While I’ve found myself opening up more with each post, there are still so many things I don’t share with the blog-o-sphere. Family stories being at the top of my list. You see, over the last few years my family has had its up’s and down’s… we’ve struggled to say the least, but my realization recently: what family hasn’t? I’m ashamed to say, that at times I’ve found myself disappointed and embarrased by my family troubles… that statement: possibly the hardest thing I’ve ever written and actually formed into words outside of my head.
You see, at 22 and at the end of my senior year of college my parents separated. This moment was probably the most earth-shattering moment of my life, or so I thought. It’s taken me three and a half years to be comfortable enough to even talk about it without it bringing tears to my eyes. This separation tore my family apart, all of us going in separate directions and taking (or trying not to take) sides. I found myself hating holidays, birthdays, and any occassion where I felt like one parent would be left out… in those cases I began avoiding the outing all together. Instead of leaving one out, I’d just exclude myself all together in order to eliminate the feeling of “choosing sides.”
At 22 (and now almost 26) you would think it would be an easier concept to understand, but in all honesty, it wasn’t… I think (and I say I think because I’ve never been in an 8-year-old’s shoes that went through a divorce/separation) it would be easier for me to be young and ignorant to the concept of family than a young adult who had a complete family to lean on for 20+ years only to have that foundation crumble. As you can imagine, this has definitely played a role in my life as I’ve searched for love and worked to re-define my independence, yet I still never saw how I would find peace in my parents’ relationship and its effect on our family.
Surprisingly enough, it took one young man, one wildman to lead my heart to peace. It took that wildman to open all of our eyes to the many miscommunications, the words being left unsaid, and the need for family in whatever form that might take. It allowed me to be honest (even moreso with myself) with how I felt, open about it’s effect on my life, and capable of accepting it for what it is. For the first time in three and a half years, I feel this relieving peace with my family, my parents, and the path we’re now on together, because regardless of whether or not my parents are “together,” I now understand that we will always be a family… and we will always need each other in one way or another. I just want you each to know that no matter how hard things get (because I know they will), Pops, Mama T, Sister-Friend, and Wildman, you four have the deepest love in my heart, that will forever be the truth.