By: Revanche

An Orphan Thanksgiving

November 25, 2010

Having seen PiC off to the airport, my hometown friend D and I are spending a quiet Thanksgiving weekend together in the Bay Area without our families because making our ways back to Southern California just wasn’t in the cards for either of us. His reasons are his own and not mine to share, but mine are, of course, not precisely a secret.

Since moving away, I’ve been a mess of conflict struggling to remain a dutiful daughter from hundreds of miles away; fighting to establish my place in a new job, and adjusting to a new home and shifting relationship dynamics. 

For the first time in four years, PiC and I are in the same city all the time. We pick up the phone and schedule a shared commute, shared dinner plans, shared grocery shopping and budget. In most ways, it’s nearly been seamless. In others, we’ve picked up our bones of contention and sparred a few rounds. At the end of the day, it’s all worked out and I’m more grateful than ever that this was the end to my almost year-long stint of unemployment.  It was horribly nerve-wracking at the time, and could have been the biggest mistake ever, but so far, it’s been a huge support.

Conversely, however, for the first time in my life, I don’t live steeped entirely and totally in the family stress.  And so in a strange turn of dis-inoculation, perhaps call it weakening by means of detoxification, my spirit quails at the thought of venturing back into the fray, each and every time.  Every visit has been emotionally fraught, always including fights with the sibling when we run into each other, the heartwrenching sag in my mom’s cheeks, left behind from her stroke-like episodes in 2008 and other small signs of disrepair in my former home and crumbling family foundations.
After several rounds of trying to walk it off, and playing the stiff upper lip game, it was time to admit defeat. I simply couldn’t face it again this weekend, not this holiday weekend when the expectations of family are at a near all-time high. I just didn’t have the strength to pull a shroud around my soul again, and I don’t have the ability to pretend that that is business as usual. Until I have taken steps to get my parents out of their living situation and dealt with my feelings of guilt for “abandoning” them, I need to keep my physical distance for a while longer. 

While I wasn’t totally happy with the decision, I haven’t had any nightmares since deciding to stay in town for the weekend.  And with a friend to keep me company, I’ll actually cook dinner to eat while reading comics all day. It’s probably the best decision for me right now, and it’s about time I learned how to make those kinds of decisions in addition to taking care of everything and everyone else.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers and a wonderful weekend to everyone else!  I hope you’re enjoying peace, quiet, and comfort and remember all the blessings we have in our lives.  I hope you’re able to do that every day, regardless of the season.

Thanks to all you faithful friends and readers for being there in the virtual world and in some cases, in real life as well. I’m grateful for everyone’s support, online and off, you’ve made the journey this far so much more positive and even enjoyable than it was when I was just a young pup struggling to make ends meet with my minimum wage job and a checkbook.


7 Responses to “An Orphan Thanksgiving”

  1. Nicole says:

    You made a good decision. I hope you had a wonderful and relaxing holiday!

  2. Bucksome says:

    I just to give you a hug for making a hard decision. I hope you had a great meal and enjoy a peaceful weekend!

  3. Sense says:

    Happy Thanksgiving!! And to think you used to deal with that home situation every day! I bet you can’t imagine going back. I’m so happy you chose to disentangle somewhat and give yourself a chance to be happier–extremely difficult but necessary, I believe.

  4. Man, I can’t even imagine having to deal with that stress, on top of all of the stress of the holidays! Good on you for letting yourself be a priority.

  5. Sometimes, you just have to take care of yourself. I know the decision was hard, and I hope you had a relaxing holiday.

  6. Way to listen to your gut. I hope your weekend was relaxing and the guilt stayed away. you don’t deserve that stress!

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