There is a risk, when being online and not completely anonymous, that someone might read something you wrote that they’re not going to like. That is, something that may be even hurtful for them. I hesitated a lot about this prompt and then cleared it with my husband. If someone else who is related to what I am about to say will find this, it may be a blessing in disguise: it’s something that needs saying, but I don’t feel I could say to their face for reasons related to the issue in the first instance.
One of the hardest things about getting married was gaining a whole new family. I am not on the best terms with my own, and I don’t really have a good example of how to relate with in-laws from my parents. One of them was at open war with hers, the other never really spoke to his. Still, I can sympathise with why my mother had never had a good relationship with my grandparents: she never felt accepted for who she was. And neither do I.
While my husband is the eldest, he met me when his brother had been in a serious relationship for years. They lived together already, and were used to visiting both sets of parents frequently. But the distance was not the only way in which things were stacked against me. Perhaps it’s subconscious, but I know my personality is very different from my sister-in-law and that she is much closer to the personality of everybody else, while my husband is a black sheep who has found his match. Bonding always comes easier when you’re with someone who seems to get you as naturally as you understand yourself, and so I have many friendships that are pretty much like the infamous love at first sight, when you feel like you’ve known someone your whole life and you just fit like a made-to-measure glove. I can’t blame someone for not finding it easy to bond with me, I’m so aloof my only competition in this regard is Lady Mary Crawley.
Still, it is painful because I don’t really know how to strike the right balance between trying to be the person they want me to be, and trying to be accepted for who I am. My love language absolutely not gifts. I’m particular about the things I own, I own way too much for the living space I am and prefer experiences to things. While my collection of books and clothes may give a different impression, if I was given the choice to have infinite credit in every restaurant and bar in the world as long as I give up buying things, or vice-versa, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to pick the first option. As long as I can get gifts to replace any shoes beyond repair I should be fine. I still get sent gifts every year, most of which get sent straight to charity even though I know how bad it is with charity shops getting too many donations than what they can sell.
Maybe it’s terribly self-centred that I cannot feel the love people are trying to show me because I feel like they can’t possibly love me if they can’t accept that I don’t want new things, that I have a set of morals that makes it just easier for me to buy very little and be discerning with what I buy. I feel like they are projecting an idea of who I should be and loving that. It’s probably the most human desire in the world to be accepted, so I hope you don’t think I am a whiny little bee for coming out with this response to today’s prompt. I guess I am looking for sympathy, to an extent, but I am mostly looking for advice. For someone to say “I’ve been there, and this is how I fixed the problem”. I want to see a light at the end of the tunnel, and a happy ending.
This was just an example of things that make me feel the way I do. and not the only one, so it’s really not the storm in a teacup that it sounds, but it’s a blog post and not an encyclopedia, and there is such a thing as oversharing. I went with one of a number of things that cumulated into what seems like a mountain, based on the one thing I am finding the hardest to adapt to. There still a while before presents-season will be upon us, and I’ll be watching Hallmark Channel films wondering why I’m still the Scrooge of the plot and no amount of televised confected Christmas cheer is making me any better disposed to embracing the spirit of the season according to my non-religious family by law. Or, maybe, a Christmas miracle will come into my life after all.
Today’s blog post has been part of the Love Blog Challenge 2020 on the subject “Acceptance”. Find the rest of the series here