I am the middle child of my mother's five children. There were four dads amongst us. There was never a time that all five of us were in the home at the same time. Primarily because my eldest sister was placed into foster care, so I never met her until I was sixteen years old. Also, because in their early teenage years, two of my siblings were no longer in the home. While they thought I was the favorite, I was getting tied to a toilet seat and beaten, ashamed to participate in gym in school. Being “the favorite” meant I was held to a higher standard. It mean that me coming home with 7 “A’s” and 1 “B” was unacceptable, shameful, in fact. It meant that every teenaged decision of my life had to be decided upon in front of a group of religious leaders. And it meant that when I shamed the family by becoming pregnant as a single mother, I was disowned.
I don't have typical family relationships. In fact, contact with my siblings is nonexistent. And it will probably remain that way.
This is a source of pain for me.
Each of us have endured generational trauma. We inherited the trauma of our mother and fathers. As children, we were damaged as a result of unresolved trauma which shared one primary source - a mother whose harrowing entry into this world was through rape.
Some people inherit diabetes. We literally inherited unresolved PTSD from our Grandmother and Mother.
Every conversation is a struggle to hide or share trauma. Our family bond is trauma. So, I am intentionally absent. For the sake of what is best for me.
Because I know that hurt people, hurt people. Even when the pain being inflicted is not intentional.
Sometimes there is reconciliation. Sometimes there is not.
And I have learned to fully embrace that.
Self-care is not selfish. And sometimes taking care of yourself means removing people from your life. Even family.