For me, family has always been such a mixed bag. Family is so chock full of trauma, deceit, and bad memories that it’s hard for me to take solace in such a word. I’ve had people always come at me with, “Well, blood is thicker than water, so you gotta stand by your family no matter what.” I can’t get with that, my response has always been, “You’d think a bit differently if you went through all the shit my family put me through.”
Being the youngest child, I was always the one who got picked on. I was the punching bag of the family. I was the one who could be blamed for any wrongdoing. I was every so often a bad kid who would lie from time to time, so because of that anytime somebody else did something, I was blamed and I was guilty until proven innocent. Recently, because of some life circumstances and things going on around me, I’m being made to relive some of the trauma I went through and process things I didn’t even realize until now were trauma and abuse. I just always assumed that all people went through these sorts of things and so there was no point in ever talking about it, it was just so quotidian.
Because of all this, I am much closer to friends than I am family. I find it hard to truly honestly get close to people, but when I do it’s something that’s very strong and meaningful. I cannot do that with my family. They’ve never fostered an environment where that was a safe thing to do. Even now I’m stuck with some of the aftereffects of the things they did. Things are beginning to change, I’ve started opening up to my mother more and she’s been really good about it, but all in all, blood is not always thicker than water, and that’s okay.