When your family doesn’t want to see you

I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster that has mainly had stomach churning dips that are never ending. There’s been a move, my husband’s surgery, my husband still jobless two years later, and my brother getting engaged. I feel like I can’t fully exhale because something else is just looming to punch me in my stomach for good measure if I try to catch my breath.

There has been a plan to visit my family that got dashed because it was my idea when to see them because I could get cheap plane tickets. Now, I’m staying in the city so that I can explore it for the first time ever while they can either decide to see me, or not see me. Yesterday both my mother and my father told me to cancel my hotel, plane tickets, because what was the point of my trip? It’s a lot of money to waste on sightseeing and that they didn’t want me to come.

My emotions that were well tied up for awhile broke at the seams. I was angry, hurt, sad, and told them that my original plan was to see them and this was my last chance to do it. With my husband being out of a job for so long and his 401K officially used up my plan is to pick up every weekend to make the most money I can. This is my last chance to travel until a time I just can’t see right now. But, since they didn’t plan for me to come and this was my idea I have had them attack my plan time and time again. 

My mind teeter-totters on the edge of just doing what they say, yet my stubbornness fights against it. I have this weekend and two days off for this trip and I won’t get put on the schedule at the last second. And I want this trip for myself. I need it as a break from the relentless working and stressing loop I keep falling deeper down. But, unfortunately, I end up doubting myself as my family tries to get me to disengage from this vacation. It’s a negative feedback loop that keeps getting fed every time I talk to them.

I think I need this for my own sanity to travel and enjoy a city I love and coincidentally came from.

The point where you love your body

0607111853I believe that women in particular can have a difficult time with loving their bodies, because I know I have personally had a very hard time with it since I first got a ‘body.’ As a little girl I was nothing but legs and height, and all I cared about was playing outside for as long as I could and doing boyish things with my brother. Puberty hit me at a really young age and I recall being thrown off by what was happening to me. My long, lean build was gone and I ballooned out in about every direction.

Of course, like any woman out there I was teased quite a bit and bullied a lot. The boys started noticing any girls who had ‘blossomed’ and so I covered myself in baggy clothes and hid it as best as I could. The worst teasing, unfortunately, came from my family because suddenly my metabolism was turned against me. I couldn’t just eat anything like I did as a kid and have it not show. My family thought they were helping me by pointing out my weight daily, but year after year of this on a constant basis deteriorated my perception of myself. I avoided mirrors like the plague and got used to hearing from my mother in particular that if I lost weight I’d be perfect. 

319919_1975714788888_1123630225_31682279_2101631656_nTurns out later that I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and this makes it difficult to lose weight, easy to gain, and your hormones are completely out of balance. Even when I was diagnosed and put on medication it didn’t help my weight, and I may have gained while I was on my medication. The symptoms it helped clear was cystic acne and it regulated my period so I wouldn’t go six months at a time without one.

To this day I always react to people bullying someone about their weight, even if the bully is that person. I make sure to say any good thing that crosses my mind, you look good today, etc. but I try to keep weight out of it. Lately I’ve been told that I look like I lost weight… and I know I haven’t. I just don’t need to lose any more especially since I am very content at how I am right now. I have never been as happy as I am about my body, especially because it just feels so much stronger. I had a set goal weight I wanted to go for at first, yet, I don’t care as much if I am at that exact weight or a few pounds above it because my body just feels good. It even shows in my career that I can give deeper massages that may have exhausted me if I did several in a row before and I don’t feel tired at all.

0907111815Through my journey I’ve had I have realized that finding love and appreciation for your body, and who you are, of course begins and ends within yourself. The kind of teasing and bullying I’ve been through for my weight is something I’d never wish upon any other woman or especially a child. Yet, I know as women we have to fight against not only what people say about how we look, or the media says, but also when we end up turning against ourselves as well.  To this day I don’t like it when people I don’t know tease me incessantly thinking they are funny and I will tell them every time to stop it. 

