When I first started reading Offbeat Bride, it was with the thought “Hey, maybe these guys can help me design odd centerpieces!” I admit, on being accepted, I started reveling in all the wedding inspo, and posted my first journal asking about incorporating H.P. Lovecraft into the wedding decor.
Then I found other parts of the site and started reading.
Here are all these people, sharing their stories of awkward relatives, social insecurities, conflict or rough times… and they sounded like me. They had the same problems, the same insecurities, the sense of humor, and they were struggling in the same way to try and find where their wedding fits in someone else's world.
So I think to myself, “Self, maybe I should ask Offbeat Bride about my mom. Things have been difficult, especially with the wedding, and maybe they'll have a way to help.” But Self said “No! That's a sensitive subject and what if she finds out?! You should just tuck that away and never deal with that. Besides, it's not happy wedding stuff, no one wants to hear that.”
However, Hands had decided they were already acting on the first memo Brain sent out, and before I knew it I'm staring at a rambling paragraph on the screen baring my soul and my heart is wrenched over whether or not I'll be brave enough to click submit.
I was terrified. I submitted it anyway.
What followed quite literally left me in tears.
I have never seen such amazing love, support, and genuine helpfulness from complete strangers. Not only did Offbeat Bride readers help with my problem, they lifted me up, and (pardon the cliche) removed a heavy black cloud from my shoulders. They showed me not only ways to move past my problems, but, in meeting some of them who have already done so, showed me it could actually be done.
I went home to my partner and showed him the responses, trying to explain what a RELIEF it was to finally be in a community where people understood. They had not offered me condolences, or sympathy, they had offered me honest support, and real understanding. I did not realize until then that this situation with my mom had had me so twisted inside for so many years, and finally seeing a way to break beyond that left me beautifully hysterical.
I didn't know that when I joined the Offbeat Bride to ask about Lovecraftian wedding decor, that I accidentally joined a support group. I also didn't know how much I needed one.
Thank you, Offbeat Bride. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. From my future husband, who saw me fully relaxed for the first time in years, thank you. For the links, and advice, and copy+paste conflict resolution, thank you. For being the fantastic, wonderful, awesomely weird community you are, thank you.
I still don't know that I'll ever be able to completely mend my relationship with my mom, or get past the way our relationship has pained me, but for the first time in my life I feel like I actually could.
I think I'm ready to fuss over centerpieces now.