I don’t feel like I belong in my family

I can’t sleep because all the anxiety I had being with relatives today.

I was at a rehearsal and rehearsal dinner for my cousin’s wedding.

I’m not part of the wedding. But since my parents are part of it, then I got to go. Same with the dinner.

I walked into the venue. Dressed in what I wore to work (a nice skirt and flats). I didn’t have time to change. And everyone was dressed up as if it were the wedding day. All the girls coincidentally wore spaghetti strap maxi dresses and heels. I immediately felt out of place.

Everyone was off in little groups here and there. And I didn’t have anyone to talk to.

A couple minutes in and I already felt like an outsider with my own family. But that wasn’t the first time.

I was preparing for the anxiety that I will have over this long family weekend. I had many therapy sessions about this. But the feeling of loneliness wasn’t anything that I prepared for.

Naturally my anxiety got worse over dinner. I was already exhausted from my morning with my students. I was feeling out of place at the rehearsals. And now I had to sit there for hours. And all I could do was be glued to my phone.

I hear all the girl cousins and the rest of the bridesmaid’s OOOHs and AWWS as they opened their bridesmaid gifts. I heard lots of loud conversations and laughter.

I immediately became overstimulated and overwhelmed from the environment.

At a point, I felt like the world was spinning around me. It was too much for me. I had to turn my body to the side, and put one hand up to my ear to lessen the volume. I had to whisper and repeat “ I am safe. I am safe. I am okay. It will be over soon.”

I have been dealing with being an outsider in my family for years. Just because I shared my mental health struggles over social media. And when my anxiety got too bad at family parties, I took time to take care of it.

I suddenly thought about my future wedding. And how I won’t have any bridesmaid or maid of honor at my wedding. I’m crying as I type that.

I won’t have a wedding like how this wedding is. Not have bridesmaids or maid of honors. Not having people for a rehearsal or rehearsal dinner. Just because I don’t have anyone close to me.

Because they all pushed me away, just because I have depression and anxiety.

I push myself out of my comfort zone to be there for them. To be at places that I am not comfortable with. For them.

But they can’t go out of their comfort zone to have a conversation with me about my mental health. Or at least, be there for my physically. Or at least say “How are you doing?” And mean it.

I have 3 more days of family events.

What do I do ?

-Mel

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