Ok… forgive me in advance for this stream of consciousness…
In case you haven’t already inferred, I am not particularly close to my family. My mother’s side nor my father’s side. I love them, and they me, but we aren’t exactly familiar with each other in any real, fundamental way. It’s never really bothered me. My friends and lovers have done a pretty marvelous job of filling in the blanks. I am not one of those people that believes that you have to just deal with your family because they’re blood and that’s just who they are and blah blah blah. No. I have the power to choose who is in my life, whether we share blood or not. And if they are subtracting more than they’re adding, you had best believe they’re getting cut from the home team roster. I can’t handle it.
My family is pretty negative. They aren’t bad people. They love me. They’re just short sighted and negative. And for me, for the transition period I’m in, for the things I wanna do in my life, I can’t handle it. I can’t shoulder their negativity and still be in a place where I can do for me. I can’t sit through an hour and a half phone conversation of updates about all the negative shit that everyone is doing. Maybe that’s selfish. But you had years to either fuck up your life or get it right. Most of you chose the former. My life is just starting. Let me live.
I said all that to say that while I recognize that family issues are complicated, do they have to be? I rarely speak to my fam. I don’t call. More often than not when they call me they’re screened. If I do pick up, they’re asking for something. We email sometimes. But as I’ve gotten older, as I’ve lived, I have no desire of any kind to form relationships with these people. I have a family. It’s the positive, supportive one I made for myself. The ones that were there for me in my darkest hours, that know even the parts of me that I try to hide. Is that wrong of me? To have no desire of any kind to connect with them?
And inversely, who says I SHOULD have that desire just because we share blood? We certainly don’t share anything else. If it was a friend or a lover, and our relationship was this strained and forced and based on nothing of substance, everyone would be telling me to break up with them.
I am a huge balker of what I’m “supposed” to do in life anyway. Mostly because I refuse to live my life according to conventions rather than my own needs and desires. Sometimes the conventions line up with who I am. Sometimes they don’t. Fuck em.
But am I being extra?
For the longest my family had no desire to get to know me. I had my role that they expected me to play in our family and they weren’t really interested in anything outside of their perceptions of me. They still aren’t really. It only kinda bothered me then and it really doesn’t bother me now because I have surrounded myself with people who DO know me outside of their impressions. (I have a cousin that constantly calls me prissy. Yeah. Curses like a sailor, constantly threatens to beat bitches down, kisses chicks in a bar, drinks most men under the table and frequents the strip club but yeah. Prissy. Mmhmm.)
But why should I be made to feel bad that this is the way things are? Why is the responsibility squarely on my shoulders to “accept them as who they are” and get to know them? Why is it my fault that I’ve gotten along just fine in life on my own terms? Is THAT what you’re mad at?
I just don’t know. Maybe I’m in the situation so I can’t be objective.
Am I supposed to work to maintain contact with my family despite not really having a need or desire to do so?