Thanks, Mom!My mother has always been a loner. She has a few friends, but hardly any family members. Her mom and brother died when she was young, leaving her with just a dad. My grandfather became a long-haul truck driver when I was about four years old. Ever since then, it's been us kids and my mom. When I was young, I had the benefit of a large paternal family. My parents weren't together, but I spent every weekend and most school breaks at my dad's house. He lived with my grandparents and there were always an abundance of cousins, aunts, uncles, family friends, etc. there.
When I was 13, my dad stopped having anything to do with me. This pretty much ended my frequent exposure to large family/friend gatherings. I was strictly with my mother, who NEVER had company over. At that time, I began to realize how severely reclusive my mother was. I was terrified I'd end up like her. It wasn't just that she liked to be alone, but she was/is extremely bitter towards the idea of being in the presence of people other than her children. Anytime my sister or I would go to family get togethers (I still saw my dad's family a couple of times a year after he discarded me), my mom would ridicule us. Especially me. Now, when we spend time with our SO's families, she makes fun of us and makes wise cracks ("I can't believe you're taking part in that ridiculousness. You'll get sick of them, eventually, though, don't worry!"). Every boyfriend she's ever had has had to abandon his family altogether. She will not stand for a man being with his family. On holidays, if her boyfriends try to go visit their parents/siblings, it usually ends up in a huge fight with my mom throwing and breaking things because she doesn't want him to go. She flat out refuses to join him, either.
My grandfather maybe visited our home a total of ten times in the past ten years. We used to visit his home, which is two hours away, maybe once a year. Other than that, my mom doesn't speak to any cousins/aunts/uncles outside of Facebook. None of them are ever invited to her home, and she declines all offers to meet up with them. She has a few friends, but they were hardly ever invited to our home, either. We never had cookouts, holiday dinners, vacations, reunions, nothing with anyone outside of my mom, siblings and I.
After nine years of this lifestyle, I've sadly grown accustomed to it. I am just now realizing the effect my mom's reclusive behavior has had on me. I got in a relationship with my fiance eighteen months ago. His family is big, and family oriented. He has three siblings, and a cousin who is like a sibling. Each person has a kid and a significant other of their own. Every Christmas and Easter, the whole family meets up at his grandparents' house with his aunts, uncles, and cousins. I am so scared of being around those people that I have come to dread holidays that I once enjoyed. I literally have a pit in my stomach about Christmas and it is five months away!
Typically, my fiance's parents cookout on Sundays. Those cookouts normally involve all of the children, their partners, and the grandchildren. I find myself hiding out in my fiance's bedroom most of those times. Sometimes, I feel more socially brave and I will go mingle with everyone. I am very comfortable with these people by now, but for some reason, there are times where I refuse to go socialize with them. This upsets my fiance because he wants me to go be with his family. I've even caught myself getting mad at him, on occasions, for going downstairs and leaving me by myself.
I am terrified that I am becoming a monster. That I am becoming like my mother. I've been staying at my fiance's for a while, so I have been working on breaking the habit of avoiding the crowd. I pray that I can break free of my reclusive ways completely and stop being so anti-social at times.