I love my family so much but gosh can they be triggering. Every time we go on holiday I underestimate the extent to which the familial interactions may affect me, and every time I find myself asking “Was it really a good idea to join them?”
By the end of day one I wanted to go home. Everyone was arguing and my Dad was so on edge and acting in a way that really upset and angered me. Then there was 19-year-old sis calling me a ‘stupid bitch’, shaming me and being generally nasty and unnecessarily competitive; there was my grandma being the height of controlling and refusing to let anything be simply okay for what it is, always finding someone or something to complain about; there was my 12-year-old sister’s hyper state when everyone starting screaming at her to calm down, despite the fact she couldn’t; there was everyone trying to force-feed me because once upon a time I was anorexic and apparently I’m not allowed to leave anything on my plate or dislike it for the rest of my life now!
There are 7 of us so far and 2 more joining tomorrow. Inevitably, it’s going to have its challenges. There are a lot of people, hence a lot of possible disagreements between us. A ton of Mindfulness and Acceptance is required…. if I want to come out unscathed. 😉
Day 1 was always going to suck because it was the day of endless traveling – and that’s when everyone is exhausted, stressed out and arguing constantly. My dad is generally quite calm but when he’s stressed he “loses it” at unpredictable and unnecessary moments. This was what happened in public in front of numerous spectators in the airport when traveling on Saturday, and the shame and anger I felt was overwhelming.
Sometimes I think I’m the most sane one in this family!
Day 2 was hard for me because I broke down about my scars and discomfort going outside in the humid sweaty heat without covering up, until 12-year-old-sis assured me that it was okay with her – and her reaction when she saw my arms was one of curiosity and love, not fear nor disgust.
And then, last night, for the first time this trip (okay shhh it has only been 2/3 days), I felt truly happy in their company. We had such a cute and entertaining dinner; my little sisters made me laugh so much, and I was really in touch with life and the joy I was experiencing – totally at one within the moment. It made all the stress of the previous day fade away and I could really hold onto the moment and savour it for what it was.
– and I’m thinking, in answer to my question above: “Yes, despite all the drama, it was definitely worth joining my family on this holiday.”