Thursday, November 27, 2008

Family!!?? What is that?!!

Family, what is that? Is it a joke? Is it a convenient system for people to lay claim on others to use as personal punching bags? Is it a thing? Noun? What??? I am so confused. I have had to ask this question many times in the course of my adult life. To the extent that I have, I find it unfair that I have been dealt the hand I have. What do I do about it? However, through it all, I feel that I have overcome every obstacle with as much grace and dignity as I can. Some of these times have been more graceful than others, but regardless of the circumstances, I always seem to forgive, forget and move on ... leaving me scarred, but just as emotionally vulnerable as the last time, learning from these lessons, but never really LEARNING. How does one find balance? The need to find the balance to be part of a family while also guarding oneself from the vulnerability of being part of that family.

For the past 21 years, I have been in search of a family. I have been in search of a family to belong to, for someone to believe I am special and just accept me for who I am, not what I can do for them. And yet, in all of my searching, I have never been able to find this place, to fill this void. Why is it so hard to find, even one person to fulfill this need? I have learned this need about myself in many difficult ways. I have tried to figure out why I need it, where did this void begin, why I can't fill the void or why I can't change or protect myself ... turn this need off?

Personally, I HAVE to believe it is either a sick and cruel joke God is playing on me to teach me something, or it is really, truly the way people behave. My only problem is, in all of life's travels I have met many, many people, seen many, many families, NONE of them have had this kind of baggage, none of them have treated their families like this, so completely and consistently. It blows my mind. And so, I am left to believe I really am the horrible person people, who are supposed to be family, say that I am.

This realization leads me back to the original question. What is family? What is the purpose? How can I believe families are supposed to be together forever when this is what I get? How do I maintain the primary/preschool fantasy that I love my family and would love the opportunity to be with them in the hereafter? My husband's answer is, "I am your family." My reply is, "I know! But how do I learn to REALLY KNOW?" How do I separate the need I have been seeking to fill all these years from parental figures and the like to a new entity I am creating with my husband and children?

In short, I have no answer to this question. It is a question that continues to plague me. I am unable to cut myself off from these people and so, I am left with not answering the question, but asking a new one: Now what?

2 comments:

Dan and Sharane said...

First, I want to say that you AMAZE me! The way you have transformed your home so quickly, the way you take everything that life throws at you and find a way to make it work!
I wish I had answers for you when it comes to your family, but all I can say is that our Father in Heaven will not give you more than you can bear, though it may seem the contrary at times. There is purpose in our lives and in the circumstances we are each given.
Our choice is what we do with what we are given! Hang in there! Call me anytime, I love talking to you and I am happy to just listen if that's what you need!

Love you!

-Sharane :)

Swenson Family said...

Hey Sheila- I second what Sharane said. Hang in there and call me when you need someone to talk to, or someone uninvolved to vent to. :) That was incredible about Dylan's reading story. Craziness- that is awesome that you are homeschooling him. Good luck!