I am not one for resolutions or goals but I did have at least one this year that I will continue to love my body, treat it good, and maintain all the hard work I’ve done. I want to continue doing one of my passions I never thought I would have which is cooking 6-7 days out of the week. I’ve always been one to want to change little parts of me, my thighs, my stomach, and I’m learning to be content with what I’ve got. It’s a process continuing to love your body, especially when it seems like everyone is telling you that you need to fix any flaws that you have. I realize now my flaws are what make me… me, and that they can be the most beautiful thing about a person.

Family isn’t just a word

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have an uncle and aunt who technically aren’t my aunt and uncle, yet I’ve always seen them that way. And, for a while now, I feel like I’ve been playing a childhood game where I can pretend that they are my family, even though we aren’t, because they’ve made me feel like family. These two people have made me feel special, and like I was important, since I was a little girl and I’d honestly hardly ever see them.

It wasn’t until the trip where my husband finally met them that I realized I wasn’t playing a childhood game of pretending. It was real, and not only did they call me their niece but they were also super proud of it. It was a unique and awesome concept, being able to show my husband some of my family that had adopted me in. We had so much fun spending time with them, a lot of laughs, and I appreciated the time we got to spend with them.

214Now, I will be traveling back to visit them with my brother, which is something I’ve always wanted to do. My brother has asked me since I was a teenager if I wanted to travel with him to visit my uncle and aunt and I’ve just never felt I could do it. There was the difficulty of getting the time off, not getting paid for taking the time off, getting someone to cover me, and the cost of the plane ticket on top of everything else. Yet, I feel like since my move my husband and I have made a year ago I am more daring, and luckily, have an easier time getting time off to travel. This trip was pre-planned before I found out my husband would be losing his job so it takes on a deeper level of being around family during this time.

My brother has always been someone I’ve looked to for guidance in really tough times, much more so than my mother or father. My mother likes to look at me for reassurance, and so does my father, so I’ve come to lean on my brother for our rare serious conversations. There may be no serious conversations, only fun, since I will be hanging out with him and my uncle and aunt. I haven’t been laughing very much lately, truly laughing, and with being a rather positive, funny, and upbeat person it’s been hitting me.

018And, of course since I am a happy go lucky type of person everyone around me is aware of the change if I don’t cover it up carefully or if I’m not busy I will just be thinking too much of the ‘what ifs.’ When I’m thinking intensely I am one of those people who frowns or looks slightly angry so I’ve been trying my best to be preoccupied which is easiest when I’m massaging.

I thought of canceling the trip to meet up with my brother where we’d spend the time with our aunt and uncle when I found out my husband is being furloughed. I told myself it wasn’t right to be traveling, to be on vacation, to be laughing, when something so serious is going on. My husband, of course, insisted that I go and that I needed it. Truth be told there’s been a number of years I have wished I could have traveled with my brother to visit our aunt and uncle, yet, I just couldn’t and now I have the chance to. I just got back from a trip and ended up getting sick from that so I’m trying to recuperate as best as I can.

I want to lean on family during this time of uncertainty and I am going to try my best to. I’m not the type of person to let people know what’s going on in my head, what I’m struggling with, but hopefully it will be a relief and what I need.

Memories of my Grandma

214I’ve been thinking about my grandmother a lot lately, it seems like the tiniest things will remind me of her or make me think about her. She recently passed, and I made my trek back home for the funeral short notice. My grandmother was a strong willed, immovable force kind of woman. She was a matriarch, the head of everyone, and we didn’t quite see eye-to-eye on many things. Yet, she and I had a lot more in common and did have some fun times.

She was a green thumb type of person, naturally very gifted with plants. My grandmother was also a big bird watcher, so lately when I’ve been seeing birds I tend to think of her. It’s just a passing thought of how she’d love it, with the birds being so close, and some of them being the types she’d love to see.

I try not to remember my grandmothers funeral, how I knew that this time I wasn’t too young to understand what was going on. It was my first open casket, or at least the first and only one I remember in my life. It was my brother who prompted me to actually look in the casket, to say my goodbye fully instead of just trying to look past the person in there without really seeing it. There was a time when he wanted to say goodbye to a person, and unfortunately, he couldn’t see them and hadn’t see them for so many years and he wasn’t given the chance.

