Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Creating a new family

Yesterday morning I had a talk with an old friend from Vanguard and really started to speak some things into existence that I hadn't fully realized until that moment. She and I were talking about the loss of family and how it takes more than blood and DNA to make people family. I started to think about what family means to me, what it means in general, and what it looks like. I have been, for some time, searching out a family and a home out of people who do not share my blood or DNA. I have since found that group of people and it continues to grow even today.

When I started this quest of bettering myself and getting to be a healthy woman, I knew I would need help on the journey and be obligated to build a support team. When I chose to do this, I just figured I could go with the support team I already had in motion and be successful. I found out that if you are unhealthy, there is a great chance that the people you are around, are unhealthy as well. The people that were in my life at the beginning of this quest are not here now for the most part. I have an entirely different group of friends and mentors in my life starting in 2001. I made new decisions and stopped allowing people to seek me out, I started to seek them out. I found out that the friends I had in the past were people who needed me and thrived on my unhealthiness as well as I did theirs. It was a world of gossip, drama, confrontation, and pain.

I let go of that world in 2001 by making a huge step to admit to my wrongs, deal with anger appropriately, and start to forgive. Those were the three things that I view as essential to my starting over point. It was hard at first to actually admit to my failures and shortcomings because I was (and am) a very prideful person. I am working on this aspect of myself daily by allowing myself to NOT be perfect. I have found that I need to give myself and others more of a grace period in life. It was also very difficult to let go of my normal response to anger. I used to blow up every time something made me the slightest bit upset. I am now a very controlled and calm person when dealing with frustration, shame, embarassment, hurt etc. I learned that anger was a secondary emotion and often times I just needed to figure out what the real emotion I was feeling was.

Family is something I have never really had but have come to understand just recently. This is not to say I was an orphan or anything like that. I have two parents and three sisters. I had all 4 of my grandparents growing up as well. The thing I didn't have was unconditional acceptance, support, and love. In my family's defense, they didn't learn how to love, support, or nurture anyone before this so they only did what they knew. I know that my family did the best that they knew how to do and since then have come to the realization of how messed up our outlook is.

I completely forgive my parents for the things that they chose in my childhood. I forgive my grandparents for raising my parents to be the way they were. I accept that my family is what it is and it won't change. What I wouldn't accept is that I can't have a family at all. I can have a family but it will not consist of actual relatives in my case. It consists of great female mentors that I have met along my path, amazing men of faith that have been great friends to me, and beautiful women who show me everyday what friendship really is. I am lucky enough to have one sister that really is my sister and friend. Britt is the best and I have really been able to hold on to that relationship no matter what.

I just wanted to take some time today to thank all of you who have become my family in some way. Thanks to Pam,Steve, Heather, Markita, Mel, Mary, Alison, Martha, Randy, Jake, Claudia, Doug, Shirley, Carrie, Paul, Riley, Hailey, Jarrid, Josh, Randy, Sheryl, Sherry, Sarah, Joel, Grandma, Gavin, Hannah, Aaron, Caleb, Nathan, Richard, Chris, Sandra, Kevin, Kahlil, Terrence, Steven, and the list goes on. You have all become my mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and mostly friends. I appreciate the family I never had. It's a great family indeed.

~Erica~

1 comment:

emily94ernest said...
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