The last time I went back home for a family funeral, it really hit me how much I have become a black sheep of the family. It made me realize that I feel more at home with my immediate family.
I remember when I was growing up, we had a few black sheep in the family. I never thought I would be a black sheep. I have a feeling it has to do with the distance from the family and my son’s special needs.
My last trip home made me realize how separated I am. It was difficult for me to think of ever becoming a black sheep.
I am okay with it. We are homebodies anyway. Big crowds and gatherings would be too stressful for us. Our son can be a lot of work and we would be focused on him and his safety rather than trying to enjoy ourselves.
I used to consider my hometown (where the majority of my family and extended family live) home. I really did.
Home is not a place, it’s a feeling. I really believe that.
When special events, holidays and birthdays roll around, I’ve thought about the “perks” of being a black sheep of the family.
Here are the perks I have experienced:
1. No invites to family gatherings
When I moved out of state, I stopped being invited to family gatherings for the holidays and events. Even after I got married and had my son. No phone calls. Nothing.
2. No birthday invites
When I was growing up, I always invited all of my cousins to my birthday party. I am pretty sure we all invited each other. Our birthday parties were always a family gathering. Now that I am adult with my own family, we’ve never received an invite.
Now that you are a black sheep, you are an afterthought. They may think of you or talk about you at the family event but that’s about it. They never thought to actually invite you to the family gathering, just talk about you.
I remember a few months ago, my cousin called to tell me that “everyone” was planning on surprising my uncle and my mom with an impromptu birthday/gathering. It sounded like everyone else made plans and I guess she was just “telling me about it.” I ended up telling her that I “think I could make it.” She sounded excited. However, after I got off the phone, I started thinking about the fact that I wasn’t even invited, she only called to tell me about it.
4. You are the last to know
You are the last to know about anything that happens in the family. Sometimes you may not even be notified at all and you hear it through the grapevine or even Facebook.
When I think about the last decade or so, I realize that my grandparents never met my son or husband. My extended family has not even met my husband. They did meet my son a few years ago at a funeral but that is about it. None of them seemed interested in even meeting my family.
Are you a black sheep of your family? Are there any“perks” to being a black sheep you would add to this list?
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