I suppose I have finally reached the moment that in many ways I feared and in other ways I looked forward to reaching. I am an "adult" in the eyes of my family. I am "independent". And as such, they really see no need to include me in anything anymore. I love that I am seen as an adult. I love that they at least attempt to give the impression of respecting the fact that my husband's and my relationship comes first. But it still hurts to feel rejected and cast aside because I'm not little and cute anymore.
I'll come right out and say it. I'm stinking jealous of my brother. Because he is still included. He is still wanted. He is still invited. But suddenly now that Jeff and I are a package deal, we're only an obligatory afterthought. I know he has had more chances to cultivate a relationship with them because of his physical proximity the past several years. But now Jeff and I are close. Closer than we've ever been. Almost as close as John is. And I keep trying to let them know I still want to be a part of their collective lives, but it's just not happening. I am trying to not force myself into stuff that isn't "extended" family, but I still want to make my presence known. I really don't know what I can do.
As much as they can irritate me and as many jokes as I like to make about it, I love my family more than just about anyone else in the whole world. I would cut out my own heart and give it to any one of them if it was needed. They are responsible for making me who I am today - good, bad, and goofy. Those moments of laughter and memories and stories are the things that feed my soul. I don't have many friends who are close any more. I NEED my family now. I need for Jeff to know them and for them to know him. And one day I need them to be a part of my children's lives as well. But it doesn't look like that is going to happen, especially if things keep going the way they are going right now.
It's probably really pathetic and selfish of me, but the thing that seemed to push me over the edge was a baseball game. We had expressed interest in going to a game with them in the not-so-distant past. We spent the better part of a day hanging out and visiting. And it wasn't until that afternoon that we found out they were going to a game and we were decidedly not invited. We would have been happy to buy our own tickets and meet everyone there and do whatever it was that we needed to do, but we weren't even asked. And it's like a punch in the gut. It makes me almost sick to my stomach.
They're all at the beach right now. I would have loved to go down. I would have loved to have gotten a hotel room nearby and hung out during the day or gone to dinner. But I wasn't invited. I knew they were going sometime in the summer but never knew exactly when until last week. Had we known, we could have made it happen. I would have been happy to pitch in a hundred bucks and bring an air mattress and spend one night on the floor! Even now, I'd love to drive down for a day to see everyone. I'd probably spend more time in the car than at the beach, but I just want to spend a little time with everyone. But I sit back and realize that absolutely reeks of desperation and ultimately won't change anything. John is invited. I'm not. I have to accept that.
I know I probably make it worse on myself by fighting this so hard. But I can't help it. That's what you do when you love people. I try to convince myself it'll be ok because they'll want to see us more when we have kids and their kids are older and they're not as busy, but I doubt that is actually the case. Even if it was, I don't know that I could ever be ok with the knowledge that I'm only wanted for my uterus, or worse, that this same torture could one day befall my children.
I love Jeff's family and I'm very fortunate that they have included me in the family. But it's not the same as my family. I miss my family.
I guess things will ultimately come down to Thanksgiving this year. Stay tuned...