I’m having a difficult time, suddenly. Things were ticking along, and now they’re not. It started with times of heaviness, feeling smothered. Needing to lie down. Sadness.
I think it’s bits of PTSD, weighing me down. I’m not dealing with any of it in therapy, so I get to feel depressed instead.
In a way, the therapy break has been fine. I had one downturn, after attending a family event, and I wrote Ron an email about it. But other than that, I’ve been OK.
Nothing upsetting has happened to me. I haven’t even been lonely, really, except for today, where I was working from home. On the weekend I saw people every day.
I look in the mirror and my face has a greyish tinge. Oh dear. Big circles under the eyes.
I have noticed a kind of simmering rage against my siblings. I’m mentally working out how to arrange my life so I never see them again. Hard to understand why this is coming up now, when usually I don’t give them a single thought.
The family event two weeks ago was to welcome an out of town aunt and cousin who were staying with my parents. I find the aunt very appealing and kind. We had tea together on a different day and had a good time chatting. The cousin is OK. He’s a few years older than I am and I don’t know him well.
At the family dinner, there were two cousins and my sister and brother. They all joked around together. I didn’t really try to be part of it, but it was obvious, I wasn’t included. Then I found out my sister and brother had taken this out of town cousin out the evening before, without asking me. It kind of cut me, when I found that out. It’s like I can never take it in, that they do not include me.
For many many years, in my family, I was the scapegoat – just not as good as the other two kids. There was so much pain in the family, someone had to be at fault perhaps. Now my parents have more or less given this attitude up, but my siblings hang on to it for dear life.
Or, sometimes I think, perhaps I do act strange and stiff. Maybe there is something rather wrong with me.
It’s as if I’m from the wrong social class. In their case, it’s from the wrong intellectual class. Just stupid. And crass. I don’t say smart things.
I know these are things I need to put behind me. Sometimes it seems that if I keep going to these family events, I’ll always stay confused. Are they treating me like garbage? Or am I imagining it? It’s all done so subtly – things not said, people not talked to, expressions of disinterest.
This time, it was my brother who was ready to change the conversation. If I talk with anyone, one of them tends to be around to quickly change the topic to vegetables or the garden, if I should talk about anything they consider ‘dangerous’. Which is almost anything apparently. I notice it now. I was talking to my aunt about her childhood home, which burned down. She was sad about it, and my brother immediately switched the topic to tomatoes.
I can see at a cocktail party, or in social situations where you do not know people well, that you would want to keep to neutral topics. But with family too? How neutral do you have to be?
We used to have a great-aunt, Aunt H. She had a crooked back from childhood and had had a hard life, never married, living by herself in the country. She tended to be rather silent and negative. She was invited to family occasions out of duty – she was a relation, but no one cared much for her, and we made fun of her behind her back sometimes.
It was unkind and unfair. I believe she had simply had a hard and isolated life. Well, I think I’m falling into that category – the outcast who must be invited but not accepted as one of the family really.
Not quite. But in that ballpark. My family is one where outcasts happen.
Thanksgiving is the next big event where I’ll be expected to appear. If only I had alternatives. This is where being married would be very helpful. In any case, I’m considering staying away.
Lots to be depressed about.