Where to begin? I am not sure how to get these words out. In my mind I have done what I always do – convinced myself that I am overreacting and that I should feel guilty for any possible misunderstanding someone may have had from my behavior. I did nothing wrong. I did respond to something in a way that my family has not seen before. I did not sit in my anger and confusion, I have accepted that “I am the Wild Card!”
I am feeling a little foolish sharing some of this.
However, I am going to anyway. I am not sure if I overreacted or not. Frankly, I do not care after I share all that led up to my “Wild Card” event, I think you all may understand. For weeks, I have been socially active, I have seen family members that I have not seen in years. In my mind, I am a new fixture coming into the family fold. I do not know how they will respond to me, my children, our lifestyle, and my new openness, me being me and (As much as I know of me at this particular time in my life.) what they will say about my appearance, or my thoughts? Where/how, do I fit into family now and the big one – do they even care if I am here? Will they after they hear me voice my opinions and see me speaking up? I did not in the past, I would usually shutdown at some point and say nothing. I left people with the impression that I was always fine, or understood what was going on.
I have been overwhelmed with the response of family being happy to see me.
I did not they would be happy, I am not really sure I know how to describe what I think. It is very hard to articulate. What I am about to say I hope I am able to make very clear and no one misreads it. I do not feel love, or likeness back. I have an incredibly hard time knowing, or comprehending that someone cares about me unless I have continual contact. Do not confuse this with thinking that I need praise, or people to tell they love me all the time. I do not want frivolous words thrown around to try to make me feel better, that works for others, and I understand that. I need something a little more than that not much more, it is more action based I think. It is a different world on the internet – I am not referring to internet interactions. I do have a hard time sometimes remembering that not all people who I have had contact with are now my friend for life.
I know this, but I forget.
I wrote about not knowing if someone was my friend or not here Not Understanding Relationships. One of my main issues is that I do not have the innate understanding when someone cares about me. I have a hard time knowing that my family loves me. I do not even know what that means because it is through their definition of love and to me many of their actions and words have not translated as loving acts. They have done many loving acts and shared many loving words, but they seem to not penetrate at all. They erase completely when they do something that seems unloving, or mean. If I feel disconnected I feel like I am invisible and disappear from their existence. My mind operates like an all or nothing type of thing. It stems from not feeling it – I just went into research mode.
Something to ponder: Increase the Family Fun Factor: Making a Point to Enjoy One Another
“With every fun, enjoyable experience you give your children while they are with the family, you provide them with positive reinforcement about what it means to be in loving relationship with others. One reason has to do with a chemical in your brain called dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, which means that it enables communication between brain cells. Your brain cells receive what some people call “dopamine squirts” when something pleasurable happens to you, and it motivates you to want to do it again. Scientists who study addiction point to these dopamine surges as factors that lead people to maintain a certain habit or addiction, even when they know it’s bad for them. But we can also help produce dopamine squirts that reinforce positive and healthy desires—like enjoying family relationships. Dopamine is the chemical of reward—and play and fun are rewarding in our lives.”
Many of my family experiences were stressful, and confusing.
When I would visit this side of the family, I always came home a mess. I would be confused, depressed, spiraling in negative loops, angry, sad, and my mom had no idea what was wrong with me. She had no patience for it either. I had no one to talk to about it. Even if I did I had no way of communicating what I was feeling. I still do not very well, hence this lovely post. I did not have tons of positive enjoyable times – they seemed happy enough because it was all I knew. When I mentioned that I could not feel other’s love for me, I literally mean it feels like there is a blockade in my brain and I do not know how they feel towards me. They say the words “I love you”, and they hug me, but I do not have an understanding of it.
It does not mean that I do not love them.
I am very much capable of overflowing with affection toward people, even those I do not care that much about. Unless I really do not like them, which is not many people at all. (There are some though, I would still help them if they needed it.) It is so hard to explain. Here is an example, my Marine cousin I told you about, in my mind I did not think it would matter that much to him if he saw me or not. I wanted to see him very much and was so excited that he was coming home before his leave. When he called and said that he wanted to see me, I thought that was great, but did not understand that he really wanted to see me. When he hugged me on Sunday, I felt that for the first time. He was happy to see me, he wanted to see me, and he possibly has even missed me. I had a moment of thinking, “Huh, maybe my family does want me around.”
It quickly left.
I do not know why it does not stay with me. After thinking about it for a moment, I actually think I do. It goes back to how others show love and how I interpret it. My definition is different from others and I always forget this. Many times, I have confused the degrees of love, and the actions of what I determine as love from others. Something that means love to me is nothing to another person. For instance, if a person shows interest in my special interests then I think that we have a deeper connection. I have learned that some people are just being nice. It is a lifetime of having people tell me they love me, or care about me only to have their actions and words reflect otherwise. Nowadays these emotions are tossed all about in our society and I have no clue what it means, even more so than before.
I know that my family cares about me, I do.
