I started getting the shakes yesterday morning.

Previously, I had been so pleased with my progress, my lack of anxiety surrounding the Thanksgiving trip coming up. I’ve been out of touch with more than half my family of origin off and on for some years now, and haven’t seen these individuals in person for more than a decade. But right after last Thanksgiving, a sibling who recently got back in touch thanks to the miraculous powers of Teh Interwebz invited me for the next Thanksgiving, and I said yes.

So here we are.

I depart tonight for quite a long road trip, at the end of which is a family full of resentment, pain, and misunderstanding, with an addict in the middle (and an alcoholic off to the side, but I am unconcerned – that person is a past chapter in my story, not a current one). What’s so odd is that the trigger yesterday morning was the sudden memory that one parent used to criticize me on my appearance, along with the realization that they are likely to do that still. How could I have forgotten?

This is kind of minor, isn’t it?

My self image is so fragile, my desire to look good is sometimes so desperate, that I have to remind myself not to invest much in other people’s opinions. It’s important that my appearance please myself, and no one else. (Although it’s terribly nice that it pleases my spouse.)

I’ve decided that if this unacceptable behavior begins again, I will excuse myself to get some water. This way, I can have serenity and hydration too! A good boundary?

I am taking two daily readers with me (although not my favorite one – my spouse is borrowing it) as well as phone numbers for my sponsor and some Al-a-pals. With the help of my Higher Power, I can handle this one hour at a time, if I need to. And I don’t have to stay, if things become too much. I have another sibling who is not involved in any of this, and I’m staying at their house both before and after the visit, so if necessary, I can change plans.

May you have a blessed Thanksgiving!

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