I don’t care for blood relatives
I grew up in a very functional nuclear christian family. My dad, a hard worker family man, undoubtedly looking to conquer the best for our own sake. My mom, a loving, carrying, nurturing housewife.
Our perfect life was the perfect showcase to hide a dysfunctional family: my parents’ own.
We had the whole package.
The abusive alcoholic grandpa who divorced an unschooled farm like lady with eight children of their own, leading her into madness in the big city as she gives away some of her kids to be raised by another family, and destroys any chance of a perfect future to the rest of the girls. In the meanwhile, the other so-called abusive grandad works in manufacture to raise several reckless girls into all sorts of mischievousness.
From broken marriages, to miscarriages, to slavery resembling jobs, I ended up being raised into a fantasy reality where I was taught to live in a constant pursuit of being better than my own peers. The scenery behind the curtains of our perfectly balanced stage family was of a mom who hated and resented her father, feared the lunatic behavior of her mother and had a terrible relationship with her less fortunate sisters. Meanwhile, my dad had angry issues against his own family tree and the disgraced future they were drawing to my generation (aka, all of the cousins). As one would definitely become a drug addict and another a pregnant teenager, my sister and I were supposed to rise against those odds, and triumph over them.
It sounds a lot like a theatrical view on the bleak reality of how I was raised to believe that blood relatives are not important, as they’re far worse than I am, not only in their achievements, but also as people.
So you must think of how crazy it felt for me when our stage play fell off. Fallen into an eternal bliss of disgrace, my parents marriage ended when it was revealed an elaborate scheme of betrayal and adultery from my dad part. Years go by, he ends up living at the family property, surrounded by those he plead to hate. Following the synchrony, my mom has taken her time to reconnect to her own family, allegedly forgiving her father and rebuilding a relationship with her now senile mother, plus, mating with her long lost sisters. That’s the act I come back to the stage.
I don’t have a goddam-shitty-care for blood lines and relatives. As I pointed out in the Shakespearean part of this monologue, I was raised to care about both my nuclear family (my mom, dad and sister) and the extended church family community (yes, there is such thing as a church family, including brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles, who by the standards of storytelling, fill up pages and seasons of plenty of characters to develop), witch threw the need of an extended family related by blood into another dimension.
And that is why family dynamics during childhood formative years is so paramount. It is not that I am mean to my so-called aunts and cousins when they seem to show up, or that has some lack of connection. I just don’t care about them on the expected family level. As human beings? Yes. As personal related people? Not at all. And that was how they taught me to be, not only by speech (witch is easily corrected sometimes) but by acts. By growing up watching how my mom would be scared as hell by the thought of her family, or even my dad’s casual passive-aggressive attitude against his own, I learned that those were not people I should value for no reason whatsoever, by believing there’s not really much in common between them and I, witch has proven to be absolute true. That simple idea in a kids brain became it’s own foundation into adult me and the extreme lack of connection I present towards these people. The cultural idea of blood united flock has no ticking for me.
Ironically, the only two cousins I ever had a connection after my teenage years were the ones I had something in common on a very deeper level: one, by fathers side, is the boy I grew up kissing; the other, from my mothers side, the one that came out as a gay man for the whole family, setting up a strange path I’ve never really have to follow. Due to the lack of connection to the pack of dozens relatives in both sides, it’s not important for me to share my personal experiences with my “family”, though, if I felt the urge to, these are probably the first ones to hear about some of it. The reason why I don’t do it, though, rests upon another trope on the family dysfunctional dynamic.
So, my parents whole family was financially poorer than we were when I was growing up, and the gap on wealthy also triggered in my mind the absence of connection to them. Every bit of interaction feels unearned. Every share of information feels like I am bragging. For both being raised into a structured nuclear home, with mom, dad, no addictions or lacks, fine education and other “rich white people” cliche tropes, and being somehow successful in those same categories, I feel even more detached of my blood relatives reality of life, most of them still struggling through some basic needs.
Of course, I have the empathy skills to care for them in general, like we commonly do for the fellow human in need or distress. But aside some fundraising or donating campaigns, there’s not much that I can do to connect to this reality, or that’s how I wanted to think, at least.
The truth is, as a former religious man who still somehow believes in some core fundamentals of the charismatic religion, I can connect to those in need and somehow experience their pain in the process of carrying. But not my parents family. And there’s a reason why. I wouldn’t like to approach them as people in need only, or treat them by looking down on their lives.
And as I live in an arbitrary world with no need or lack of family connection whatsoever, I can say nonetheless that I don’t see the need to try. As I said earlier, each parent gave me a dozen aunts, and an amount of hundred cousins and other relatives, that I just never missed, for I’ve never really had them.
If that makes me a bad person, comment below what could I do. Until something strikes as a solution, I’ll just keep living my life oblivious to the so-called fact that blood family matters. For mid-twenty Otis, it sadly doesn’t, if sadly at all.