Family Reunion

Hi Brooke, I have a large extended family who I used to be close with but am not any longer. This was not really intentional – I lived abroad we were all busy and our lives moved on. Also, our interests attitudes etc are pretty different. I don’t drink whereas that is a big part of the socializing. In April we are having a family reunion over 3 days & in my homework I see that I’m dreading it and have a lot of negativity. In essence I expect it to be painful. I’m pretty sure nobody in my family enjoys my company & I’m an introvert who doesn’t generally enjoy parties at the best of times. although on some level I’m ok with being different/not well-liked I am conflicted because I don’t want to spend a lot of time and money attending an event just to feel rejected and have my kids see me rejected. Despite the dread I want to go because it’s a reunion of the whole family and it seems important to show up. My current thought is “I should go and try to act loving and it’s ok if I don’t enjoy it”. No surprise my brain does not want to go! Part of me wants to just tell the truth and tell everyone I don’t want to go. That truth feels refreshing. But my prefrontal says I should go. Attempting to enjoy the event seems too much of a stretch. What can I do to approach this more positively and stop spending so much energy worrying about it? Thank you so much.