Monday, March 12, 2012

Family Matters

A long time ago I talked about a part of my family.

They were a group I was pretty close to growing up and routinely saw them for the holidays and more.

Well as I mentioned so long ago it didn't sound like I was going to get a whole lot of support from that group.

Still I needed to tell them. At this point I had Christmas Eve rapidly approaching.

Earlier in the fall I had decided that out of all my cousins I would tell the third oldest first. (We'll call her Rock Girl, since she had an affinity for 80's hair bands, still does actually).

Out of all of my cousins she was the most open minded, even though she might be the most rebellious and outspoken.

She is also the one cousin I saw and talked to more often over the last few years.

Even though, the youngest and I are closest in age.

I'll call her Brat. Really I am not kidding she gets all full of drama at the slightest thing. (more I this very thing later)

Her sisters, as I have come to find out, often don't talk about things they have done without her. Because she will have a fit they didn't invite her AND she often doesn't make the effort to talk to anyone else. She ignores everyone unless she needs something then wonders why she gets left out. The other sisters talk constantly so often a gathering was a spur of the moment event.

I am digressing.

As for the two oldest I wasn't as close to them. Rock Girl just made a lot of sense. In fact my mom agreed with my assessment.

With that we has dinner shortly before the holidays. I had tried to reach her earlier but due to the things I was doing and she was out of the country on vacation. Well, it became much later in the month of December than I would have liked.

To keep this part of the story short since there is a considerable amount to tell. Dinner went fine. She already had her suspicions well over a year ago. Listened to everything I had to say. Asked some questions herself. In all it went well.

At the end of that night I reiterated the thought that she should take her time with this and let me know what she thought about approaching the rest of her family.

Little did I know what she was going to do.

By the time she called my Sunday night word had been spread.

She had talked to her Mom and Dad on Saturday. Then most of her sisters, a couple of the husbands and few of the older kids.

O_O

From what she realized to me that most of them seemed to be ok with it.

My Aunt stated that as long as I was happy she would be ok with it.

I even got some emails from a few of them all positive.

Rock Girl even told me they all wanted me to attend Xmas eve which is a tradition with that side of the family.

I was attending this last years since my father would be in attendance and I did not want to take away from any ones holidays. Really he was doing his best to not be nice to me lately and I just was not in the mood to feel uncomfortable all evening.

Now I am sure you are thinking this is the end of the story right?

Wrong.

This is a two parter.

After getting though some of the things I had scheduled for the first month of the year. I got in touch with Rock Girl again to discuss getting together.

She happily accepted and asked me if I minded if sister or two showed up.

I was good with that and we picked a Saturday afternoon in early February.

Only we didn't get together on that Saturday.

...

We switched to Friday night for dinner at my cousin's condo(which I had not seen yet) and I notified on Thursday night that  lunch with three of my cousin's would now be all of them, two of the husbands, my oldest cousins two kids, and the son's girlfriend, along with my aunt and uncle.

That is now a head count of eleven.

Double O_O!!!

I didn't panic, though I wanted to, and I did go.

After some initial awkwardness, and with the help of a very humors moment at the dinning room table. Which consisted of my Aunt and Uncle, Rock Girl, and my eldest cousin's husband(I'll call him Jester because he is such a goof ball). The tension broke and everyone slowly drifted to the dinning area.

Rock Girl and I talked about this after everyone else had left. We both were thinking the same thing early on. That this was not going to go well. I can't say it was a rousing success but it went far better than I thought.

The following week I got some great responses from my Eldest cousin's kids. The oldest of which was supper sweet and she even told me she liked this version of me a lot better. My Aunt told Rock Girl this: "She is so in her element now.  So relaxed and happy.  You can see just by mannerisms it where she is meant to be." Even my Uncle upon meeting me was ok with it. I think meeting me and seeing how normal I really am makes a huge difference.

I even got a huge hug from him a few weeks later when I saw him and he asked me "How is my favorite niece doing?" Made my whole day! Nay, my whole month!

The Brat however has been a little put out with me for not telling her first and correcting her once when she got the pronouns wrong. Rock Girl told me not to take it personally because I didn't do anything wrong. She also agrees I will have to correct people when they get it wrong. I have to get people to think differently. I am not mean about it. Yet the Brat took it personally.

Since then I have been able to go out shopping with Rock Girl and even meet some more of the extended family on my Aunt's side(I mostly only see these people at graduations and funerals.

All in All reactions as I have met family have been positive and far better than what my father and brother have done. I get that it is hard, but you don't have to be complete jerks about it.

In other news I have had some extended cousins on my mom's side of the family. They have been super kind in with their words and when a few of them return back to the area for Easter weekend want to have dinner with me. I have also heard from my mom that a few other aunt and uncles on her side want to meet me too.

After the depressing results I have had in some cases, and the crippling fears, I have been very pleasantly surprised with what has transpired in recent weeks.

No, not everyone is on board but today I have far more supporting me than I did before.

And that is a good thing.


3 comments:

Kelly said...

Fantastic! Sounds like you're in line for a terrific Easter. I won't even mention that, again, you've written a happy post on Monday. Only *depressing* posts are allowed on Monday, remember? ;c)

Seriously, this was a very uplifting post, Kelli! Hope they keep on coming!

== Cass

Kelli Bennett said...

But you did mention it! :P

:P

Kelly said...

It wasn't me, it was the pain medication talking! You shouldn't be mocking the injured, Missie (even when the injuries are self-inflicted)! ;c)

== Cass

P.S. Feeling a bit better today ,btw. I think I may actually sleep tonight!