Wednesday, March 25, 2015

What Is Family?

For some people, this word is a good thing.  For other people, the word family is a total nightmare.  Depending upon what someone has been through, it can mean something so dear to a person or it can be one of those things that makes a person want to scream.

For me, family is not an easy concept.  Its been a lifetime of torture for me.  I've had many people tell me that I can create my own family and while that is true, it doesn't necessarily lessen the impact of the concept on my life.  Believe me, I've spent years trying to "create a family" and trying to discard the "family" that is nothing more than torture to me.

I have not talked to most of my immediate family since 1991.  At my mom's funeral, I had limited engagement with one of my two brothers.  Yet, I wanted to avoid them and they wanted to avoid me.  I struggled with anxiety at the mere mention of the name of anyone in my family that it was almost paralyzing to me.

Many years ago, the only way I could manage to make it through a day without having an anxiety attack or dipping deeper in depression was to cut off all contact with my family. It was my only way to survive.  It was the only way I could make it through a day.  This was one of the most difficult decisions I've ever made and even though I needed it to survive, it ripped me in shreds.

Family was preached to me as people that would always stand beside you no matter what.  Unfortunately I've found that other people outside of my family were the ones that were there for me.  Other people outside of my family didn't abuse me or rape me or try to physically kill me.  They didn't beat me or laugh at me like my own family did.

What is family?  I really don't know to be honest.  The example that was given to me was not a good one.  I have not known what a good family is so I struggle with the concept.  I have people in my life that I dearly love and I'm not sure I would want to label them as my family.  To me, that would be a negative connotation. 

I'm meandering here on this blog post, but there are issues that are surfacing which bring all of this to front and center.  For now, if you family means a lot to you, please go to the blog comments on this post and share that with me.  I'd love to have a different perspective on this than I have. 

(please go to the blog and comment there, not necessarily Facebook).

Blog Post And Images (c) 3/24/15 by Don Shetterly

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