My family sucks. I do not know any other words to express how I feel about the people related to me, with the exception of one aunt whose love and discipline saved me from myself and gave me the courage to dream bigger dreams they all just suck.(Finally I said it and it feels good to get it out in the open.) Every so often I have this delusion that somehow, maybe just maybe I can mend the severely broken relationship with the “family” and it always ends up in tragic disappointment for me. This not to say I never tried mending the fences because I have tried being civil with them over the years by attending the events they invite me to , mostly wakes, funerals and weddings sprinkled in with a family party or 2. I tried being friends with these people through social media but it did not work and so I basically fired them as my friends. Well, what prompted my firing them had more to do with fixing out I was deleted on Facebook by someone after one of my children posted a comment on their wall using my account. I guess I was stunned because I am an open book, I do not hide my accounts or shut things down in front of my kids, why would I?. Then I got mad… Who the hell are they to fire me in the first place? If anyone has any cause for suspicion or want to tread with caution it is me.
Even the “Reader’s Digest Version” of the history between myself and the people related to me by birth is long and complicated. From my perspective here is what happened…they threw me away. There is no sugar-coating the situation it is a fact. I was eighteen years old, my mother who never married had died the year before and not long after my high school graduation they threw me away like a piece of trash. I am fully aware that I was a pain in the ass, what kid at eighteen is a saint? I know that I shot my mouth off at times, but what eighteen year old kid is savvy enough to understand the fine art of biting one’s tongue? However being a pain in the ass is not justification for being thrown out on the street with no money, no family and for all they knew, no place to go? I was going to college in the fall and had a place to live then but from June-September I had basically nothing. I was alone and if it were not for kindness and generosity of friends and their families I would have been sleeping on a park bench somewhere. The lesson I have taken away from that painful time in my life is the definition of family is not simply the people who share your gene pool, they are the people who love you and support you through all times, not just the good times. Family my friends does not always mean relations, my family are those who love me and I would be lost without them. Family are the friends who have not seen me in years and in seconds time melts away and the bonds are still there.
So now here I am 24 years, and several thousands of dollars spent on therapy later and I am just starting to let go of the fantasy that whatever happened between the relatives and me is ever going to mend. It is not as if I have not tried, because Lord knows I have. Every single time one side extends the olive branch I put myself out there whole heartedly only to get knocked down and thrown away once again. Getting unfriended, yeah that was the last straw. You see when I left that house with little more than the clothes I owned, I knew I was never going back. I knew they did not want me, I accepted it and I moved on. I would be lying if I said I was not sad at the time, who would not be? It is not easy to lose your only parent and then your entire family in an eleven month time frame at age eighteen.
The circumstances leading up to my departure were quite traumatic in and of themselves. I have a relative who even the last time I saw them still had the maturity level of a toddler . This person on my last day living in their parent’s house (where they at age 30 lived with their girl friend and 2 of their 3 kids with their ex-wife because 1 kid was taken away by social services) attacked me verbally and then physically by putting their hands around my throat, but I was the problem. instead of being allowed to react I was not allowed to go back to live at their house. I held out hope that we would have a cooling off period but I knew after they gave my bed away (found this out from a friend) that it was over. A few months later after I settled in to college, was making decent grades and coping with not only the loss of my family but also another huge mistake they found a friend of mine and reeled me in. I fell into their trap, hook line and sinker. At the time, this looked like a positive sign, they wanted to reconnect with me. I had paid my dues and they felt all was forgiven (whatever “all” was) so I eagerly accepted the olive branch and picked up the phone. Stupid me should have known that it was all smoke and mirrors
Honestly, even this post is hard to write because I know it is over and I am the one who has to put the nail in the coffin. I can’t keep waiting with the door open for the people related to me so they can sweep back in and be a part of my life. It is obvious to me where I stand in the scheme of things, strangers are more accepted in my family than I am, and as painful as it is to admit that is the way it will always be.
Through the magic of social media, My daughter began communicating with a member of my family that I always admired and loved dearly. This is the person who unfriended me for whatever reason. The child is looking for answers about me when I was much younger, in her eyes I came alive when I married her father but as she gets older she realizes that there is a lot about me she does not know. I know what she was fishing for was answers about why I do not have a relationship with my relatives. I happened upon their communication recently because as I checked my personal email I saw I had multiple communications from this person. If there were a person I would want my child to communicate with from my family, I probably would have picked this woman, but now I am not so sure. I know that I struggle to find a delicate balance between letting emotions cast a shadow on the events that have led up to the rift between my relatives and myself and allowing my children to experience some form of a relationship between themselves and the people who most definitely are a part of their history.
I do not want to play the same games my mother played when she was alive and by that I mean make sure that my child(ren) have the same opinions of the family that I do. Part of the being a parent is to allow my children to form their own opinions without my feelings influencing their decision process. Parenting most definitely includes guidance, and making decisions as to who and what we expose our children to when they are younger, but as they age we need to hope that we planted seeds that formed strong roots so they can spread their wings and fly. This was probably one of my mother’s greatest flaws, My mother would get angry with her sisters and that would be it,she would cut them and me off from all communications with one another. The silliest things would set her off and that would be it we were incommunicado often at our detriment. The crazy thing was we all lived within such a close proximity to each other that not seeing the relatives was virtually impossible. I had to walk by the homes of 2 of my three aunts on my way home from school. I saw them all the time.We shopped at the same local stores and frequented the same bus route to work and school and I will admit I broke the rules more often than not. Sometimes I broke the rules just to get a good meal when money was tight and we were between checks. eventually they would all do the proverbial kiss and make up but in my gene pool old grudges die-hard. I know that those genes run through my every being and I am working on it because if I do not let go the grief is going to consume me and it is possible I could repeat the sins of my mother. That to me is unacceptable.