I guess we can start with what is usually the most dysfunctional of the two.
I remember when I was younger and loved visiting my grandparents in Spain and in the U.S. I kept thinking that my family was pretty normal. I was a pretty stupid kid. When you are young (and even some adults) the world just revolves around you. You aren’t very observant and you don’t notice things as much. When I grew up I realized that my family was just like everyone else’s. It’s just never going to be normal and drama free because we are all different people with different opinions.
The family members I talk to the most (other than my sister) are my parents. Although they live in Mexico I talk to them at least once a week. I actually just hung up with my dad and warned him that he will be mentioned in this post. His response? “Just don’t rip me to shreds” Aww! Anyway my relationship with my dad is a bit more complicated than with my mom. With my mom it’s relatively easy. I tell her she gets on my nerves, I know I get on hers and its done. She is used to my sharp tongue and doesn’t take it personally. My dad is another story. He didn’t have the best relationship with his father so he wants to have a good one with my sister and I. The problem? I am not the best with words or expressing myself and he is very sensitive so I can’t always be upfront and honest with him because it creates a problem. My sister can talk your ear off and she is much more tactful than I am so it isn’t as hard for her to communicate with him.
So, when it comes to families…. Are we comfortable with leaving our relationships the way they are because we are stuck with each other or do we decide to risk it and try to improve our relationships by possibly causing a little drama (therapy, digging up the past) before it gets better?
What is there to say about my friends? Well…. most of them are in Mexico (where I grew up). Most of my friends I have known since childhood so I really couldn’t tell you what drew me to them in the first place. Do we really choose our friends or do our friends choose us? I wonder a lot about my friends and how completely different we are. I remember about a month and a half ago a friend of mine (here in the U.S) told me that he usually would never be friends with someone like me. Hmmm… I really didn’t know if that was a compliment or not but I guess I felt the same way about him. I just never thought of it that way. Why? Well he doesn’t embarrass easily, so he can be loud and a bit obnoxious and he drinks (which can make him louder and more obnoxious) and that gives me anxiety. I don’t want to be kicked out of a restaurant or have my neighbors complain because we are too loud. I don’t like being the center of attention and in those moments I’d love to be invisible. I’ve had pretty good friendships but one in particular I am just not so sure about. We never keep in touch unless we are both in my hometown and I am not usually a hypocrite but I will say that I am around this particular person. We’ve been friends for a while and I’ve actually tried to get out of it a few times. I complain a lot about him/her and yet when they want to see me I go. This person asks me about me maybe 3 or 4 times of maybe 2 hours that we are together and I am talked down to quite a bit. When it comes down to it though this person is there when I really need them or so it has been before. We haven’t spoken in a while.
Do we need to stay in a friendship that is wavering because we’ve been in it for so long? Why are we friends with people that can cause us so much anxiety?