What makes family?
I have heard the sayings about family.
Blood is thicker than water. Blood doesn’t make family. Family supports family. Family first. Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten. Family is everything. Family is forever.
So on, and so forth.
Definition of family
- 1: a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head : household
- 2a : a group of persons of common ancestry : clan b : a people or group of peoples regarded as deriving from a common stock : race
- 3a : a group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation : fellowship b : the staff of a high official (as the President)
- 4: a group of things related by common characteristics: as a : a closely related series of elements or chemical compounds b : a group of soils with similar chemical and physical properties (as texture, pH, and mineral content) that comprise a category ranking above the series and below the subgroup in soil classification c : a group of related languages descended from a single ancestral language
- 5a : the basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children; also : any of various social units differing from but regarded as equivalent to the traditional family <a single-parent family> b : spouse and children <want to spend more time with my family>
- 6a : a group of related plants or animals forming a category ranking above a genus and below an order and usually comprising several to many generab in livestock breeding (1) : the descendants or line of a particular individual especially of some outstanding female (2) : an identifiable strain within a breed
- 7: a set of curves or surfaces whose equations differ only in parameters
- 8: a unit of a crime syndicate (as the Mafia) operating within a geographical area
What I have learned: Family is comprised of those related by blood and brought together through life that support you, do not put you down, do not manipulate you, forgive you, and are there when times are tough as well as good.
Just because someone is related to you by blood, does not mean they have to be included in your daily life if they are toxic. They may receive more chances, but eventually, the chances stop coming. Family that is acquired by marriage, domestic partnerships, long term relationships do not have to be included if they prove over and over to be toxic. You have to do what is right for you to be healthy physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Sometimes, that right thing to exclude family by blood and family gained through relationships.
Friends are often considered family. The same principles apply to your friends. If you have friends that only appear when they need something but cannot be bothered to help you, they are not good friends, and are not family. If you have friends that lend an ear, a helping hand, but expect you to repay them, they might be friends, but not family. If you have friends that are there for you, unconditionally, they are family. Just make sure you accept them and are not the one being toxic.
If you are the one that is toxic, you may not know it. If people shy away from expressing their opinions to you, you may be toxic. If people are afraid to contradict you, you may be toxic. If people suddenly become absent from your life, and are no longer reaching out, you may have lost all of your chances. If you cut someone off, and they do not try to get you back, you may be toxic, and they may have finally realized this truth, admitted it to themselves.
We are all human. We can all be family, if we are respectful, kind, caring. Please, if you’re finding the relationships you have being strained, falling apart, look inside first. You may need to seek a personal change. You could also just be too forgiving, and may need to step away and find others who will be good to you.
I am moving on.
The one thing I have learned in the past two months, is that I do not burn bridges. I do not lock the doors of my life against others. I am eternally giving people chances. However,
I am not going to plead with people to have them remain in my life. If you shut me out, you have to seek to come back. The bridge may fall in to disrepair, but I will help you strengthening it if you wish to return.
I have had some family, blood and by marriage be by my side this past two months. I have had amazing friends that I will forever consider family be there to talk with me, and hang out so I was not alone. I have had more realization recently of who values me, and who does not.
Dear Family and Friends,
First, my thanks to those that have supported me in my time of need. Even in these trying times, I am still offering support to others. It is has been a long two months, and the journey is still very new. Please know that I am always around to at least talk if you need me.
Second, I understand that some people have turned against me in their grief. I get it. I always knew that there was that possibility. I also understand that some people want an apology. Still not entirely certain what I have to apologize for. Loving my husband? Supporting my husband? Not speaking up if I knew he told an untruth? I was aiming to have a stable home life. If he chose to not always be honest with others, I had hoped he would be honest with me. So, my apologies if you were not happy when you found out about certain untruths he told.
You were not the only one blindsided. Most of what I knew focused on making our finances seem better than they were. Not that it is anyone’s business how we were doing financially, but he made it seem like we were good. He did not want anyone to worry about us. I knew he was doing that. I did not balk at him making it out that we were better off than we were, because we were not promising money or help to anyone and we were getting by. Getting by. I actually had no idea what I would be facing once he passed, as he managed all aspects of our money. I managed the medical as best I could. It was an arrangement that worked for us. Now, I am wading through a small amount of chaos and figuring it out as I go.
Guess what. There were quite a few things he was not honest with me about either. Some I did not know until someone pointed them out. Some I have been finding out slowly. So, I am forgiving him as I go. I am smart enough and strong enough to make it through this. If you are holding me accountable for every untruth he ever told, I cannot help you. I loved him. I focused solely on loving him while we were together. That was all that mattered. I know that I was honest with him, and I was only accountable for my actions and words.
Third, the bridges are not burned. Anyone who cut me off is welcome to come back in to my life. I am not coming to you though. I will not rebuff contact unless you are nasty, petty, manipulative, or behaving in a toxic manner. If you are blood family, I welcome you. If you are family by marriage, I welcome you. If you are friend, I welcome you.
If you, for some reason, considered me family but no longer do and we have no blood ties, but still want me in your life, I can be friend. I leave that choice up to you. I am moving on though. My grief process is still ongoing, and I don’t doubt it will be for years. I do not expect people to read this and jump at the chance to stay in my life. Those bridges are not going anyway. If you ever decide you want me in your life, they will be there. I know that for some grief if the key reason behind your actions. Grieve. Get through your own process then see where you are at.
Remembering everyone in thought and prayer. Love to all.