So, who's ready to be bombarded with posts?! I'll first share something about me personally, then update you on Josh (TEN NOW!) and Bug (Still 3).
Without getting too much into it, my dad is totally dysfunctional. He is married to his third wife (who is my age), and they and their daughter live across the country. I haven't seen him in years, and the last time we talked on the phone he asked "Do you hate me or something?" and I replied "I'm indifferent toward you." That was in January.
My paternal grandmother and great-grandmother live just a couple of hours away. Last year for Christmas my grandma really wanted to get everyone together, all five generations of us. We were all to drive to her house to celebrate. I reluctantly agreed because I didn't know how to tell anyone I had no interest in being in the same house with my dad. All December I stewed over how to get out of it (because, you know, just coming out and saying it was too difficult). It ended up my dad's family couldn't come at the last minute, so I avoided the awkward conversation. Phew!
Until this year. It started all over again last week during a phone call with my grandma. I mentally resolved to speak up this year. We went to lunch together Wednesday and had a lovely time. Christmas plans never came up. There I was saying goodbye at her car, thinking I may have simultaneously missed my opportunity to stand up for myself and avoided the dreaded conversation for another day, when grandma asked, "So, can we plan a date when we'll all get together? You and us and your dad?"
The look on my face must have given me away, because grandma looked surprised and a little hurt before I even answered. All I managed to get out was, "Grandma, you know they're dysfunction junction over there. I'd really rather not.... I mean, we'll come see you and Granny, but..."
She made a few pleas, and I just kept answering "I'd rather not."
"Well... okay...." she said, looking upset. It pained my heart to see her so disappointed.
After we got home I got a phone call from grandma letting me know she'd gotten home alright. "And about Christmas..." Then she let me know that she was proud of me for standing up for myself. "I can't tell you how many times I just went along with something I didn't want to do because I was afraid to speak up. I'm really, really proud of you."
And some more nice things were said, but that's the take-away.