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The One Where I Fear My Family

My phone began to violently vibrate, startling me out of my comatose state. I was staring at the TV, but wasn’t really watching it. I was defeated and weary after an arduous battle with Baby C over his afternoon nap.

The display on my Android phone told me my father was calling. I didn’t really feel like talking, but I answered anyway.

After our salutations, my father dove right into the reason for his call. “Hey, can I borrow Superbitch’s van tomorrow? I have a piece of furniture I need to move.”

“No,” I said a little too curtly.

“Oh,” came his disappointed response.

“She doesn’t live here anymore. She moved out last weekend.”

“Well, you never told me.”

“That’s not the kinda news I like to call with, Dad. It’s not something I enjoy discussing.”

“But I’m your father,” he said, exasperated.

He’s right. And it pains me to admit it.

i told you so

I’m not good at doling out news about my life to my family. I only told one person in my immediate family that Superbitch and I had ended things, and that was my mother. If she didn’t watch Baby C on a daily basis, I might not have told her either.

I’m not a person to generally care about the opinions of others, especially as it pertains to me, but it’s different when it comes to my family and I haven’t the slightest idea why. When I told my closest friends that I had ended things with Superbitch I didn’t have the slightest hesitation to do so. When I thought of telling anyone in my immediate family, however, I was overcome by shame. I’m always afraid that when I share bad news that I will be judged. In the case of my father, that’s a fairly warranted assumption. With the rest of my family, however, it’s not, yet I still have that hesitancy to tell them things. I am reluctant to ask for help or talk to them about my problems. I feel like a huge inconvenience to them if I vent to any of them.

I am open and honest with my friends. My friends know more about my current goings-on than anyone in my family does and it’s the most backwards shit imaginable when I think about it logically. I mean, my parents and brothers should know me better than anyone. In some respects they do, but when it comes to current events or feelings, they are clueless. They have no idea what’s gone on in my personal life in the last couple of years besides the fact that Superbitch and I have separated, gotten back together, separated again, gotten divorced, gotten back together, and broke up for the final time. That sounds like a lot, but much more than that has happened and they have no clue.

I don’t know how to open up to them. I fear judgement from my father. I fear disappointment from my mother and brothers. On the rare occasion I confide in them I feel like a pesky fly buzzing in their ears which they’d rather be rid of and I haven’t the slightest idea why. These people are the most prominent people in my life and I’ve essentially shut them out.

In my rational mind I know that my family cares and wants to be there for me. In my heart I feel like I’m just one more problem they don’t need if I open up to them. I realize that I need to somehow overcome this fear, but I’m not sure how. I guess the only way to conquer this is to face it head on.

I guess I’ll have a little liquid courage first…

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Discussion

82 thoughts on “The One Where I Fear My Family

  1. I get it.

    Like

    Posted by merbear74 | April 20, 2014, 8:06 am
  2. i do that too. i think it’s easier sometimes to open up to friends because they will have a drink with you and shake their head supportively, while the family will barrel you with annoying intrusive questions that get your fur up. but of course they just want you to be happy. i think it’s normal. but i guess, try giving a little more in small doses.

    Like

    Posted by icescreammama | April 20, 2014, 8:52 am
  3. I feel that. Family is just so involved, and important. Hard not to worry about judgement. I find that when I do open up, though, they are supportive even if I didn’t think they would be.

    Like

    Posted by Trent Lewin | April 20, 2014, 9:00 am
  4. Happy Easter! I relate completely. Family is hard and judgemental. Good friends are priceless, they support and love you through anything, it seems. If you have had a tumultuous relationship with the spouse, which I have had as well, I think it is wise to keep the family out. Good for you to write about it. Healing seems to come when I write.

    Like

    Posted by leftbraintendencies | April 20, 2014, 9:13 am
  5. I’m not very good at sharing that kind of stuff with anyone, but I suppose if I had to it would be strangers (blog), then friends, then family – in that order. Makes me sad, now that I think of it, that I behave that way because I’m sure my family would be very supportive. For done reason though, it’s toughest for me to go there.

    Like

    Posted by nancytex2013 | April 20, 2014, 9:49 am
  6. I understand. I reached out to my mom after not talking to her for a month. The only reason I did is at the insistence of a friend because a mutual friend died. Even now, though, the ice is paper thin.

    Not gonna tell you what to do. From what you have written and what I’ve seen, your family cares a great deal about you. Your kids will see from your example. If this offends, please forgive. I’ve been calling it like I see it lately. Maybe I need new eyes.

    Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by 1jaded1 | April 20, 2014, 9:52 am
  7. Nice “Friends” inflection in your title beginning with The One Where..I didn’t miss that, just hit post comment too soon.

    Like

    Posted by 1jaded1 | April 20, 2014, 9:57 am
  8. I’m sorry you feel like you don’t want to share with your family, but having friends you can talk to is as important. Hopefully you will get to the point that you can look past their initial reaction and know your family will always have your back.

    Like

    Posted by Polysyllabic Profundities | April 20, 2014, 10:34 am
  9. Yeah… You’ll know what to do.

    Thinking about you, hon. :)

    Like

    Posted by Eva | April 20, 2014, 10:37 am
  10. The only famjly I have left is my Mum and she is so judgemental I grit my teeh when we have to communicate (phone or e-mail – she lives 3,000 miles away). I am embarasssed to say that when she decided to cancel a trip to visit, I was relieved.

    Like

    Posted by Paul | April 20, 2014, 10:49 am
  11. I get this completely. I don’t live near my family but am in touch daily. However to them I will always be the scatty, unorganised, incompetent teenager they remember for a long time ago. Despite that I’m the one who they turned to aged 20 to look after my father. Today I am in charge of the biggest swim teaching team in our country, look after four kids, have stayed married, and am the one to whom my friends always come to with their don’t tell anyone secrets.
    The only way my family will ever really know me is if they came to my funeral, they would think they were at the wrong persons! :)
    However I think I’m okay with all this now, and to be honest probably brought it on myself by not sharing my life from my teenage years on.

    Like

    Posted by tric | April 20, 2014, 10:52 am
  12. Family is the weirdest kind of relationship… maybe that is why Game of Thrones works so well.

    Like

    Posted by pouringmyartout | April 20, 2014, 11:37 am
  13. So so sorry, CT. I can’t give you the greatest advice as I didn’t turn to my family when I had to face a few difficult decisions. I couldn’t as I knew they wouldn’t understand it immediately. The understanding came later. Friends are the family you can assemble for yourself and I’m very happy for that.

    Oh oh!!!! *waves* I noticed a cool beginning with the title of this post! ^_^

    Like

    Posted by TJLubrano | April 20, 2014, 12:50 pm
  14. I so get this post.

    ((hugs))

    Like

    Posted by wannabepoet | April 20, 2014, 1:19 pm
  15. I’m sorry to hear this, as I was happy to hear things were going well for you guys. I hope you are doing OK. And, friends are family. There have been many times in my life where I have found my friends to be much more supportive and less judgmental. Hang in there.

    Like

    Posted by Pocahontas | April 20, 2014, 1:25 pm
  16. You are welcome. I must say though, I cannot seem to wrap my head around your pet name for your ex. Superbitch? : ) I catch myself chuckling and then I think, damn that sounds kind of mean. Hahhaha

    Like

    Posted by Pocahontas | April 20, 2014, 3:15 pm
  17. Well, alrighty then. A self described Superbitch huh? Your delivery in your writing is funny, so now I guess I won’t have to feel guilty that I laughed. : )

    Like

    Posted by Pocahontas | April 20, 2014, 3:19 pm
  18. It’s probably because you care most about what they think.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by behindthemask | April 20, 2014, 5:32 pm
  19. You’re the eldest; I’m betting that everyone relies on you. That’s your role. It’s hard to step back from being the person on whom others depend.

    Still… Give yourself a break. Get a real hug instead of just virtual ones.except for my virtual hug.

    Like

    Posted by Elyse | April 20, 2014, 8:47 pm
  20. Sorry to hear this, but I understand the thing about keeping radio silence with the family. I think it’s normal in many ways. My folks know a lot about me, but I don’t keep them informed of a whole lot. My mother learns a lot from myTwitter tweets than me calling her up and chatting…lol. I think what some of the astute readers mentioned is at play – perhaps there is the feeling that you really do care what they say and fear judgement…which may or not be there (I don’t know you and your family). And that your family cares. Sounds like it, at least.

    Hope things turn around…well, I know they will.

    Sending positive vibes your way.

    Like

    Posted by carrythemessage | April 20, 2014, 9:03 pm
  21. For me, it’s like I don’t want to worry my mom. I just know she’ll get all worried, and at this stage of her life, I just want her to be peaceful and happy.

