I know how ridiculous it is that I spend so much time feeling sad that I don’t know how to make the friends-vacation thing work on a regular basis.
A while back a friend said something to me that has stuck with me. She was commenting on difficulties I have with my therapists. She said, “Your therapist seems to think you should treat your friends as friends but your friends are your family.”
I know too many people who vacation every year with a group of friends. It’s a thing I hear about constantly. There was a group in high school that I was almost a part of, I was invited to their group thing once, but it got really fucking awkward because my ex wasn’t very polite about me being there.
I can make it work to visit people. That often goes well. I can go see a person at their house and have that go well.
I even think that the trip to Hawaii with my girlfriends went well.
The cruise was… really challenging. Since the Bonus Family divorced me I can say that traveling with them was kind of a nightmare. The fact that they have never traveled on an airplane nor dealt with so many changes for a trip in their familial life wasn’t the problem. The fact that the adults got really angry with the children for having stress reactions was a real problem. Don’t fucking yell at and shame your kid for vomiting when they are exposed to an excess of food like they’ve never seen before. That’s not ok. I don’t give a shit that it is your birthday and you want to feel like the center of attention and everything is perfect. Kids get sick. You’re a parent. You put your big kid panties on and you cheerfully help your kid. What the fuck.
Kids are dragged along on trips. They need to be accommodated. When you know your kid has a bunch of special needs to start with… You need to pack extra patience. Period.
The Scotland trip was… mostly hard because I couldn’t sleep to save my life. That made me so fucking crazy. And Uncle Bob died the month before the trip and I was out of my mind anyway from divorcing my family. I’m surprised Scotland went as well as it did. And I’m still wearing the underwear that some friends kindly purchased for me. I think of y’all when I wear them. (All of my underwear was actively falling off because I was losing weight from stress.)
I was invited to Scotland. That was a HUGE DEAL.
Pam invited me up to Clear Lake and taught me how to water ski with her boyfriend’s family when I was 18. That was awkward but fun.
But I’m not someone who gets invited back. I wear people out. I know it is my fault.
I wish it didn’t bother me so much to hear my friend talk about the annual vacation her family takes with this large group of friends every year. They’ve been going for over ten years I think? I don’t begrudge her the trip. I’m really glad she has such a tight group of friends. I think it is fantastic that her children get to grow up with a community like that.
I will never have that. Just like I’ll never have parents. I will never be part of traditions with anyone outside of my nuclear family. I won’t have “This is what I do every year in X month” with a bunch of other people. That is not my story.
I spend so much time thanking a God I don’t believe in for the gift of my nuclear family. They are the reason I get up and face each day.
Noah is the reason I have a family. Because he decided to take a chance on me. Because Noah looked at broken, shitty me and decided that I was his best chance in this life for a happy family.
I think I’ve been doing better lately at being nice to Noah. I’m working real hard on it. Even as I feel whiny and mean.
It was hard when I started inviting people to the cruise multiple years in advance and something like six people told me no… and then went on a cruise within 3-6 months after ours.
I would have smaller feelings if I felt like an asshole inviting people to things that were simply beyond their reach. But that wasn’t it. Other friends and other timing was better.
I don’t fit. My timing is wrong. I want the wrong things on the wrong days and other people have better timing. Ok.
I feel like I would be a happier person if I stopped looking to do things with people. I feel like my life would improve if I didn’t want to spend time with people. But I’ve failed entirely in my devious plan to be an isolated loner.
I know too many people who are wonderful. And I wish I got to do more things with them. Both locally and travel-wise. Because I think it would be fun.
I have a lot of good in my life. I have a husband who would learn how to do backflips through a fiery hoop if that was what I needed to find him entertaining. I have children who adore me and still tell their friends that they’d rather be with me all day than anyone else. I have a fucktastically cool house that is cool because *I* made it that way. I have financial security. I have a growing team of competent medical providers after years of struggle. I have a library that would make my child-self fall down and weep with envy. I have a garden I find delightful and healing. I have lots of people who love me and who give me everything they have to spare.
I don’t have a lot of genuine reason to feel sad and whiny. That sure as shit doesn’t slow me down.
I don’t even think I need the expensive shit. It isn’t just the travel.
If A had followed through on his promises to be family “no matter what” and he had shown up and down real work for Sunday Family Dinners instead of being a giant man baby who expected to be taken care of forever…
But depending on people sucks.
I could pay to go to leather events and be part of that. If I could find consistent, safe childcare. But no.
And that makes it my fault that I don’t have a group. I guess. Ok.
Most of the things I’ve ever done with people have been at my initiation. “Hey, we could do _____”. My suggestions are rarely good for other people. But people don’t counter with, “We could do ______ at this other time though.”