I have a small family. I have a large extended family. I have a spiritual family. I have an online family. 🙂
I am not currently engaging with anyone in my family(ies), except I am always engaging with my online family, both here and on Facebook. My small family consists of myself and two brothers. One has distanced himself so far away that I never hear or see him (except for my mother’s funeral). He does not call or send greeting cards for any occasion. My other brother lives far away and I don’t get to see him often. He is the youngest and, like myself, has many talents. If I would have to name my closest family, it’s the family I have with him and his wife.
I have no sisters, and I am the oldest in the family. All of us scattered far away from the place we called home, but was just a house with five people living inside. ‘Home’ was a tiny town in Upstate New York. Now the oldest brother lives in Sanders KY, the youngest in Whitesboro TX, and I reside in Racine, WI. We all are spread far from home, and each other.
If I were to ask myself why this might have happened, the answers are difficult to actually form as words on the computer screen. All three of us were emotionally and physically abused by my mother, and I also lived with sexual abuse from my father. Maybe if we lived closer together, it would trigger some of those old memories that are buried deep inside each of us. I’m sure that our perspectives were all different, as we all remember things in different ways. But I know that we all have some memories that will always haunt us, whether we are able to voice them or not. Don’t get me wrong, I love my brothers and sister-in-law very much and that will never change.
There is one other person that I would have to add as family. He was my mother’s boyfriend after my father died, and before she died of cancer. He is like a dad to me, a real dad who loves me, cares about what and how I’m doing, and shows this often. The only problem is that he lives back in New York, and I don’t see him very often, and his phone calls are sporadic, as he is always busy traveling around the country, or bowling, or any of a number of things. He is my ‘Dad’.
So, I live a solitary life, occasionally interacting with some of my neighbors, but not often. It’s just myself and my cat. She is good company but doesn’t compare to live human beings. I do not feel loved, or needed, or even cared about, at times.
I continue on, often in the throes of depression, but I kicked the alcohol 17 years ago. I kicked the cigarettes almost nine years ago. But I still do not take care of myself. They ask me every time they see me if I have eaten, how often do I eat, and what do I eat when I do eat. I do not exercise, except when I’m competing in sports that are adapted for wheelchair users. I forget to take medications all the time. They don’t work well if I don’t take them.
Sometimes I just want to give up. Being alone is a hard, but a safe way for me to live. I have at times given up and the results were never good. So I keep on going, family or no family.