I’m heading to Utah today to gather my niece’s things and also allow her to have a going away party for friends and family. I can tell she’s had a bit of culture shock here and it will be difficult to transition to our Los Angeles lifestyle compared to the small town feel of Farmington, UT.
I’ve been resistant to throw her completely into our routines because I know she needs time to adjust, and I’m also offering her as much affection as she’s willing to receive and reassuring her that this is her permanent home.
I can tell we both feel a bit weary about seeing everybody. Not because we don’t love them, but emotions have run high lately with all of the adjustments as of late. My mom has been raising her for the last few years and is heartbroken that she’s going through an “empty nest” phase after raising 9+ children (including step-siblings) for a total of 40 years.
I’ve tried to help her through as much as I can, but all of this is mentally taxing along with everything else I’m trying to tackle.
Not to mention that going to Utah is completely triggering in and of itself. Sexual abuse, dogma abuse, mental and physical abuse are all events that have happened there, and most of my extended family on my mom’s side likes to pretend that it hasn’t. I’ll save those stories for another day, but for now all I can do is take a deep breath, buckle in and attempt to enjoy the ride.