Dawn Treader in Manchester is doing 32 things including…

become closer to my extended family

3 cheers


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Dawn Treader has written 4 entries about this goal

B^#*^r, I'm supposed to be going to a family 'do' and I can't bear the idea.

So I’m damn well not going to pretend about anything. If I can’t go wholeheartedly, then I’m not going.
This doesn’t bode well, since I used the same criteria for splitting up with my 1st wife 15 years ago…

Who will be there?
  • my eldest cousin (hostess), her silent husband & 3 or 4 of their early 20’s kids… Probably only speak to them all twice a year at family gatherings. They are the ultimate safe predictable plodding family. I have no idea what works for them, whether they’re really happy at all, or anything.
  • my middle cousin, his wife & adult kids. They live over the road from my father in a C16th farmhouse. Seem to be v happy and grounded. I can never work out how I could feel the same.
  • my youngest cousin, in his mid40’s and single as a result of having spent 1/2 his life coping with a faulty Pituitary gland. Really nice guy. Except I have no idea how to feel like him either. Full marks to him for coming out right side up from a lot if trials and tribulations.
  • my Ex No1 and her husband. I get on fine with them socially but I really don’t want to play their happy family game.
  • my daughters…
  • my Dad (83), who revels in everyone’s attention and doesn’t seem to get the slightest thing about the things that I struggle with in life

Well, Ex No1's Wedding Day No2 completed...

and I’m forcing myself to write this even though a big part of me would prefer not to think about it again and just be grateful that I’m at the end of it.

I’ve alternated between extreme resentment about the last 30 years and gratefulness about the opportunity to be real with a variety of family and past and current friends.

Resentment because there are so many things I’m still angry with myself about, right from the decision to ask my 1st wife out (again) when I was 17 and didn’t know how to recognise the truth of my feelings and reservations, all the way through the implications of those reservations over 30 years.

Grateful because through being constructive is supporting my daughters in helping to organise the event I enjoyed myself at times and became publicly part of a healing process, in front of many people who have ignored me or shut me out over the last 16 years, including my best man No1.

I need to stay in the +be action mode and not let the corrosive resentment develop any further. Even better, keep rinsing it out with more +ve proactive contact with people both within the family and selective ex-friendships that would be healing to recover.

There's some kind of crash course in this next weekend...

...when I’m going to (well, helping my daughters to organise bits of) my ex No1’s wedding. Everyone seems v excited about it. Well, a lot more excited than me. I’m just glad she’s happy with someone. But apprehensive about meeting a variety of people I havn’t met for 15 years.

Trying hard to be +ve about it, rather than, fearful, angry about what’s happened to me over 32 years since marrying Ex No1 and risking withdrawing into my shell or bailing out of the event.

We have a strong history of family gatherings...

We have a strong history of family gatherings in our family, but the organiser was very often my mother, who died 3 years ago this July. There are all sorts of links across the family, but it’s proving interesting getting a new teamwork in place to keep people connected – especially since one connection point is my ex-wife No1, mother of my children, who has continued to have strong links with most people across our family despite our having divorced 15 years ago. This is all fine, as long as she shows me some respect in the process – it is my family as well, after all! Actions to resolve this will follow…

Dawn Treader has gotten 3 cheers on this goal.


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