Today another holiday is here, this time it is Thanksgiving and I am ‘feeling down’.
I have really no reason to be sad this week but this is what depression does to a person. In reality I have a great business that is having a great year in every respect. I have everything of any importance to me as far as material things are concerned, I also have some great close friends to share my life with, yet here I am in this somber mood on another holiday. A day that is set aside for being’ in my situation- ironically ‘thankful’. For the most part I am thankful, I just don’t feel happy about it.
If you don’t know me then I will bring you up to speed on me in a few simple lines that make this relevant to this topic for today. This is for my family too because I really don’t think they know me either.
I am a two time divorced man, with no children, I have two Brothers, one lives close with five mostly grown children and three new Grandchildren. Then there is my oldest brother lives halfway across the country on the west coast, he is divorced with one child living with her mother. Our Mother is healthy and is an active part of our lives and lives here near us in our hometown. We are not a close family in respect to always talking on the phone or stopping by to chat everyday or even every week or sometimes even on a monthly basis. We do have strong bonds and love each other very much, rarely do we fight or even argue, maybe that’s because we don’t see each other very often.
Every major holiday we gather at my brothers or my mothers home, at least that was how it used to be back six or seven years ago, that all stopped, now we only get together at my brothers house. It’s a very nice home, large enough for all of us plus more, which is what is always now the case. The plus more is my brothers in-law side of the family. Don’t get me wrong, we all have known each other for decades and it is fine to share the day with them too but over the years the dynamic has changed.
Here is where the depressing part starts for me. As I mentioned I am divorced twice with out any children and I had moved away from home for many years not being able to be at home for the holidays. Most people have big caring hearts so I was always invited to come to a co-workers home to share the day with their family. It was a fine way to spend a holiday away from family but I always felt like an outsider and it made me feel even more lonely for may family. Eventually I moved back home to be close to them, to share the experience of being part of the family that I longed to be a part of again. When I moved home I started my business and have been here for two decades now. In the beginning it was wonderful, my nieces and nephew started to now me better, my Mother moved home too, my brother and sister-in-law and I grew closer and their was this great feeling of love and connection that filled a void in my life.
Over the past decade the closeness has waned, I now feel as though I am now a guest at a co-workers home when I go to my families holiday events. It is all too familiar now like it was so many years ago when I was not living close to home. I am alone again without a family connection at the holiday season. The ‘little kids’ now have kids, they are growing up and have their own families and different focuses other than me, I know this sounds selfish and yes, it is. Not that I don’t understand why this is happening, it is the nature of things. Everyone has someone else in their life, someone to call their family. I have no one to call “my family”, no wife or girlfriend, no children and no grandchildren. I have accepted this over the years. Now as I have turned fifty, I guess I am having a mid-life crisis with the reality of it all. I thought I had a good grasp on always and forever being alone- not anymore, now this is slowly killing me inside.
I am not angry at this new change in the family dynamic, I am happy for them to have growing contented families and experiencing the wonderful feeling of life as it is meant to be lived. It is just tough to know I will never have what they have and that in the turning of time I am becoming an extinct member of the family. I am becoming or already have become a guest again in my own family’s home. The fact is I am now invited as an afterthought, more of an obligatory situation, a “better invite Bill too” kind of thing. I am also suspicious of it being more of a situation of exclusion, as if I may be a bad influence on the family and their children in some way. I am sure I am wrong but this is how it makes me feel and feelings are tough things to contain.
I didn’t write this to make anyone feel bad or to get sympathy, I wrote it so my family would understand that I don’t wish to participate in something that just causes me more pain. I would prefer to be invited for coffee or a simple sandwich supper maybe a lunch to get caught up with the passing events more often. Yes I could call them too or stop by their home but they have far busier lives than I do and I hate to interrupt their lives with my petty desires of wanting to be a part of someones family… because I have no family of my own and I never will.