Family. Why isn’t this a phase??
My family, on all sides, has always preached that family is one of the most important things in life. ….. But now that I live closer to most of them, none of them really talk to me, and never for great length. Part of that might be me, I’m not big on calling people, but the phone goes two ways. My family errs on the side of slightly toxic, all four sides are part of the abuse cycle. Most of the adults of my mother’s generation are not abusive, but my grandparents are a different story. So, I tend to enjoy the radio silence, the occasional birthday/Christmas card, until, heaven forbid, there are family get-togethers.
The example my brain is replaying is my birthday last year. I had made plans with my sisters to go to the beach on my birthday two months before, and I was so excited to go! I love the beach! I wanted to drink and eat with my sisters and have a fantabulous time! Then a few days before that weekend, my uncle txts me, asking if I was going to my cousin’s graduation party on the same day as my beach day. When I finally got all the information about the party, I informed my uncle I had other plans that day. He essentially told me ‘what is more important than spending time with [my] family?’ I informed him that I was spending time with my family, and I had been looking forward to my beach plans for weeks. But the way he was going on, at least from my perception, my sisters didn’t count since they aren’t a part of that side of my family. As many times as my sisters have fought for me and defended me, I expect them to be acknowledged as my family. Maybe I’m just mad that they aren’t acknowledged by the paternal side of my family either.
It really pissed me off that he expected me to drop all my plans, like I was just some kid with no obligations, just because there was a family gathering! One that I was never aware of until he started yelling at me about it. Am I really expected to Neville Longbottom my way into adulthood to these people?? Does this just happen to me or do other 25 year olds have to do this, too?? Is this just a phase??
This is in part a reaction to reading a friend’s moving post about her own toxic family, but at what point is it okay for family to tell me who my family is?? I don’t have time for other people to tell me how I’m supposed to love, my heart has his own opinion. I do not require my family’s opinion on my life, maybe I have exited the family phase and they didn’t get the memo. But I’m making my own family, and most of these amazing folks are not blood related.