It’s just a word

January 10, 2015

I was reminded recently that the word family doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with blood ties. It started an internal dialog in me that’s continued over the last few days. I feel alone or I’ll say abandoned a lot since mom died. I will always stand by the fact you’re never too old to want your mommy. Losing her, really left me feeling alone. Losing that figure who gave me my sense of stability in myself was the hardest part of her being gone. The other part was being so far from the rest of my family. It makes me feel like an outsider. It makes me feel left out. I’m sure a lot of people feel that way too; whether is geographical distance or emotional distance, it’s lonely. I am separated from my family on both counts.

 

I shouldn’t complain though. I had a friend remind me there is a difference between family and a relative (Joni Painter’s words of wisdom). I have people I can count on, who root for me, hold me accountable and make me feel at home. Some I share a long history with, others just a short time and I share zero genetics with any of them. However, they are my family. They choose to be in my life and stick by me thru ups and downs. Sometimes we don’t see eye to eye but our bond is forged by mutual respect as well as understanding of limits and flaws. It’s a bound that holds and doesn’t let me go even when I want it to. That’s the true measure of family, not letting someone go even when they want out. Family props you up and reminds you over and over that you matter regardless of your flaws, real or perceived.

 

I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t bother me to see my relatives and their lives playing out and not being included but it’s not something I can fix. All I can do is focus on those people who do want to be around me. I appreciate them especially since I recognize being my family isn’t always easy. I’m a lot of work but I like to think in the end I’m worth it. I love hard and will defend them all until the end. You know how it is with family, I can say what I want about them and to them but no one else better. So here’s to you my makeshift family. I love you all and I want you to know I wouldn’t be here without you. You inspire me to be a better person in everything I do and I hope to make you proud.

 

Much love,

 

Amanda

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Suicide Prevention Coalition of Logan and Champaign Counties

 

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