So I had this epiphany last night as I tossed and turned for hours on end. How is it that my two wee dogs take up all the room on my fairly large bed?
A few months ago I felt 'depressed' though I don't want to use that word because it's too melodramatic. It was more like I was empty inside, or half-empty anyways, and I couldn't figure out why. It's not like I have any reason to be.
I have a wonderful man, my soul mate, who flew half way around the world to sweep me off of my feet and give me my dream wedding. I have a houseful of cute, little, loving animals who almost always know how to fill a void, or entertain at best. I have a mother and best friend in one. Despite her emotional struggles she is always there for me and everyone else in whatever way we need. She's so completely selfless and I wonder why I didn't inherit any of those genes.
I've got grandparents who came from a generation of close-mindedness but seem to understand the Internet love that joined my husband and I, better than anyone I know. They welcomed him with open arms and adopted him as their own son when they realized he had no family of his own.
Truly, I'm very fortunate. So what am I missing?
My husband noticed my blank stares from time to time and thought he should motivate me and challenge me in very creative ways. First he built a table and an 'art corner' for all my knick-knacks and art supplies, so that I could have a hobby. He supported my decision to go back to school part time as education is a form of mental stimulation, quite possibly the one I needed.
He encouraged me to apply for a better paying job, saying that I'm a better candidate than anyone else he knows.... I got that job.
Then he introduced me to three very sassy ladies who enjoy my passion for books, he set us up with a website for our new virtual book club just so that we can take it over and prevail.
Again, what am I missing?
I have a great job, great friends (both at home and at work), great life, and great books.
The newest book series that I'm into is the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. I find myself escaping and obsessing. I'd rather read than anything else.
This is when the epiphany hit. There must be something in Twilight that I'm lacking in my own life... The strong family ties. The vampires have their covens and the wolves have their pacts. They'd do anything to protect each other.
My family is much bigger than husband and animals, extends beyond mom and grandparents. There is a whole other side. There is a brother with his wife and new daughter. There is a dad and his wife and their two young daughters. Then there are dad's brothers and sisters and all of my cousins as well.
We all used to be so happy and close. We'd get together every month just to celebrate life.
My brother treated me awfully my entire life. Abusing me both verbally and emotionally. He got married and things changed a bit.
My dad's wife wasn't so great either with all of her mind games and craziness. She'd blame me for things that couldn't possibly be my fault. Secrets I'm not supposed to know and probably shouldn't share with the world. They are not my secrets to keep but they are not mine to tell either... Let's just leave it at 'being blamed for things I clearly was not involved in.'
Until I met my husband, I never really felt I had any choices. Had no where else to go. I thought life was supposed to be rough so I would just 'grin and bear it.'
At the last family reunion, my brother and his wife gave me the silent treatment. They avoided me like the plague. It was so obvious to everyone. My dad's wife made everything worse by instigating fights, separating us further by physical distance, snide and snarky remarks that include full-on insults toward my grandmother. My dad just stands there oblivious and chooses to ignore the obvious.
As I left the reunion I gave a little shrug of the shoulders "I tried." This was apparently cause for uproar and my dad snapped. He defended his son. PS his son is 30, this isn't about separating children in the playground.
I vowed not to ever be treated that way again.
My husband showed me that I can be loved and treated with respect. He showed me that I deserve better.
I have not seen or spoke to any of them since. I don't need a brother or a father. I avoid all situations like it. I won't force my family to choose but I won't make them feel awkward by having us all in the same room.
I perfectly content with my husband in our house. I don't need the extended family atmosphere.
But I miss it. I miss my sisters and their innocence... they're far too young to understand.
I miss my aunts, uncles, and cousins. I wonder about my niece and if I'll ever get to meet her.
I miss that feeling of 'whole' ... of belonging.
No amount of work and side projects can fill that void.
Alas, I have my books and stories of how things could be.