"I can't explain myself, I'm afraid, Sir, because I'm not myself you see..."

So even though I don't participate in easter celebrating I am required by marital law to go and have dinner with my in-laws. This really makes me hate holidays. I really, quite loved Christmas until they came along.
I'm going to share this with you bloggies because I am feeling down and I tend to remain down and full of dread the whole week prior. Here are some things running through my mind that maybe you can help me with:
-I have never been liked by them. I have to mind what I say, how I dress, who I am.
-I have "known" them for 11 years this June, yet they don't know a single thing about me except that I play guitar and I work in maths.
-I have to dress a different way when I see them because they wouldn't accept my usual jeans and cardigan way of dressing
-I have to hide my wrist tattoos
-They do their best to exclude me and I am usually just left in a room somewhere and then I am scolded for not joining in
-They tell me that I am a part of their family now, yet make me feel like nothing but the farthest from this.
-I lose myself when I have to be around them. I don't know how to be. It's a double edged sword: They don't like that I don't talk to them, yet when I do talk to them I am being scrutinized so it makes me not want to talk to them.
-I am severely uncomfortable while there.
-Everyone is incredibly rude yet I can't be rude back. I'm not good at being rude. I was raised differently I suppose.
-The whole experience is painful. The preparation, the buildup, the big visit, the finish and the aftermath
-I often leave angry or upset.
It's easy to say "just stop it" but entirely another issue when it's gone on for so long. After 11 years shouldn't I be accustomed to this? Any good words of advice or inspiration I can carry with me this weekend my bloggie buds??

8 comments:

The Mrs. March 29, 2010 at 10:55 AM  

and how could you leave off that they made you carry around a 15 lb plate of shrimp to serve to guest at your rehearsal dinner?! That my friend was classic.

I'm sorry you have so much angst, I dont understand it. {Them not you} you are an amazing person and its a shame that they haven't gotten to know the real you.

BeckEye March 29, 2010 at 12:46 PM  

Get very drunk. That's the only advice I can come up with.

The Bumbles March 29, 2010 at 1:33 PM  

Well that is just bizarre - how could a family that causes you such unhappiness create the person you love the most in the world?

I told you before - you need to write them a song. Well, you could write a song for them. But even better might be to write a song for you about them. One that lets you get our your anxiety, makes you laugh a little, feel better. Then when you are stuck in their presence feeling blue, you could sing that little ditty to yourself and give you something happy to hold on to.

KaLynn March 29, 2010 at 3:04 PM  

Me, being me, would prolly just not go. I would not put myself through all of this crap. But you are nicer than me.

I am 54 years old and don't put up with much of anything anymore, not that I put up with a lot anyway. But can you just not stay home? OR go somewhere else? This is ridiculous! It is making me mad just thinking about it! Come to my house! Not sure we are doing anything but you are more than welcome!

I can't imagine why anyone would not like you! You are a totally awesome person! Tattoos smattoos! Big damn deal! I have a little tattoo, all my kids have tattoos! WE are the black sheep of MY family! I'm a rebel and so are my kids.

I have no useful advice but you have wrenched my heart!

Hugs and kisses to you!

Toni March 29, 2010 at 6:11 PM  

You could always come spend Easter with me & my family! We would love to do nothing but lounge around on the floor while you share some beautiful tunes with us. We will feed you too!

Richard @ The Bewildered Brit March 29, 2010 at 8:21 PM  

Honestly? I don't think you should go. I know in many ways that's easier said than done, but I don't think you should go.

Does your husband know what it's like for you? Cos at the very least, if he knows he should be acting as a buffer between you and them.

It's not like you haven't tried. You have. And you've tried longer than most people would. You're an adult, you have a right to enjoy your life and to enjoy your holidays (even if you don't celebrate them!). Sure, life is full of compromises, but this sounds like a compromise too far.

I guess it's too late for this Easter (unless you cancel at the last minute feigning illness), but there are several things you could try. Some of them emotionally difficult (get your husband to talk to his family, telling them to be nice or you won't visit any more), some of them more passive (you and your husband arrange to go out of town on holiday weekends).

If no one helps you, or things don't improve, I'd seriously consider getting blind drunk and making a horrendous scene so you can never go back again!

Honestly, I agree with KaLynn: you shouldn't have to put up with this crap. And things like having to dress differently and hide your tattoos? It just makes me angry reading that!

Bottom line: it's your life, you tried, you shouldn't have to do this anymore.

Penny March 30, 2010 at 9:29 AM  

Thank you all for the kind comments and for listening!!!
I really needed that ♥

Liz March 2, 2011 at 12:29 AM  

You poor dear. Really, I can't imagine feeling so terribly around people that are a part of your family now. I would like to plant a seed in your head. It is mostly for your benefit and yours alone. Have you tried to understand that our reality is really how we *choose* to perceive it? You start our by saying that they have never really like you. How can you say this is the truth, without being inside their heads? You perceive certain things to be true about them, and all of it seems to be how they negatively perceive you as a person. Are they rude, or is your perception of what "rude" is different that theirs? Hun, just because you have tattoos, and perhaps dress differently that others doesn't mean that those who don't sport tattoos or dress more main stream dislike you because you are different. Think more openly towards them, try to get out of your own head for just a bit while you are around them and open up. Be yourself, and maybe you will begin to perceive them a bit differently. Best of luck to you.

 
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