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Yesterday was Mike’s sisters 60th BD.

Mike and I both struggle with these family functions.  Each for our own reasons, however very similar.  We both were the ‘black sheep’ of our individual families and I guess you could say we’ve learned to wear it on our sleeves to some extent.

They say opposites attract but with Mike and myself, it’s funny how similar we are.  It’s actually nice because we really understand where the other is coming from.  Of course we have the Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus thing going on, but that’s a whole different blog post altogether!

Our roles that we’ve played since childhood are not always that easy to shake.  I’ve found that as much as we both work on moving forward individually, get us around family and we and for some reason, always seem to put that ‘cape’ back into play.  What is that about!

Even though we both work very hard to get through all the family personality issues (theirs & ours), it makes for a somewhat stressful event.  Although on the surface, you’d never suspect a thing.

The best part is that we both are very much aware of our struggles and are able to share them with each other.  We do realize that the family games that are played at these events, we do not have to take part.

For us, showing up is important regardless of how we ‘feel‘.

I think it’s a man thing, but Mike will say things don’t bother him, yet he’ll talk about it for the next couple of days.  I think it does still bother him, brings up past guilt and resentments, but it’s my responsibility to  listen and allow him to get it out.

Responsibility doesn’t seem to be the right word and I really don’t mind listening.  If there’s anything I want for him (and myself) is to be as happy as we possibly can be in spite of them.

All my life, I have never been someone that tolerates head games.  As I get older, I work very hard to do it in a way that I am not aggressive, yet firm and assertive.  I do know that my years of insecure, aggressiveness does pop it’s ugly head at times, but with any challenge, you pick yourself up, dust off and continue to strive to be better at every given moment.  Many times, not an easy feat!

The biggest issue that used to be an ongoing topic, was Mike as he used to be.  I know men are not supposed to feel hurt, but Mike does.  He’s tired of being the brunt of jokes.  I’m tired of him being the brunt of jokes!

When we first got together in 2004, I used to play too.  Once he expressed to me the feelings it all brought up for him, I no longer participate.  Actually, don't mess with my man!  is my attitude.  I've never been very good at hiding how I feel, and seeing their reaction to me in the past few years, they are reading me loud & clear.

Most families don’t like people stepping out of their role.  It frightens us.  It pushes us to stop ‘using’ others in order to make us feel superior in some disillusioned way and take a good look at ourselves.  Hey, ‘they’ve’ always been the scapegoat!  It was only a joke!  AHH, how many times have you heard that one.

Once you put a stop to accepting the scapegoat role, there’s something wrong with YOU.  HHHmmm.

So, it’s over and we are both glad it is.

All in all, we actually enjoyed ourselves.  It’s another lesson we welcome to encourage us that where we came from does not indicate where we are going.

It brings us closer together as a couple and we pat ourselves on the back knowing we faced something we may have preferred not to.

Insecurities can be ongoing for us all but we always have the power within ourselves to choose our re-action.  We choose whether or not to allow them to control us - regardless of others’ acceptance of our growth.

A beautiful new day to a new week!

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Mar 15, 2010
    • Well..... not being the black sheep but the baby in my family my attitude is this..... YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR HOW OTHERS FEEL! And on top of that you are only responsible for how you feel and how you respond to them!

      Isn’t that great! Once I figured that out then attending any and all events on the in law side (because my family would never treat me that way)became so much easier.
      I am accountable to ME!  

      My hubz once (and only time) asked me to be nice to his sister in law... WTF! I said very calmly that I am never mean and if he means by being nice did he want me to participate in activities that I don’t do (smoke weed)? He said well no of course not. Then I said good we‘re on the same page!
      He never dreamed of asking me anything like that again. My actions are mine to be accountable for and I need to be ok with me!!!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Catkey88 wrote Mar 16, 2010
    • Family.....I find myself having to do it less and less but I need to forgive them on a regular basis.  I forgive them for the past, I forgive them for the present and I know that I will have to again and again in the future.  It’s the same for my in-laws.  Don’t get me wrong - they still catch me off guard and can “slap me in the face” when I least expect it.  My in-laws aren’t far behind but I have less history with them and do more to protect myself.  

      As I have set stronger boundaries through the years and my parents have mellowed, I have found it interesting that others have taken their place in making sure that I maintain MY PLACE as the family scape goat.  Oddly enough it’s my Brother-in-law.  So, I worked for years at forgiving my parents, re-establishing boundaries and making them more healthy only to have a non-blood relative make sure I keep my spot as the disrespected one.  At least when he’s around.  

      Family is a strange beast.  That’s why I don’t live too close.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Mar 16, 2010
    • My family are what they are wild, crazy , Irish party goers and I love them to pieces and they are very exuberant and full of life and I was brought up in a family where any excuse is a party and we also have a history of taking people in and "adopting them" as they have no family ........
      But I married into the most mean spirited, back stabbing, evil family who had no enjoyment for each other, they just had blazing rows and falling outs and every social event was seen as a minefield and waiting for the merest slight so they could huff and puff ....... did I enjoy it no but I just carried on being me and when I married my hubby – I wrote to them all and explained what my family was about and if they didn't like it they could park it .........
      Let's say the room was split at the wedding one side drinking, eating, dancing like it was their last day on earth and the other side nursing one drink and picking at food ....... we ignored them and carried on and my former hubby even now says he misses all the fun at family events on my side ........ boo hoo
      Families are a mixed bunch and I'm very lucky.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dana Cappelletti wrote Mar 16, 2010
    • Great stories from everyone.  I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t have some kind of family dynamics to deal with- myself included.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Mar 17, 2010
    • Families...gotta love em!!!

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