Baggage, Becoming Too Heavy to Carry

emotional baggage

Once again I’m forced into recognizing my foibles, and likely foible is to tame a word. It refers to the emotional baggage I carry and feel unable to divest myself of. The baggage, the stress, of group gatherings.

The Why

I’m commenting on my disinclination to want or need personal get-togethers, family gatherings in particular. My affectation for those group hugs should certainly be appreciated, especially the definition:

“an effort to appear to have a quality not really or fully possessed; the pretense of actual possession”

Key statement: “an effort to appear to have a quality”. In my case it ‘feels’ like a disproportionate effort. Tiring, draining, not enjoyable, awaiting an ending.

I have never really liked the family gatherings and parties where we are thrust together in a common bond, a holiday or special event in honour of a loved one. It does not mean I don’t like, or love, any of those individuals. I certainly do, in some cases an inordinate amount. It only means I truly dislike and resist the obligation to join with them and others. If I have my way I’ll do it on my terms, either alone or in a much smaller group. The stress within me is created by the number of people, not so much in the individuals themselves.


Now to be clear I truly enjoy being with them (most at least) on a more personal level. I like to go out with them in a one-to-one, or perhaps a small group, but not where I feel as if I’m thrust into the obligatory ‘entertainer’ capacity. That I am not in favour of. Far too much stress for this cowboy. It reminds me too much of being at work, putting on the face of front man. Being, or portraying, someone I’m not. Acting as if I’m Johnny entertainer, the host(ess) with the mostest.

It’s all about “Adapting“, again…., a term I first learned from Gloria, a previous counselor. It’s all about becoming the person others want me to be, or at least the person I think they want me to be.

Try as I might I cannot seem to get beyond this. Family obligations and the associated entertainment seem to be de rigueur. It’s a societal requirement for us to hold parties, to socialize in groups. It seems to mandatory. If we don’t, or don’t want to, we are somehow anti-social. We are ‘odd’, we are not friendly, we are in short…..wrong. I frequently say “I’m non-social, NOT anti-social”.

So how can I lose the baggage? It’s been my partner forever, it’s who I am. I try to adapt, I attempt to make my feelings known in a non-confrontational manner. I just want to be understood. And, perhaps I am, understood I mean, and nobody cares. That’d be another problem now wouldn’t it??

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