I have often wondered if I was born in the wrong century. The wrong Era? The wrong zip code? If reincarnation is a true thing…I often wonder why the previous occupant of my “soul” or “spirit” would rationally choose to become a member of my severely dysfunctional family. Why am I so different from everyone else on my side of the family?
Now, let’s go ahead and clear up that I don’t think I’m better than my entire family. I am just what I said…different. I’m not completely different, however. I mean, when you spend your childhood growing up as a member of a family, you tend to pick up samples of their nonsense, particles of their character flaws, and a few genetic malfunctions that you have no control over. I just feel as if I am severely different than anyone in my family. Whatever impervious gene I have gladly inherited, I am thankful for. Truly. Oh man…big time, over the moon and back relieved that I have this gene. I feel as if I won the inherited gene jackpot.
Also…let’s be clear that I am not referring to the family of my husband and my son and my baby-to-be. I’m speaking of my Mother’s side of the family when I say “Family” in this blog. Please remember that as you read.
This impervious gene that I speak of is the sort of gene that allows me to be able to walk through the bullshit most of the time without getting any on me. I pick up a little brown spot every now and then without realizing it…but thankfully I have a husband who can call bullshit and recognize it and help me clean up the stain. I have often been asked by friends, my husband, my husband’s friends who know of or about my family “How did you turn out so well?”
First of all, it ain’t all good. I am by no means “well” I have struggled through many MANY issues to start to see through the foggy filter of my childhood and upbringing. It is really only now, in my adulthood, that I understand that I can remove this fog filter’s effect on my life. I thought I was all fine and dandy until I really separated myself from my family to leave the house and begin to experience life without restrictions and boundaries. I was able to start to piece together who I am. When I returned from my gallivanting and came back to my hometown and tried to jump right back into the family life as it was before I left, I realized that I there was something there that I didn’t want to be a part of anymore. Lucky for me, this is when I met Aaron.
Does this sound like I am ready to abandon my family? Yep. I think I might be. It sounds harsh, I know. I am becoming quite positive that soon the only time I will see my family is on holidays and the occasional birthday (maybe). But…this is really no choice of mine. That is just the way our family operates. We don’t snuggle and bake cookies together. We don’t support each other unless life offers a major crisis. Somebody fucks up and we gossip about them and never forgive them. Someone plows their own path and they are “too good for us.” Someone makes someone else mad and then turns one cup of the family against the other teaspoon. Then we don’t speak, then we sit in a room together and bake a pie full of shit that smells of rose aerosol.
I could go on and ON and on and onnnnnnnnnnnnnnn about the reasons why I feel this way. I could give you cold, hard, nasty facts that would convince you that I’m right and that I don’t seem to belong, but I don’t feel a need to do so. You’re just going to have to imagine what the term “dysfunction” is defined as in your mind and apply that to my struggle. Chances are, what you can imagine isn’t too far from what is actually happening in my particular predicament. But…if you really want to know some of the facts about the family dysfunction and enjoy a bout of family drama and other people’s misery…it might thrill you to know that my husband has blogged about it extensively over at his site, Epiphany Now. Just search for “The “Whoville Chronicles” posts and enjoy the ride. Buckle up, though.
I have spent close to the past year trying to figure out why my family is the way that it is. This is really tiring and very stressful. I thought that maybe I could figure out a way to try to have a “normal” Braverman (of the TV series “Parenthood”) family. I knew that there was really no defining what a “normal” family was, and that TV families are just TV families…but somehow I thought that I might be able to pull together some type of super glue force to fix this broken lineage. Boy was I wrong. It was a waste of my time. It gave me many gray hairs. It caused stress between me and my husband. It was just an unrealistic goal to think that I could be the glue. I realize that now.
It was a plan that was doomed to fail before it even started, really. Why did I think I was prepared to even take on such a task in the first place? Who knows. What I do know is that I’m still glad that I did it. I tried. I put in the level of effort that I was willing to mentally give, and now I’m done. I failed. I admit it. I tried. I’m glad.
So there…will my family ever be able to talk about their problems without making assumptions or going off into a tyrannical rampage filled with psychotic reasons as to why they are right and everyone else is wrong? Nope.
Can I bring them back together on my own? Nope.
Do I have someone in the family who has my support and is trying to work toward the same “fix it” goal? Nope.
Was I trying to be the family psychologist? Yep.
Did it make any difference what-so-ever in how my family operates? No. It did not.
I feel that the biggest lesson that I have learned from this voyage into the realm of family repair is that no single person can fix it on their own. It takes effort from every member of the family. Everyone has to be willing to take a good look at themselves and admit where they were wrong, and in return, be willing to change it for the betterment of the entire family unit. I feel as if everyone in my family would need their own personal psychologist who was willing to actually work with their patients (and not just write prescriptions) before this little golden family dream of mine could EVER take place.
I was very unrealistic to think that I could “fix” this. I tried. I am finished.
So where do I go from here? I know exactly where. I will focus on building the happiness and open communication of my husband and my children as a “new” sort of family. I will do everything in my power to make sure that a shift occurs in my “family” bloodline (of sorts). I will no longer worry about what the outsiders to this true “new” family think or feel about us. I will block their criticism and lack of understanding and lack of support from my life. If this means moving away, so be it…but I will no longer allow them to affect me to the extent that I have allowed them to in the past few months ever again. Ever. I’m done.
I don’t fit in. I’m different. I’m an eccentric. I’m somehow mentally stable.
I have reached the epiphany that my family will never be what I dream it could be. If I want to continue my life as a healthy Mother and Wife, I must be guarded toward those who try to harm my happiness and will not allow them to infect me with their negative and cancerous sickness.
I have gone through all of the stages of grief related to my Mother’s side of the family, including my Mother and my Sister. I have jumped all around the clinical wheel of grief: anger, depression, anger, denial, denial, denial….denial, anger, depression….and now I think the spinning wheel has pegged out at “acceptance.”
If I keep along the path of trying to “fix” this family, they will only poison me. I will not allow them to do that to me, or my “new” family. Happy trails to us, Aaron, Ayden and Baby McCarty. Hopefully one day we can look back on this past family as “what we broke away from” and be thankful that I didn’t try to hold us back because of guilt and a thread of connection or obligation. We are going to free ourselves. Thankfully, we have Aaron’s beautiful family to have hope in. I will cling on to that family connection for our future. I somehow feel as if I won’t be forced to struggle with feeling loved inside the arms of that family. I have never been a part of a family like that before…and I’m ready for that journey when the time comes. I will keep in mind, however, to not be overly unrealistic with them. I must be sure to remember that they won’t be perfect and that we will have our moments of family drama, just as every family drama. However, I am hopeful that my experience with being closer to Aaron’s side of the family will be a much healthier one.
I think that it will also be healthy for me to end this blog post with a sincere, overwhelming urge to thank my husband, Aaron, for seeing me through this intense process. He has watched me scream, vent, weep, anguish and depress many, many days, nights and weeks (off and on) throughout this process. He has been patient, tolerant and supportive in seeing me through these dark days. He has reacted to the crazy that my family has suppressed upon me with anger, and then forced me to communicate my feelings instead of bottling them up so that I won’t become like them. He has called me out when I began acting like them, and has lived through it somehow…all at my side. He has given my life beauty and love and has made me feel cared about more than I have ever felt in my life. He is my confidant and my soulmate. “I love you, Aaron McCarty.” Thank you for loving me.