“Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time.”
Next week, my step-daughter and her kids will be visiting. I need a new perspective to make this work out better than the last time. K. appears to not like me; she did not right from the first time we met as near as I can recall. Her eyes rolled, brow knitted into a frown before she quickly turned away to speak primarily to her father. I took this with a grain of salt…I don’t think she has ever gotten past the breakup of her parents, although it has been about 15 years and he has been through a second 10-year marriage during that interim. She has had several failed relationships of her own which may also have left her bitter. I don’t know. I kind of thought that with time she’d warm up to me; but no.
Last year when she visited she managed to get through the entire time without speaking directly to me or making eye contact even. When I entered the conversation she clammed up and got all chatty with her little kids instead. I found that disconcerting but let it go. This time around I do not want it to go the same route; it was uncomfortable for me and it looked darned uncomfortable for her too. At first I came away from the experience thinking she was a deeply depressed individual that never smiled. But I could hear her being quite conversational and almost cheery when I was out of the room. Weird, huh.
I don’t have to be liked by everyone. However, when I am in my own home I think that I must feel comfortable. I cannot change her but I can change how I approach the situation. Hence the new perspective that is required. I am opting for a clean slate. I will wipe my mind clear of how things were at any point in past interactions. I will not be drubbed out of the house by her sullen attitudes as has happened in the past. I will claim my living space and go about my days with enthusiasm, celebration and creativity like I usually do. It will hopefully serve as an invitation for her to join in the activities and conversations of the day with enthusiasm. Walking on eggshells around the situation clearly does not work.
I am thrilled that Mike accepts my children as his own, they treat him with warmth, caring and good humour. During their visits when I see those warm familial interactions I feel a sense of loss that I am not welcomed into his daughter’s life in a similar way. Am I being needy, petty or unrealistically sensitive?
Today’s “stone” is Day 231 clean slate, new perspective, just be me