I kept on saying in my head, whatever you do, don’t cry. Don’t show them tears, just don’t do it. I’m not very close with that side of the family, I’ve always been an outsider, and I’ve accepted that as I’ve gotten older. This promise to myself not to break down would, of course, be broken.

It was the last goodbye to my grandmother, the time before her burial. I saw the person in front of me kiss my grandmother goodbye, and I couldn’t fight it. I cried, seeing her for the last time, my mother beside me whispering for me to stop crying, and then she starts crying too. It was surreal, seeing her there for the last time, almost like it was impossible, yet it was possible.

Now I think of her and little things remind me, a fleeting thought, birds, flowers, memories flooding back for a moment.

The Game Changer when you fall

214I’ve never been one to dream of getting married, rather I’ve been the complete opposite. The last thing I could see myself doing, and this is before I met my husband, was getting married. My history with men has not been good at all, and this has been even at a young age. What I’ve gone through with life has built me into a guarded and protected person. I’ve been this way as long as I can remember, I was always afraid of relationships, or even friendships.

My fear was the fact of getting hurt, and a lot of people who have come across me understand me on the surface. When I met my husband for the first time, I felt something I had scoffed at in those predictable romantic comedy movies.

It was love at first sight, but even more than that, it was love at first words. He just seemed to get me when we first interacted, I loved our banter we had going on and how he could keep up with me. He was funny, fun-loving, one of those types of people who entered the room and lit it up. I knew there was an age difference because I’ve always been interested in older men… It’s like what I’m programmed for. I just didn’t know how much the age difference would be, and it turned out to be not a small amount, but not enough for me to give up on what I felt that first time I met him.

I felt really, genuinely happy being with him. So, of course, you know what I did? I shot him down for my phone number, severely, and he left the party. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be in a relationship again, I had planned not to and had accepted the fact I didn’t want to be with anyone.

If I wanted to take a chance on my emotions really showing I knew I would have to hope he’d come to a party the next day. And, I’d have to decide if I could really let this new found great thing slip out of my fingers like I’ve done so many times before. My choice ended up to chose the unknown, but not after seeing my husband a second time, shooting him down again and finally giving him my phone number the next day because I tracked down his email.

pongEvery day I feel like sometimes the fight for that love is easy, and other times it may be more difficult. One of you may fall down, and you need to be that rock. And other times, while normally you’re strong, suddenly you need that support all the time. I’ve never moved so far in my life, and I’ve never had to struggle for a job without even a single response like I have in this new place.

What I’ve gone through in life that has made me a more guarded and protected person are my scars. They are invisible to anyone else, and I keep them covered up with a smile as my barrier. I’m just happy I have that one person, my husband, to show them to. I’ve never felt the spark before in me when I first saw him and even more when we first started talking. To make me change my mind about everything I thought I knew, I knew he was that special person. He was a game changer, that person who didn’t ask me to ever change and to always be myself.

That infamous white dress

0905110937a

I was the type of person who could never see herself being married, being a bride, and never, ever, planned her wedding day as a child. I never knew about wedding dress styles, mermaid, princess, and all of those other ways of wearing a white dress. I didn’t even want to wear a wedding dress on my day because I was just that anti bride about it. I didn’t see myself as one to follow traditional ways and, surprisingly, did end up with a white dress.

This white dress was sexy and when I put it on I knew I liked how it showed off my curves. But, I have never really fully embraced my body and I took off the dress without taking it home. My husband had already moved without me, my work still didn’t know I was leaving, and I had to show my husband all the dresses I tried on via texting.

See? Talk about breaking all the traditional rules! I wanted my husbands opinion on the dresses since the main bulk of them were colored. I wanted him to enjoy and like my wedding dress, even though he always says I look pretty all the time.

