Families are awesome... Awe-Some...times. Families are crazy and fun and difficult. Managed with love, patience and respect, a big family can be possible and enjoyable. And a pleasure to have.
I am a mom. Nothing scares me more than the thoughts of losing my kids. No matter how, just the thought of it makes me sick. Thinking about the day they decide to fly away on their own, I feel physical pain. That's because I love them. So much.
Is a completely understandable feeling coming from a dedicated mom or dad. At some extension, is even expectable. There's no love like the one your family is willing to give. Families are wonderful unions and a big extension of us. The more a family grows, the merrier. That's how we all think is going to be before coming face to face with their rejections, oppositions and abuses.
Despite my fears and worries for the day my kids are old enough to leave my nest empty, I am looking forward to see our little family growing. When I think of those Christmas days when my kids will be away from me, sharing on their own homes or with their in-laws, I try to imagine the times they will indeed share with me. What if we could all have a great Christmas together? I wouldn't mind sharing Christmas with my kids' in-laws, and their dad- my ex-husband, as long as I can hug my kids and help them fix the Christmas dinner and see the grandkids shredding the wrapping of Christmas presents.
That's the ideal I see for my future. Everyday I try to be a supporting mom for my kids. I am not their friend. I am very aware of it. I don't plan to be. They know it as well. I try to be cool, yet always in control of their education and always checking their behavior. I try to be nice and understanding, without losing their respect. I always try to act towards what's best for us as family, and what they should aspire to have in the future. I instill in my kids the sense of possessing their own family. We can have misunderstandings but at the end of the day, we are always at peace. We try hard to reach a happy medium, to be as pleased as possible. That's a parent's job. To always work on that relationship with their kids, no matter how old they are. To always prove -not just say- that no matter what, you will always be supporting them. Till your last breath.
But as every family, we've seen our big share of family disappointments. Wanting a big happy family isn't always possible. There's always rivalries between siblings -the knows-it-all vs. the innocent; the selfish vs. the fair, the mega lazy vs. the hardworking. Even parents, supporting the unfair side of their offspring, keep feeding that ego of one of their adult kids, because inside they feel so much pity for them.
You know, when things like this happens, is really heartbreaking to say goodbye for good to family. We are always thinking of the perfect picture with everybody having fun together. Sadly, that's not always possible.
One or more family members are always disappointed by one of the member's efforts. Always in discord because they feel superior for whatever reason, either it be for education, religion, money. You name it, families hate each other for it. There's always one little person who loves to create scandal just to get enough attention. There's always one nasty sibling who criticizes and gives their opinions about your life, but doesn't have the tolerance to resist you doing the same. Some of those people know no limit when they want to end triumphant, no matter how wrong they are. They can sell their soul to Satan and still they call themselves children of God. There's no limit to their lies, wrongful acts, their evilness.
As adults, we sometimes see ourselves forced to leave those people behind. Not because of pleasure. Not because we are selfish. But because we need to breathe. We need to live. We urgently need to free our necks from that rope, choking us. Painful? Yes. Very.
Hurtful. Of course. But also necessary. We have the right to protect the emotional and physical health of our family. We have the right to be respected.
Family is family, some will try to justify. But for huge and nice, small or bad, there's a difference. The nuclear and the extended family. The nuclear family is formed by the wife, the husband and the kids. The extended family are the grandparents, their siblings... all those people who doesn't actually live in your home but still share blood ties.
Some of you will say: my son was part of my nuclear family, until that woman took him away from me. My daughter was MY nuclear family till she fell in love with that guy.
Let me tell you, that was something to expect. If you didn't see that coming, pardon me, you were living in denial for so long. What were you rising? Nuns and priests? Those are the only known to swear chastity. It's even biblical! "For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother, and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh". -Genesis 2:24.
Probably you remember saying that to your own parents when you decided to get married. Probably other members of your family live by that principle, justifying their family, despite been against you doing your own. Some parents forget this thing applies to everyone equally. Some parents even forget they never got married or they are divorced, (Selective memory) and judge you for choosing your own lifestyle.
If your son/daughter finally decided to leave your nest and join his life to a partner they chose, is nothing but your job to support their decisions. Opposing, judging their ways, trying to compete against a person who only wants to love you as another mom or dad, is the final step to see your kids leaving with no coming back. Parents are in no position to oppose, unless your kid's well-being is at risk.
HOW TO DISCOVER A TOXIC FAMILY MEMBER
A toxic family or family member will have a very peculiar way of interacting, in fact, its passive aggressive dynamic will be very hard to recognize most of the times. This person or persons will try to make you feel rejected, they'll make you the alienated member of the family. They will try and succeed into isolating you from the family interaction, talking wrong about you with everybody around, forcing them to consider if in fact you are all those things. We must not confuse the day to day issues all families face. Is normal to have some struggles and clashes from time to time, that's what been human is about. We are talking of constant, abusive, disrespecting attitudes.
A toxic person will gather your own family, and right in front of you will convince them that you're doing wrong in attempts to alter your decisions. They'll make family reunions were their votes against you were already paid. A person like this will take the liberty to call you or write telling you despicable stuff and then, when you confront them, they will say you misunderstand everything they said.
A real honest family will not necessarily agree with all your decisions, but if they truly love you, they'll respect you and give you the same understanding they expect in return. If you're humiliated, offended, pushed aside, threatened to change your decisions or you'll be expelled from your family, forced to give away what's righteously yours, that's not a respectful family, but a gathering of people trying to take advantage and exploit you.
Most people acts moved by their egos, by jealousy, by frustrations they carry from childhood, by the anger of losing what you do for them. Somewhere in between, the love that was supposed to reign in the family, ended up buried in resentments and things you don't even know happened.
Don't punish yourself if you need to put distance. Is okay if you have to leave disrespectful, toxic people. You are not an evil son or daughter for taking care of yourself. You're not been selfish, hateful, or a sinner because you had enough of people who hurts you intentionally or unintentionally. You're not greedy, ungrateful or cynic. Probably you'll continue to be judged by those who push you to the cliff. You'll be blamed for putting others before your family, for prioritizing your own chosen family.
You deserve to be respected and so your nuclear family. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to laugh with your partner, play with your kids, make memories to tell when you're old. You deserve to live exactly what your parents and siblings lived and try to steal from you. You deserve to have a family that cheers you for your achievements and comfort you in your loses.
Setting boundaries with toxic people is the healthiest thing to do. They don't have to like it. They'll probably won't accept it. Because in order to accept it, they need to understand and recognize they are the problem. But they won't accept they are acting wrong. They are never wrong. Maybe you need to put distance between them and you. Maybe that distance is meant to last an eternity. Don't feel afraid. If is not your fault. God is watching. He knows it all. He sees it all. He is the only one who knows every feeling of every heart, every thought of every brain. He's the one to give you peace. He's watching closely, writing down their lies and offenses. That's your victory. The peace to live and breathe freely without been a slave of toxic people's opinions.
Lots of love,