So when I started this blog I wasn’t in a great place and thought blogging was a cool thing, that lots of people have done and do for a variety of different reasons. Initially I thought this would be a running commentary for me to just explode about my day to day, a very cathartic exercise but as I’m sure you can see, my posts have really not been that often. I have a terrible problem when it comes to things like that. I lose interest, become lethargic and distracted. It is not a good quality to have. I came to a realisation tonight that this really is just a time for me to scream when I get in a huff. Since my last post I guess I’ve been quite busy and throwing myself into my hobbies and social circle, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for anything else. So this has just been for times now when I get down, could be any number of reasons, this time I’m on holiday with my family. A large proportion of my family that I don’t get to see all that much which should be a reason to be happy. I always think it’s going to be a happy fun occasion but very quickly come to a crashing reality that it isn’t. Every time. At least not for me.
Bit of background, I am the youngest of 5 children by some way. While I’m in my late 20s, my 2 brothers and 2 sisters are between 39 and 45. My sisters have partners and families and both are here and one of my brothers is coming down tomorrow. One sister is currently undergoing chemotherapy having been treated for breast cancer, lives quite a way away and so I get to see her and her family roughly once a year. My other sister lives only an hour away, about 30 minutes from where I work actually so seeing her and her family isn’t all that rare. In any case we’re all staying in nice places in Cornwall and it’s my first proper holiday in over a year. I should be really happy and content right? Nope. I’m irritable, angry and when I think about it, feeling really sad too.
The problem I find is that in these rare family get togethers, I rapidly feel like a spare, unnecessary part. I am the appendix of my family. Being the youngest of 5 by quite a way I used to be the center of attention I suppose; though at the same time I remember lots of evenings sat at the dinner table, watching conversation go on around me that was completely over my head and didn’t involve me at all. Now feels much the same. I’m not the youngest anymore as there are now (this time anyway) 5 children aged 4 to 16. The kids all get on with each other and the adults dote on them and talk to them about school and their lives etc All the adults (I know, technically speaking I am one of them) have their chat about their lives or other topics of conversation that seem almost entirely alien to me. It’s not that I don’t understand what they are talking about anymore, it just generally tends to be topics I have no experience/interest/opinion on.
I can’t help but fall quiet, withdraw and end up resorting to just facial expressions or jerks of my head in response to any conversation that does happen to get directed my way. Which of course doesn’t exactly help my situation. We can all be sat around a table at a restaurant and I feel cut off and so begin to drift away. My thoughts beginning to turn darker and darker about how I fit or don’t fit in this group of people. Would anything actually be different if I wasn’t here? I genuinely don’t think so. When I get to that point it literally feels like my heart sinks a bit and I almost want to cry. Think about hurting myself which I haven’t even had a fleeting thought of in weeks. I begin to get really irritable and everything everyone does, starts to fray my nerves and I want to shout at them to stop or shut the fuck up.
This is all the start of a very vicious cycle. I don’t feel included so I drift away becoming and feeling more distant. So the feelings of exclusion increase and I drift even further and so on and so on.
Sometimes I think that maybe I just need to try harder. Speak up more, venture my opinion with greater force. The times I try I feel overwritten by someone else talking like I haven’t quite timed my bit to speak right and of the two of us speaking everyone seems to be paying attention to the other person anyway. Other times I just think that I have no real opinion on what is being talked about or that with the attention on me, I’ll find it’s true I have nothing in common with the people sat around me and therefore, nothing we can really talk about.
I have a whole week ahead of me and I’m already feeling like shit. Like I want to just get in the car and drive home. Enjoy having the house to myself for a week instead. It’s a very real temptation that would probably have a greater impact than anything else I might do while I’m actually here. Like I said I feel a bit like the appendix of my family. I’m here but serve no real purpose and given the right circumstance, I might actually explode. I pity the poor bastard who is on the receiving end if that time does come, even if that person is me.
What really gets to me is just how quickly this feeling comes on. From the moment I feel like I’m standing on the periphery, looking in on the rest of this well put together, close knit family; my frame of mind descends like a stone thrown down a well. It can take minutes, seconds even. Then I’m short and irritable with people, lashing out a bit if I can’t keep it all inside. This of course rubs people up the wrong way and if there was any distance before, there certainly is now. Like I said earlier, a vicious circle.
I guess we just wait and see what tomorrow brings.