Most brides absolutely love the thrill of shopping for a wedding dress. Some of them can’t get enough of the rush of trying on dress after dress and wondering if it is the one. They wonder if the dress they are in will compare or even live up to their fairy tale dream wedding.It’s the dream they’ve been molding for their wedding because they always knew they’d by a bride. It was just a matter of when the groom came into the picture to propose to start the gears turning of getting their wedding wishes.

I was the exact opposite, of course, and when I started hunting for a dress it was a couple of months before the wedding date because of our venue. I hated the dress shopping as soon as it started, and tried on so many different dresses that my frustration was at an all time high. I never went to a bridal shop and just went to stores, and only tried on two official ‘wedding’ dresses. The first was so poofy that I thought that it might drowned me in its fabrics. And, the second was the one I would try on, think about it, come back, and try on again to decide it would be mine.

My wedding dress was not $2,000 or $1,000 or $5,000… It was a little over $150. I did not buy new shoes for it in white high heels, instead I wore my trusty black sandals that had saved my feet many a time. I think the thing that made me feel most like a bride was on my wedding day getting my hair and makeup done by my work as a goodbye gift. I was not only giving up my blood family as a bride that day, but also my work family I’d come to love.

I tried to get my husband to go for us eloping, and he pushed for a huge wedding at first, but we found a happy compromise of only a few people at it. I never saw myself in a wedding dress, and never imagined being in traditional white, but I did end up in one. The dress embraced my curves, and definitely showed them off. The infamous white dress and the amazing work my coworkers did on me made me feel as beautiful as my husband always told me I was.

You never have to come if I leave

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve been moved now for a good amount of time, and so you would think I would get some family visits, especially from my mother. Instead, the first person from my family to visit me in my new place was actually my brother who stayed at our apartment for a couple of days. I had the most fun with my brother and I absolutely loved showing him around this new place I called ‘Home.’

My brother and I rarely, if ever, got to hang out on a trip together without my mother making the plans and leading, so it was pretty exciting for me. Yes, nothing can quite compare to the city I came from because, to me at least, the place was iconic. But, where I live is quite stunning and very unique in its own right so it is so nice to pick and choose my favorite places, and restaurants, to take my brother to.

Of course, my mother was calling every second of the day to hear our plans and to state her tons of ideas, yet I totally was the one in charge. I took my brother to my favorite place to eat where the food is not only delicious, it’s also cut up at your table! There was also an italian place I enjoy, and another like food truck we went to that I tried for the first time and it had some amazing food. We watched a very strange movie, and had a great time even though it was a very short vacation. I can’t wait until my brother comes back to visit because it was seriously one of my most favorite times we’ve spent together as siblings.

My mother keeps on pushing me to come back to visit, especially since I still don’t have job. I especially have mixed feelings about visiting because of the fact I don’t have a job and everyone from my work always asks me. I feel like I failed every time I have to admit that no one will hire me, or even interview me, and I’ve been trying for awhile to get a job. My mothers career is one where she only has to work for a couple of days out of the week for a lot of money so she could have easily of come to visit me, yet she won’t.

And why would she, when she can get me to come down consistently to visit? Her excuse is that she doesn’t want to travel alone, but every time I travel I have to travel alone. I have had several recent travel times where I have nearly had to sleep overnight at the airport. She has traveled all across the country by herself, yet she puts this as the obstacle. I don’t think she’ll ever come to my neck of the woods and I’m enjoying my independence in this new place.

The meaning of family

I wasn’t planning on being back with my family this month, and my husband and I are planning a simple family get together of the holidays of just us two for Christmas and thanksgiving. My father is more than aware of our feelings towards his family, we just are kind of like outcasts. I don’t know but being the only girl in the family it was like I was being punished for not being a boy. My cousins were always better than me, doing more important things, and I was used to being ignored in family gatherings and I would prepare with a book going to Christmas or thanksgiving.

It’s like they have a favorites system, and he is the lowest on the list. As I’ve heard his grief over the phone when he found out his mother passed, to him trying to control his emotions in the days after it hits me like a knife to the heart.

Every family has their skeletons, their issues, their imperfections, some more than others. And, he is my family and we have had our differences and we have had our arguments but it falls away when death is present. Especially when it is one of the most important person in your life, your mother, is the one that you have lost. His grief is raw and I can’t ignore how hard this must be for him, because it’s written on his face.

