Monday, December 14, 2009

Holding Back.

This time of year always makes me a little nervous. There is a lot of emphasis on spending time with family, which I suppose for normal families is a positive thing. Don't get me wrong, I genuinely love my family. We're very close, sometimes too close [with our hands wrapped around each others' necks]. My family leans on me quite a bit. I'm loyal, dependable, and if I don't have a genuine emergency type reason to say "no," I will always answer "yes" to whatever you need from me.

This is a fault.

Family abuses it with little to no reciprocation. Friends do also.


That's not even why I'm anxious about the season. I've grown up quite a bit, as we often do when we get older (not all of us, mind you). Specifically in the last 2 years as I've changed myself on the outside, I've also made drastic changes within. I've learned to say "NO," and it's backlashed. I've also done quite a bit of emotional maturing, though no family members would agree.

The real problem is that I have been boxed in.

My family still sees me the way I was nearly 10 years ago: a bratty, selfish, immature snob. I'll admit that's who I was then, but it's very far from who I am now. I'm still bratty from time to time because, hey, who's not? However, I'm not "allowed" to be who I am now around family. People assume I'm feeling one way when it's completely the opposite. I find it very irritating, almost to the point of giving them the satisfaction of reverting back to bratty teenage status... but I don't.

I suppose this is a tangent of sorts, but it is one of the key reasons I overeat at holiday family functions. I'm trying not to talk. Trying not to say anything wrong so that family members don't have the opportunity to misinterpret it. I eat so I'll shut up.

I haven't yet found a constructive way to deal with this, but it's a goal and I plan to be very aware and mindful of it this year. I would like my family to really meet me. Learn about who I am now, but I suppose that really would need to be a willingness on their part to begin with. Truth is, I really just need to say something; address the problem. $10 says they have no idea I feel this way.

In other news, I just signed up for the Pound For Pound Challenge due to inspiration from The Broad Broad. She lives just across the state line from me, so we'll be supporting the same fantastic organization - one I work closely with in my professional life Second Harvest Heartland (in St. Paul, MN). I've pledged to lose 9 pounds and in exchange, people in my community will receive meals they so desperately need.

Why not join us in eating a little less to feed your community? Sign up!


Meet Virginia said...

Once, years ago, I had to sit my mother down and have a serious talk with her regarding weight and diets. It was along the lines of, "you just don't know what it does to me for you to say this, this, ans this all of the time. I know you mean well, but THIS is how it comes across and THIS is how it makes me feel." There were tears and it was really hard to be the one "teaching" her.

But in the end, things really began to change. Our relationship only got stronger after that.

I can relate to what you said about being close to your family. My mom and I have ALWAYS been very close. But there was something that hung over us like a black cloud. And when I found the courage to address it, I got stronger.

I am not telling you that you need to address it. You will have to figure that out and decide what you want to do. But I can relate.

antgirl said...

I hope you figure it out.

I don't get to see my family much. We live far apart.

I can add that strangers don't see us as who we are either though.

It helps me to deal with people to realize that what they're saying [most times] has nothing to do with me. It's about their own issues and insecurities. Shrug. I just find it useful to think of it that way. Then it rolls off my back and I don't internalize it.

Rebecca said...

I'm with you on this, turning 28 next year, and my family still sees me as a little kid.

I'm dreading this vacation the most because I refuse to be put into that corner. I'm allowed to have my opinions regardless of whether they agree or disagree, and I fear too a lot of people will say I've become bratty but the reality is, I'm not taking bullshit from people anymore.

I'm not a floor mat to be walked all over.