I’m sure this is going to be all over the place . . but meh. I never write anymore, so I’m going to try to get this out and be done with it. I also just wanna say, My Life Partner is/was/will always be the Greatest Choice I’ve ever made. Okay, now lets go.
Please note: I’m referring to BOTH sides of my family.
I’ve never liked my family. Even as a young child, I thought the adults were unnecessarily mean, and often times it felt like they didn’t really want me around. My cousins were bullies for the most part. Some of them let their friends and other family members make fun of me on a regular basis, some of them joined in sometimes. Around 12, I realized my maternal cousins were living a completely different childhood than me. They were having sleepovers, and birthday parties, and I wasn’t ever invited. When we would get together for major holidays, they would be referring to events I never knew existed.
When I met my Best Friend, I started taking her with me to family events. At least then, I would have someone to talk to. Because most conversations between my family and I consisted of them teasing me about my clothes, or my weight, or my hair, or the way I talked, or the music I listened to, or the fact that I lived in West Bloomfield. She was around so much one of my cousins fell in love with her . . . because she constantly acted as a buffer between me and them. As we got older, a FEW cousins made an effort to get to know the college educated version of me. I was declared fake, and thought I was white, and thought I was better than everyone else. When my mom got sick the 1st time. . . most of them were MIA. So I handled that pretty much alone, except for my friends and co-workers who were there for me. It was around that time, I decided to fall back. I stopped attending family gatherings, unless I was asked to by my mother.
The DAY after my mother died, I found out I had 2 cousins I didn’t know existed. The man I’d looked up to my entire life, purposefully hid children because their mother’s . . .offended him? Got pregnant at the end of a relationship? He died in my eyes that day, I was never able to look at him the same way again. All my life, I’d been dealing with the consequences of FEELING rejected by my family, and now I know that you are ACTIVIELY rejecting a child. Morally, I just couldn’t do it. Because I knew the consequences of those actions he’d taken. I knew how that felt, knew what it looked like. That anger and grief and everything else . . . I shared with my friends. Because I trusted them with my feelings. I never brought it up to anyone else, not even the cousin who was sitting next to me the day I found out. 3 years later, when he died, my ONLY thought was . . .Am I ever going to meet those other cousins?
My father didn’t call me when my mother died. I waited, and waited, and waited. But I also wasn’t surprised, because my Father isn’t the greatest. He never has been. Most of that is his fault, some of it is because he was raised by a horrible person. My Grandfather told me I was ugly almost every day I was around him. He called me fat, told me I was lazy and dumb. In front of people, he said these things to me and it was just . . . . okay. No one ever said, hey that’s not nice. I wasn’t around my father’s side of the family much, but those memories stuck.
My father was constantly trying to get me to lose weight when I went to visit him before I was 18. I had to walk 4 miles a day, in the Arizona Sun as part of his exercise plan for me. If I didn’t make that walk by 8am in the morning, I wasn’t allowed to leave my room for that day. Meals were portioned out by calorie, and I wasn’t allowed to eat anything other than what was set out for me. It felt so restrictive I stopped going to visit my father.
My entire adult life, I’ve tried to get my father to just . . be my Parent. At least my understanding of what a parent is supposed to be. Now that I am a mother, it’s doubly hard to understand how my father as treated me in my life. I look just like you. Everything you do and say to me, makes me feel like I’m not okay, I’m not good enough, I’m a disappointment to you. When I’ve ever said anything, it’s been ignored. I’ve seen the way my father treats my other siblings . . . it’s different, at least in adulthood. Their childhood with him was nothing like mine because he was there for theirs. So they feel a way . . . that I feel a way about how he treats me.
Maybe it is me. Maybe my expectations for people in general are too high. But it’s always seemed strange to me, that friends I’ve meet on the internet have done more for me than some of my family members. Strangers have made me feel welcome, made me feel important, made me feel heard, made me feel like I wasn’t’ crazy for wanting to just be accepted as myself.
September 24, 2021 changed my relationship with MOST people. I was in a car accident and no one gave a fuck. My friends were there. My Mom’s FRIENDS were there. My Facebook friends were there. I sent a mass text to my family, telling them what happened, and asking if anyone could come get me and my child from Ohio where the accident happened.
No. One. Responded.
Later I was told maybe it didn’t go through. I recently sent another mass text from that same text thread and there was again no response, so I thought okay . . that’s why they never acknowledged my text, this thread must not work. Then I got a response in the thread . . . oh. It did work. Ya’ll just . . . ignored my text then. Cool.
I’m done . . trying to be loved by Family. I’m done . . . caring more than people have ever cared about me. I’m building a Family with my Life Partner, and it’s gonna be one that is accepting, nonjudgmental, and Gentle. Helpful and nurturing. I will make sure my children never feel rejected because of how other people treat me or them. I’m not bringing that bullshit into their lives.
If you happen to find this on the internet, and you are related to me – I’m probably talking about you. This is the last time I use the phrase, “My Family” and refer to people biologically related to me. I don’t like ya’ll – AS PEOPLE. I don’t care that I’m related to you, If I don’t agree with the way you treat me, my child, or people in general I don’t have to be around you. Or be connected to you in anyway.
Shouts to My Tribe!
The Parnell’s, and Kelly’s and Brown’s and Cotton’s and Jenkin’s and Jones’ and Anderson’s and Robinson’s and more. The Tribe my Mother created for me. Her Friends, who have never left my side and were just always there my whole life. (Sometimes, it makes me think she didn’t really like her family either, cuz I call WAY more people Auntie than she had biological sisters.) My UD Alums, my Zeta Phi Beta Sigma Family, my Mercy Girls, my Arizona Friends, my #FGSSUM07, my FB Friends who have HELD ME DOWN. Who pick up calls in the middle of the night, who send you wine by the case when you are going through shit, who give you a year’s worth of clothes for your newborns, who send gift cards when they couldn’t send anything else, who hold you when you cry then laugh with you when you’re high.
Thank you for being there. Thank you for being my True Family. If it wasn’t for ya’ll, I wouldn’t be here.
And that’s the truth.