I am lucky that growing up my Mamma taught me that DNA does not make you family. Just because you are related, it doesn’t mean that you have to subject yourself to toxic behavior. She didn’t take her advice. I believe that since she felt such a struggle with her “family,” that she made sure I learned from her mistakes.
We started moving around when I was a young girl. The search for a better life didn’t keep us in one place, but I never felt like I was away from HOME and all that I knew. She made sure of that. When I was with her, I knew nothing could harm me.
If your family of origin is your true FRAMILY, consider yourself lucky. However, please allow that your situation isn’t the case for many others. There is no judgment. If your parents were always on your side, that is amazing. But, putting your beliefs and your experience upon others, not so much.
Sometimes mothers let their children flounder through life without a kind word or a caring thought. Just as fathers can be heartless and distant, don’t even get me started on abuse at the hands of the people who were supposed to love you and keep you safe.
All kinds of trauma can come at the hands of the people you spent your formative years. The idea of FAMILY can be traumatic for a myriad of reasons. It doesn’t make the connection you feel for your loved ones any less valid; it just means that you didn’t have to struggle and fight to find the people that you call home.
So, the next time you feel the need to utter words like “They are your parents, you are supposed to love them no matter what.”
While I agree that family is essential, but it can be your family of choice. Your FRAMILY (FRIENDS and FAMILY) can be friends that have been there for you. Relatives that show you kindness and true love can be a part of your framily as well. Being alone and miserable isn’t how human beings meant to live, filling some void with continued abuse and neglect based solely on genetics.
Whatever term you use – framily, tribe, or your people – know that your choices to step away from any toxic behavior is valid, regardless of your genetic connection.