I Hate Holidays. Conditional Love, part II

I’ve always hated holidays, thanks to my mother. She’d work herself into a tizzy and have expectations that never got met, so it was always a let down. If she had communicated these expectations, we could have just bought her whatever it is that she wanted or done whatever she expected was the right thing to do to make her happy. But we never knew and so we met with her disappointment as children and I learned to hate the holidays. Too much is expected on one day, when real living is done on all the other days, fit in-between the cracks.

With all that said, I still decorate for each holiday and muster some spirit for my children. Easter was no different. I sent an email to the soon-2-b-X about spending it together, etc. and got no response. (He has taken to ignoring my emails, admitting when he sees they are from me he avoids them. Nice!) I reached out again to the only relative I have here in my new town. We haven’t spoken since the nasty phone call several months ago wherein I had to hang up after numerous warnings,

“If you don’t calm down and stop yelling at me, I am going to end this conversation.”

(I called several times in the interim, asking if his/her anger had dissipated – although I was the one affronted! – and can we move on?) He/she has a huge ego, and a rigid sense of protocol: children should never disrespect their elders. But apparently the respect is not necessarily two-way.

Several invitations to the children’s events and birthdays have been extended, with a curt “No, I will not be in town.” decline. After this latest Easter request, I got a nasty email… a few days of silence, then an invitation. The soon-2-b-X was invited too. I accepted and prepared for the worst. This was going to be as much fun as a root canal without anesthesia!

Amazingly, it went well. He/she chose not to bring up the issue that caused our fight and I let it lie as well. That does not mean it will not rear its ugly head again, begging for a clearing of the air and closure, but for Easter, we were spared. Everyone was cordial. I feel short-sheeted in the family department. I have only one sibling, whom I don’t talk to either. Not for my lack of trying. Families are so difficult!

My mother always says,

“50 million Frenchmen can’t be wrong.”

I have beat myself up trying to figure out what I am doing wrong to deserve such conditional love. Why am I always the peace-maker, the forgiver? I’m pretty much done with it. My counselor of past said,

“Sometimes you are just surrounded by shitty people.” My other friend, “Sometimes its OK to give up on a relationship.” I argue,

But they’re family. I’ll have no one left. I’ll be all alone in the world.”

That’s when I really fear I’ll end up like my mother, friendless and family-less. My true friends, those who know me well, assure me that cannot be so. I am not like them. I will always be surrounded by loving, caring people. I hope and pray they are right!


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