*Actually this is kinda full length. Tl;dr Ugh avoiding being dramatic while establishing safe boundaries is wicked hard and I am flailing struggling.
Have you read the Llama llama, something drama books? My girls have the whole collection. We read one a night for the better part of a year. Now naturally any time there is drama, I frame it in llama terms. In my head and under my breath when my very dramatically maybe divorcing patients are in the pharmacy, I recite a line or two. "Llama llama, relationship drama..."
In this llama-filled context, I often remind myself not to be a drama llama. It is really wicked hard. My extended family is trying my patience and making me cry because I am left out again (like always?). On my mom's side, the family business is celebrating a big round number of years. I'm the only one who never worked there because after I applied twice and didn't get hired, I gave up and decided my uncle was a weasel face and the struggle wasn't worth the drama. We weren't invited to the celebration by my uncle or anyone. If the expectation was that my mom would invite us, that's just codependent silliness and avoiding communicating directly. She's a space case enough of the time that we are lucky my cousin mentioned it in passing so I inquired further or we might have heard nothing about it at all until someone was upset we weren't there. It would have been my fault we weren't there too.
On the spouse's family side, we are expecting our first nephew (or surprise niece) soon. I figured that, since the family tradition is baby showers where you meet the baby, I ought to start planning that in the next few weeks. Last week a cousin sent out baby shower invitations for a few weeks from now. I don't really know what to say, but I sobbed for a good long while. Context: the last wedding in the family was in 2009 and there's been one occasion that might have required a baby shower but was complicated by a very long nicu stay and one of twins dying, the other coming home during flu lock-down season's start. I thought about a shower but was swamped with rotations so didn't make time for it. I'll have to apologize eventually, but I'd cry too much right now. Anyway it isn't like there's a drama-free way to say "I am super upset at being excluded even if you're intending to be helpful because I work too much and live too far away. Not consulting me hurt and now I don't have enough notice to even attend. Do you think I like being cut off? This was the only way to pay the bills when it counted and fear won." Furthermore I'd always imagined this would be the redeeming baby shower, the one I would enjoy because I got to help plan it so we could skip triggers and there'd be a baby around to change the subject if things got too complex. Bah. Expectations, ruining things again. Maybe. See? I half expect to see some wool growing into my eyes and my hands turning to hooves because somehow I have become a drama llama.
How do you avoid drama? How do you manage expectations while still preventing yourself from being hurt by expecting nothing?