equal. It hasn’t happened by now and must not meant to be. My late sister needed me and I acted as a caregiver, as a voice on her behalf. She was always grateful, though by that time, her mental illness, along with my unwillingness to let any of them trash my mom, caused more than few heated discussions. Our beautiful house had more tears than laughter. Yes, we were a farce, but we did win the Adventist Family of the Year award. I can’t even consider the ridiculousness of this, I will never understand.
I guess I just have to learn how not to care. I know I say this often but the shield that hides my hurt has been translucent this entire time. I never knew this, but I do now. This emptiness just expands the holes in my soul that are already dangerously large. The slash is now too big, there are no more safe guards. I will be going down with the anchor in which I have I tied myself to. I did this because I really thought that one day they would love me. They never truly loved my mom, why would I expect anything different? I really wish I could. My lungs hurt from holding my breath, as if I’m about to drown - gone from this family forever.
I know that when my father passes, I will no longer have a family that I can say I grew up with; who took care of me. The ones who always stood by me, who have always loved me, are the people I live with now. I wrap myself in their arms, never letting myself look back again.
What are we going to do? How are some of you going to handle the painful dynamics of this time of year? We never win, do we? Well, the hell with them all! I told my dad this morning that I wish I could see him on Thanksgiving Day, but I can’t. I turned my head so he wouldn’t hear the crack in my voice or see the tears that were getting ready to show themselves.
Remember, like I said, we always get through it! I can’t think of any another option, so we will show one another. I know some of you are in the same situation that I am, how do you get through it? How will I? Man, I miss my mom. She never let them have a full blow at me. She protected me, but I know she also predicted it would all smooth out just perfectly. We were both wrong.
See you on Thanksgiving, mom. Just us.
Hold tight my friends. I wish I had a wiser plan or even knew myself what I was going to do with myself, but this is the best I have to offer. The one thing I do know is the hard times don’t last forever. Nothing is forever. I have no answers today, I wish I did, I just don’t. If you do, let us all benefit from the wisdom of a calmer heart.
Thanks guys for all your love and support. You are my family and that is plenty to be thankful for. I appreciate you all from the bottom of my heart. Let’s talk again tomorrow. I will bring the coffee. -Ruth