Today I spoke with my therapist about the emotional hell I go through this time of year due to family issues. The family issues are discussed in THIS POST if anyone is interested. Talking with my therapist helped me realize a few things:
1) I am very confused about how I am supposed to feel and act in regards to my family. On one hand, it is apparently normal to feel linked to your family and desire a close bond. On the other hand, one would be a fool to keep going back to the family that continuously hurts them just for the sake of genetics.
2) It is by my own doing that I am so messed up about this right now. My family has done nothing. Quite literally. I continue to reach out to them via email and Facebook, but I am then devastated when I don’t receive a response in a timely manner, if at all. I am the one who has put distance between my family and myself (something I DO NOT regret). I am the one who keeps reaching out, even when they don’t reach back. I am the one left feeling ignored and rejected when I don’t hear from them.
Which leads me to 3) I need to practice radical acceptance in this situation. What I WANT is to have a close family who loves and supports me, no matter what. What I HAVE is a family that doesn’t care about me, isn’t interested in me, has no desire for contact with me, doesn’t want to bother with me, and doesn’t have time for me. I suppose those statements may or may not be true. Either way, I do not have the relationship with my family I may want, and I need to understand that it is not going to happen right now. I need to accept that they are not responding to me the way I want. I can sit and stew and be hurt and angry about it. Or, I can accept it and take action to not put myself in the position to be let down and disappointed.
I have decided that I will not email with or send Facebook messages to any member of my family. Since the birthdays are coming up, I will send a brief Facebook message wishing them each happy birthday. If I receive anything from them for my birthday or Christmas, I will politely thank them. That will be the extent of my contact with them, though. I am open to possible reconciliation in the future, but that is not NOW. I need to focus on TODAY, and the reality of this situation, or else I am going to continue in misery over this. I know the only way we can all be brought back together is by open, honest communication. I know my parents. I know my siblings. I don’t think that will ever happen, though I would welcome it if it did. I have tried to make that happen to no avail. That’s fine. Forget yesterday. Forget the maybes of tomorrow. I am going to focus on today and accept the situation at hand.