    I hid so much from my family about the shitty kraken drama with my Ex, until I couldn’t anymore. Because I needed support. But I hid stuff from them for years.

    Did this really just happen? If so, I’m sorry, friend. It sucks. I was kinda hoping for a happy ending here.

    Like

    Posted by samara | April 20, 2014, 10:12 pm
    • “For me, it’s like I don’t want to worry my mom. I just know she’ll get all worried, and at this stage of her life, I just want her to be peaceful and happy.”

      That’s it exactly. My mom already suffers from heart disease and diabetes. Plus she watches two of her grandchildren on an almost daily basis. She doesn’t need my problems to bring her down further.

      Like

      Posted by Twindaddy | April 21, 2014, 7:03 am
  22. When I ended it with Mr Loveofmylife #1 I waited a while before telling my family. I waited a while before telling them a lot about the behind the scenes of what was really happening with him. I painted a picture-perfect relationship because they all had homes, families, the ideal life, etc. And my life was a lie. In a way. When I spilled my guts and told my (older) sisters that I was a mess and opened the bucket they took me in with open arms and so much love. I expected judgments and put-downs, and all they had was confusion, questions, and then understanding and love. It was awesome! Bite the bullet Drun (I still get a kick over that FB name) – what’s the worst that can happen?

    a- They will support you and surround you.
    b- They will disown you, but at least you already have a second chosen family of friends.

    Trust me. Option b won’t happen. It better not!

    Like

    Posted by Marie | April 20, 2014, 10:27 pm
  23. I completely get this. If my soon to be ex hadn’t announced his departure on Facebook before telling me, I wouldn’t have said anything to anyone. Even with that announcement most of my family didn’t know for weeks, when I finally told them it was only because they asked where he was at a family gathering. My response?

    “Oh, he went back to his mother, she apparently fed him better.”

    I completely get it.

    Like

    Posted by Valentine Logar | April 20, 2014, 10:35 pm
  24. I’m sorry about all of this :-(
    Isn’t amazing that no matter how old we get, we still don’t want to disappoint our parents? I’m 47 years old (first born) and still do everything I can to avoid the eye roll. I’ve been “authentic” and horribly imperfect with my friends for years…moving and making baby steps with the parents just in the last few months (I let them read my blog full of secrets they never knew!) Thank goodness they live three hours away and don’t have to see my many imperfections first hand.
    Hang in there TD–you have a huge fan club of supporters–I’d bet your parents are at the top of that list, too :-)

    Like

    Posted by MamaMickTerry | April 20, 2014, 11:22 pm
  25. I get that feeling, SS. It’s good that you aren’t hesitant about telling everyone about these things. That’s so much better than keeping it all in. *naked hugs*

    Like

    Posted by MissFourEyes | April 21, 2014, 12:53 pm
  26. I think everyone does this to a certain extent. It’s easier to tell people bad news if you don’t really care what they think about it. I think that’s why, no matter the age, you still kinda feel like a child around your parents.

    Like

    Posted by anolivedaily | April 21, 2014, 8:37 pm
  27. I totally get this. I hate sharing anything with anyone, ironic my preferred form of writing is freakin poetry, no? I’m much better at it then I used to be but more so with friends than with family. Family is still the last to know, if they ever know at all.

    Like

    Posted by C.K. Hope | April 21, 2014, 8:45 pm
  28. At least you speak with someone who’s close to you, even if it isn’t who you feel you should be talking too. Cookie?

    Like

    Posted by bardictale | April 22, 2014, 6:02 am
  29. I also got the Friends ref in the title. Once I finally managed to get here, that is.

    I think one of the reasons we find it hard to talk to our families is that – for me, anyway – they sometimes never let you forget bad decisions made in the past. So something that’s quite big becomes very daunting to share with them, because you know they’ll never bloody well forget it.

    Like

    Posted by faithhopechocolate | April 22, 2014, 8:52 am
  30. I don’t tell my family anything either. I hate to hear the disappointment or hurt in their voices. Of course, I’m not close to my family at all anymore. We only talk at Christmas, New Year’s, each other’s birthdays. I don’t think I’ve spoken to my sister in more than 10 years.

    Like

    Posted by benzeknees | April 24, 2014, 5:36 pm
  31. I totally get it. I have a weird relationship with my family too.

    Like

    Posted by Deanna (@MyMutedVoice) | April 28, 2014, 7:13 am

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