Friday, April 23, 2010

Feeling dissed

I have a few different things that I've been wanting to blog about lately, both personal and professional and even started writing a few times, only to abandon the post. This is one topic that I can write about in both contexts. Sometimes I wonder if I am just too sensitive and take things too personally, but maybe not.

Let's start with being dissed in my personal life. As my long-time readers know, I haven't talked to my dad in over 10 years (actually it's 11 years now). That was his choice, but I really have no desire at all to reconcile with him. While I don't miss him, this whole situation makes it awkward with my stepmom, brother, and (half) sister. My dad and stepmom are still married (although I sometimes wonder why) and my sister is now married with a toddler and in the Air Force. I haven't seen any of them since my brother's wedding in 2002*. I get a Christmas card from my stepmom (which she also started signing for my dad in the last couple of years). Nothing has been strained with her, but we haven't kept in close touch. It's the same with my sister, although we communicate through Facebook fairly regularly and I sent her a care package while she was deployed. It makes me sad to not be in closer touch with them and seeing pictures of my sister and niece makes me a bit sad, too. I recently (back in February) sent a message to my sister's husband (whom I have never met), just to say hello and let him know that I would like to be FB friends if he's OK with that. I never got a response**. And I am very insulted about it. I didn't mention it to my sister, because it's not the end of the world, but I am truly hurt. I thought that he wasn't like my dad, but I now I have to question that. I feel like not even reaching out to them at all, now. I have never been really close to my sister since we've never even lived in the same state, but I have always tried to keep some contact and know what is going on in her life.

Professionally, I ran into a few people at a conference recently- people I knew in grad school- and felt like some of them really just didn't want to talk to me. For me, one of my favorite parts of attending Giant Conference in my Discipline is to see people from grad school and hear about what they are doing now. One of them was someone I was excited to see since I know she recently had a baby. I saw her from a distance and she waved, but just kept moving on without even stopping to talk (and she didn't look in a hurry). Maybe I'm just too friendly and perky for my own good, but I really enjoy those encounters with people I haven't seen in years.

As I said, maybe I'm just too sensitive. People are busy with their lives (so am I!), but what is life if you can't make those brief connections with others. It just bummed me out. I also read this post from Profgrrrrl earlier and it got me thinking about how my life has changed since I started this blog. I've decided that I am less happy now than I was before I got tenure. Sure, I had that pressure to get tenure, but I honestly think that I was generally happier then. I was perfectly thrilled to have one child and didn't even consider wanting another one. The future seemed full of possibilities. The same political crap at work is still there, even though some of the people have changed. I feel like I spend less time with H than ever (I can't remember the last time we had a babysitter, so we could go out together). Money is a big stress, etc, etc. I guess it doesn't help that I am writing this with just one very hectic week left in the semester***, but I'm just feeling blah about things. I feel out of it in my work, too. I use technology in my research and feel like I must be lagging behind.

I'm sure it will all look brighter tomorrow. Maybe I should stop trying to reach out to people- even in my own family- if they just don't seem to have the time or interest to keep in touch.

*I still talk to my brother and see him when we visit PhD City.
**And yes- he is on FB regularly, so I know he saw the message!
***Maybe some PMS is creeping in, too.


Unbalanced Reaction said...

Yikes, hang in there! Semester is almost over.

Maybe your former colleague just didn't really see you? My prescription is really off (yes, I really-really-really should prioritize going to the eye doc), so I have a hard time recognizing faces from across the room.

Seeking Solace said...

First, I wish I lived closer so that I could give you a big hug. So, I am sending virtual hugs.

Second, I think some people just change. It has absolutely nothing to do with you. Time makes people act in strange ways. I have gone through the same thing with people from high school, college, grad school and law school. We were close then, but now...meh. I just figure that I will leave the door open.

Same with family. You can't change 'em. Just leave the door open.

Super Babe said...

I too wish we lived closer. Then we could go out for coffee and commiserate.

Yes, perhaps it is time to stop reaching out and feeling disappointed every time (I say this as someone who struggles with a very similar situation)... I know, I know, easier said than done...

And yes, I think people do change, but I also think that some people are just not as driven to stay in touch as others are...

Hang in there... at least that's what I tell myself and sometimes it works :)

~profgrrrrl~ said...

Oh, it's crappy to feel that way. And it's hard to know exactly what is going on in these other people's heads.

Perhaps a tangent, but: Get thee a babysitter! Or arrange a reciprocal sleepover. Sounds like a date night/afternoon is definitely in order.

Addy N. said...

Thanks, everyone! I know better than to take it personally, but I just can't help it sometimes. I feel so weird when I see my stepmom, brother, and sister posting messages on each other's walls on FB- like I'm spying on an ex-boyfriend or something. It's just icky. And yes, we should get a babysitter! During the summer, we get some daytime date time because D is in school for another month after we finish. We'll also be visiting my mom over the summer and she LOVES to babysit. :)

Therapeutic Ramblings said...

Don't mind read! :D

I had the conference thing happen to me a few months ago, and I definitely felt slighted.

JustMe said...

were i able to make it to big conference, i would have been SUPER happy to see you! sorry about things feeling yucky right now, though i will say, i notice i feel more like this myself at the end of the semester too, for what it's worth. and, i bet sometimes i do that thing too, and i never mean to b/c i love ppl, but i don't always wear my glasses and hence don't realize ppl are waving at me, or that i know them. i really should wear my glasses, but yah, just to say, well you never know, maybe the person didn't see you? but yes, at next big conference we both go to, we will meet and i will be super excited!

Arbitrista said...

As for family, I can't justify it, but for a lot of people avoiding conflict is just easier than trying to resolve it.

As for friends, I have to confess to being one of the worst offenders at "moving on" by shunting all of my old connections - something I realized this year was a terrible mistake.

And hey, if you're ever in the neighborhood again, let us know! We'd love to see you again!