What Is Family?

Do you ever have those moments where you wonder where your family comes from?

If you're an avid read, you would know that I am not in contact with my blood family. Pettiness and drama are the main reasons for this. My brother, who I love and adore and two aunts and a cousin are all the family I have contact with. This might be more than some, but with the amount of family members I have, this is dismal.

As you grow, you learn that family isn't all about genetics. It isn't just about your birth mum and dad, or extended relations, it becomes about more. Family is created when you surround yourself with people who love and respect you. People who care enough to ask you how you are and what can I do to help. People who take the time to share love with you. This could be a friend, an adoptive family, a group of people or a partner.

What I can tell you, is what family is not;

Family are not people who turn their backs on you when you need them the most.

Family are not those that deny you out of jealousy or hate.

Family are not the people in your life that bring you down or create negativity.

So many times over my 34 years here, I have had to wonder what makes people tick. What is it that drives people to do or say things. Most of the time negativity is the answer. Either they are experiencing something traumatic themselves, they require a certain element of drama in their lives or they are just plain and simple, fucked up.

But when your own blood family turn their back on you, what do you do? I guess it is like grieving the loss of a loved one. you go through the stages of grief.

Denial. Firstly you have a fight with a family member and you aren't talking. Something will happen and you will tell yourself you'll never talk to them again. You'll never deal with that shit again. But deep down, you know that next week they'll come crawling back, or you will. You know that it will sort itself out eventually. After a week passes, then a month, you are still thinking it will sort itself out, I know it will ...

Anger. After some time passes, you realise that there is no making up or no forgiving the person/s you have had a falling out with. You become angry towards them and want to rage at them. It is at this point you might unfriend them on Facebook and block them so they cannot see your life. You might vent to others hoping to get some people on your side. Or you might just sit back and silently stew on all that has happened and how you got here.

Depression/Loneliness. This is the hardest part. If you make it out of anger, and you still are no longer in contact with your family. This is where one will start to feel lonely. This is the point where you believe you will never see them or anyone again. You feel isolated from the family group and your thoughts can run away from you. You fight the urge to want the contact, also fight the urge to cut yourself off from the world. This, as the title depicts, is a sad time. Mostly spent wallowing in your own self pity. Which by the way, you are most entitled to. This stage can last from a few weeks or months to years.

Upward Turn. By this point some time has passed. You have had the time to process your circumstances and have come to deal with the fact you have separated yourself from the people who are meant to love you unconditionally. This does not mean that you completely forgive or repent everything that has been said, or more so, hasn't been said, but you have come to terms with the circumstances and are able to move forward. It is at this time that you realise who you WANT in your life versus who you NEED. This is a very liberating time, allowing you the knowledge that only time can teach you.

Acceptance. Following on from the upward turn, you come to accept your circumstances for what they are. You have a bastard of a family and they do not deserve your time. HOPE is what you have now, hope to fill your life with the people you need, people who lift you up and make your life better. Not stalker family members who trail your account but never say hi. Yeah we all know those ones. They don't deserve your time. Don't waste your energy. HIT UNFRIEND! Release yourself from their clutches and move the hell on.

I have been blessed to a have a few amazing people in my life, more than a few actually. My immediate family for starters. Hubby and my four amazing children. My adopted family by marriage, my brother, who after all the shit that hit the fan can still snapchat me funny photos and the above mentioned aunts and cousin.

The rest of the family, I couldn't even tell you where they are. In the last five to six years, there have been weddings, engagements, milestone birthdays, babies born and people lost. I heard nothing from anyone. My lowest point, which came somewhere between depression and the upward turn, was the passing of my great aunt, and not a soul told me. Not a phone call, a message, a courier pigeon, nothing. I was heartbroken and embarrassed. But it also forced me out of my slump and pushed me into the reality of the situation and the people I was dealing with and acceptance followed soon after.

So to those who feel trapped, may I recommend a book to you. It is called The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck. Brutally honest, in your face, to the point and so fucking true. Do not, I repeat DO NOT give these people your fucks or you will soon have wasted them all on people who don't deserve them. Peace Out!

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