You can pick your friends but you can’t pick your family…

I love my family.  Don’t get me wrong.  It is just that right now they all seem to be out to make sure I’m depressed…or insane.  Whichever, apparently.  Three days ago, my mother, in what should have been a simple, friendly conversation, calmly said something to me almost as an aside, that plunged me deep, deep, deep back into the depression that I thought I was working my way out of.  I’m back on medication and I’m no longer feeling like jumping off the nearest bridge.  (Can I just point out that if she thought she was helping, that is help that I can do completely without thankyouverymuch!)

Tonight my father called.  He means well and most of the time our conversations are ok.  Most of the time – notice that phrase.  Tonight he again assumed that my son (our oldest) is autistic.  He calmly told me that there is disability thing for Social Security for autism.  He thought that would help us out.  I paused.  This is not the first time that he’s mentioned autism and our son in the same breath.  This is also not the first time I’ve told him that our son has not been diagnosed as autistic and that i see no qualities in him (nor do his doctors) that indicate autism.  I’ve got enough going on right now with my seizure-suffering daughter without him adding this.   I’m just speechless.

Right now I have no desire to speak to either of my parents.  And I’m living with my parent’s-in-law and that has its own set of issues.  I’m going to be stark raving mad by the time we get through all of this crap, aren’t I?

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10 Responses to You can pick your friends but you can’t pick your family…

  1. Mina says:

    Hi, at times like this, it helps me to remind myself that this is only for the moment. Look ahead for the light at the end of the tunnel, and even though you cannot see it yet, it is there. Just take a moment to write your goals and dreams down. Then make some time each day to pray and plan for how that can happen so you’re moving toward the place you want to be. Don’t think of it as impossible. Things change so much. Think of those exhausting days when your first baby was born or how hard you thought it was when you had to take exams you thought would prevent you from passing. You might even chuckle now. It’s harder as an adult, but nothing is impossible! Find ways to enjoy the moment in the meantime. If your in-laws are driving you crazy, write down what it is that is bugging you. Then consider how you might prevent this and make sure you evaluate what you might be doing to add to the struggle. Are you a gracious guest? It’s not fun living at someone elese’s mercy, but it can also be overwhelming to have long term house guests. Are they loving your children and making you feel welcome most of the time? If so, you have a lot to be thankful for. If they drive you crazy, find ways to go places that really refresh you. Is there a park nearby or a place to walk outdoors? Can you drive to someplace you love regularly? Is there a backyard that doesn’t get used, and could you picnic out there every day or set up a hammock for the times when you are home? It will give all of you a break so you’re not cooped up together too much.

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  2. mmiller says:

    Thank you so much for your comment – that is a lot of GREAT advice in a small space! Really – I can’t thank you enough. That has given me a lot to think about.

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  3. Nick says:

    Hello, I stumbled on your post and it looks to be a somewhat old…hope you get this. I noticed you like books so my recommendation would be that you check out this one:

    This author has helped a ton of people, myself included, in situations like yours (oftentimes much more difficult circumstances). I cant say enough about this teacher and the love he has for his students. God Bless,

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    • mmiller says:

      Thank you for the suggestion! I’ll have to check it out. Things have changed drastically since I posted this but I am always interesting in new perspectives and new sources of help and inspiration!

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  4. The Brookster says:

    I googled “You can pick your friends but you can’t pick your family” and clicked on this journal. My husband has always had a quirky relationship with his family before I came into the picture so I can’t take any of their actions personally. The only problem is when you involve the kids. We are having a birthday party for our 5 year old son tomorrow at a really cool indoor activity center with so much for the kids to do. My sister in-laws son has been invited to come. We talked about us picking him up tonight along with the cake that her daughter made for the party. He would go with us to the party and we would bring him back home immediately afterwards. When I spoke to her today, she said he can’t come because a snow storm coming and he may get stuck. She doesn’t want to chance it. We got a snow covering over night. There is no snow storm in the forecast, just another blanket of snow over night. I tried to reason with her about how snow plow trucks take care of the roads etc. Bottom line is she said no. I simply told my husband there is nothing you can do about it because it is her son. My husband is hurt because it is very important to him that we let our kids (our son and her son) grow up together. Share memories etc. This situation is out of our hands. All I can do is pray that some time in the near future things will change on her end. I really don’t think it is us because we really go out our way to invite him to do some really cool things with us that he normally would not do. Sorry, but I had to add to this journal. Thanks for your time and I really feel better just getting this off of my chest. Everybody have a blessed New Year.

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    • mmiller says:

      Thank you for commenting – I’m sorry it took me so long to reply. I’m sorry that there were issues with the birthday party. I know what that’s like. I have cousins nearby who have children just a little older than my oldest. It would be wonderful if they could grow up together, having fun like my cousins and I did, but it never seems to work out. I’ve tried, but they just can’t spare the time. Its a pity, but it is out of my hands now.

      I hope that things have worked out better since then. Thank you again for stopping by.!

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      • The Brookster says:

        Update. We went over to my sister in-laws to pick up the cake. We decide to order Pizza, hang and and let the kids play for a while because they don’t see each other that often. When we decided it time to go home, she actually let him come home with us to spend the night and to attended the party the next day. We were elated and in shock at the same time. It really made my sons weekend. Unfortunately crisis always seems to bring people together. We just learned that my sister in-law has breast cancer. We have been there for her helping out. This will be another chapter we will need to deal with however I know her. She will get through this because she is a strong woman and God is right by her side. Thanks again for letting me share information.

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  5. mmiller says:

    Wow – thanks for the update! I’m really glad that he got to spend the night and to attend the party! I am VERY sorry to hear about the breast cancer – I hope they caught it early! Good for you all for helping out; that will go a long way in smoothing things out, or it should.

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  6. More then ever, I realize, I don’t have a close family connection….so, 2 say “U can pick ur friends”, means sooo much more 2 me! Being excluded from family celebrations, shouldn’t hurt…but it does!

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    • mmiller says:

      I know what you mean – my family connections are not close, really. And yet, I find that being left out of some family things (like a cousin’s wedding) really hurt. Sigh.

      But I’m finding that I have some friends that are closer than family – they are so much better to me and better FOR me than some of my family. That is helping me tremendously.

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