Ah, family dynamics…aren’t they just mind boggling? Well, you’re not alone in being the black sheep of the family, m’dear. As a fellow ‘baa baa black sheep…” there’s not a lot you can do to bring your family around to the dark side. ☺️
What’s the old axiom…you can pick your friends but you can’t pick your relatives.
If these invitations are painful, then diplomatically decline. It’s very liberating. I learned the art of that years ago and never looked back. Having traveled through my cancer journey, I also realized life is too short to be cluttered with old baggage filled with negativity.
So, now focus on my immediate family and the tight, but small fist of friends I care deeply about and I keep busy with activities that keep me uplifted and fulfilled. If I get an invitation to a shower, wedding, etc., that fills me with dread, I respectfully decline and send a gift or card. Sometimes, for the heck of it, some distant relative gets a little surprise in the mail of a gift or a card, something I’ve painted or sewn, just to let them know maybe all the stories about crazy Great Aunt Lori are unfounded. 😂
Like @johnbishop suggested, we need to be resilient in our lives and our relationships. But I still add that we can also distance ourselves from toxic situations with out fear of guilt. I realize this sounds blissfully selfish but we have to give ourselves permission sometimes to say no!
My other focus is on the new family members I’ve found in our Connect forum. It’s the kitchen table I remember from my childhood. My mom, neighbor ladies and my grandma would chat endlessly! It was the best experience! That’s the feeling I have here where we are free to talk openly. We can offer encouragement or sage advice from our many years on the planet, we can ask for help and sometimes we just need someone to listen and have empathy or wipe a runny nose. ☺️
With an @name of @artgirl2, what is your creative outlet?