Good news: my oldest brother and his family are coming for a visit soon! They’re a nice bunch – I don’t really have much in common with my brother and I don’t think he really understands me or ME/CFS, but the feeling is mutual and we don’t fight or anything, it’s just a bit of a ‘don’t know what to say sometimes’ situation. My sister-in-law – being as crazy as the rest of us – could have been born to the family (good thing she wasn’t!) and my nephew and niece are hilarious.
As you should have guessed from the title, this isn’t unclouded happiness. As I’ve said, we don’t have much in common and there have been tensions. (Why does she get to stay at home without a job? You made me get a job. Why isn’t she working?)
Understandably I guess, he always asks what I’ve been up to. I hate that question. More so when I know he’s recently been told that I’m not well or haven’t been well. It stirs up the guilt-embarrassment-frustration-shame mix, and it’s just damned awkward. I know it sounds unlikely when someone says they haven’t done much over a couple of months, but it happens to me. And it doesn’t mean I’ve done nothing, just nothing I feel is worth talking about, nothing unusual.
It’s great seeing them.
Except my nephew and niece are little plague-carriers. They are always just coming down with, have, or are recovering from ‘a bit of a cold’. A couple of days after they’ve been down, you can practically guarantee I’ll be out of action. Sometimes I’m lucky and only get their cold, other times. . . A year or two ago I had to accept it: I had to keep my distance from them as much as possible. And it works – I am less likely to get ill. It just means I can’t play with them, take them out in the garden, have them sat on my lap, and I have to talk to them from across the room. Simple.
I love seeing them but. . .