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  • Laura Ryder

The Weekly Catharsis: Family

Thank you to everyone who submitted pieces for this week's Weekly Catharsis. Fewer pieces than usual came in, which made me curious. Perhaps family brings many people to a place of hurt that doesn't feel comfortable here. Perhaps family in a very real sense took up a lot of time this week and left nothing for personal musing. Perhaps fatigue is strong this week. Whatever the reason, I hope you did whatever was necessary to mind yourself. It also prompted me to think about The Weekly Catharsis, and it seems like a good time to suggest that anyone who is not comfortable sharing personal thoughts here, albeit anonymously, can of course use The Weekly Catharsis in a personal capacity, for their own catharsis and reflection. This in turn can serve you in your own therapy. If you would like to arrange therapy with me you're welcome to email me at laura@thecounsellingroom.ie or call/text 0838938201.

I would dearly love to see all my family.  I think of the birthdays that might have to be ok with a card rather than a hug.  I think of a family wedding that will hopefully be able to go ahead even if there are a few tweaks needed.   Family are the best (most of the time!) 

I’m married with children, but I’ve just realised that when I think of the word ‘family’ it’s my family of origin that comes to mind. Perhaps that’s because of the distance between us right now. Or that my kids are sitting on my last nerve today! Or something else deeper.

I would like to say that isolation is horrible because it’s so different to how it was before when it comes to family, but really it’s not too dissimilar.

I don’t live really close to my parents or any of my siblings, so my day-to-day life is not unlike how it was prior to isolation. We don’t even really talk more on the phone or via video. Well, maybe a few of my siblings and I speak more regularly than before right now. My parents are still working, and the nature of their work has always meant that visits to me were few and far between at the best of times. My siblings are geographically spread out a little bit, and while I love them dearly and I know when the chips are down there is nothing any of us wouldn’t do for the others, we’re not really friends. We’re not enemies like, just not friends. It’s unlikely we’d go for pints together, that kind of thing.

What I have found is that isolation has seen me revisit some sibling rivalry of sorts almost, but a generation down as well.

Some of my nieces and nephews still get to see and hang out with my parents every day. My children don’t. And on their behalf and mine I’m jealous.

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