There is a large family gathering this weekend that I was unable to attend down south. My little sister was able to go, and it's nice to hear from her all the time she is getting with our family.
Except...it's not at the same time.
I used to have the life that she currently does. I got along great with my father's family...and I felt like the golden child. Poofy dresses, adoring grandmother...I could do no wrong. And then it all changed.
I distanced myself from my father for my own good. I slowly had to cut people out because I couldn't stand the criticism anymore. Trying to live up to someone's standards and failing miserably is an extremely tiring game to play.
And now my sister is one of the golden children. She gets the good grades, she's beautiful, and she's a really sweet kid. But I worry that one day she will get cut out like I did. Sure...there is definitely some jealousy involved...because I do miss being so adored. But more so I'm scared for her. Scared that she will do something or say something that will irritate the wrong person...and get her thrown into the downward spiral that I got thrown into.
It hurts...and it's confusing.
I have had an ongoing argument with myself for the last few months over who to invite to the wedding and who not to. I want my family there, I want to try and extend this olive branch for the 4 millionth time. But I'm also afraid that it will get snapped in half...again. I'm afraid of letting down my guard. And I'm afraid of letting go how much some people have hurt me.
I'm not afraid to say it. I want a sincere apology. I want certain people to feel horribly for how I've been treated. But that's something I know I will never get. I'm not sure I can be the bigger person and accept that.
I could sit here and speak only negativity regarding the whole situation (like I have so far)...but I won't. Yes...I am the "black sheep" of the family. I'm the kid that messed up over and over again. The kid who dropped out of college for a failing marriage. The kid who cut people out of her life unapologetically instead of "respecting" elders who treated her horribly. I'm the kid who spoke out against horrible things going on in her life instead sweeping it under the rug and ignoring it like our prestigious little family was supposed to do.
But I love who I am and why I've made the choices I have. I've learned who people really are. I made mistakes, and learned how to fix them. I made horrible choices...and paid for them. I continuously broke down, figured out how to build myself up, just to fall apart all over again. I speak out against the disaster that was my life in an abusive home.
I'm content with where I am. I have one family that couldn't be better to me. They have never judged, they have loved unconditionally, and they have listened to me when I needed a safe place. I have an amazing family that I'm building at home. A loving man, a beautiful step daughter, the perfect home...and a crazy life.
And yet there is still a hole where other family members sit that I can't seem to figure out. I don't know whether to patch it up...or try to refill it with relationships that have been nothing but toxic up until this point.
At what point does family stop being considered family...and at what point do you just stop trying?