Family is a blessing and a curse … a big family is a big blessing and a big curse… I’m the youngest of six and we range in age from 59 to 46.  Somehow in all our years you’d think we’d have gained enough wisdom that we’d be able to get along.  Yet still we have our disagreements and difficulties. 

I love them all regardless of the bullshit .  I respect most of them.  I question many of their choices.  Though I know their choices are not mine.  They have to live their lives their way.  Having said that all, I’m sure they could all say the exact same thing about me. 

It’s interesting for me to go to family functions.  I almost always feel like an outsider.  Like I’m observing these people for a science project or something.  Often I feel left out or lonely in the middle of the chaos.  I know they aren’t aware of my feelings.  I watch as they connect with each other and I marvel.  In my family I am surrounded by amazing strong women and men.  They are examples of how I want to be and at the same time drive me up the wall. 

This dichotomy of feelings certainly makes for stressful and anxious times for me.  I sometimes feel like a gathering is torture.  The prep time up to a gathering is filled with anxiety and dread.  Don’t misconstrue my statements.  My family is normal.  There has never been any abuse or harm done.  There have been hurt feelings, toes stepped on and harsh words upon occassion.  But there have also been encouraging words, love, support, and a sense of belonging.  It is ME who feels this anxiety.  I get keyed up about the gathering and worry about how things are going to go.  I’ve often said I don’t want to go.  Then I go and have a very nice time (mostly). 

I guess I have to take the good with the bad…

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