Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash

“It is key to remember that before they are family, they are human.”

This post may sting and offend some, but in the words of my father, I need to release my feelings and let it go. It is MY truth and I will not apologise for it. 

My family experienced a death in the family; my mother’s mother passed away. However, it is worth mentioning I was not close to my granny, so I was torn as to how to respond to this news, but it goes deeper than this, and I will explain below. This death has caused memories to resurface and truths to be revealed and I am now left with open scars from wounds I thought were healed, and whilst I may be damaged, I am not destroyed.

Backstory…

I didn’t have any photos with my granny as an adult, the only photo I am aware of exists with me and my granny are family photos when I was a child and I didn’t have a copy of these. I obtained a photo of my granny and posted it on my Whatsapp, with a simple status showing my respect. 

Now, coincidentally, a family member posted a status about the fake and phoney and about people posting and crying when they hadn’t been there for years etc. Now, I knew that this couldn’t be directed to me and was possibly to other members of the family, but it was the bit about posting that had me question if this subliminal message was to me. I had already reached out to them a few moments prior to their status post as I knew they were closer to my granny than I was. So when I saw the status I asked if it was to me. The initial replies to me checking on them were short which led me to internally question if there was a problem, but I left that alone and then comes the reply to my status question and in enters the triggers.  

****

Triggered, Emotional, ME.

 

Whilst it wasn’t a conversation as such with my cousin, it was enough to trigger me. Although according to their subliminal status posts, being triggered as an adult somehow means you are playing the victim card, this shows that there is no talking to people like this. When I reached out to my cousin I had to push my anger and feelings aside, so when they replied telling me that my granny deserved some level of communication from me, because she was my mother’s mother… yes I was triggered. 

Let me explain the initial trigger, not ONE member of my family contacted me or my mother to notify us of my granny, her mother’s passing. How dare you tell me someone deserved something from me yet none of you contacted her daughter to give her the opportunity to say bye, nor to notify her of the passing! Miss me with the bullshit.

It is key to remember that before they are family, they are human. Family is a title, and having this title doesn’t exclude them from causing pain or disappointment. 

We put family on a pedestal because of the blood connection we have with them and the high expectations that we automatically attach to them because of this connection. The fact is, this makes us more vulnerable. 

Family…

When we are hurt and wounded, we often artificially close the wound ourselves in an attempt to heal and move on, because if we wait for someone else to pick us up and aid in our closure, we ‘bleed’ all over others waiting for something that doesn’t always come. But when we are triggered, those artificially closed wounds tend to reopen, exposing the pain and emotions all over again. 

Family… I was born into two, have been a part of many, but don’t feel I truly belong to ANY… and I have accepted that. 

But let me be clear, accepting this hasn’t been easy, but it is something that has been proven time and time again. It doesn’t mean when situations arise I will not be triggered all over again, because for now, I am. I would like to think that one day I will not have any emotions at all towards this topic, but I do not think that will be the case. 

When I say I am triggered… I am not looking for sympathy, I am simply experiencing emotions from previous traumas. Family has always been a trigger for me, but this situation has caused a lot of wounds to reopen and memories to flood in. I am the Black Sheep, I am the outside child for my father, I am the product of previous drug addicted parents, I am the child everyone seemed to forget about (based on my memory and discussions). 

Now, as I mentioned, my mother’s mother passed away, my mother is with me in the UK and my granny was back home in Bermuda, but not one person in my family contacted me or my mother to notify us… I was contacted by my dad, which then caused me to rush from work to notify my mother. Initially I gave everyone the benefit of the doubt as I really wasn’t expecting anyone to tell me as I wasn’t close with my granny, but I was expecting them to contact my mother. Due to the signal in the hospital where my mother works, I figured maybe they tried but they couldn’t get through, but I was wrong! My momma had to call people to say that she heard the news… and yet I have someone telling me that my granny deserved some level of communication from me.

Saint Nobody.

When people climb their high horses to make themselves appear higher I am not going to try to climb something bigger to battle this toxic behaviour. 

When I needed my family when my parents were on drugs, not many, if any were present. I am not saying that people in my family were not present at all, but there have been times when I had HOURS to find somewhere to live, when I was being molested, when I was on suicide watch, when I was a fucking child and needed my granny and my family! To tell me that someone deserved something from me as if I didn’t deserve something from them considering I am the child!

I am not part of family group chats, I hardly received a Happy Birthday, a Christmas invite, a family gathering invite and yet I am supposed to continue to burry my pain and lick my own wounds. I have to accept that I will always be on the outside looking in. I have tried to maintain relationships with my family but I am not going to beg anyone to love me, let alone truly accept me for me. 

I have grown ass family members using my parents for what they can do for them but will shit on them when it suits them. When you have family using your parent’s drug addiction to benefit themselves that’s when you question people.

Hell no I am not perfect and phones work both ways, so by no means am I a saint.

I am more like my dad in that I tend to speak on what bothers me, my mother is the opposite and is more passive. There are things I have wanted to raise about both of my parents, but I have had to ‘let it go’ for them. 

Since posting my feelings regarding family on Facebook I have received an unexpected response. I have had people tell me they feel the same and understand and were thankful to see they were not alone. People I don’t even know reached out to me. It has also allowed me to have conversations with members in my family, which was great.

Blood Is Thicker…

This is my story, this is MY truth and you can love me or hate me. You see, when you stand and walk in your truth and have nothing to lose, there is no fear in speaking your truth. 

Whilst the saying Blood Is This Than Water is technically true, this thickness can distort your vision and make it hard to see things for what they truly are. We have all experienced a family bond and love from people who are not related to us but we still refer to them as family. I have personally experienced love and closeness from people who are not my blood family. I have moments when I wish I was closer to my family, but everything happens for a reason and maybe this is to make me stronger.

If you are experiencing anything like this, I encourage you to sit with your feelings and find a way to get your feelings out. If that is writing it down and burning it or confiding in someone you trust or telling the person(s) how you feel directly. Unfortunately, more often than not, the family we choose is the one that provides the comfort, love and support. Setting boundaries and making peace is also important, however, please note that it takes time to reach a level where you are truly unbothered, and unfortunately I have not reached this point yet. 

No matter how painful, how lonely it can be, sometimes you have to distance yourself for your own sanity.

This entire situation has left some open scars and has made me realise that I am damaged, but I am not broken, and I will be damned if I let people who do not care about me break me.

Damaged, but not destroyed and I am okay with that, as I know what I have overcome to get me this far, this is another hurdle, not a barrier as I will get over this too. 

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