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Noire Offline
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Name: Jordan
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To go or not to go? - July 2nd 2017, 09:17 PM

In five weeks it's going to be the weekend of our annual family reunion. All my mom's side of the family gets together at this lakeside resort (think lots of fishing and lots of boating) and we all play games, eat good southern cooking, and generally enjoy each other's company. I've gone almost every year of my life, save when I've been in treatment for my mental health issues. It's usually a pretty good time.

There's just one problem: my mom's family is incredibly conservative (Southern Baptist). They're very religious and, well, I'm not. In fact, my entire lifestyle pretty much goes against their values. I'm definitely towards the left on the political spectrum, I'm an intersectional feminist, I'm sex-positive, and, most of all, I'm not cishet. I identify as queer and live in a polyamorous household with my partner (and future wife) and her other partner. Pretty much everything about my lifestyle goes against what they believe in. They are aware of all this because about six months to a year ago I took them off my block list on Facebook and they can now see all the stuff I post.

I love them, but mostly in the way that you're supposed to love your family. We have very little in common. I missed Christmas last year because I was just getting over a very bad depression and I didn't have the energy to deal with them, but now I don't know what to do. I don't know whether or not I should skip the reunion. They're kind of all expecting me to go. I think my mom is especially expecting me to go and I know it would hurt her feelings if she found out my true feelings about her side of the family. She doesn't believe the same stuff they do, either, but I think she'd still be hurt if I cut off contact with them.

So what should I do? Do I stay home or do I go to the reunion?


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Kate* Offline
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Re: To go or not to go? - July 2nd 2017, 09:34 PM

Hey Jordan, I've been there. I missed my grandma's 90th birthday partly because I couldn't deal with everyone being together. I was legitimately sick, but wasn't as crushed as I probably "should've been" about missing it.

I think you have to decide what you can and can't tolerate. Disagreeing with someone isn't necessarily a reason to avoid them, but if that other person is confrontational and trying to force their beliefs on you, then you don't have to subject yourself to that. If it's several days, that's different than a few hours etc. I think you can also decide ahead of time what you're willing to "get into" and not with people and how you want to respond if they take up a topic or discussion you aren't comfortable having. My mom is definitely disappointed that I won't put extra effort into my appearance to go over and deal with my grandma or that I avoid her as much as possible at this point. But, at the end of the day, I have to do what is best for me based on how I know things will go and sometimes that means staying home and disappointing her.


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