Thursday, December 31, 2009


A healthy me means more than just exercise, eating right, and taking care of my teeth. Healthy me means being able to process emotional events that are an everyday part of life in a manner that is not self-destructive. For whatever reason, my family seems to implode right around Christmas time. It's like everyone in my family from the aunts and uncles on the east coast, to my nuclear family in California secretly decide that December 25th is going to be the day that they act selfish and crazy and throw hissy fits and yell and pout and guilt and cry and tease and hurt.

This year, as I have done a few times in the past, decided to opt out of the holiday "traditions." I chose to have Christmas with my boyfriend and his family, who live only 20 minutes north of us. I had a very busy fall, and was traveling nearly the entire month of October (Spain, France, Las Vegas, Walla Walla, Cle I couldn't even think of booking another flight and having to haggle with my boss for MORE time off around Christmas, so I told my family I would be staying up here.

My boyfriend and I had a really mellow Christmas. It was nice. I got periodic text messages from my older sister about the happenings at home. I got e-mailed pictures of my dad's $90 Christmas tree (running joke in my family, he always gets taken to the cleaners when buying a tree), and phone calls from my mom. There was the usual drama with the east coast family, but things seemed calm in California.

I was back at work the Monday after Christmas, and around lunch time I got a call from my mom. She was calling to inform me that she was taking a two week hiatus from family. O---K--- was my response...knowing there was more to come. She talked about how her and my sister discussed things, and she got confirmation from my sister that the reason I didn't come home for Christmas was because of my weight, and didn't want to get harassed by her. I just listened. I let her go on and on about how she feels like she is drowning from all of her family needing her and she needs a break. She's going to seek therapy (again) and take some time to herself. Just listening...

So I entertained the thought. Did I really not go home because of my weight? I tried to make that true, but couldn't. I've gone home plenty of times fat, and I've stayed home skinny. I just really didn't want to travel this year. But it doesn't matter what the real reason is, if my mom thinks something, then that is the way it is. No exceptions. I should have saved the song and dance and said "yes mom, you are the reason I didn't come home. You and only you. Never mind all the real reasons, it was you." What became really apparent to me as I mulled over my mom's words is that my sister was using me as a sheild. She cannot say to my mom the things she wants to, so she uses me.

Weird that I didn't want to go home, eh? Families are complicated, I know. My mom sees my not coming home as me "not dealing with things." If history shows that a bomb goes off in the same place, the same time every year, and I chose not to go to that place isn't After all, isn't the definition of insanity repeating the same action over and over and expecting a different result? Sigh...I don't think there is any right answer or winning in this situation. I wish I could call Dr. Phil and have him tell me what to do.

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