Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The November Tug o' War Has Begun

November is not a fun month for me, though it should be.  My oldest will be turning 19.  I will be celebrating my 11th Wedding Anniversary (second marriage).  Then of course, comes Thanksgiving. 

My 19 year old doesn't really want to spend time with her family for her birthday but at the same time doesn't yet have a job or a driver's license.  This means I get to play chauffeur and financier all day but only at a distance.  Since she's turning 19, I should be used to it by now but somehow, this year it feels different. 

I'm guessing my frustration stems from the fact that she's not working, hasn't started college yet and hasn't made much of an effort to learn how to drive.  I was prepared for the temporary loss of the mother/daughter thing as we defined our new relationship in the context of her emerging independence.  What I wasn't prepared for was her desire to "play" at adulthood without taking any genuine steps towards it.  Judging by her moodiness, I'm guessing she's feeling the same way.

Along with this, I have absolutely no desire to celebrate my anniversary at this point.  My hubby, whom I do love, is completely oblivious or in total denial, and I have no idea how to repair what I fear is permanently broken.  I am simultaneously hurt and numb, angry and disinterested. 

I have tried to discuss things openly but we are rarely alone and frequently interrupted.  Our conversations consist of small outbursts and incomplete sentences.  This has caused an ever widening gap between us.  With me choosing to keep him at arm's length while he moves along denying the problem altogether.  I do believe that he prefers avoidance to resolution in this matter since he may not like the end result.

Lastly, there's Thanksgiving.  I am part Thai and was born in Thailand though it was on a US military base.  My parents divorced when I was five and I was raised primarily by my Thai mother.  My husband is Hispanic.  He was raised by his Mexican born mother and step-father.  Therefore, it does seem odd to me that there is always such a battle of "calling dibs" at Thanksgiving.  I realize the idea of Giving Thanks could certainly be a universal idea, the actual holiday in question with the specified date is NOT.  So why do we have to fight over where we go on that specific day?

Yet somehow, each year, I manage to hurt someone's feelings.  I would love to skip Thanksgiving this year and hide in my warm cozy bed instead.  I have a feeling I won't be able to get away with it but this is a bad year for me.  Let's hope I keep it together without going off on some crazy rant while surrounded by family and friends.  Maybe I'll keep my distance from the wine.

I better turn this around, my frustration is showing.  I am going to make an effort to help my daughter get on track with her future.  I am going to try to get some privacy with my husband so we can truly and honestly talk everything out.  I am going to get through the Holiday with a smile and the best of intentions, remembering the fact that God gave us close family and friends so that we could experience both the best and the worst aspects of human relationships. 

Honestly, I know I have certainly been at both my best and my worst with those closest to me and have always been confident that I would be accepted regardless.  I guess I just need to remind myself that I should be thankful for that.

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