Monday, December 29, 2008

I need to get it out

We're home from a 3 day trip to Michigan for celebrations with my side of the family. We had a good Christmas. We had a good time. But then wouldn't you know it... Monday morning rolls around and my head is swirling with all kinds of thoughts about "what did she mean when she said?" "why can't we have an intelligent conversation about politics without berating people?"

Why is family so difficult? I mean, we had a great time with them - we really did, but then the day after hits and I try to figure out if I said anything wrong or offensive and why other people have no problem offending me.

And then I've been having an internal struggle for the last few days... I got some wonderful things for Christmas gifts, but I didn't get the few things that I really wanted. So internally I'm being a big brat. A big brat. And I really hate that. Its my own fault - I made my list too big. When I was putting it together, though, I didn't realize that I really wanted these certain things - I only realized it throughout the month as I was looking forward to Christmas and thinking, "I really can't wait to get my new Ipod Shuffle and my new Calvin clothes." Not sure why I assumed I would get them - I did - but I got other stuff off of my list instead. And like I said, its my own fault so I'm mad at myself for making my list too big.

And then I'm mad at myself for caring. I want to live a simpler life with less stuff... but then when I have a chance to get some stuff that I want, I turn into a brat about it. Truly, it shouldn't matter. So I have an internal battle with myself almost constantly. And it gets emotionally exhausting to do so.

Back to family... I just went and apologized to my brother-in-law for something I said. I made a joke at his expense at our party yesterday. Everyone laughed and he even acknowledged that it was a "good one", however, it was still at his expense and I feel bad about it. Why do we do that with family? Why is it okay? Shouldn't we be sensitive to them just like we are to others around us?

Family stuff is difficult for us for the simple fact that we think so differently than everyone there. I'm not saying we're better than anyone, just that on every single topic of conversation Dave and I think entirely different than all of them (sister, brother-in-law, cousins). We have really good conversations with my parents - they listen and are able to discuss with us, but not so much with the rest of the family. So we opt to shut up and not be a part of the conversation at all.

The big problem for us is not that we disagree with most of them, but that we don't feel comfortable talking about our opinions and thoughts because we feel like we'll be attacked, ganged up on and ultimately made out to be inferior. A lot of it is our own problem with our perception of things, but some of it is the way they act - the combination is difficult for us. They simply cannot understand our point of view because everyone they know shares their point of view for the most part.

So we come home feeling somewhat disrespected - but recognizing the fact that we opted to stay out of the conversation to begin with. The whole weekend is a balancing act - trying to be ourselves, yet trying not to be the outcasts and weird ones of the group. Sometimes it is simply easier to not "go there" than it would be to start the argument and end up feeling inferior. But then I get to spend today trying to decipher and process the weekend... hence the blogging to get it out of my head;)

3 comments:

Missy Eagen 3:35 PM  

I swear sometimes you'll able to say so well EXACTLY what I feel like I've stuggled with and although I love my family I sometimes DREAD visits with my siblings because of differences. We've agreed to focus on the things we have that are the same but that doesn't leave a long list, I also feel like they just let loose when "missy is finally gone". Why do I think like that? Anyway I to get this...

Happy New Year my friend :)

Jen 8:48 PM  

I feel like turning in 1/2 the toys my kids got and getting an ipod for me! Our house is swamped!

Marissa 1:16 PM  

I am astounded that Naomi was not swarmed with toys this year. It was a very modest Christmas for her which makes me ELATED. My nieces suffer from grandparents/aunts/uncles/cousins on the other side of their family that heavily show love through the giving of gifts and I swear you need a shovel to get through the front door.

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