Preparation for the Gauntlet

I’ve been in a dull gray state the last couple of days. The wedding is getting closer and closer and my anxiety is only getting worse.

I’ve been practicing things to say in my mind. What to do if my father and ex-stepmother push me. I’m not going to be the one to start something. I will persistently remind them that we’re here for Sister, not for soothing their butthurt ego.

Deep breaths. At the wedding and reception, spend time with Sister, her husband, my aunt and cousin. Maybe husband’s family as well. Avoid conflict.

If they bring up how much money they think I owe them for feeding and housing me, ask for a bill and walk away. Or, for funsies, bill them for the therapy I’ve needed from my time with them. (Not actually going to do the latter, though I want to.)

If they attempt to emotionally blackmail me, bring up the fact this is not the time for this conversation, and that we are here for Sister.

If my ex-stepmother starts her false crooning about how “pretty” she thinks I am, just nod and say thank you. No need to point out she’s a shallow c*nt.

Keep an eye on my husband. He’s my backup. He has inherited my anger towards my father and ex-stepmother though, so I should watch to make sure he’s not going to react to their sh1t.

React to any slights or attempts to start sh1t with dignity and grace. I have it in me. They don’t.

Protect myself. I have been pondering keeping a sound recorder on me at all times during the wedding and reception. I have one that will record for hours.

I’m not the weak, silent little girl I used to be. I’m 31 years old, and they have no control or power over me. They haven’t had any for years. It’ll be funny to watch them appeal to emotions I don’t have towards them. I will get through this.

They are children in adult’s body. They have no self-reflection. They have no empathy. I will be disappointed if I expect better from them. I must remember.

Maybe I’ll be surprised. Maybe they will behave politely and like adults. That would be a nice surprise. But it’s not likely.

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