In Writing 101, we were challenged with looking to a map for inspiration. I thought about this for a little bit, gathered my thoughts on the stack of road maps located in our bookshelf, flipped through the travel books that were handed down to us from a family member and nothing I saw or touched, struck my inspiration nerve. Challenge accepted and fought hard….
I am now sitting on my bed, laptop open, Netflix running in the background and again I was hit with the thought of the Writing 101 task. I have taken quite the road to get where I am. A map of sorts, through life. I’ve written before about my short existence in the prison system, my ongoing battle with anxiety, a few short blips of growing up, but I have not talked much about my family. I had to have come from somewhere right?
Well, here goes…
I AM the black sheep of my family. The different one. The rule breaker. The oddball at Holiday gatherings.
Ever since my teen years, I have had a very strange relationship with my family. Until my 15-16 birthday, my Mother and I were best friends. We could talk about almost anything from sex, boys to clothes and whatever else. I didn’t hide things from my Mother, until I figured out I had more fun keeping secrets and hiding things from her. I was never Daddies little girl. He was always the passive one in the family, and kind of sat in the bleachers while my Mom did most of the parenting. My brother and I probably had the most normal relationship out of everyone. We bickered and fought like normal siblings. We took each others things and hung out like friends.
Everything pretty much changed, after the separation from my ex husband, I moved back in with them, and continued to go on with my life. That’s when I met the abusive boyfriend that ultimately landed me in jail. And the relationship with my family started to diminish.
My Mother is and always has been the one to get her way. If it isn’t her way, its no way. So the “I told you so’s and listen to your Mother” stuff started in, alongside the guilt trips, manipulation and head games. Yes my mother can put up quite the front on her “good person” personality, but deep down she is self centered and disrespectful. She also has depression and anxiety. Its in my genes, and she is the root to a lot of my issues mentally because of the manipulation. Maybe its her version of tough love, in that caseI may be screwed. My poor Dad, has stuck around all these years, living with it even closer than I ever have. Not having a real marriage, and not much of a relationship to look up to and respect. My brother, has his own family, works non-stop and we struggle to connect on a brother sister level and seems our conversations are more like background chatter.
I have kept my distance, more so in the past few years, because the negativity is something I don’t need. I cause enough of it to myself. And that leads back to me being the Black Sheep of the family. I am not included in many family outings. I am not informed of big news. I didn’t meet my Niece until she was about 18 months old. My Mom pretty much ignores me, and I doubt even reads this blog. My Dad, works all day and than keeps to himself in the basement. My anxiety prevents me from reaching out because I’m terrified of the vulnerability, and in the back of my mind, I fear all I will get are lectures and speeches about how I can be a better daughter, in the most spiteful ways.
It does break my heart, that I don’t have that strong family bond that a lot of people have. I wish I had a place to go and feel at home when things get rough. I wish that I could call my Mom and have a stupid conversation about shoes and getting old. I wish my Dad and I could go on Father Daughter dates and talk about Hunting and Fishing and Sci-Fi movies. I wish that my brother and I could get our kids together and BBQ and talk about what they are doing in school and how we never thought we would be parents from the kids we were growing up. But none of this happens, because we are not a normal family. The times we do get together, we always end up talking about the problems, and issues. The past gets brought up and feelings are always hurt.
I may sound like a terrible person for not being a part of my family. For not being the bigger person and for saying some of the things I have said. But, I refuse to allow that negativity in my life. Maybe someday we can repair things and become close, but for now, I believe everyone is comfortable with the situation and we are doing okay.