Looking for Family

When I was younger I desperately wanted a family. At the time I was not particularly close to any member of my birth family. Because of this I would try to meld with others into their family, I felt like the proverbial cuckoo’s egg. I was trying to plant myself in to a family. Doing this is basically how I survived a large portion of my childhood. I would find a friend that would let me be a part of their family in a small way. Even if it was only in my imagination, I created family.

When I was twenty-one I moved from San Antonio to Massachusetts to be near other parts of my birth family. By that time the need for family had become so great inside of me. I just wanted to have family and here were actual blood relatives. At the time the need that I projected was so great that I am surprised that they did not just turn and run away. My need to feel nurtured or to nurture was so huge that I did not even recognize it. As time past I felt as though I was isolating myself from them in many ways. I felt that I was intruding into their lives. Or I would feel as though I was taking advantage of their generosity. As I saw the need in me I tried to be casual. I also felt their withdrawal from me as I withdrew. In some ways I was the unknown interloper trying to impose myself on them and their family. I did not grow up around them and I did not really know them. I had grown up thinking about them. And was jealous of their closeness to each other. And here I was an outsider trying to get into their inner circle.

As I gained more knowledge of myself and who I wanted to become I found that I did not quite fit in with some of the family that had welcomed me. Or this was my belief. Whether or not this was true it was what I believed.

I moved on and away from family at some point. I stopped trying to become one with them and stopped trying to find what I was missing. In time I found the man that would become my husband. Together we created our own family. A large, loud, and beautiful family. That I have been very honored to be with as they grow into adulthood. They have given me an immeasurable sense of being a part of something truly amazing.

I often look back with regret on the family that I seemingly scarred off. I don’t think it was all me. I don’t think that it was anyone’s fault or anything like that. I just regret that the only contact I have with most of my family is on facebook. I am just glad that the deep need that I had,from the time I was very little to be a part of a loving family, has finally been realized.

I have often wondered if others who have come from abusive homes have similar experiences of looking for family. I have a very big family now. I am close to my sister that I grew up with and I have created an extensive family of friends who function as family. My choice family rather than a birth family. There are many members of my birth family or extended family in my choice family. For which I am very grateful. I guess where I am going with this is that family is what you have. Even if what you have is family that you brought together and not one you were born into. If home is where your heart is than so is family.

When your brain throws up

There are those moments when I am minding my own business. Not really thinking about anything. Maybe having a conversation in my head on the rationalization of why I should have that piece of cake. And then, BOOM, I just say something. It doesn’t make any sense and has nothing to do with anything. It is just a random thing.

People look at you asking what you said. Now you have to say “nothing.” And try to figure out how to not be embarrassed by your brain throwing random things out into the world. That happens to me, not a lot, but frequently enough to have a term attached to it. If I am with family I just say sorry, “My brain threw up.” And they understand. I know I am not the only one who does this because I have casually asked around. And other people do this also.

I am also an introvert. I feel good talking to one or two people. But more than one or two and I am totally lost. That and having a conversation with me sometimes is like warming up your car on a cold day. I very seldom can just start right up in an intelligent conversation.  I feel like I say stupid things and come off looking like an idiot. I have been told that, “No you do not sound like an idiot.” But it feels that way. I have zero trouble speaking in front of a crowd. But conversation is a bit tricky.

I think that is why my brain throws up. It secretly, unbeknownst to me, wants to engage people. Or at least more than I do. And so, thinking that this would be a good conversation started has my mouth open and the words “blue car” just pop right out there. I have never successfully started a conversation that way. I have received strange looks though.

Ever have one of those daydreams that you are being interviewed by someone? I do. But mostly I think I do it just in case. That way if for any reason I have to talk to someone in that way I will not look like my brain went into reverse and I say the absolute wrong thing. Besides practice makes perfect. 

Happy New Year!