With the constant changes in my life, I have found myself thinking about family. It is amazing how times of change and stress can connect you to family members. I know many times I have felt the need to speak to family when things are not going well. However, sometimes we find ourselves pulling way from family because of issues. Let’s face it, no one knows us better than family and they can be our biggest critics as well as our biggest fans.
Of course I could talk all day about how good family can be but, it becomes hard to do that because I am not really sure what a normal family is. I know what I have seen on TV. I know that the Cosby Show and Family Matters are not real to me. Harmony is something my family has never had. However, we still manage to remain close to certain family members.
I come from a pretty big extended family that is on my mother’s side. My father’s side of the family is not as big. When I take a step back and I look at both sides, I realize how jacked up both families are. I am not sure that I have heard of a more dysfunctional family than the two I belong to. I wont get into specifics but lets just say that I simply do not communicate with many family members and much of that is due to circumstances beyond my control.
There are so many things that I have heard and witnessed when I was a kid that simply make me shake my head. But, because I was so young when much of the issues happened, they do not really effect me as an adult. I just look around as the different family members squabble and complain over things that don’t really matter in the end. As an adult, and not to mention the youngest in both families outside of small children, there is this sense that I am still a kid in all this. Perhaps I do not understand the issues that everyone else seems to be fighting over. Oh how wrong they are!
I will say that I love my family. I have a some unique individuals, most who are women, that I call cousins. Despite the issues, I have felt so very grateful to connect with them through Facebook. I once considered myself the black sheep of the families. On my mother side, I was my father’s kid. The one who told my mother that I would rather live with the man that (allegedly) destroyed their marriage. He brain washed me and I was never going to amount to anything. One my father’s side. I was simply…black. Sure, I was a cute flaco kid. My cousins would take places, but I simply did not feel as if I fit. Hence my need to be an individual, yet always having abandonment issues because I felt like the nomad relative.
One thing is for sure, what I have learned from family, is Gossip! I mean, wow. I could tell you a million stories of my entire family and none of which I saw or heard personally. However, one thing that never seems to considered how stories get twisted and the object of concern always gets hurt, but hey…it is family! What I want to see is a family show about real jacked up issues. It can still be a comedy, you just have the add some Budweiser and some Sofrito.
I do smile when I think about my issues with women considering that I have so many female cousins. When I do move back to NYC, I plan on connecting with them. See, I do not consider myself the black sheep anymore, but more like the prodigal son…(or cousin)
One thought on “Family Matters…and not the show…”
Don't worry about what is normal. There is no “normal” when it comes to family. An old friend told me once that when you look in a thesaurus for the word “family” it should say “dysfunction” as a synonym! We all have that in our pasts.
I've always said that family is family is family. Regardless of the crap they put us through and regardless of all the times we felt like we didn't fit in, in the end, our family is there for us and we turn to them. We're there for our family members when they need us. I think that this is probably moreso in Latino families. That's just the way we are.
Familia is what counts!