Friday, December 6, 2013

Disappointment Feels Heavy in my Chest

Warning: There is nothing profound in this post. In fact, it's probably better if you don't bother reading it.

I get stuck on what to write a lot these days. It's easier to watch someone else's stories on the screen, or to read someone else's words in a book. It's easier to market my book, instead of writing a new one.

It snowed today. And instead of being cozy and knitting or reading or blogging, or glorying in the unexpected day off to play (or even to be accomplished), I felt bad. I cried while watching Little Women. I felt orphaned. Abandoned by family. Some not in a malicious way (perhaps none of them in a malicious way), but I felt lonely all the same.

My mom and my sister (and her family) live in Minnesota and I only hear from them sparingly, every few months or so; my dad (and his family) live not more than an hour away, but I only see him once a year on xmas eve, presumably because he can't be bothered any other time. He and his wife have a new roommate that I only found out about today when he confirmed he would *not* be joining us for our traditional xmas eve gathering because it would just be logistically too inconvenient. And then there's my other sister. The one in Wyoming. The one that stopped talking to me six years ago. For religious reasons, she said.

I asked my friend today if it was wrong to wish your family were different than they were. She said, No. When I said that it felt like I was giving up on them, she said, you can't give up on someone who won't engage.

It's not that they won't engage (except for Wyoming Sister), it's that they don't engage in the way that I want them to. Isn't that loving them conditionally then? "I'll only love you if..."? I keep coming up with excuses for them, or repeating to myself what they tell me. And my mom did just call me last month out of the blue and talked to me on the phone for two hours, when I know she hates talking on the phone, and then we followed up via FB chat last week for a couple of minutes. Another friend said that I don't need to make excuses for them, I need to just let the sad and disappointed pieces of me talk.

Maybe there is something to just accepting that they aren't who I want them to be, and not trying to get more out of them. I should just love them the way they are and get my emotional and familial needs met by others. Who'd want to be around or talk to anyone who is disappointed in you anyway? That way just leads to more hurt. Plus, I'm not the greatest at keeping in contact either. And what's with my whining when I miss them? Why don't I contact them when I think of them, instead of bemoan our separation and wonder why they don't contact *me*?

My children are home, but as teenagers they most often prefer the solitude of their bedrooms and YouTube, and my loverloverman is still in India (due home is six days!) Combining that with my geographically and emotionally absent family members, I feel understandably melancholy. Suddenly the dishes and making dinner look way more difficult to approach than normal.

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