I visited my paternal relatives this afternoon for our mother’s day celebration. For a while I was able to focus on the conversations around me and add to them. This get together was the first time my cousin, Steven, brought his girlfriend. Steven is also the same cousin whose wife passed away from brain cancer (see blogs around October of ’12 for the posts from that time). I saw a few things about Steven and his girlfriend through social media so I knew her name and that she had a little boy. After we ate at a restaurant, we went over to my uncle’s for dessert and card/gift opening. I was able to see the little boy, Jack, play with my aunt, L. My aunt is the one who also struggles with depression. The thing I found so endearing was my aunt was the one really playing with Jack. I mean she was actually on the floor crawling around with him. While I watched them, I found another reason to admire her…but I also felt a stab of anger toward other family members. My aunt—for some messed up reason—has always been seen as a sort of black sheep. Whether it is for her having married a deadbeat—who she is now free from—or something else, I have never understood. Her 3 kids—my cousins—probably have the best parent-child relationship out of anyone else in the family. I mean I am willing to bet my cousins have little to no hesitancy when confiding in her. Whereas I, as seen copious times in previous posts, tell my parents as little as possible when it comes to deep stuff. If I had to choose one relative to tell something to, my aunt L would be at the top of the list. Why the family—including her own siblings—see her in such a negative light, I haven’t a f***ing clue!!
When I was a kid, I was so oblivious to this tension for the most part. My dad would just tell me “don’t end up like L.” That was the only glimpse I had in regards to the family’s opinion. I’ll tell you this: when I was diagnosed with depression at 13, it didn’t take long for my dad’s words to play over and over and over in my head. I feel a sense of deep shame when I think about times my “secret” had to be covered up: Thanksgiving of ’09 when I was in the psych hospital, December of ’03 when my scars from self-inflicted wounds were uncovered when my sleeve slid up a bit (I just happened to be sitting next to the most judgmental person in my family). My mom was quick to cover the truth with the classic “it’s a scratch.” And the times I was quiet due to low mood…I probably have used “I’m just tired” or “I just have a headache” over 100 times easy. It’s absolutely pathetic!!
I didn’t get to see my brother or youngest cousin at all and my cousin who is 2 months younger than me had to leave before I could talk with him at all. I felt like I was just…making an appearance. My grandma didn’t deserve that!! I hope I can talk with her more in the near future. She’s always been seen as a great source of strength, not just in my eyes. I hope we can make her 80th birthday celebration big enough to show how much she means to everyone. She deserves it for so many reasons. Exuding strength and energy are just a couple of reasons…


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