Sadly, You Can’t Choose Your Family


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When I think about family (the word, concept, or my very own family), I get saddened.  I truly haven’t known what it is like to have a “family” since my mother passed away 10 years ago.  She was our glue.  The cohesiveness that held us all together.  After all, a structure is only as strong as the support holding the beams.  So, when she died, the concept of our “family” died as well.

I recently blogged about how one of my brothers is getting married.  My brothers are not very nice people.  I have been called horrible things by them and yelled at by them.  Basically, treated with no respect from them.  I remember a day when I was probably about 13.  I was with my mother.  We were on a road trip and out of no where she says, “your father is worried.”  I didn’t know where she was going, so I asked her what he was worried about.  Then, she told me that he had a nightmare about one of my brothers raping me.  Since that nightmare, my father watched how this brother acted around me and he was terrified it would come true.  So, my mother told me that I needed to stay away from him and always make sure I was covered up around him, as well as never be alone with him because I was becoming a woman and developing in areas I wasn’t developed.  Since then, this brother has somewhat scared me.  I have not made anyone aware of this fact besides the sister I am close to and a blogger I have been in contact with.  It has been my mother’s and my secret.  I was the baby.  My father was always watching out for his baby girl.

Anyways, back to the getting married brother.  He wants my sister to sing for his wedding.  If he has been in contact with either one of us, he would know that the doctor won’t allow her to sing until she is in better health.  Of course, he doesn’t know this.  So, he called my sister’s HUSBAND and asked HIM if she could sing at the wedding.  I know right?  Very cowardly.  I almost wanted to text him the moment I found out and call him a pus*y.  But, I didn’t.  I need to stay a Christian and just let it go.

I will not be going to this wedding.  I know that I get a LOT of judgement from people for saying this.  They all think I should be supportive. But, you know what, I DON’T CARE!  I am sorry, but this brother NEVER made it to any of my life events, why should I go to his?  He didn’t come to any of my sporting events, birthdays, proms, college graduations, or award ceremonies.  Those were milestones to me.  So, why would I go to the milestones for him?  You reap what you sow people….you reap what you sow.

After all of this drama yesterday, I got a little back in the depression hole.  I tried not to think about my family and the pain I have gotten from them.  I looked up places I could (and want to) move to.  I looked for an escape.  I want out and I want out now.  I want to run from all of this and start over.  Over in a place my family can’t follow me.

The blogger I became friends with was texting me last night.  I got to talking to her about what was bothering me.  I have to say, I have never in my entire life had someone defuse my anger so easily.  She allowed me to vent and asked just the right questions that got it all out of me.  We were texting at what would be 10:30 her time and I told her that she should probably get to bed.  She agreed, but said only if I felt better.  I was stunned.  Absolutely stunned.  I have NEVER had a person care about me so much (besides my parents and my one sister and her husband).  I have never had a FRIEND care about me enough to truly sacrifice their time, life, and sleep to help me out.  Someone who knew the right thing to say and instead of brushing off my pain.  She acknowledged it and allowed me to discuss it.  Allowed me to feel it.  She didn’t give me the vibe that I should just push the pain back and forget it because it is “uncomfortable for them” if I discuss it.  No, she gave me that vibe that I should feel it.  She also told me, “I know you don’t believe this, but I don’t intend to abandon you.  I think you’re a great friend.”  Wow…just wow!  To that, I am very grateful and appreciative.  I only hope I can do for her what she did for me last night.

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18 thoughts on “Sadly, You Can’t Choose Your Family

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  1. Family…the bondage that never releases.
    I wish I had encouraging words, other than this: You have NO obligation to do anything you are not comfortable with doing. And since you feel compelled to “stay a Christian”, then realize there are places in the bible that literally state that you don’t have to continue trying to make things work with someone, when they don’t. Granted, I don’t have the exact verse, at the moment, but there is a verse in the New Testament when the apostles are told to “Wipe the dirt from their feet” and it is in reference to letting go with some people.

    And I value those friendships, like your blogger friend, that seem to appear out of no where…often times, those are the ones that save us the most grief.

      1. Sometimes, the kindest thing you can do for someone is to not be with/around them. It sometimes seems counterintuitive, but for some reason people come to assume that kindness implies taking abuse. I don’t believe that to be true.

      2. You are so full of knowledge!!!!! I wish I knew you in “real” life!!!!!! I think you would be FASCINATING to have a conversation with! You are so right. Being kind does not imply taking abuse. Sadly, I have grown used to taking abuse from other people. I am a very kindhearted person. I don’t like to hurt other people. So, they could abuse me all they want, but I would still want to help them because I believe it is the “right” thing to do. But, you are right. Taking abuse is NOT right for either party.

      3. Thank you! That makes me blush a little…lol…but trust me, I’m not that fascinating. 🙂
        Well, sometimes I think people assume turning the other cheek is literal, but I think it is allegorical. Sometimes, people are jerks, and being passive means to not engage…it doesn’t mean staying in the other person’s path of destruction.

