31 Days | Day 2 {FMF}

This is a post in my 31 Days series. Don’t know what that means? Go here

Day 2 is a Five Minute Friday prompt! (which means it’s a surprise 🙂 ). This week’s FMF prompt is: 

Family. Hmm.

GO.

I’ve always been on the fence about having a family of my own someday.

I’m 23 years old. I’ve never dated. Never kissed, never flirted with a boy. I always say it’s because I’m uninterested or I don’t want to or want to focus on school, but the truth is:

I’m scared of having a family that will turn out like my own.

Yep. That’s the whole truth about it. I don’t think I’ve ever said this out loud (or in writing).

My family is dysfunctional to say the least. Divorce is just the tip of the iceberg– and that’s just between my mom and dad.

I’ve never had a good example of what a loving, doting family is supposed to look like.

Sure, my grandparents were married for 49 years. But my entire childhood, they lived on separate floors of the house. I don’t think I remember ever seeing them kiss (maybe hug once or twice a year). I remember them arguing and yelling. I don’t remember love and taking care of one another (let alone me).

Sure, my family has taken care of me. Financially, I’ve always been supported. Academically, they’ve always had my back (for the most part). But loving is not the first word I think of when I think of my family.

I think of superficial. I think of gossipy. I think of being misunderstood.  I think of personalities clashing, of arguing and fighting, of family members pitting themselves against each other with me in the middle. (Both as a kid and even moreso now as an adult).

I think of me as a sensitive, creative, emotional kid who made up stories of other peoples’ lives cause she wanted to get out of hers. 

I don’t want to live like that. I don’t want to marry someone and be afraid to bring them to meet my family- both of what he’ll think of them, and what they’ll think (and say) about him.

END. (but I’m not done, sorry).

I want something better for whatever kind of family I have than what I was given. But I don’t know if- or how- that is possible.

Now. It wasn’t all bad– I had plenty of fun moments and memories of birthday parties, trips to the zoo, shopping sprees and adventures. But they were all marred by hurtful words and feelings of being misunderstood by an extroverted family that loved football and being loud. (I inherited the loud part, not the football part).

It was marred by divorce and living with my grandparents, moving from house to house every weekend. It was marred by a mom who wasn’t stable enough financially to support me, and by a dad who had the means to support, but didn’t know what the heck to do with an overly-emotional overweight daughter (when I’m pretty sure he wanted a son). He was raised by the grandparents that raised me– so he didn’t know how to parent, except through his wallet.

My needs were divided in the middle- she gave me emotional support, he gave me financial– neither of them could (and can currently) do both. I don’t want that for my family, either. 

I want to find a guy to spend my life with. I don’t know, though, how I can create a family with one when family isn’t something I really understand to begin with.

—-

*edited to add: I re-read this, I feel like I did a bit of a disservice to my family. Yes, I had plenty of issues growing up.Yes, our family is a bit dysfunctional and doesn’t always get along. But, our family has worked very hard to mend things between us- it can’t fix the hurt of the past, but they have been working to being better in the future. It’s not easy, but I know my family loves me- and we’re working on the rest.

Also, I really did a disservice to my dad’s family. My mom and I have had our fair share of problems– moreso now in adulthood than in childhood. While that doesn’t change the issues I had with my dad’s family, it doesn’t make light of the issues I’ve had with my mom, too. (That’s worth its own post, but i’ll save it for later). Both sides of the family have contributed to my thoughts on this subject– though from what I wrote, I made it feel like dad’s side was the bad guy when that’s not (always) the case. We’re broken and dysfunctional, but we’re working towards being a better family for each other.

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10 thoughts on “31 Days | Day 2 {FMF}

  1. This is beautiful. I am sorry you have had a rough go and that fear holds you back. Do your best to leave it to God and to trust that He will provide you with the one who is going to support you in every way you have always needed. Remember, family doesn’t have to be blood, you can create a family through friends and people you meet at church or even online. Family is about unconditional love, as ordained by God Himself. Do your best to live in that love and eventually everything will fall into place. God has this. ❤

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  2. Jordan, this is an incredibly brave post. You really stepped up to the challenge.

    I came from a family that was really awful. There were things I won’t describe anywhere, that happened.

    I never wanted a family. I never wanted kids, or the closeness of a linked group of people. Not because I was afraid of perpetuating the evil (and it was evil), but because I’d simply had enough.

    It was too late for me; it’s not too late for you, but please, if I may offer something…

    It’s not about finding a guy. It’s about finding peace within your heart, finding the ability not to necessarily forgive, but to let it go…and about realizing that your past does not define you. Not as a slogan of defiance, but as a quiet truth, proven over years.

    It may take a long time. But the trip is worth it, and there are those who will pray for you along the way.

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    1. “I never wanted a family. I never wanted kids, or the closeness of a linked group of people. Not because I was afraid of perpetuating the evil (and it was evil), but because I’d simply had enough.”

      That’s EXACTLY it for me, Andrew! I’m just exhausted from my own family to deal with anymore people. i’ve seen enough bad examples of relationship/family in my life, and i don’t want that for myself, if that makes sense. It’s been a long, long, LONG process for me to even let myself be in community (something i’ve written about extensively on older posts!); I was afraid to let people in. Still am.

      You’re right about it not finding a guy, but if I may– for me, even SAYING those words took guts.. I’ve never talked about wanting a relationship. Ever. Too scarred. Too exhausted by relationships that’ve gone bad in my family. I’ve avoided it for so long… but am finally coming around to the idea that I want something more. It’s only a step in the direction of healing my fear of commitment/intimacy/relationships-but for me, it’s a step.I’m still figuring out everything else-but for me to even say those words aloud (or in writing) was healing in a way. It proves to me that maybe I’m starting to be willing to let people in a bit more. I don’t know how long healing from my past will take, but I’m thankful for wise friends as yourself to help me along the journey. love and prayers always, friend. ❤ ❤

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  3. I”m so sorry that you’ve had a rough life so far. May God continue to heal your wounds and help you gain confidence in your own personhood and ability to function as a beautiful, beloved child of God. (If I may suggest a book to you, try reading “The Hidden Half of the Gospel”–such a powerful book of prayer and healing).

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  4. Tara

    My parents are divorced too. It was brave of you to write this post but I so get it. Visiting from FMF where I’m parked in the 16 spot.

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  5. it seems to me that more people have negative experiences with their families of origin that the opposite! My parents were divorced, too, but despite my grandparents wanting to adopt me, or at least change my last name to theirs, I didn’t realize it forever—waited ten years from age 4 to 14 for my Dad to return “Home.” Also discovered I had an older sister and a younger sister… anyway, peace, hope, and a free future to all of us. Yes. amen?!

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