Are you the black sheep of your family? Do you dread having to deal with people in your family that you know don’t like you? The author provides her personal experience as well as tips she uses when dealing with her own family and in-laws.
They may love us, but they don’t like us. They have proven that by the way they react to us during times when they should be supportive; instead, they are distant. They roll their eyes when we speak. They quickly get off the phone with us when we tell a story. They talk about us behind our backs. They don’t bother to give us any words of encouragement when we are down, they withhold affection and praise. They spread gossip about us and then lie about saying anything to our faces. They find excuses not to buy things for us or our families. They will not go out of their way to do anything for us.
My story isn’t one I am proud of but I think for purposes of this article, it is one that may help someone who feels like they are the black sheep in their family and no one seems to care about them. Years ago I hadn’t noticed any signs that certain family members just didn’t like me, until I talked to other family who told me so. I asked these family members, who brought me a bone and most likely would carry one back, why? Why wouldn’t they like me? A few attributed it to jealousy and others said that they just didn’t like the choices I made in life. It wasn’t that I had done anything that would cause them to resent or even hate me, I guess I was one of those family members who got along with everyone regardless and some didn’t feel that I should.
When I began to look closer at the way they treated me, it became obvious, they didn’t like me. I reasoned that it was because I didn’t always take their advice, that I didn’t consistently acknowledge birthdays and other holidays, because at times I chose boyfriends and jobs over spending time with them. At first I was hurt by the reality that my family was treating me like a black sheep, why? How could they use the excuse of having no money not to visit me when I needed them most? ( I live 3000 miles away and have been back to see my family several times since my move and no one bothers to come out and see me.) I have made up so many excuses these past four years for them when people asked me about their coming out to see me to the point that I can’t keep track of all of them. How could they acknowledge other relatives with children by giving them their money and time and overlook my children more often than remember them? How could they be judgmental of my lifestyle when they were no angels? It wasn’t like I was a drinker, smoker, or gambler. It wasn’t like I chose someone of the opposite race or the same gender. Maybe if I had done these things, it would be easier to understand why they didn’t act like they liked me very much since those choices went against their views. I thought maybe I gave them too much ammunition to use against me by sharing too many details about my personal life for them to judge me; therefore they wouldn’t want to see me.
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