Family Gatherings = ?

I don’t remember a time growing up when we had a family gathering of the 5 of us that I didn’t feel anxious.  Dinnertime was always tense.  We were forced to listen to a diatribe of dad’s, or  mom and dad or Hellion and Dad argue, cuss and yell at each other.  We just couldn’t have fun together, or feel relaxed.  I ate as fast as I could to get away from the table, to escape outside with my dogs and horses or to my own room once I had one.

One of my first husband’s greatest attractions to me was that his family seemed so stable, civil and educated.  Though I didn’t realize it until recently, I consented to marry his family.  And they were those things I admired, but I never fit in.  I was a bit incapable of getting too close.  I didn’t try, that’s for sure.  After a few signals, I got the clue that my mother-in-law didn’t think me good enough for her son.  I guess I thought the same, but mostly I didn’t care.  I’m just not good with people.

But I didn’t make the mistake of creating the family life for my children that I had experienced.  And that is a proud accomplishment.

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