Guilt Trip

13 Dec

Remember a few weeks ago when I said that my aunt by marriage was asking if I’d be present in family photos for my paternal grandparent’s surprise party? (wow, that was a mouthful). Let me say this gently – I have issues. I call my father the sperm donor. It wouldn’t be quite so bad and I may not have felt SO neglected as a child if he wouldn’t have re-married and proceeded to have three other children (all boys) that he loves and worships. Seriously, he has attended EVERY thing that the boys have done. Every football game, every graduation, every birthday party.

I saw my father a bit when I was little (and then I asked to stop being made to go because he left me there with my step-mom, and while she was nice, I wanted to spend time with HIM, but he didn’t want to spend time with me), and then at my 16th birthday party when my mother asked him to DJ the party, and then at my graduation. Yeah, that was it. No, he wasn’t at my wedding (he wasn’t invited), and no, he wasn’t present when I had either of my children. Yet I know when the boys finally have kids, he’s going to spoil them rotten. eh, well – moving on from the land of pity…

Anyway, the aunt called me again yesterday and wanted to know why I didn’t want to go take the photos.

“You don’t even have to be in the photo with your father – I think you misunderstood. We’re having all of the families take photos seperately and are having the photographer make a collage out of it for your grandparent’s anniversary.”

See, here’s the thing – I want to have the type of family where once a month or so we get together to have breakfast, brunch, or supper – something like that. I want my children to feel as though they fit in, and to not wonder why they’re not loved like the other members of their family are. I told this to my Aunt – then I get this…

“Well, I understand where you’re coming from, but I think it’s very sad that you pulled yourself away from an entire family because of one person.”

One person? Um, no, try the entire family…the few times I have been in a room with all of them, I try to make small talk. I get all bubbly and ask how everyone is and do all that chit chat. The next thing I know I’m sitting in a corner, by myself, alone, and NO ONE gives a shit. In all honesty, if I’m not in those photos, most people will have no idea that someone is missing. I’m like the family secret or something.

“I mean, this is the ONLY time that anything like this is going to happen. It will never happen again, and I will feel very sad if you’re not there to be included in the photos. You don’t even have to talk to your father if you don’t want to.”

So I’m sitting here under a mountain of guilt. On my right shoulder is the “good” angel, saying, “Randi – be nice – just go, take the photos, and be done with it. They never intentionally meant to hurt you, they just have too much going on in their lives to fit you in anywhere.”

The other angel is going, “screw that bitch! She’s 28 years old and there have been plenty of opportunities for people to show they care. She’s tried to make an effort and it’s never been reciprocated, so why should she change her mind in order to ‘make nice’ now? And why should they have to ‘fit her in’ – she’s a member of the family and should be treated as such without there having to be any ‘fitting in’.”


I hate being all meloncholy here, but this is driving me nutz. What would you do?


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