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Reminder, monthly London meetup is tomorrow. Sorry for not posting this sooner, guys! It’s been the week of 1000 meetings.

Dear Awkward Army,

London meetup this weekend, 23rd March!  All welcome.

11:00 am onwards, Leon restaurant, 36/38 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 4TT.

The venue so far has worked out well, so I’m sticking with that.  They’ve also offered us 25% off all our food and drink.

Map: http://goo.gl/maps/i9COr

Leon have a variety of good food at very reasonable prices – for central London, anyway!  Menu here:http://www.leonrestaurants.co.uk/menu/

This branch has an accessible toilet, and we’ll be on the ground floor in the back (around behind the food service counter).

I have long brown hair and glasses.  I will bring my plush Cthulhu to use as a table marker.  It looks like this: http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/7cb0/

My email address is kate DOT towner AT gmail DOT com

As discussed at previous meetups, I am happy to teach people to knit, so if you want to start or want help, bring something along!

By the way, I think it’s likely the April one will be on the 20th rather than the 27th, sorry about any confusion.

Cheers,

Kate

 

And now, a letter.

Hey Cap (and friends!),

There’s a little bit of background to this, but I’ll try to keep it short.

I have issues with my family. I guess you could say I’m the “black sheep” in a way. I’m the middle child, the only creative person, the only one who could be described as liberal, and (perhaps most importantly) the only one to inherit my mother’s bad depression, with a side of social anxiety. Add to this a big old heap of emotional abuse from my father and, later, my stepmother (who is thankfully gone now).

When I was in high school, I went through a lot of trouble, including self-harm, that was more or less ignored, and I didn’t do very well in school despite having clear potential. It was only later when I asked my parents about it that they said yeah, they always sort of knew that I had depression, and knew that it was holding me back, but they didn’t want to bring it up with me at the time because…they haven’t given a solid answer. As far as I can tell, they kind of sacrificed my academic future on the altar of not having an awkward conversation with me.

A few months ago, I moved out of state to live with my boyfriend and see about continuing into college now that I have things more under control. But every time I talk to my parents or my brother and sister, it seems like they have nothing nice to say at all.

I love my brother and sister, but every time I chat with them, they seem to be always upset with me. “Why haven’t you called us? Why haven’t you called Dad? You need to call us more and not be so ungrateful. You don’t even want to be part of the family.” Even putting aside the fact that they know I have a lot of anxiety when it comes to talking on the phone, I don’t understand how being busy up here and not able to contact home every day counts as ungrateful.

Then, the other night, a minor disagreement on Facebook randomly spiraled into them accusing me of hating our father, of not wanting to be a part of the family, and of being selfish in even moving away. These overtures were common before I’d moved, but now it’s been magnified so that they’ve become outright vicious about it.

I’m out of a toxic environment, but now the environment is starting to follow me. How do I tell my brother and sister that I still love my family (I really do!), but they need respect my decisions and treat me like a person?

Oh goody, when your abuser recruits others to do their abusing for them.

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