This weekend, I’m driving over 2 hours to say goodbye to the grandad that I barely knew. I haven’t seen him for well over 10 years as his relationship with my mum (it’s her dad) has always been a rocky one. I’m sad that he’s no longer with us, and sad for the old times, when I was about 5 and he’d give me and my sister £5 each to buy a load of kinder eggs for the toys, but that’s pretty much where it stops. I can’t say I miss him because he isn’t really a part of my life – sad, no? I want to feel sad, but I hate to see fake grief in other people so am staying true to how I feel.
This whole rocky relationship has caused tension in my mum’s side of the family. He left my mum and uncle a bit of money between them, which my mum has said she would rather not have. We’re expecting fireworks on the day regarding the fact she hasn’t gone to see them, and that’s really adding to my anxiety.
To top it off, we’ll be going there with my uncle. He’s always been a big part of my life and since my dad left he was someone I looked up to. Last year I spoke to my mum and agreed to share my anxiety problems with him in the hope he would understand and, well, it backfired. He badgered me into feeling really uncomfortable and closed with ‘get a grip kid’. I could have sobbed there and then, partly because the guy I’d looked up to had completely destroyed whatever image I had of him, but also because it caught me completely off guard. I’m very feisty as mentioned when it comes to my anxiety and will have a war of words with anyone who tries to tell me it’s not real, but in this instance it just wasn’t to be and it knocked me for six.
So this weekend will be tough. I have to travel long distance as a passenger which has recently become a problem for me, I have to face my uncle and just hope he won’t make a big deal out of it. I have to face my mums family who, after a drink, love to argue, so that’s creating anxiety on something that hasn’t happened and I then have to be in a church for almost an hour trying not to have a panic attack.
It’s going to be tough, but when all said and done I know I’ll cope. I’m staying afloat some how, and will continue to fight for my right to do so.