Sunday, 13 December 2009

It's not always a good idea to...... a blog post when you're feeling I was yesterday.  

The post I did about the meaning of Christmas...on reading it again this morning...makes me appear to be a "bah humbug" type of person doesn't it?  It's all a bit negative.

There is of course more to Christmas than spending too much money and over-indulging. It is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with those you love. And I will be thinking about my family on Christmas Day, knowing that they will be having a wonderful time, especially Billy...and it would give me so much pleasure to be there with him.  But I feel that way all of the time...Christmas or not.

Why was I depressed yesterday?  I'm not totally sure.  It's an accumulation of feelings that come to the fore at this time of the year.  I think most of you know that it's the worst time of year for those people who suffer from depression...or any other type of mental illness.

I had an aunt who was very special to me.  She was much more of a mother to me than my own mother.  She died just before Christmas last year..a few days before I was due to arrive so I never had chance to say goodbye.  I always stayed with her on my visits.  She loved my company and I adored her.  She and my uncle spent more than 50 years together.  They were inseperable.  He died a few years ago..also just before Christmas..and she was never quite the same after that.  I miss her dreadfully.

The day before yesterday, Mr Ayak phoned me to say that his parents would be arriving here on the 27th.  I they can't.  It's already been arranged for my friends to be here at that time...and this is a small house. We just don't have room for more than two guests at a time.  In any case, my father-in-law is the last person I want to see right now.  During their stay in September, which should have been a few days but turned out to be two weeks, he criticised me endlessly for the first few days and when I retaliated...quite politely actually...he didn't speak to me for the rest of the time they were here.  I attempted to speak to him but he just completely blanked me.  It was an extremely uncomfortable time for me, especially as Mr Ayak wasn't here.

I know they have to come up here to check on their land outside the village, so I know I will have to tolerate them being here from time to time.  But not now.  I have been alone here for months and have been so looking forward to the company of my dear friends.  I won't allow that to be spoilt.

The problem with Turkish families is that they assume they can turn up to visit relatives whenever they like, and stay for as long as they like.  It's not the done thing to question would be considered extremely rude to ask them once they are here when they are thinking of leaving.  And as the head of the family, my father-in-law's word is disagrees with or confronts him.  Except me.. because I will not be a typical subservient Turkish wife and daughter-in-law...whose status in the family is at the bottom of the pecking order.  I'm very annoyed that he actually phoned Mr Ayak to announce his arrival.  He knows Mr Ayak is in Istanbul and won't be here, so why on earth could he not have phoned me?  Oh..but of course he isn't speaking to me is he? And I guess he believes that Mr Ayak makes my decisions for me!

So Mr Ayak and I had a row...he said I should ask my friends when they were arriving and when they were intending to leave.  I replied that if it was not acceptable to ask his family the same questions, then why should I ask my friends.  I didn't know how long my friends would be staying.  I do now because I asked them, and of course they are not the least bit offended by it. 

The row continued and because Mr Ayak refused to confront his bully of a father, I told him that I would tell him.  I sent father-in-law a text message to say that I was very sorry but as I had friends coming to stay, it wouldn't be convenient for he and mother-in-law to come.  That was the day before yesterday, and I have had no response.

Yesterday morning I set off on the dolmuş for Milas, biting my lip very hard, because I kept wanting to cry.  It was the anniversary of my aunt's death, and I couldn't stop thinking about her.  Mixed up with these thoughts were the row with Mr Ayak, the inconsideration of my father-in-law, and Billy's dear little face.  The more I tried to think of other things, the worse it became, and by the time I reached Milas I was a bit of a mess to be honest.  The trip was a total waste of time.  I expected to find post in my postbox...but there was nothing.  I had left my shopping list at home and for the life of me I couldn't remember what I I returned home empty-handed...stepped inside the house and had a good cry.

Mr Ayak phoned a little later to ask if I had heard from his father, which I hadn't.  He informed me that he had spoken to him and that they wouldn't be coming after all.  Mr Ayak was very subdued.  I think he may have finally confronted his father and I would imagine it was very difficult for him.  I couldn't have a conversation with him because I knew I would just burst into tears.  I haven't spoken to him since, but I will ring him today when both of us will hopefully be in a better frame of mind.  He may beat me to it and ring me first...he hates rows as much as I do. I's not always a good idea to write a post...particularly about Christmas...when you're feeling depressed.

