This is a post in my 31 Days series. Don’t know what that means? Go here!
Day 2 is a Five Minute Friday prompt! (which means it’s a surprise 🙂 ). This week’s FMF prompt is:
I’ve always been on the fence about having a family of my own someday.
I’m 23 years old. I’ve never dated. Never kissed, never flirted with a boy. I always say it’s because I’m uninterested or I don’t want to or want to focus on school, but the truth is:
I’m scared of having a family that will turn out like my own.
Yep. That’s the whole truth about it. I don’t think I’ve ever said this out loud (or in writing).
My family is dysfunctional to say the least. Divorce is just the tip of the iceberg– and that’s just between my mom and dad.
I’ve never had a good example of what a loving, doting family is supposed to look like.
Sure, my grandparents were married for 49 years. But my entire childhood, they lived on separate floors of the house. I don’t think I remember ever seeing them kiss (maybe hug once or twice a year). I remember them arguing and yelling. I don’t remember love and taking care of one another (let alone me).
Sure, my family has taken care of me. Financially, I’ve always been supported. Academically, they’ve always had my back (for the most part). But loving is not the first word I think of when I think of my family.
I think of superficial. I think of gossipy. I think of being misunderstood. I think of personalities clashing, of arguing and fighting, of family members pitting themselves against each other with me in the middle. (Both as a kid and even moreso now as an adult).
I think of me as a sensitive, creative, emotional kid who made up stories of other peoples’ lives cause she wanted to get out of hers.
I don’t want to live like that. I don’t want to marry someone and be afraid to bring them to meet my family- both of what he’ll think of them, and what they’ll think (and say) about him.
END. (but I’m not done, sorry).
I want something better for whatever kind of family I have than what I was given. But I don’t know if- or how- that is possible.
Now. It wasn’t all bad– I had plenty of fun moments and memories of birthday parties, trips to the zoo, shopping sprees and adventures. But they were all marred by hurtful words and feelings of being misunderstood by an extroverted family that loved football and being loud. (I inherited the loud part, not the football part).
It was marred by divorce and living with my grandparents, moving from house to house every weekend. It was marred by a mom who wasn’t stable enough financially to support me, and by a dad who had the means to support, but didn’t know what the heck to do with an overly-emotional overweight daughter (when I’m pretty sure he wanted a son). He was raised by the grandparents that raised me– so he didn’t know how to parent, except through his wallet.
My needs were divided in the middle- she gave me emotional support, he gave me financial– neither of them could (and can currently) do both. I don’t want that for my family, either.
I want to find a guy to spend my life with. I don’t know, though, how I can create a family with one when family isn’t something I really understand to begin with.
*edited to add: I re-read this, I feel like I did a bit of a disservice to my family. Yes, I had plenty of issues growing up.Yes, our family is a bit dysfunctional and doesn’t always get along. But, our family has worked very hard to mend things between us- it can’t fix the hurt of the past, but they have been working to being better in the future. It’s not easy, but I know my family loves me- and we’re working on the rest.
Also, I really did a disservice to my dad’s family. My mom and I have had our fair share of problems– moreso now in adulthood than in childhood. While that doesn’t change the issues I had with my dad’s family, it doesn’t make light of the issues I’ve had with my mom, too. (That’s worth its own post, but i’ll save it for later). Both sides of the family have contributed to my thoughts on this subject– though from what I wrote, I made it feel like dad’s side was the bad guy when that’s not (always) the case. We’re broken and dysfunctional, but we’re working towards being a better family for each other.