Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sadness

Sometimes I get an idea in my head and its hard for me to let go, I am not a worry-wart like my loving wife, but I do sometimes have a tendency to gnaw at ideas in my head and not let them go. What I have been thinking about lately is relationships. Family and friendships and the like, and the unfortunate tendency for people to misuse and abuse their relationships and not care who they are hurting. Let me explain a little better. Regular readers of my blog know that I come from a large family - having 9 siblings and 16 nieces and nephews. What most people do not realize is that for all extents and purposes my family is much smaller as there is always factions and someone is mad at someone else or is holding a grudge over something absurdly stupid. What it also meaans is that nobody can seem to let go of old petty jealousies and rivalries and so there is no closeness in my family - how sad. I have tried to make up for this in my own life by establishing relationships with my nieces and nephews and ignoring my brothers and sisters who are still mad at me for imagined or real childhood slights. What I have a guilty conscience about is the ones that I have not been able to establish a rapport with or the ones that barely know me because of limitations put on them by their parents. I will admit there are some of my nieces and nephews that I am closer to than others, sometimes because of the effort put out by their parents or because I feel some sort of familia bond with them. What has hurt me recently has been the lack of effort on the part of my family to get to know my new son, even by the family members that I am closer to, its as if nobody cares about bonds any more. What's worse is that the same malaise has crept over and is affecting my wife's family. Is it something about today's society that makes it easier for family to ignore the bonds that bind them together? What about friends? Some of my friends are very happy for my wife and I while others have taken our new son and the restrictions inherent in having a toddler as an excuse to grow distant. I have not felt this isolated since I lost a lot of my friends when I was the first one in my circle to get married and my pals drifted away, lost in their own worlds of dating and partying. My wife makes new friends easily and just replaces her caual friends with new ones as they fall by the wayside. On the other hand, I am really beginning to miss the old friends of my teenage years, as I just do not seem to meet anybody anymore who is my age and shares at least a few common interests. I guess I am as guilty as the next person in not realizing the value of something that I had once and slowly let drift away like smoke from extinguished campfire. Please leave a comment or two and let me know what you think. Tell me if it is just my anti-social tendencies and recluseness rearing its head or does the world change as you get older...

7 Comments:

Blogger LoraLoo said...

Anger and grudges (real OR imagined) can run really deep in families - but often the birth of a child can do wonders for strained relationships? Your family is quite large and perhaps nurturing what close bonds you do have with nieces and nephews is something to focus on. Or, confront those you're frustrated with - just lay it all on the table, and know you tried?

At my uncles's funeral I saw two things (besides grief): extended family who came and were saddened by the idea that family grumblings kept so many of us apart, and the animosity that was still very much alive from so long ago, I wasn't even a thought yet.

As far as friends go - major life changes always affects friendships, somehow. Always. Friends who don't relate to your situation or understand the enormous responsibility of a small child will drift. This is when your real friends reveal themselves.

5:40 AM  
Blogger LoraLoo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:41 AM  
Blogger LoraLoo said...

*uncle's - way too early to proofread - must have more coffee. Having to correct my corrections? LOL

5:42 AM  
Blogger Ken said...

Family can be a tough one to crack. As an example, my Dad was so steamed at his brother for not attending my wedding (was planning on coming but he had to cancel), that he was going to boycott his grand-nephew's bar mitzvah. My sister and I have both convinced him that this was silly, since it wasn't the kid's fault.

But this harkens back to a conversation we had when it looked like you were going to need day care assistance. It's sad that some of your siblings aren't reaching out more, and while I can understand that everyone has their own life crises, again don't take that out on your little boy.

If your feelings are hurt, I would reach out to your siblings and see what happens.

In terms of friends, I agree with Lora that major life changes have substantial impacts. However, now may be the time to reach out and try and reconnect.

12:52 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

People take things for granted. I, too, can be guilty of that, but I always try to remember not to. My family is 6 children, one brother, myself, mom, grandma and sister-in-law.

We stay close while the rest of the family (many, MANY more) are off taking things (life) for granted.

And I think as you get older you're more likely not to take shit; Because you realize you don't HAVE to and you can then focus the negative onto the positive. So to me, in essence, the world does change as you get older. Your world.

11:35 PM  
Blogger New White Keds said...

Like you, my relationship, or lack thereof with my sister had deeply affected my relationships with my nieces and nephew. My neices and I are not close by any means, but I believe they know I love them. My nephew, on the other hand, had to be re-introduced to me complete with explaination of who I was in relation to my sister every time I saw him for the first 10 years of his life. Oh, all 5 times. It saddens me deeply. Partly, though, it is my fault, as I am the adult and should make more of an effort.

Maybe Ken is right and you should tell your family how you feel. Be direct and honest and see what it gets you. Sounds to me like it can't get much worse.

As far as friends go -- maybe you have been feeling like this for a long while, longer than you think, thus leading you to your anti-social reclusiveness? I am guessing that if you steeped outside of some of it and reached out, you would be amazed at how many people would be reaching right back.

Life events do change us, and just as your friends need to adjust to your new parameters, you may need to adjust your expectations, or at least let your expectations be known.

I think I need to go write my nephew a letter :-)

8:27 PM  
Blogger Deborah said...

I think you should visit your sister in Alabama. She is your age and has a toddler too. And since you are a two income family and hers is not, plus her car is as old as her first born and she has a child with a bit of a disability (not to mention she has done all of the visiting to date), you need to make the trip. And of course the chickens need daily care and you don't have chickens, but she has close to 75 right now. . .

12:15 PM  

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