A journey of sorts.  

wife4stranger 57F
229 posts
12/20/2005 8:01 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

A journey of sorts.

This Christmas Day, I will be taking a journey. It is not one of great physical distance. Less than 100 miles, actually. Rather it is a journey in the emotional sense. I have decided to go and visit my parents and siblings on Christmas Day. This will be the first time in 9 years that I have done so.

It is an all too familiar tale. One parent an alcoholic, the other mentally ill. Her illness was marginal, and we went for fairly long intervals of relatively little drama other than my fathers alcoholism. Oddly enough, my holiday memories from childhood are not too bad. I think my maternal grandparents had a lot to do with that. They were sane, healthy individuals. Very loving.

My Gram was my rock. The one I clung to when things were bad.
As I became a teen, things began to deteriorate. Gram was still there for me, but I realized by then, most of my friends had very different lives.
Gram kept me on a level course and I finished high school. The day after my 18th birthday, she passed away. I had lost my anchor.

After that, as my life became more difficult, the holidays also became difficult. Most times, Christmas celebrations ended up with tears, accusations and me leaving feeling as if a little more of my soul had been ripped away.

After a particularly vile scene, I turned my back on things. This was 9 years ago. For a period of time, I had no contact at all with my parents or sister. I have not been to a family Christmas gathering, or any type of family gathering, since then.
For the past 4 years I have had limited contact with them. Always on my terms, and mainly in my 'territory'.

Now my parents are in their 80's. My mother has mild senile dementia and significant physical health problems. Right now she is responding well to a new anti-psychotic.

I have decided to accept my sister's invitation to spend the afternoon with all of them. I do not know if my brother will attend or not. He has less contact with them, than I do. I hope he comes, as he does truly care about me.

I am going for myself, really. Not as much for them. I need to do this for me. If possible, lay some ghosts to rest, just by being there and not allowing them to wound me. If not, to know that I made the effort.

I'll be traveling alone, but somehow I know, Gram will be with me.

tillerbabe 55F

12/21/2005 12:55 am

That is so very beautiful, brave and compassionate! This will be good.
I promise. {=}

wife4stranger 57F

12/21/2005 5:56 am

Thanks Tiller. I'm not sure how brave I feel right now, but I won't back out.

Tone_33756 55M

12/21/2005 8:08 am

Your post was very touching. I'll think of you Christmas day often.

sauceforthegoose 58M

12/21/2005 10:55 am

Seems to me that, traveling alone or not, you'll have a crowd of friends riding with you.

GonnaBfun2know 53M
6 posts
12/21/2005 5:09 pm

*Raising glass in a celebratory toast*...GOOD LUCK to the laying down of expectations!! I sincerely hope your visit isnt just theraputic for your past woundings, but rather a spring board to a better year! Who knows, the greatest of adventures begins with a lil step, and this isnt even a LITTLE step!! wtg!! May the sunshine on your face and the wind be at your back!! Ken

longtimeCumin2 55M
1 post
12/21/2005 9:02 pm

This is a good story. I think that you will get more respect from your family as I am sure that they have missed you. They might remember this qoute. "You don't know what you have until it's gone". Regardless, I think you are doing the right thing because this is your family. I hope that everything goes well and I will be thinking of you.

rm_unlistedone 65M
2718 posts
12/21/2005 11:47 pm

Family is family.

You may not always like what they do, or how they are, but you still love them. And doing it for yourself is as good a way of doing it as any.

Smother them in love until they can't feel anything else, if you have to, wife. My thoughts will be with you.

wife4stranger 57F

12/22/2005 5:58 am

You have all touched me so very much. I really don't know what to say.
Perhaps Sauce summed it up, I will not be traveling alone. I will have each and everyone of my friends with me. I am so very lucky to have all of you in my life.

I hope you all have wonderful holidays.

rm_divingdeep8 46M
7 posts
12/22/2005 6:48 am

A touching thought and know your journey will be a smooth one this holiday season. Thank you for the thoughts, as I too miss my gradparents as well, a reminder they are with me has been long overdue and greatly appreciated.

digdug41 49M

12/22/2005 7:24 pm

Ihope that it all goes well and just hold your head if it gets a little crazy for you and remeber the serenity prayer it helps

roaming the cyber streets of blogland

ve1 46M

12/23/2005 9:07 pm

A very beautiful soul you are...I don't even know you, but I can tell you have really thought about your family, and your place in it. It is true, we can't chose our families, and we all have some issues--even when to the outside world everything seems perfect. Godspeed on your Holiday visit. I'll be thinking about you when I'm spending time with my Mother and family.

Babel__Fish 45F

12/24/2005 11:02 am


I love you sweetie! And I mean it. I have been thinking about what I should write here to make your day with your dysfunctional family better for you. I am proud that you feel a need to spend Christmas with them but remember that nobody can hurt you unless you let them. As you have stated in your post here "me leaving feeling as if a little more of my soul had been ripped away." they can not take what is not theirs to take my friend. Make sure that you take care of YOU in the first place and be there for the others as much as you can.

I will be thinking about you my friend, know that I too am there with you during your meeting, holding your hand for support allow yourself to feel it when thing get tough or someone tries to hurt you. And remember! They are your family and family knows the best way to *PUSH* your buttons because they are the one's that installed them.

Love and strenght from your friend in Belgium that I feel that we both share the same type of heart for others. Babel {=}

wife4stranger 57F

12/25/2005 8:26 pm

To all my wonderful friends here, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Things went well, overall. When they did start getting to me, I removed myself and found comfort in thinking of you. While I am weary now, I am glad I did it. {=}

docdirk 47M

12/26/2005 8:19 pm

You are very brave for facing these issues that could just as easily be avoided. However, that constant questioning and wondering that chirps incessantly in the back of your mind may have been a worse punishment. As you mentioned - you did it for you. It's hard to remember that you still need to come first sometimes when family is involved.

I'm glad it went well, or at least not horribly.

Belated Merry Christmas and early Happy New Year to you - ya hottie!

Ah, Its you again, Your Angel Feathers and your Blood Stains...

rm_unlistedone 65M
2718 posts
12/26/2005 11:52 pm

I'm glad you came through this. You are the better for it, I think. And as a friend, will continue to pull for you. Happy holidays, with smiles, unlisted

Babel__Fish 45F

12/28/2005 12:26 am

Happy to 'hear' that the day went well for you!


rm_hardtarget00 55M
128 posts
12/30/2005 8:52 am

New to this blog but not your situation. I visited my folks for a 2 week Christmas vacation one year (I had not seen them in a long time). I informed them in Sept. of the my plans and they were put out. Apparently I had "sprung" this on them. Oh well, I went on the trip. Met with friends and family and basically used their house as a pit stop! The trip confirmed my standing in the family and clarified it for my brothers and sisters. So, I am glad I went. I am stronger for it and I met them on my terms. Probably a first for me and them. May you have a positive experience and find the silver lining. Your Gram will guide and protect you. Best wishes

rm_jojoyoyojojo 56M
73 posts
12/30/2005 10:08 am

Glad to hear that the experience was at least tolerable. You are strong for keeping things at the level you want to handle and not getting dragged into the morass that others might want you to play in. I think the hardest, but most relevant, lessons we can learn in life are from our family. The know which buttons to push to get the best results

Happy New Year

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