You know those people who have the most amazing and supportive families, who will be there for them when they fall and always tell them the truth, love them unconditionally and bring a conversation to the table when they have a problem with anything?
Yeah me neither.
I do know where these families live though... and that's in Fantasyland, next to Prince Charming and all the Damsels in distress that don't get the pretty dress or the perfect life until he comes into the picture (You know Princey or if your Meghan... lucky bitch.)
Why are we talking about this?
This wonderful time called the holidays are upon us, and most of us will be forced to share the divided up spaces (if you're like most of America) and spilt our time with many different family members who all wanna talk shit about the other. (What your's doesn't do this? Yes they do. Don't lie.)
Welcome to my living hell aka life. (The hell part is a joke, but I do dip into it from time to time. Hi Satan.) Ok its not hell, but it does shall I say Suck from time to time when everyone can't get along. (Unless someone is dying... then a magic wand has been waved and now everyone can be in the same room.)
Now... if you have this type of family and are completely honest about it like me... you are then forced into stereotypes.
Mommy issues, Daddy issues... or better yet Broken Home Syndrome. (I just made that up, I think?)
Hell they raised and feed you and clothed you right? So you have to be grateful for that. And them at your Thanksgiving table, but only until 4 because then you have to get to your "other family"... ugh.
(Let's break that first part down right now. When someone chooses to have a child, clothing, feeding, and keeping their little bodies from not getting killed is part of the deal you signed up for. It has to happen for every single baby born. And because they choose this job (the parents), no one should ever make you feel bad or that you owe anyone anything for just doing the job they asked for... (ya know to be a parent.) But when they spilt up and they don't want to "co-parent" now its all your fault for ever being born. Yeah I wrote that. And everyone owes something for the child.)
Now flip side... whatever you choose to believe... we did not choose you as our family. Or maybe we did, when we were conceived. Which the process probably doesn't show your spirit all the shit they will go through in the future. (It's not like a Christmas Story and all the spirit/ghosts show you the past/present/future of your future family... no you only got to see the now!)
It's like a child being beaten as a kid, or getting leukemia ... they didn't know that shit was gonna happen did they? Sure didn't. Or else they probably wouldn't have picked that make and model to begin with. Just saying.
So what happens when you are an adult who used to be the kid... and you have some issues with your kin?
When I was 8 my parents divorced. (No boo hoo here, they hated each other, never showed each other love, and definitely love to play the game of "who's colder" every single day.) The interesting thing that happened was that this 8 year old was smart. Not know-how-to-invest-all-your-money-smart... just good-ole-old-soul-shit-smart. Yeah that kind.
So here this little pumpkin (me) was, and in a shit storm of drama (it involved everyone in the family not just them), you know the divorce (that now as an adult I can see was just people who were never in control of their own emotions). And I could see from the moment it all started "these fuckers need to grow the fuck up!".
So what did I do. HID!
This is not a joke. I hid. I hid away in my room and I was known for it. I hid in books on lost children and movies about fucked up kids (I was doing research at a young age to see just how fucked up my future looked. The ghost of my Christmas future laid in the books of "Drew Barrymore: Little Girl Lost" and "Go Ask Alice") I hid in school work and a good girl image. I saved both my virginity in sex and drugs for a very long time (still never done hard drugs... I've smoked weed big whoop... and didn't lose my virginity till way later after everyone else. Honestly should have just kept it.) I stayed away from the drama. Cause, well it was exhausting. And it sucked.
Cut too now... the same people I left 8 years ago (my family)... still live in the drama. Well some don't... but those are never the ones you get stuck with. No no. You get the ones who are hurt the most always reaching out to you. And for some odd reason, yelling at you jamming their hurt down your throat.
(Side note: if you are reading this right now and have no family drama... please write a book. Research your family and see what healthy habits have been passed down, and share them with the world!!!)
So what do you do when you are an adult who can now see the unnecessary ways, the old habits of others , trying to rear their ugly head as it comes the time of year where Hallmark has sold us should bring such peace, love, and joy?????
You become a bigger adult.
How? Well I’ll let you know how I do it.
I sometimes keep a photo of my young baby self on my phone as my screen saver...
(This is normally the go to).
Ok let’s face it, that kid is fucking cute! And you look at her, dressed in her leotard and tights, and you might think “who would ever hurt her?” Bam! You got your answer.
Who would hurt a child? Who would take their anger out on a kid? Who would not want to protect a little one away from all the harm they could aka not bring it to them.
Now... you're an adult. But that's still your baby. (Or better yet your body). What are you gonna do to protect your little one in her leotard and tights?
This is when you get to fight the fight you couldn't fight when you were a kid.
Yeah game on fuckers.
But should we be fighting? Wellllllll I can't tell you no, because I have had to fight, a lot, with a lot of people, who don't listen to common sense or regular ass language. Sometimes, the people I know, they need to yell and scream (they’re from New York 🙄) and sometimes now, I yell and scream back. (Not all the time I'm not out of control here... but I have. I was raised by New Yorkers 🙄). I'm not saying its right, but my baby is being threatened, and she can't speak up and say No for herself... so I'll say it for her. Loudly.
