Dec 27 (transcribed from email and posted Dec 30)

Well its over (almost)... not sure how I felt about it, or what I expected for that matter. Just know that it was familiar, uncomfortable, and strangely soothing. If there wasn't any tension I probably wouldn't have known how to fully integrate it. I didn't expect to see my brother Jim (the addict), but needless to say he was there like an unwelcome stench (for me at least). He spent the whole 3 days drunk,stoned, pretentiously monopolizing and attempting conflict at every turn. He's my stepbrother by the way. Also present was my stepsister and her husband, hmmmm.... best way to describe them would be to refer to them as the Abused, and the Abuser. Usually they annoy me, but recently I've resigned myself to quiet disinterest. I was angry that at their wedding my ex and I were the only ones from the head table not introduced to the room at large. It took me two years to get over that. Not that I've forgiven them mind you, but I've accepted it for who they are and it doesn't cross my mind much anymore. Occasionally they "sort of" reach out to me and I push them away. I've always felt that it relieves them as they only do it out of guilt, thus they wouldn't know how to respond if I responded likewise. We maintain a comfortable level of disinterest in regards to each other's lives. The stepsister and the stepbrother were raised together and I was adopted in at 15 years of age, there's actually another sort of stepbrother in the picture but I've never really know him so the chances of him ever being mentioned again are nil (unless he REALLY pisses me off).

Since I entered the family at such a late age I know they both resent me and there are often events that occur within the family that I'm not included in because the "rest" of the family doesn't consider me part of the family as well. I can understand that they don't accept me as they've never been around to fully appreciate the depth of my relationship with my adoptive mother and her husband, whom I often refer to as my stepfather. When I refer to my biological mother's husband I refer to him as the ex stepfather.

The adoptive mother and her my stepfather are just wonderful, when I came to live with them at 15 years of age. I was just another depressed, suicidal and promiscuous kid, that did ALOT of drugs, was habitually kicked out of school, and was occasionally arrested for various reasons. Yet they loved me unconditionally and wholeheartedly, if they hadn't intervened in my life I know I would of died of an overdose, suicide, or AIDS. That's just a given. They taught me about loyalty to family and how to be honest with the world and myself about my homosexuality. But most of all how to hold my head up and believe that I deserved to be happy. No one in my life had ever done that for me.

I guess you would have to understand that the severity of the abuse I suffered as a child bordered on torture at times. One of my biological siblings actually said to me that when we were children that he often felt like our biological mother and her husband hated us all, but that they seemed intent on destroying me. I always knew that I'd had it the worst, but it felt good to have someone finally admit and confirm it. Biological mother still refuses to admit that anything ever happened and most of the other relatives haven't spoken to me since I testified against her in court at 12 years of age. Also who can trust a sodomite and a sinner (I don't even have anal sex... YEESH).

This was the point at which my father got custody of my brother and me. He'd had custody of my older brother since he was a child and my sister chose to stay with our mother. They'd never abused her that I
can ever remember, not even physically. My brother and I used to be punched in the face with closed fists regularly. That was the lowest form of abuse we ever suffered, the rest of it was much worse. I can
remember praying that we'd get punched and it would be over. We were seldom that lucky, or if he was (which was often) my punishments would often drag out for hours. Sounds depressing I know, but actually I'm not the least bit distressed right now. Guess I just put all that there to give a better idea of how the family dynamics are and where the branches of the family tree shatter. So at 12 when my dad got custody I was pretty much beyond repair. He just didn't have the skills to raise me, so at 15 I was adopted by my best friend's mother and her husband. YEP, the stepbrother is actually my ex-bestfriend,
how's that for nasty? Now we're hardly even civil to each other.

But it was nice in that I have seen most everyone since I've been home. Saw my brother, his wife (an ex-classmate of mine) and their two daughters aged 4 yrs and ten months. I often don't see eye to eye with my sister in law but I have to admit that she's an amazing mother and devotes herself fully to her children. The youngest child was a preemie and almost died, her chances of normalcy were NIL. Yet now she's fully functioning and is just a beautiful baby. Their 4 yr old is one of the gentlest and sweetest natured children I've ever met. I spent Christmas ever with them , we ordered Chinese food and soaked in the oldest daughter's burgeoning excitement. This was the first Xmas that she fully understood what was going on, and had the previous knowledge that would enable her to anticipate this night over the span of the last 12months. Her wonderment is what keeps my brother sane, I'm certain of it.

I then spent most of Xmas day at my adoptive mom's with the stepsiblings that despise me.

The latter half of my day was spent with my father and my older brother, his wife, their daughter (4yrs old) and her (the wife) 9 siblings and her parents. AYE KARUMBA!!! But I just love my niece, she's the one I always refer to as my evil twin. She's aggressive, outspoken, manipulative, and mouthy, but damn she's cute. Although she's never been tested her IQ is definitely thought the roof. I could watch that child for hours, and she's been an absolute joy since her birth. The first question when I walked in was "did you get my Xmas Email", then she dragged me downstairs for a game of Duke Nukem.

My dad was his usual passive sweet self and his new girlfriend is just a simple fool. Not of to be confused with being "simply a fool". She's just really simple and ALOT annoying.

I had hoped for more time with my sister in law but she was too busy catering to her needy siblings and her parents.I'm in town for a few more days so I'll be sure to get a day with just
her and my niece before I leave.

Once I did all the obligatory rushed visits, I loaded up my bags and crashed at a friends house who was out of town. She arrived home on Boxing Day to find me sleeping on her couch with her new kitten cuddled in my arms. We've been visiting and dicking around on her computer since.

I needed the time with her after all that "quality" time with my family. My stepbrother's hostility was wearing me out, so it was a needed break. Now I'm back at my adoptive mom's, its just the three of us, I'm eating a turkey sandwich and counting what's left of my Xmas present cash... comes to exactly $3.38.

PS: I spent all my Xmas cash on books, videos, and some software. Best thing I received this Xmas was a Swiss Army Watch from my adoptive mom and a huge collared black chenille sweater (seems funny in that this is my first brown Xmas and theres STILL no forecast of snow in the future). It sounds really nelly I know, but the sweater is a very masculine cut... I JUST LOVE IT. *G*

PPS: Change the above to the second best gift I received, the best was the painting that Greg gave me. I've only talked to him once since I've been here, but I'll call him again tomorrow night. We talked for
two hours on Xmas day, and I've thought of him often. I'm glad he didn't have to witness my step brother's hostility, ignorance, and vulgarity. Call me selfish but it would have been too embarrassing, for
me... not him (sociopaths never get embarrassed).

PPS: I also received lots of books, clothes, cooking stuff, liquors, colognes, and hair and skin products. Due to my budget I was only able to purchase gifts for my nieces and a shirt (albeit a damned nice one)
for Greg.

PPS: Oh yeah, I got the obligatory socks and underwear... fortunately Santa's been peeking in my window at night again as he got me the athletic cycle short undies and some great rag wool socks.
Thanks Santa ;-)

******I know that some of the spacing is "off kilter" on a few of the above paragraphs... not sure why it looks fine in my editor, just screws up when I upload, sooooo........... I could care less, I don't have time to attempt a fix.


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