Have to Get It Out

19 Jun

I am up to here (imagine my hand far above my 5′ inch frame) with work, both writing work and photography work, and we’ve got a really busy week coming up, with swimming lessons starting for the kids and getting used to the new no-school schedule, along with the work, of course, but I can’t get to work until I get this out.

Yesterday one of my nephews graduated from high school. He is my step-sister’s son and has gone through some hellish things only to come out more determined and strong than you would ever have expected. He’s an amazing teenager and I can’t wait to see what he accomplishes as an adult.

A few weeks ago we received an invitation to a party that was being held directly after graduation, so of course I was going to attend. We headed down to the party, kids loaded with their DS’s because I knew they would probably get really bored with a bunch of adults standing around talking. Once we got there the kids staked out a booth in the corner of the building and set up a little camp there, with their DS’s, drinks, and snacks they’d snagged at the party. I hung back with them – I didn’t feel that great and I knew that part of it was from nervousness. You see, I’d decided that I was going to see who approached me, instead of approaching everyone else.

Whenever we have a party here at the house, or whenever we go to someone else’s get together, I’m usually a very social person. I make sure, especially if it’s a party at my house, that I speak with everyone who comes and that I try to engage everyone. I love getting people who don’t know each other to start talking and chatting and I hate for anyone to feel left out.

So yesterday I camped in the booth with the kids and waited to see if anyone would approach me to say “hi” or “how are you” or anything of the like. A few people came over to say hi to the kids and to tease them about playing their DS’s, and a few people came over and chatted up Scott a bit.

No one came over to say hi to me.

My mother was there and of course she chatted with me a bit, but even my step-father, who was there, just about completely ignored me. One time when I walked past him he asked “are you okay?” and I just said, “fine” and kept walking. He came over and chatted with Scott, but nothing towards me.

Oh wait – yes, one person said something. My step-sister’s husband yelled, from across the room, “Randi – what experiment went wrong with you?” in regards to my red hair. Yes, it hurt unbelievably.

My two step-sisters were there. One came over to chat with the kids and said “hi” to us all in general, I guess, but nothing towards me. The other one completely ignored me, even when I walked past her. So there I sat, for 2 hours, completely ignored by everyone there.

I’m not saying this because I want some sort of a pity party or anything, as I’m sure a few people will say, but because no one should feel this way. It broke my heart. We got into the car and were about five minutes away from the building before the tears finally escaped my carefully erected emotional dam. They continued to flow until we got home, which is about 20 minutes or so, where my sister-in-law was here waiting for us. She pulled me aside and told me sharply to get out of my funk. I explained to her what had happened, and how I felt, and asked if it was too much to be said “hi” to.

She said no. Her demeanor changed instantly and she said she was sorry that I’d been treated like that. “But Randi,” she said, “you knew that was going to happen. You knew that and you still went. Why? When are you going to stop putting yourself in that situation where you know you’ll wind up hurt?”

Because my nephew deserved it. Because I wanted to help celebrate his big day, although apparently I was more of a downer than anything. Because it was rude not to go. Because I’m stupid and continue to hope that one day their feeling will change and they’ll welcome me with open arms.

I’ve said it before and stick to it – I don’t fit in. I fit in with my husband and children, and I fit in with my two best friends, (and believe me I’m EXTREMELY grateful for both my husband and children and my BFF’s) but that’s it. All I’ve ever wanted growing up was to fit in with a family. I don’t fit in with my family, either side, and I don’t fit in with my in-laws, and I don’t fit in with my step-family either.

Please – if you’re at some sort of gathering and you see someone sitting in a corner not talking to anyone else, please approach them and chat with them. Even if you don’t know them, and even if you’ll never see them again – please don’t let them sit there feeling like the world hates them. Please.


2 Responses to “Have to Get It Out”

  1. Cherie June 19, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    Hey Randi, Sorry you had a crappy time at the party. I always tell people, “you can pick your friends, but not your family.” It is okay not to like your family. I haven’t spoken with my brothers for years. I cry about it from time to time, but I have given up on putting myself in the position of constant rejection. Next time, have your nephew at your house, away from the people who cause you the most pain. Call me sometime, if you want to get together with the kids. I am in the book under C. Lowry.

    Peace, Cherie

  2. Jaime June 20, 2011 at 1:30 am #

    Hon, you know I only say this because I love you.

    “Whenever we have a party here at the house, or whenever we go to someone else’s get together, I’m usually a very social person. I make sure, especially if it’s a party at my house, that I speak with everyone who comes and that I try to engage everyone. I love getting people who don’t know each other to start talking and chatting and I hate for anyone to feel left out.”

    I think that’s the key. People are used to you doing one thing and you’ve done completely the opposite. You’re judging people based on the way you would react in a situation and that’s not fair on them. It’s wonderful that you’re the kind of person who makes sure the person sitting in the corner has someone to talk to, but most people aren’t like that. Most people see that the usual social butterfly isolating herself and figure that she probably wants to be left alone. Most people see the usual social butterfly isolating herself and figure that you’ve *chosen* to do that.

    It’s harsh and it’s not nice, but it’s to be expected when people go somewhere to have a good time. Even if on some level they think something might be wrong, they have gone there to celebrate and get away from their troubles, not let someone else share troubles with them.

    You are a woman who appears through and through as a strong person. So being there getting progressively upset would make it progressively intimidating for anyone wanting to approach you. People pick up on so many cues – most of them subconcious – so by the time you said “fine” when asked if you were okay, you were sending off “I am so pissed off right now” vibes left and right. Nobody – except a person like you who is a nurturer – is going to want to approach that. Especially at a party. At least your step-father asked if you were okay.

    You are wonderful and strong and dance to your own drum. You really need to embrace that and stop caring so much what people think. You’re more than capable of having fun at a party, so why not let yourself?

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