Growing up, family loyalty wasn’t something that was mentioned. At least that I can recall. I was taught that respect was earned, not given. And yet, I was constantly in trouble for not respecting the very man that uttered those words often. He didn’t earn my respect, so I failed to see the reasoning behind acting like he got it. I was taught many things when I was younger, many of which I still struggle with to this day.
I watch a lot of reality television. Not the romance crap, either. More power to you, if that’s your thing. I mean things like 600lb Life, a lot of true crime, Family by the Ton, and Hoaders: Buried Alive. It’s been therapeutic in many ways for me. While I await my own actual therapy to start, that is.
A constant theme in many of the shows is working through things with family, and that family is very important. They talk about repairing relationships, forgiveness, and the like. “You can never heal until you forgive.” Is one thing that I’ve heard. I’ve never forgiven the man who ruined my life, and my mind. Why should I? People would say it’s for my own peace of mind, but that wouldn’t give me any peace of mind. Not even close. It would give me peace of mind to be told he died, or is unable to hurt anyone else. Nothing shy of that will give me ‘closer’ or whatever the fuck people talk about.
I’m not close to many family members. I can likely count on one hand those that I speak to. I don’t have contact with any of my father’s side of the family, or my father himself. I don’t keep in touh with many from my mother’s side, either. I’ve never had a mother daughter relationship like many you see on tv. I’m not close to either of my brothers. One I haven’t spoken to in 12 years. And it gives me no pause. There’s no desire to suddenly reach out to him. There’s no want to establish something of a sibling relationship with him, either.
I don’t do emotions well. At all. I don’t know how to allow myself to be vulnerable. Being vulnerable leads to more pain in my mind. While I’ve gone through enough pain in life, I have no desire to endure more. Yet, even keeping walls up, I allow myself to be hurt.
The thought of opening up like I see people do on these reality shows fascinates me. I think of discussing something difficult and I will tear up, become anxious, and shut down. I avoid it at all costs. I don’t know how to deal with my emotions. I don’t know how to work through things like most people. I wasn’t taught how, and therefor, I am like a child at times.
In many ways, my two young children are more emotional mature than me at times. I encourage them to express themselves, and to use their words. I am hoping to give them a better outlook in their lives than I have for mine.
How do people change their actions, and thoughts after 30+ years? How do people overcome their own anxiety? Because it baffles me. There’s so much I want to do, but I can’t even bring myself to talk about something as important as my emotions? When I can’t even have a normal family relationship?
I won’t lie and say I’m not envious of those that are close to their parents and siblings, because having that would be something normal in my warped life.