      4. Thank you. I hated writing when I was younger, but my experiences in life taught me I needed to learn. So, I made a promise to myself to constantly learn new words and how to use them. I am a student for life, and I enjoy that

  2. My sister and I have an extremely toxic relationship. We finally decided, for now, it is best to simply not make the effort. I love her with a love of obligation and family connection. If she was hurting or needing something and I knew about it then I would try to help her, but even then I would help from an emotional stance. We have never ever had a sister bond.

      1. Sort of yes. We are in way different places spiritually speaking – well in many ways, but this is a big one. Obviously the dysfunction of our home as children affected her as well, but she is 5 years younger. When my parents told me they were getting divorced I was thrilled because I didn’t want to be around my dad, but she was devastated. This is the difference in people I suppose. She would have rather had her parents together and live with the extreme dysfunction than have them apart. This seemed to really affect her emotionally and from that point she just became strange for lack of a better word. The older she gets the stranger she gets. I don’t mean this in a mean way. She is just so very very different than anyone I have ever met. Some of what she believes disturbs me because I see it is destructive to her well being. She was part of this group on Facebook and met people with the same beliefs – it was a smorgasbord of God, Jesus, nature, rocks, magic, fairies, art….all kinds of things. Some of the things she started posting on Facebook were just out there, but what made it worse was seeing the out there responses on her posts that were affirming and adding even stranger stuff to her thoughts. Now, everyone is entitled to their own spiritual life, but this is my blood, and I know how screwed up she is from our upbringing – she did not need this type of “help”. It was taking her further into the darkness. So, even though it WAS SO WRONG of me – goodness – so wrong – I made a comment on one of the posts calling her and everyone out. It was ridiculous. Well, obviously it hurt her greatly. We agreed from that point that we should just not even try anymore – at least for now. This was in September of last year. I am sure at some point we will make another effort, and maybe God will heal us as sisters one day, but we are both so very screwed up in our own way we both needed individual healing first. It breaks my mother’s heart, but it is better this way – for now.

      2. Sadly, this is sort of why my siblings and I are having issues right now too. We were all raised by the same strict Catholic parents. We were taught to love God and see him in all that we see and do. To trust in God. Basically, we came from a VERY Christian family. After my mother died, so many of them became angry with God and turned away from him. They stopped praying and going to church. They became “evil” in my eyes (as this is when they started treating me horribly and doing pretty evil things). When we did some “family talking” after planning my father’s funeral with the priest, I ended up doing a long, long, speech about my belief in God and asked them how they couldn’t believe. How we all grew up the same way and I want them in heaven with me and my parents, and I know that hell is what I am living right now and I don’t want that for eternity. I could honestly feel the Holy Spirit come upon me as I talked. Looking back on it now, it was quite an otherworldly feeling. Anyways, my siblings listened to what I said. But, I am not sure they followed through. I felt like one actually mocked me by saying, “I’ll pray for you.” But, you know what they say, “A prophet isn’t welcome in his own home.” I tried, but I just can’t have relationships with them because I see so much evil in them and that evil is used against me and causes me great pain.

      3. I simply pray for God to save my sister. I don’t believe she accepts Jesus is the only way to God, so the first step in her healing is salvation. Perhaps this is the same for your siblings? I grew up Catholic as well, and am so thankful for my history in the church. My grandmother was a beautiful woman of God and very dedicated to her faith. Her and my grandfather are one of 7 couples who pioneered a catholic church near her home. All these years later it is a lovely and thriving congregation. I say this to also say that while I loved the church somehow I missed hearing about the “personal relationship” I could have with Jesus. It was always He died for the world….anyway, maybe your siblings simply aren’t saved which would explain “evil” behavior. Now, as you know, saved people make mistakes, but I think you can know a tree by its fruit. Are the loving, kind, patient, etc…and just making bad decisions or do they act in an unloving manner? Two verses for you: Galations 5:22 “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,” and Matthew 10:34-36 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn
        ‘a man against his father,
        a daughter against her mother,
        a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household'”

      4. So very true! LOVE the Scripture verses you left me with! I am still a major practicing Catholic because I love the reverence that is used at each mass. I also truly believe the teachings of the church. But, one thing I disagree with about Catholicism is that I wasn’t taught to study the Bible. I was taught to listen to the priest and pray the formal prayers. It wasn’t until about two years ago that I realized I could actually just TALK to God. And this came from doing my own “non-Catholic” Bible study. I think this needs to be emphasized more in the Catholic church. To me, the formal prayers are just words….robotic in a sense. Personal prayer in my own words. Talking personally to my Lord and Savior is just so much better! I never knew what I was missing. My relationship with God has grown so much as I realized that there is so much more to religion and believing in God than going to church.

      5. This is so wonderful! I believe that God led you to that. He is such an amazing and loving God. He knows exactly what you need. In your case He is your father and mother right now. He knew you would need an avenue to talk to Him and grow your relationship with Him. He is so good! I love studying the bible :).

  3. Family is tricky, because on one hand there’s this obligation to support them no matter what. But on the other, there is your own wellbeing. As I’ve said before, no matter your relation to someone, if they are a negative energy in your life you can’t tolerate it. Especially not when you’re in a recovery process. And if your brother has been that horrendous to you, you absolutely don’t need him.

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