Two weeks ago, I recorded part of a documentary about clean water with Karen Erbach of Schiller Street Media. Karen and her partner, Patrick, both complimented me several times, and told me I should be doing a video blog (a “vlog”) within my blog, because I have a “presence”.
I hate looking at myself in video! Maybe I’ll try it someday. But not today.
I’ve always laughed when I tell people that my family puts the “fun” in “dysfunctional”.
When speaking of my family here, I am talking of my parents; my sister who is the oldest – 14 years older than I; four brothers; and myself.
My sister, Keni, having 38+ years of nursing and oncology experience, helped me greatly through my Stage 4 diagnosis, helped with cooking, laundry, taking me to the doctor, sitting with me when I was sick. Sometimes her care went overboard, since I’m stubborn, but I am thankful and grateful for the time that she spent caring for me.
We didn’t always have a good relationship. For twenty-two years, since 1993, when her husband was charged and sentenced of the sexual abuse of myself and two of my brothers, we didn’t speak.
We didn’t speak because she was told, by another family member, that me seeing her and her boys would cause me to feel bad, feel guilty, have bad memories restored. This was completely untrue.
Now, we have a relationship again. Little One and Baby Girl didn’t even know I had a sister until 2006 when Little One was ten, and Baby Girl was seven.
Little One and Baby Girl saw this lady at a family funeral, and Little One says “that lady looks just like you, Mom”. I told her that was because she was my sister. “But you don’t have a sister.” Yes, yes I do.
My Heart Hurts
My heart hurts because I lost one of my family members. He didn’t pass away, he made a decision, and his decision was to completely shut me out of his life.
Just because someone shares some DNA with you, they get to take your stuff? Call you names? Demean you? No way!”
-Dr. Phil McGraw
We were the best of friends. We had a connection. He told many people that I was the only one who understood him, who “got” him.
They have stolen things from me.
Materialistic “things” that will never be recovered, but they are just “things”. These things were sold, and the money from the sales were not given to me. Stolen.
My time was stolen when I was used for my legal knowledge, as well as my knowledge for creating new websites.
I was recovering from pneumocytis and my MAC diagnosis when the “demands” for this time were made. There was no sympathy or empathy for what I was dealing with, just “when can you get this set up?”
My money was stolen – our money since the hubs is the working man in our family – when again my legal knowledge and website knowledge was used. And don’t ever mention the words “Heritage Lace” to me in my lifetime.
Some family members build us up, and some break us down. And most importantly the harsh truth is that – some of your family members, no matter how much you love them, care for them, and feel attached to them, are merely toxic for you and you are better without their presence in your life.
Repeatedly being hurt by someone in my family means I am well within my right to protect myself. Family members are the ones who know us best – and they also know what will hurt us the most.
By cutting the cord with these toxic, unloving, pessimistic, narcissistic people – members of my family – I have started to feel better. But it still hurts my heart.
Even if they are my family members, I have to guard my heart from those that would do harm.
I’ll be driving into town to run errands or go to a doctor appointment, and my thoughts will travel back to those toxic relationships. My nose gets stuffy, and tears will run down my face. I ask myself, “what did I do wrong?”, “why don’t they like me?”, then remind myself that it wasn’t my choice, but the choices of others that led to this consequence.
Toxic relationships, even with family members, could exhaust you emotionally, and worsen your mental health.
I have felt that emotional exhaustion. It is indescribable, other than using the word exhausting.
I have been on an anti-depressant since my diagnosis, though it was used specifically for the hot flashes that I was having from going through chemical and medical menopause before my due time.
Recently, I talked to my doctor about increasing the dosage, as the hot flashes are well under control, but I haven’t been “me” for a while now. The specific time frame would be about a year ago when I was ostracized from those family members.
I also have a hard time with the winter months, the gray and cloudy days. So I am being proactive by increasing that dosage.
I’m not afraid to talk about it. I recently found out that depression runs in my family. But it’s never been verbally acknowledged or talked about. Which is sad. Why do there have to be so many secrets, when the information can only help others?
Life is too short to let others, no matter what their role in your life is, destroy it.
The Family of the Hubs
What a beautiful, loving, non-judgmental family I have married into!
Little One, Baby Girl, and myself were greeted with hugs, immediate friendship, and love when we met the family that first Christmas together in 2011.
Through the years, these family members have become even better friends.
They celebrate our accomplishments, they love us all unconditionally, they are empathetic when we are sad, they are helpful when help is needed.
I am what I am. I may not be perfect and I make mistakes. But when I care, I care with all my heart. And when I love, I love unconditionally.