This is a personal post....
I have a difficult relationship with my family. A lot of that is because my mother had a difficult relationship with my siblings and we lived together so I went along for many of her emotional joy rides. They were all her craziness but I was her enabler (and she was mine).
After she passed away I tried to make things right between myself and my siblings. And during that time, my sister and brother discovered a shared love of hiking so their bromance was born. Plus my Sis' SO and my brother became tightlikethis while my SIL became another one of their favorite people...
So when the family was all together I tried to stay cool and just go with the flow And it was good. We all got along, everyone was included in most everything and it was fine. There was no sense of closeness but there was nothing negative.
And then my SIL went to Portland to be with my sister and her SO for 2+ weeks. The excuse was to see a doctor for follow up after cancerous mastectomy (which she did have testing done at the cancer center) but it was also to get off island for the first time in 15 years. No one begrudged her.
For 2+ weeks I've watched thousands of pictures on Facebook of all the places they went together and the good times they had. There were texts between them (and my brother and my sister's friends) (not me) with more pictures and sharing. The entire time she was gone I received a few texts from my SIL and none from anyone else.
And my SIL came home with presents from my sister for my brother and presents for my nephew from my sister's friends and nothing for Mollie (you know, that 14 year old girl who's also related to all of them)...
And now my brother and SIL are planning a trip to Portland together to hang with the Sis and we are most definitely not invited and I told myself I'm crazy to be upset and feel left out but then George Takai posted an Ask Amy (I think it was Ask Amy) column from a woman talking about how she didn't want to include her sister in family outings because her sister didn't fit in as well and Amy said 'shame on you, it's family' and I honestly cried.
I cried because I thought I deserved to be left out. I cried because I thought maybe I am a bad person and don't deserve to be included. I cried because I've been beating myself up for years trying to not rock the boat with my sister and getting my feelings hurt but swallowing it all.
And someone said it wasn't my fault. Someone said no, they're the ones acting wrong. And for the first time in my life, someone said these crazy feelings are justified and I'm not creating drama in my head.
They've been leaving me out for years and it hurts. And now I can acknowledge the hurt and know that it's okay to feel it. I can't change them but I can know that I'm not crazy or wrong. And that's very liberating.