So have you ever been sitting in a group and felt like you were invisible. Like you are talking and no one will even look your way? I've been feeling like that with my family lately. Not my immediate family but with my aunts and uncles etc...
We had a family meeting the other day regarding our family's team for the event. Months ago when we decided to do this I had said I was going to make the offer of if the store raised $1500 I would let the family shave my head the day of the event, people were luke warm about the idea, but I knew it would be fun so I kept up with the idea. So we're sitting at this meeting talking about ideas and my aunt makes the announcement that my uncle has made the offer if we raised $5000 for the team he would shave his head. Everyone thought that was the greatest thing since sliced bread! My sister turned and looked at me and was like "WTF?" I shook my head. Every idea I had was restated through someone else and everyone just jumped all over it and thought it was wonderful. I just kept thinking..."Did they not even really listen to me when I said it?"
It happened with my brother as well, he had offered to do a chicken bar-b-que as a fund raiser, he makes the best chicken, but my uncle suggested it and everyone jumped all over it. I just looked at him like "WTF?" and he returned the same glance. I swear we just talk to walls. I always suspected it but never really believed it, you know? But it seems it has been confirmed. Now 10 years ago I would have jumped up and caused a scene and pissed and moaned to everyone involved until I was blue in the face, but I've grown. I just kept thinking "I moved home to be closer to these people? What the hell was I thinking?"
Even as far as the store, I have offered to donate two giant roasters of prettles to sell that night to raise money which they have accepted, only one aunt was excited. My other aunt was asked to make potato salad because they said hers was the "best". Now mind you she never offered, and her restaurant will be sold at the end of this month, so she won't have the place to make that amount of potato salad at that time, and they suggested she uses my kitchen to make it. I just stared at them in disbelief. I told them if potato salad was going to be made under my food license and coming out of my store it would be MINE.
My sister looked at me and said "Don't they know you make thousands of pounds of potato salad every year?" I just laughed and started to look at my family, this family I've loved so much and it dawned on me. Only three of the people in the room have ever been in my store. None of these people support me at all. They come to me to design their homes and expect huge discounts but never step foot in my store to spend a dime. I just became furious and shut up the rest of the meeting. I just couldn't believe what I was hearing.
Now I could have started trouble, I could have thrown a tantrum, but I'm better than that. This even is not about me, this event is in support of my aunt, my aunt who is moving across the country to be with her family again after losing her husband and battling cancer all in the same year. I shut up because this is about her. But I must say my allegiance to this town because of my family disolved at that moment. A part of my family love died that day, a part of me just wanted to walk away. My sister and I did leave early that night because we were fed up. I don't hold grudges against my family but I did open my eyes, finally.
I still love them, but I have taken them down off the pedestal I put them on, I put them on the same level I put other families on, the families I see that get torn apart because of pettiness. My family walked away from my father's side of the family because of situations like this, only worse, but at some point they were like this too, it just escalated. Will this too? The picture in my head has been shattered with this family. I'm sad and disappointed, and I pray that someday it changes, but maybe it's God showing me it's o.k. to leave these people, that I don't need them in my everyday life. I'm not sure it's a message he would send, but maybe it's part of it.
But it's not about me, I'll do what I'm asked, and do as I feel I need to, to support my aunt and her victorious fight against cancer, the rest is all just petty bickering and I refuse to take part in the bitterness after this is posted.