Sep 5, 2011

The more things change, the more they stay the same: Me's Family Reunion.

Last night I decided to be brave enough to endure a family reunion. We were celebrating my grandpa's 60th wedding anniversary, and well, while I do have a very rocky relationship with my father's side of the family, I decided to grow some balls and go.

You have to remember, I am suffering from extreme exhaustion, insomnia, anxiety. Yeah. Real exciting times to attempt this. I'm at my most frail moment, yet I accepted the challenge of being with people who judge me and make my life difficult for hours on end. I must have a loose bolt or something.

So there I was. Haven't seen 99% of any of them in years. Last time I saw them, it was pretty depressing and hard to endure. They have never understood why I disappeared - and never bothered to ask. They just thought I abandoned them, never knowing that it was all of them who pushed me away. They glanced at me with dirty looks - why is SHE here? I wondered they thought. Oh well, here we go again, I thought. Maybe this time will be different.

While I'm sort of glad to report that I didn't leave with an anxiety attack, and for some reason people were a little bit nicer, it was still bittersweet and difficult for me to be there. I came home exhausted, silent, tired, feeling like I had run a marathon.

I learned a lot from life yesterday night, and myself.

I learned that I still have a strong defense mechanism. I learned that when people don't know all the truth they manipulate information so they look good and you always look bad. I learned that I honestly give a shit about that last statement, because I now know who I am, because I'm not lost anymore trying to decipher where I came from; but where I'm going. I learned that the term family is really relative and that it should not have to be related to blood or dna. I learned that people, when they are not really interested, never really listen to you.

I have been working at advertising for almost two decades now. Do you know that 90% of my family asked me - AGAIN - what is it that I do? Shit, I haven't even changed my cellphone number - and they still asked for it, even when I know that they have called me years ago - and I have called. Oh, you work in advertising, huh... What is that, exactly? (They give me this look like I'm a failure, since I come from a doctor/lawyer-or-nothing attitude of life).

So why did this all happen, you might ask, what did they do to me so that I felt this way? I am the first person who comes from a divorce in my family - and they took all their anger and frustration about braking that "record" out on me. They are a very tight nit family, so they cannot fathom the idea of me being independent and not calling every 10 seconds to analyze my next life step. They also reprimanded me constantly on not calling my father or wanting to be with him, without knowing that I tried constantly when I was growing up until I could not take his indifference one second more and gave up.

So you can understand that the winner of the night, the prize of all prizes was this little bit of story...

My aunt is sitting there giving me the all time lecture on why I suck and why it's so bad that I seldom see them anymore. While I'm there taking it like a man, basically, she continues on the theme of all themes: my deadbeat dad. The man that I despise the most, the man that has not cared at all about me and that I stopped caring for when I was a teenager. The man that disfigured the idea of a father, a concept that to this day I cannot relate at all.

"Your father changed for good so much, he's a completely new man" - my aunt tells me.

"Yeah? So why isn't he at his parent's wedding anniversary party" - I replied, empowered.

Silence is sometimes golden.

Kudos for me being right for one second, even if it took 40 years.


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