I wish I could offer my father more comfort than what I know what to do. I wish I could do more than just patting him on the back, and closing the lap top when he keeps staring at his mothers obituary. We know that it is for the best, but that doesn’t lessen the impact of it.

My memories turn back to some of my favorite moments with my grandmother doing what we love, horseback riding together. Her affection she had for the school horse I loved before I bought my very own horse. Her stories of riding when she was a kid, and these are the memories I have of even my great grandmother which stand out.

My great grandmother always talked about her child, my grandmother, and riding in their backyard. My great grandmother was a very sweet and kind woman, and she lived to almost one hundred years old. Her wake was the first I attended, and I didn’t understand why everyone was so sad or what had happened since I was that young. I thought the point of these meetings was not to cry, since my mother made sure never to cry in front of us that I shouldn’t cry for what had happened. From what I could see you should never cry in front of someone, so I made sure to never do it in front of someone as I got older.

I feel for my father and it just aches in my heart when I see him staring off with a lost expression on his face. I may not be able to take his grief away but at least I can be here to give him the support he needs.

Death and its effects

I haven’t dealt with death much in my life, which I know is a blessing. But, its also because I don’t let people in my life as well as I don’t have much family. My grandmother, my moms mother, died before I was born.

My grandfather was the last death that we experienced as a family and taking him in our house was the most difficult 2 years of our life as a family. He was diagnosed with a rare disease, then it was discovered he had a life threatening problem and we had hospice visiting for a year. The way he finally was hurt was falling down and the wheelchair was too far away for him to fall in. We never had a funeral for him so I haven’t gone to a funeral since I was 5 years old. I really don’t know what is going on, what you do, what happens, none of it.

My grandmother just recently passed, and the feeling of her being gone is something that hit me harder than I ever thought. My grandmother and I had a complicated relationship, but she was also a stubborn, strong, and force of nature type of lady. She was suffering and had that fierce independence taken away from her as disease ravaged her body and functions. My grandmother is of course in a better place but death has knocked at her door step so many times I can’t even count. She has fought against death and recovered when you thought it wouldn’t happen, so for her to finally be taken by it just feels like maybe it just isn’t possible.

Yet, it is possible, she is gone and I am back where my family is to be there for third funeral in my life. My father is devastated and I need to be there for him for support. My fathers family and I have never gotten along, and I was definitely closest to my grandmother. My family, my brother, me, my mother, and father, will be there for the wake and the funeral. I flew down to be here and it’s been very hard for me being back and with my grandmother’s passing.

That’s what happens when you are family, you will band together for each other to get through the toughest moments in life, even when death makes an unexpected appearance in your life.

20121022-100019.jpg

That season where you fall slower

There is something about fall that makes me move slower, and appreciate the cooler weather and changing colors. Fall may just be my favorite season, though spring and fall may be tied together for favorites. I don’t know what is better, the flowers coming to life after winters slumber or the changing of the leaves on all the trees. Fall is also my signal to start buying gifts for Christmas since I always like to get a head start on that.

Yet, this season I’m not buying any gifts. I haven’t even gotten anything for my husband and completed a bunch of gifts of him for Christmas by now. It’s a combination of factors, we will be staying in for both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. While we would be splitting holidays between my family and his, this year it seems like the family in our mix is ourselves.

With me not having a job, and my husband having a real hard job for traveling and vacations it just seems like we won’t be doing our yearly trip for the holidays. Honestly, it just feels really weird and strange. Combine this with the fact I won’t be getting gifts for my coworkers this year since I don’t have any coworkers, and my friends are miles away. So, the holidays for me and my husband will be quiet and I’m guessing just us and our baby bunny.

It’s kind of hard for me not to have a ton of gifts already bought and to know I’m not doing much for the holidays. I’m not exactly a big Christmas person but I always loved buying gifts for the people who mattered for me. My husband doesn’t seem to want anything for gifts so we will make the best of our holidays together.