It is going to take me time to ease in. Sunday proved to be quite the social overload for me. It started with trying to get Daniel in the car. I will say this; it took about 15 minutes of wrestling from the kitchen to the car. There were screams and more wrestling, Joshua needing his sound reducers, and almost going into a meltdown himself, Ariel went into a complete shutdown. However, I knew if we made it to Target, we could get to my aunts. I told Daniel that we could go to Target first to pick out a toy and then go to my aunts. I was hoping it would help give him a focus and reason to get into the car. He was fine when I told him that we were going, but had tons of “Why?” questions.
When the time came to go, he refused to get his shoes on.
He ran all over the house, not a happy camper, but finally he was in the car. We made it to Target, and Daniel settled once in the parking lot. We went in and he picked out a Hex Larva. He was beyond happy. Ariel and Joshua got Lego sets. Ariel finally got her Cat woman set, and Joshua got one of the cool new Monster sets with a glow-in-the dark mummy and skeleton horse! Awesome! I had to purchase a new shirt because I was drenched in sweat after our wrestling match. Daniel had no problems getting into his car seat. He was still a little shaky with what he calls mountains (hills), but I tried to distract him by telling him about the houses that I used to swim at with my couple of friends, and how I road my bike all over the neighborhood area where my aunt lives. He liked that.
When we walked into my aunts, I was gulped down with a mass of people.
I looked at my aunt with big eyes and shook my head. It was my way of letting her know that I could not talk to anyone and had to get Daniel settled. I went straight in, set everything down, took a deep breath, and went into the social soup. It was good; all went well for the most part. My other aunt was there and I ended up talking to her a lot more than I had planned to. Of course, she confused me. She said things that seemed to sound right, but still sounded off. I was too tired to try to discern. The house was full of people that I did not know. I had not recovered from everything that had happened with Daniel. I tried to talk to people, but I did not know what to say.
I was in the kitchen talking to my aunt that I always talk to, she and I were talking about some of the things that my other aunt said that seemed confusing to me. I did not mean anything negative by it I was confused. We heard someone come to use the restroom and I was being silly speaking Spanish and making up words. That meant that I was more relaxed, off guard, and vulnerable. My confusing aunt came in and looked at, she said, “I was just thinking, it’s a good thing your last name isn’t hole because then everyone would call you A-Hole.” I stared at her in complete confusion. My mind went reeling. Anger stirred inside of me and I did not know why I was so angry. I looked at her and asked, “What?” it took me a few minutes to get what she was saying.
I was at a loss for words.
Still I was boiling with anger and was not sure why. She had a gleam in her eye, and a smirk. I did not know what to think. I had so many thoughts running through my head. I wondered if she had overheard us and thought that we were saying something mean about her, which was not the case. I wondered if she was being mean to me. I wondered why she would say such a thing. I wondered why it hurt my feelings so terribly. I wondered why the heck she was so happy about saying such a rude thing. She said other comments implying that I was not taking care of my kids, in a “joking” manner. I was so furious that all I could do was look at her and say, “Well you are just a sweetheart. You are just a sweetheart, aren’t you?”
I have no idea where that came from.
I then, confused the heck out of her. She was partially laughing and asked if I was being sarcastic. I could not talk I was too upset. She said, “Hi Daniel.” and I yelled, Boo Bear come here to mommy, let’s go upset stairs a minute.” I did not want her near him either. I was so confused and angry without any understanding to the emotions that I was feeling. I calmed down and went back; she asked if she had upset me. She said it was a joke, I said to her, “I just told you only a few minutes ago that I have a hard time getting jokes.” She said, “Well you used to get them.” I said, “No, no I did not. I pretended, or I shutdown and went home in complete confusion.” She looked at me oddly and then, it was as if a light bulb went off in her head. It seemed like she had flashes of my responses from the past fill her mind.
I was fine afterward; I get it – a silly joke.
However, this is why my family can confuse, and hurt me so badly. I do not think jokes like that are funny. I do not think it is funny to make fun, belittle, or say things that seem not nice. Maybe I am overreacting, but I do not like it. I do not think that it is funny. I do not want my children to grow up making fun of others in “joking” ways, especially to people that they love. I am highly sensitive, I know. I was already overwhelmed from the world stuff going on, the social encounters I have had, the Daniel car situation, having to go into a store before meeting a ton of new people, and seeing family that I have not seen in so long.
I thought it was funny that all I could say was that she was a sweetheart.
The word was white and flashing in my head like a neon sign. I do not know why. I decided that is what I will do. I will just say random crazy things in these situations and people will not know how to respond. Eventually, it will lead to “Angel is a spaz!” That is ok; they already gave me that title a long time ago. Hee hee Seriously, I decided I do not have time for this nonsense. I will not stay quiet if I am confused and I will not put up with things that hurt me. If they think I am foolish, so be it. I am not going to live in a state of confusion and hurt because I do not understand something. I owe it to my kids to keep a sound mind, and I owe to myself because I have done too much work in my own acceptance and moving in positive ways of thinking, to fall into any of those patterns again.
This did cause a minor shutdown and emotional turmoil for all of yesterday, but I am better now. :-)
P.S. Daniel did great in the car ride home. He is not afraid anymore, but we are still easing into more car rides. Ariel and Joshua did great, they all had a wonderful time and we were able to stay for about 4 hours. Yesterday, we all had our moments – still we enjoyed ourselves and the whole thing was totally worth it!