Taking care of ourselves is not just about taking care of our physical body. It also includes maintaining healthy relationships and looking out for your emotional well-being. More importantly, it must include understanding sometimes you have no control.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my family in recent months. There is still a feud in the family that is putting those of us who are neutral in some really uncomfortable situations. I tried to mediate when the fight first broke out about two years ago. After several unsuccessful attempts to help mend fences between the my nephew(41 years old) and my niece(35 years old) I had to give up.
Last year’s holiday season was the most stressful holiday season of my life because of this feud. On Christmas Day, I reached a breaking point and left Philly one hour after arriving. I came home because I wasn’t indulging either side. I wanted them to understand what this conflict is doing to the whole family. Honestly, me finally taking a stand and them seeing me break down in tears, did seem to help them see how it’s affecting the neutral folks. While they are no longer trying to pull me onto their sides and are respecting my neutrality, they still aren’t speaking to each other. I now, in essence, have two separate families.
The hardest thing about this situation is that I had to accept I have no control. I had to accept I can’t fix this. Both sides are waiting for apologies that neither will give. Both are waiting for an admission of wrong doing that neither will offer. I was trying to stay away from both groups for a while because I didn’t want it to appear I was taking sides. I try to walk the line between them so carefully that I constantly stress myself out. It makes me sad that my Mother can’t have her whole family together on holidays because of this situation. It is obvious to me that they are all wrong. I can see it with objective clarity. But there is absolutely nothing I can do help it, fix it or mend it. All I can do is accept it as the new normal in our family until something changes it. I pray for this every day.
The problem with me trying to stay away from both sides to avoid getting pulled into the conflict is I am losing my deep connections to all of my family members and also losing my relationships with my great nieces. It sucks because we’ve always been a close family. If you don’t think tragedy can break apart a family, you are wrong. Our family sustained multiple tragedies over a short time. I’ve seen a lot of heartache in my life. In the beginning, we stuck together. Our shared pain unified us and made us stronger but no one was dealing with grief properly. I asked each to get therapy; all refused. As the younger generation started turning to alcohol, drugs and holding their pain/anger inside, things started escalating. All it took was one last tragedy to be the one that split everyone apart with hurtful words that were spoken during a drunken bar fight between family members. Yep, it got that ugly. Anyways, it escalated into long term family feud. I wasn’t even there when it happened but I am still suffering the affects.
It makes me laugh when folks think that because I never had kids that I had no stress in my life… They really don’t know a thing about me, how deep I love, how much I care and what I am willing to sacrifice or put on the line for the people I love. They really don’t know what keeps me up at night or what makes me so worried that I get ulcers. They don’t know me at all. I chose not to have kids for a couple of reasons. Trust me, it wasn’t because I don’t love enough or because I am selfish – I love too much and feel everyone’s pain as if it is my own. I have a broken heart to prove it.
I am making an effort to deepen relationships with family members individually. In hopes that the example I set, shows them how they should be treating each other. I am trying to turn the tides with love and hope. “Wherever you find bad things, you find good people trying to make things better.” – Linda Ellerbee
I had my nephew’s three daughters down my house Friday to Saturday. They are 14, 13 and 9. They couldn’t stay longer because they had a softball late Saturday afternoon. They didn’t want to miss it and the oldest had a conference call about being scouted by colleges. We had so much fun. Everything went well all weekend. We really enjoyed the time together. We swam in my building’s pool. We went to the rides on the Ocean City boardwalk. I don’t do rides because of my heart issue but they really enjoyed them; I enjoyed watching them. We had dinner and caught part of the Phillies game at a nice restaurant in Margate. The restaurant had three different ball games on and the girls were having fun watching the three screens from our table. We then brought ice cream home and watched a movie. We even had fun on the car rides 🙂 We met their parents for breakfast half way between Philly and Atlantic City yesterday morning. I am going to have them down again around the holidays and take them to Cape May. They’ve never been there and want to see the shore around Christmas time. Honestly, I would rather spend my money having time with them than going on yoga retreats by myself.
I’ve had a bit of head cold with ear and sinus congestion trying to catch up to me for a couple of days. This crazy humidity is doing a number on my sinuses this summer🤧 I’ve been self medicating in hopes I can hold it off. While I would like to go out today, this feels like a self care Sunday that I should slow down and rest. I am going to stay home, rest and let me my body try to heal naturally. If I don’t feel better in a day or two, I’ll go to the doctor.
I hope you are taking care of yourself today.
(C) 2018 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC