When it comes to our families, we sometimes see only our differences. We see the way our parents cling to ideas we don’t believe, or act in ways we try not to act. We see how practical one of our siblings is and wonder how we can be from the same gene pool. From Daily Om: We Are Family
For me, visiting home (it's surprising that in my mind the house I grew up in still resonates as home given I haven't lived there in over 15 years), spending time with siblings and parents and especially over holidays generally means fear and sometimes nightmares.
Definition -- in my lifetime, I have had only one or two of the typical nightmares where someone chases me or I fear for my life/well-being in some way. My nightmares usually consist of someone (usually a family member) being "mean" to me or not sticking up for me when someone else is being "mean" to me. Clearly a window into my insecurities and perhaps into the beliefs I hold about myself and how I developed them.
So, Christmases and Thanksgivings are fraught with tension for me -- I want to be there but I am afraid of what will happen. We all seem to regress into our worst teenage selves as we cross the threshold of my parents' house. It doesn't help that my mother enjoys drama, especially if it means pitting one against another. Perhaps this is the lingering side affect of watching too many soap operas and/or novelas.
Each journey for me, then, must begin with prepping -- I have tried many strategies, but, invariably, all my good plans fall apart. Either I am not strong enough or I just misjudge the number of days my strength (and plan) will hold out. Eventually, the rubber band snaps, striking both me and the nearest target. This may or may not be the one who broke through my armor, flimsily attached as it was.
I alternate between swearing off seeing them and recommitting myself to "not letting them get to me." I guess what I have realized (or maybe just stopped fighting the realization) is that my achilles' heel is hope. Every time I believe this will be the time when they and I will behave in such a way so as not to cause irritation, anger, hurt feelings, and/or bitter resentment/utter disgust. Then one of us falls and when the anger or hurt subsides, I am left feeling utterly bereft and disillusioned. Ah, failure. Limiting my time there can sometimes avert the crash and burn, but it hardly seems like an adult solution. There goes the hope again. Maybe denial or lackof grounding in realityare better ways to describe it. Perhaps recognizing my and their limitations is a very adult solution.
Still hoping for the universe to grant me the patience, compassion and love for all of us in this situation -- though I know it is a question of me working through it.