aka "when life hands ya lemons"
I haven't whined about it here, but my relationship with my extended family is not the best. It wasn't until I had the chance to see how T's family interact (and how wonderfully they have accepted me) that I made my peace with the simple fact that people I grew up thinking of as "family" look at me as "that girl who's the child of my father's much younger wife". It still hurts, but why waste energy on what's not going to happen? Let's just say physical distance brings with it perspective.
Today, I had the wonderful experience of seeing how all those little, petty slights over the years have made me a better person. Well not necessarily better - I can be selfish, spoiled and petty just like any other - but I am waay more willing to stand up for myself within my own cohort. Polite, firm. But definitely assertive.
These were things that my parents never felt the need to teach/show me. Mom's response to challenge is to yield or shut down. Dad bragged about never being laid off b/c they'd have to hire four people to replace him; or yelling (seriously, even at the grocery store).
no comment on this one, folks.