It remains for me to say to those of you who will be celebrating Christmas.....Enjoy being with your family and friends.  I sincerely hope you all have a wonderful time.


  1. I thought your post the other day actually sounded very sensible. Enjoying the company of people you love is exactly what the season is all about, for me - and I hope you have a lovely time with your friends, whether you choose to wish each other Happy Christmas or not.

    It sounds hard to deal with people just 'assuming' they can turn up, whether or not you already have plans - good luck with that one.

  2. Better to write about it and get it out rather than try to hold it all in.

    Sounds to me like you had plenty to be upset about.

    Shake it off and enjoy your friends visit.

  3. Rachel and eloh...thankyou both of you. I'm pleased to report that Mr Ayak and I are now talking to each other and back to normal...and also pleased to say that he did indeed confront his father and supported me...quite a breakthrough for a Turk!

  4. Ayak, you didn't sound 'humbug' was a thoughtful post.
    So sorry that different cultural practices put you and Mr. Ayak in a difficult situation...and so sorry you felt so low.
    Still, Mr.Ayak came out on your side, and it must have been so difficult for him to confront his father, with all the loading of 'respect' that goes on in Turkish society, so all I can suggest is that you try to value yourself as much as Mr. Ayak values you.
    I'll get off my soapbox now.

  5. Ayak,we have been friends for a long time, I know you, you are not a scrooge, you are a kind and good person, if I needed you, you will always be there for me, as I you.

    Yes, this is indeed the time to remember people and animals we loved, and have gone, and what we would give to hold them close just for one moment in time, I was buying Christmas cards the other day ( okay Ayak, I will get round to writing them out and wrapping my presents, I seem to want to do anything rather than do this as Ayak well knows, last night I wrapped two of them, became bored, got the car out and went up to my friends instead ), I came across cards for Dad's, how I longed to have a dad again, how I miss him, loss is dreadful, it really is, so yes, Christmas brings painful memories to the fore.

    Anyway Ayak, you know you have great friends who love you very much, and you know I am one of them.

  6. Fly..please stay on your soapbox as long as you like! I always look forward to your talk a lot of sense! Thankyou xx

    Ann: What else can I say? Thankyou as always for your kind words. I love you too xxx

  7. You should be very proud of yourself for rocking the traditions of never questioning over-assuming in laws who are indeed a law unto themselves.

  8. I have exactly the same issue with relative visits. Knowing when someone is coming and how long they intend to stay isn't too much to ask, is it? We've had relatives come from Antalya to Istanbul to visit and we only get to know they're coming when they are actually in Istanbul, ie. about an hour before they arrive. Good for you that you told them it wasn't convenient. Good for Mr Ayak for supporting you even though it must have been tough for him.

  9. FF: It's not an easy thing to do!

    Siobhan: I thought you would probably understand.. and you're right it was very tough for Mr fact he and his father aren't on speaking terms as a result..but I'm very proud of him for supporting me.

  10. Only just got around reading both your posts. I'm glad to hear that things are sorting themselves out again. As eloh said, best to let it out.

    Hope you have a good time over Christmas whatever it means to you. It's not for nothing they placed Christmas into mid-winter, which of course was originally a pagan tradition. It's the darkest time of the year and you need something to give you hope that things will brighten up again and shine a light in your darkest hour.

  11. How wonderful it must feel to have your husband stand up for you and your feelings and desires.

    I know that must feel like the best possible gift especially since you appreciate how difficult it was for him to do.

    I hope you have a lovely time with your friends over the Christmas holidays and you didn't sound at all like a "humbug" to me in the previous post.

  12. Heiko and giftsofthejourney...thankyou for your lovely comments.

    I hope you have a lovely time at Christmas.

  13. Get it al blogged out of your system, we're here to support, and you'll feel much better too.

    So glad you told your pa in law to get lost, your friends visiting will do you good.


  14. GG: I think it's the fact that I do get so much support from my blogger friends, that has enabled me to open up a bit more...and yes it does make me feel much better.

    Thankyou xx


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