What happens when you don't have parents who always parent.. you might just have to parent yourself.
It's sad, I'm sorry, but its true.
At one time or another, I have not spoken to some family, and it sucks.
And from one time or another, I have gotten along better with some family over the other... and the one you aren't getting along with.... it sucks.
And at a few different times, I have fought, loudly, to be heard. To say no more. To stop the non sense. To let them know "I see you"... and to no longer feel like the little girl who has to hid away.
Are you enough to fight for? Yes you are. Are you enough to not be spoken down to? Yes you are. Are you enough to not be someone else's punching bag? Yes you are.
(And dynamics in family change. Parents lose parents and they have an inner baby too that needs love. It then starts a whole new power struggle which is so much fun... NOT! It's exhausting.)
I had an Uncle (Had/Have whatever... you know the one no one normally speaks too) come for a Thanksgiving as my Grandma was getting really Dementia ridden. My Mom thought it would be nice to have the Douche over since he hadn't been in a while and we didn't know how much longer my Grandma had. And I get it (in theory). Well my Brother can't stand the guy and I wasn't going to leave my Mom alone with the D-bag, so I was a part of the 4 for dinner that Thursday.
Right as the table was set, my mom came down with the flu. It hit her hard. The poor thing had made all this food and was now in the bathroom. So here I am at the table with my love (Grandma) and the DBU (Douche Bag Uncle). Alone.
He has his moment, and I knew it. (He was waiting for it. I could smell it in his little side comments from before.) It was now his alone time to be nasty. (He lives for this). And he was. And I had no back up. What's Grandma gonna do now? 5 Years before maybe... but now she kept asking the time. (You know, Dementia.) So then DBU started to tell me how I was supposed to make something out of myself, how I was now a waste of potential, that no one could ever be proud of me as I waste all my time working on things that don't matter. And on and on and on and nothing really nice was said.
After a few minutes of this, I got up to wash the dishes. After I had finished (And made sure my Grandma who can't remember one thing to the next was comfortable and had enough to eat) and put away all the left overs, I looked at him and said "I think you're done here today."
DBU: "No little girl, I'm not going anywhere."
Me: "I'm not a little girl, and my license says I live here. So when I call the cops to tell them to get you out, who do you think will have to leave?"
DBU: "This isn't your house little girl.”
(Again with the little girl! But I saw through it.)
Me: "You're right, my father gave my mother half the money of the old house to buy this house, so get the fuck out of my father's house. Or should I call him too?"
(And I'm not saying this to sound cool, cause does any of this sound cool????, I was calm as anything. I wasn't smirking or yelling... I was done.)
I don't know if he was done or if the mention of me calling my Dad had him... but DBU was out.
And once that door shut... my tears exploded out of my eyes. Because I'm human. And my baby was so hurt.
I don't know what was worse... the fact that he had to say all that to me, or that he said it in front of my Grandma (who began to console me even though she thought I was my mother as a teenager who just got into a fight with her brother... heart breaking I know. Dementia. ) Or the fact that he just verbally vomited his own fears onto me?
But I do know this. It sucked. That whole experience sucked.
But what didn't suck... that I had that fight, that I stood up for myself, and that little girl was protected because the bad man was a bad man.
Here's a painful truth... there are a lot of fucked up people out there. And some might even be in your family. And some people you can walk away from, or some you're stuck with because of this stupid thing called DNA.
At no time in your life are you less then someone else.
At no time in your life do you not deserve love.
And at no time in your life do you ever have to shut the fuck up and hid away. Because you're the baby or the daughter or the grandchild or whatever.
I love my family, I do... but they are a pain in the ass with all the shit they have going on. I'm just being real with you! And good news is, I get to deal with it. But good news is... I got me to have my own back (because sides are flipping all the time!).
Never in your life should your baby feel alone and scared, because your baby has you.
And if you can't always come all Kumbaya with everyone, well just make sure you're spitting out truth and not just yelling for the shake of who's louder.
You're not a bad person if you can't meditate and prepare before a fight happens... but don't let bad moments make you think you are.
Shit happens, for whatever reason the holidays stir it up... You're ready for action. You're also ready to be fucking surprised (possibly no action???? Lord can only hope so.)
You're family doesn't define you. You're not fucked up because there is fucked up shit that has or is going on.
You are your own person. And you remember that every single day.
And remember... Your baby needs you to stand up for her/him... Because no child ever should be hurt. And that includes you.
But also, try... try hard. Sit down at the table with the person you think you can't. Maybe you can't, but at least try. Pick up the phone and fight it out with the person that pissed you off. Maybe that's all you need is a good fight and then you can move pass your bullshit.
If you don't at least try... then you'll never know.
Trust me, I'm in the middle of a "let's figure this out before the holiday, and no you will not speak to me like that" protecting my baby trying moment.
But I'm trying : ) And protecting.
All my love to you all,
P.S. You're not an asshole.