My Thoughts On Thanksgiving
by Melissa Fields on Friday, November 26, 2010 at 1:20pm
Earlier today, i was reflecting alot upon all of my Thanksgiving memories during my childhood and teen years growing up, plus how my Thanksgivings were when i reached my twenties, thirties, forties, and now. I thank God that most people are not like my family.
Growing up the way i did, i can remember all of my Thanksgivings being very formal and stiff. Oh, the food was plentiful...very, very rich and delicious. We had all the trimmings...we didn't just have turkey, we also had ham, relish trays, hors d' evres, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, rolls with butter, green beans, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie for dessert with homemade whipped cream. I so enjoyed the good food!!!! Before the meal, along with the hors d'everes, my dad would serve the grown-ups High Balls....alcoholic drinks which consisted of Jack Daniels whiskey, and 7-Up. The kids would just get 7-Up. At the dinner table, the grown-ups would get to talk and converse...and so would everyone who was in their teens. But the children...could not talk, except to ask for someone to pass a dish around. For some reason, my no-talking rules extended well into my teens. It was only after high school that my dad lightened up alittle, and even began to allow me to have High Balls. By this time, i had begun to have better relations with my older brothers and sisters. But..i was still not allowed to joke with, or talk alot with my dad.
My baby brother, on the other hand, became quite adept, at an early age, of being such a clown at the dinner table, that my dad was simply not able to discipline him. In no time at all, CA was winning my dad's heart...and he would let CA get away with joking with him, and talking to him and everything...when i was still not allowed to.
Thanksgivings, once i reached my twenties, were much more pleasant times for me, because the older kids had now married and had children of their own...and my dad was mellowing out even more. However, i had learned long ago, while still in high school, to develop a certain facade around all of my family in order for them to accept me..and it worked.
Once i reached my late twenties and early thirties, we stopped having Thanksgiving dinners. I was now living on my own, next to two old ladies who always had me over to their house for Thanksgiving. Then, i moved over here, and began having problems and meltdowns again..and i lost the acceptance of some of my family. Then most of my family moved to Idaho...including my mom and dad, leaving me here to fend for myself...because i didn't want to move to Idaho...i had at the time, a group of awesome Christian singles friends and was heavily into that..heavily into doing things with them, so i stayed here, and began to spend all of my Thanksgivings and Christmases at people's houses in our Christian singles group.
Ever since my family all located to Idaho during the 'Nineties..i have only gotten to go there twice...but never at Thanksgiving or Christmastime. No one in my family has ever been able to or willing to spring for either a plane, train, or bus ticket, for me to go up there for the holidays. And my relations with them all have deteriorated so much now, that i don't want to go near them. I am friends with my mom and one sister who lives in Arizona...but not the rest of them. There have been many a Thanksgiving and Christmas that i have had to spend it alone, with no place to go to be with people, since my family all moved to Idaho. There are some Christmases where my brother J and his family who all still live here, will have me over for Christmas Eve dinner and a visit. But..he doesn't really talk to me..i talk mostly to my sister-in-law and nephews when i go there. But when they go out of town for Christmas, i am alone.
Today, i have a wonderful family of autism community friends here on Facebook who all "get" my autism.
I have a neighbor who also "gets" my autism.
And i also now have a local friend who i went to high school with, who also "gets" my autism, as she has two sons who are on the spectrum.
Today, i went to her mom's house for Thanksgiving dinner and i had the most beautiful, wonderful time and visit...i was accepted by all of them...nobody there looked down on me because i am too morbidly obese, and too full of little quirks and my own unique little fun goofy-sillies.
In fact, you know what? I no longer have to put on an air with most people...because i have been able to learn how to like and even love myself the way i am!!!!! I have also learned how to tell people that i meet in public about my autism, and my quirks and needs, and what accomodations i need...and you know what? MOST of these people are okay with me..and they understand and have compassion....so...i need to just forget the ones who still do not accept me, right????
I wish i could learn to do that too...because, man, if i could learn to just "Brush the dirt off my shoulder, and move on", like Jay-Z once said in one of his 2004 hit hip hop songs..i'd be so much better off....but it still hurts when i am dissed and shunned..when i get those derisive looks and stares and giggles..and oink-oinks...and...especially when my family still won't let me friend them on Facebook, or have their email addresses and phone numbers. It still hurts when i don't ever get a phone call or letter from them, or when i know they are down here visiting, and they don't stop in to see me and take me to lunch or dinner. It hurts to go to my brother J's for Christmas, and i try to talk to him, but he and i have the same exact stilted, stiff relationship that i had with my father.
Thanksgiving...family....think about it. The holidays can more often than not, be very heart-wrenching times for people. All because their are families out there who haven't taken the time to mend old fences....or to accept those in their families who might be differently-abled than they are. So many people commit suicide during the holidays....the suicide rates jump up even more during holiday season, because of just what i am talking about here. It does not have to be this way. if there is any of you out there reading this, who may have a brother or sister, aunt or uncle, mother or father, or son or daughter, that you have had issues with....please try to sit down with that person or persons, if you are able to, and try to make peace. If you can't, then just pray about it, and let God work on these people's hearts. I do not know if i will ever be able to make peace with the ones in my family who have hardened their hearts against me...all i can do is pray for them, that God will quicken and soften their hearts. I know that i am a good person..i have done no deliberate, intentional wrong that i can think of...except be born autistic.
Even so..i did much reflecting earlier today, on how all of my Thanksgivings from my earliest memories to now, at the age of 50 have been...and mixed in with all the hard ones...are alot of ones that have been total blessings to me. This year's Thanksgiving was one of the good ones..i was really blessed today, by my neighbor, my mom, and by my friend and her family whose home i was in today. Thank you, Sherry, Terry, Loretta, Melody, Thomas, Thomas, Thomas, Cassie, Zach, and Loren, for the awesome time and food!!! God bless you all!!!!
God bless all of you, my dear, wonderful friends!!!!! <3<3<3<3