It's 2am on the 25th December and I can't sleep. No, it's not excitement about the day ahead. This time of year is not for me. If anything I feel the opposite of excited. I wonder if they have a name for that.
The one thing I hear all the time is that this time of year is about family.
This has got me thinking about the nature of family and what it means to be in a family. Surely our brothers, sisters, parents, children, cousins etc should be the closest people we know. They should be our best friends.
Don't get me started about best friends.
I do have a family. I have a perfectly lovely and supportive family made up of Lee, Aiden, Erin and Connor. I also have other children, but they chose to not live with me when my last marriage broke down. I've tried not to think of them as different to the three who do live with me, but sometimes it happens. I look at Blake and think "Who are you? What am I to you?" I know he really comes to visit his brother rather than me. Aiden is the person he gets on the train for. Not me. Not Connor. Certainly not Erin.
Cassandra moved in with us at the breakdown of her live-in relationship. It didn't take long to realise that we had nothing in common anymore. We use the L word, but I think it's a reflexive use rather than the overwhelming feeling I hear when Erin or Connor say it to me.
I have a brother. Our differing relationships with our Dad means we find it hard to connect. Every now and then we try, but then years will go by with neither of us speaking to each other. We're in such a phase right now and I can't help but wonder if I offended him at some point. I don't want to push. I've pushed in the past, but really I think he's happier without me.
My mum. I don't love my mum. I just don't. She left when I was nine and I didn't see her again until my Dad died when I was 15. That was her decision, not mine. Again, we've tried to connect, but then she cut my boys off about 5 years ago and I decided enough was enough. I haven't bothered since.
And then there's my Dad. But which one? I've had quite a few and they've all been failures. Whether biological or step, I haven't had one successful father figure.
So, here we are.
It's now 2.30 in the morning and I feel very alone. I have my beloved husband and I know he's mine forever. I also have the children, but my experience with my Triffitt children does make me wonder when they'll leave me too. All my actual, real blood family has left me at some point. Aiden is the only one to come back. Family is supposed to love us unconditionally. Am I so awful that this doesn't apply to me?