Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Tomorrow we are spending the holiday at my aunt and uncle's.  My uncle is my Dad's brother, and I used to spend lots of weekends with he and his family when I was a kid.  I love this side of my family, because even though we only see each other a few times of the year, it always feels like...home.

Choosing where to go for Thanksgiving has gotten dicey over the last few years.  Once my Pop died, I felt compelled to spend the day with my mother.  It wasn't where I wanted to be, so I was ever so thankful that she decided to buck tradition and go to her friend's parent's house.

The last two years, since Pop died, I have chosen my other relatives, because it's fun and I don't have to be surrounded by negativity and a maudlin atmosphere.  This year was even dicier.  Mom decided she wasn't going to her friend's house, and I never offered to come to her place.  She made the correct assumption that I would be going to my uncle's, and I just let it lie there.  Cowardly, I know.

You see, my uncle's side of the family is technically my step family.  Since Pop died (and even before) many little things have transpired to make Mom persona non grata.  My sister has completely alienated that side of the family, as she always thought of them as step family, and not the people who actually gave a shit about us.

Last week my sister L had a little birthday party for my uncle and my niece (her daughter).  Mom actually came with.  It was odd in that the day of the party was on my Mom's actual birthday, but it was barely acknowledged.  Well, not odd, just...awkward.  To make matters even more awkward, Mom starts saying how she feels bad, but she won't be able to join us for Thanksgiving, because she will be spending it with my sister S (confused yet?  S is my full blood sib, L is my step) and nephew.

Silence.  Like you could hear crickets kind of silence.  Fresh in my memory was last year's conversation with my aunt "we'd invite your mom but she never seems to want to be here.  And your sister and nephew have made it very clear they don't like us."  Ahem.  Okay.

So, my step family, who feels MORE like family to me does not like my blood family.  I am stuck in a weird and awful place, because my mother keeps asking why she has been black-listed.  Um, really?  Think about it.  Mull that one over and see if you can figure out why, because it's quite glaringly obvious to everyone else.

I posted last night on some forums that my dirty little secret is that I sometimes wonder if my family, the ones I never remember meeting because I was younger than Cam when my parents hooked up, secretly puts me in the same camp as my mother and sister.  I wonder, because we are not blood, if I am really one of them.

It's ridiculous, so says my heart.  OF COURSE they love me and think of me as one of them.  It shames me to feel this way.  And sometimes I wonder if I only feel this way because of the rejection of my mother and sister....which then makes me extremely pissed at THEM.  Is their behavior and attitudes causing me to lose a bit of a grip on my family?  95% of me thinks I am completely bat-shit crazy to think this, but then there is the scared, self-conscious part of me that can't shake the feeling.

This issue has nagged at me throughout my life.  Having Cam may have exacerbated the feelings.  It scares the hell out of me to think she will ever feel this way about us.  About this family that I love.

So while I have a piece of my heart that is in turmoil, I am ever so grateful to have this family.  To look across the table and see familiar faces, not because we are genetically related, but because they have always been there.  I am grateful that Cam will grow up knowing that she is not the only one in the family who has no blood ties, and that everyone loves her just the same.

I am humbled and grateful this Thanksgiving holiday.

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