Cafe Hitch-hike


Just not a group person

It was usually guys that strayed from family gatherings. If they did go, they usually parked themselves next to the TV glued to a sport or quietly to the perimeter looking in.

My step father's family had the Duanes, senior and junior, and they did very little of that. Duane Jr., I was told, was in the Army, did a Christmas somewhere abroad and never did holidays afterward. Duane Sr. wad not very social and typically spent his Christmas with his parents rather than the extended family.

My sis Cindy often skips out of meeting people and she later admitted it is her anxiety. She has been invited to different things and never accepts. I used to take it personally, but I don't anymore. I leave an open invitation.1

I now embrace all of those decisions. They may seem avoidant, but they are simply being true to themselves. Maybe they tried to change that. Maybe they forced themselves to put on a face, and maybe they couldn't keep doing it for whatever reason. Maybe it made then feel worse, or they said or did something stupid. Maybe they allowed themselves to just not feel like it.

I didn't like going to my SF's family gatherings because we had to be like soliders in formation. However, as I got older, the women interacted with me more and-- were genuinely warm to me and I gradually softened up.

I started to limit my time with my mom's family gatherings to where I made my exit when I could see things were getting hairy. Sometimes, I stayed the full event because it was all right after all.

I think I will now respect my need to limit my time at big gatherings. Many others choose do this for compelling reasons, and I am finally going to embrace the same. I know I have a stain of social anxiety, but I've worked relaxation techniques to their full capacity. I've done plenty of inner work to get insight and try to change, and I don't know what else I can do. This is me. I am not a big gathering kind of person because I feel lost and overstimulated. I tend to need a person to anchor me, but it kinda sucks for me and the other person to have to do that.

Maybe I just plain need to respect my need for space and privacy. Whoever chooses to be with me will need to respect that. It is like a time I went to a 3 day concert, and I ducked out for 2 hours in the afternoons so I could take a nap. I told them I wasn't mad, being antisocial, or not having a good time. It was just me recharging, and so those 3 other things wouldn't happen.

This holiday has heen an exercise in acceptance of so many things. I guess we get set in our ways for a variety of reasons, so I just have to accept where I am with mine. I have to accept things and people the way they are, and myself included.

We can try, especially if it is in our heart. I try because I want to offer my best. Maybe that is why the holidays can get weird. We want to do our best but it gets snarled, or we get angry at ourselves or others. Maybe we can't give from the heart for whatever reason.

I just know that I will spend my holidays respecting myself more.

downwind | upstream