I think I’ve written before about how it seems like the very things I always want to write about are the things I really shouldn’t. This mostly applies to my job, but this week has brought up a whole ‘nother set of issues.
I’m good at venting. Really good. I could be a world champion venter about things like the stupid guy who cut me off on the way to work, or how I hate it that the people in the caf always charge me the wrong price. But I’m not good at talking about the big stuff. I think Liz was the one who told me once that the only time I’m particularly, noticeably quiet is when something big is wrong.
For ONCE I’d like to stop clamming up and talk about it. But I’m having a hard time with the idea that someday someone could find this site and be hurt by what I write. That seems silly, because I’ve never even told you my first name… but if you knew me this site would have enough information to confirm that it’s me.
So while I won’t go into the details, there’s pretty some pretty awful stuff going on with my family lately. This is nothing new, because let’s just say that there are some very good reasons that I live over 300 miles away and almost never go back there. But as usual it brings a fresh wave of guilt, of anger, of sadness.
It’s always been challenging to talk to people, partly because of my own desire to keep things private and partly because how do you really explain something that you’d have to be a part of to really understand? Also, when your family is like mine, pretending to be normal is something that you do on a daily basis. You go to school and pretend to be normal. You go to friends’ houses and pretend that your family is just like theirs. Very few people see through this facade, and the few that do are too sensitive to call you out on it.
Matt and I were living together before he met my family. I had been to Christmas with his family, met every relative he had, spent a lot of time with them and really got to know them before Matt ever met a single relative of mine. It took me that long to be certain that he loves me for me and would not judge.
And still, it’s hard for me to talk to him about them. It’s hard to trust that he won’t run away screaming – even though that is really unfair to him because he wouldn’t ever do that. I can’t help feeling that because he has such a great family that he can’t ever truly understand. Again, not fair. But that’s the way I feel. It’s hard not to be ever so cautious about our relationship at times, because we are, in a way, a family, and I do not want to build one that even slightly resembles mine.
He’s been great this week, giving me some space when I need it but also letting me talk. I think he somehow knows that when you grow up pretending that everything’s OK, that’s just how things go. It’s what you do. And no matter what the level of trust, it’s hard to break out of that habit.
I’m lucky in so many ways. I have a great job, a house, nice things, and a very secure, loving relationship. I KNOW, deep down, that I will never end up like my family. That I am strong, and intelligent, and dammit, people LIKE me. (Sorry, needed a tiny bit of humor.) But sometimes these little pep talks that I give myself don’t always work. Remember, I am a worrier by nature.
I do feel a little bit better after writing this, so I guess this post served its purpose. Hopefully this weekend will be nice and a good way to be happy and relaxed – fingers crossed!