*Get ready for the super cringe photos of me when I was younger.*
Family has always been such an awkward topic for me purely because I am so family orientated but didn’t speak to half of my family until about a month ago. A lot of shit happened between my family which led to my family cutting out other members. I was quite young at the time but knew what others was saying was wrong. Little comments here and there, they were wrong so I (along with my parents and brothers) cut these people out.
I hadn’t been in contact with them for nine years – grandparents, aunties/uncles and cousins. I missed out on nine years worth of their life because of some things I didn’t agree with. At the time it was right for me – if someone makes you feel like shit. not worthy enough of belittles you; drop them! It doesn’t matter if they’re family or not, cut them out because you don’t need negativity in your life. This is exactly what my family done. We felt constantly belittled and like we had to prove something and in the end we said enough is enough. It was sad because who wants to get to that point in their life? It was sad because no one made an effort to keep in contact or vice versa. In total honesty, our problem wasn’t with everyone. We only wanted to cut a couple of people out, not the whole family.
When I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, a lot of my childhood was brought up in various sessions. These sessions led me to realise my unhealthy behaviours of having to be perfect and do everything right stems from being told or feeling like I wasn’t good enough. I cannot blame the family members, as they may not have realised but they took a large part of my childhood away from me. I mourned and am still mourning the lose of my childhood, I had to grow up way quicker than most children. I’m resentful of that and it’s ok to be resentful but it wasn’t ok for me to hold onto that. Through various sessions I realised I needed to take hold of the past, acknowledge it and do something with that information… so I did.
It took me a couple of years to pluck up the courage but I went to go see these family members. They were such a huge part of my life and suddenly I cut them out, we had no contact and I had no idea of what was happening with them and vice versa. At first it was awkward, what was I meant to say? I’m sorry but you had a part to play in destroying my childhood and I can never get that back? I’m fucked up because of things that you said when I was young about my family and me? No, I couldn’t. I went in with an open mind and just for a catch up. I needed peace and some closure from those nine years of my life. I did just that and I have never felt more at ease for it. My parents and brothers still refuse to see them but that’s ok because it was my choice that I made and they have their own choices to make.
I regret the fact that I have missed out of nine years of cousins, aunties/uncles and grandparents lives. I missed big wedding anniversaries, a few funerals and most of all my family. I am so family orientated to loosing that aspect nearly killed me. I envied everyone who had close relationships with their grandparents etc because I wanted that. It’s ok though, because I acknowledged that and am actively looking forward to relearning about my family and making new, positive memories that outweigh the old ones. I may have missed nine years of everyone’s lives but I have a whole lifetime to make new ones. I have new memories to make of family days out, my eldest cousin getting married, getting to hug everyone and saying that I love you to them.
If family make you feel like shit, let them go. Accept it and move on. If, like me, you can’t then maybe it’s worth giving the relationship another go. I did and I can honestly say it’s helped me in my recovery a lot more than any therapy sessions.
My inbox is always open if anyone ever wants a chat, I’m here day or night. Sorry this got a bit heavy but I hope you guys enjoy it.
Lots of love,