Did you ever feel like a complete stranger in your own# family? Do you sometimes feel like you don't know exactly how to be a part of a family? Do you feel anxious at family gatherings? That's the way I have felt most of my life.
Let me first say that my family is awesome. They #love, #support, and help each other all the time. They all have great lives and are wonderful people. I love them very much and am proud to be a part of them. This post is in no way a bad reflection on my family or how I was raised.
I had a great childhood. I always had most everything I wanted. I have two parents that worked hard to provide for us. I have a brother and sister that are much older than I am but only a year and a half apart in age to each other. Because of this difference, it really felt like I was an only child most of the time.
If you've read or watched TV about #Nature versus #Nurture in how humans develop, I can tell you that it totally depends on which is stronger. My family all like the same kind of music, dress in similar ways, have the same morals/values, same type of friends, eat the same kind of foods, and like the same kind of architecture. They love living in Tennessee and being part of a small town community. I never liked any of it. Growing up, I loved southern food, but hated country music. I felt like I was missing so much of the world because I was stuck in a small town in Tennessee. I never had the opportunity to be exposed to world cultures and other civilizations. I was surrounded by country music, pick up trucks, horse riding, and everybody knowing everyone else's business. Not a bad upbringing, but one I felt like an alien in.
I always had a dream to live in a big city. I liked different kinds of music that my parents and siblings just couldn't understand. I had a broader set of friends than was politically correct at those times. I was always different. I never had any long term friendships. I never had one true friend that I could rely on to not tell my secrets too.
My brother and sister were ultra popular in school and afterwards. They had many friends and loved to go out and party. I liked to stay by myself and usually was. Of course, there were times I went out to clubs or with a friend. But those were far and few in between.
I always tried to find a quiet spot during #family gatherings and was always uncomfortable being around so many people. Most of my family never understood me and still don't. I know my choices in life probably hurt my #parents and to some extent embarrassed them. I always wondered how many times did they ask themselves what they did wrong in raising me or why I am like I am. But it's not their fault. It's just the way I am. The way I'm wired.
I have a much more liberal way of thinking as well as a much broader acceptance for diversity. I am not a republican or a christian and I am very proud of that. I am very vocal in my beliefs and stand by them.
But why am I like I am? If I was raised completely opposite of how I think now, in an environment that tried to teach me a completely different way to live, how did I end up like I am? I blame it on nature.
It's just in my nature to be more of a loner. It's my nature to be more open and accepting of different lifestyles and cultures. It's in my nature to question theology and research the facts of history as we know them versus relying on faith to some mystical being. It's how I'm wired. It's how I was born.
My sister is a clone of my mom in many ways. I'm not saying that's a bad thing. Not at all. They are both wonderful people, wives and mothers. They are always helping people out when needed, they work hard and they love their families very much. But our #moral #values are way different. My brother and my dad are very different but as my brother became older, he and my dad became closer. That never has happened to me with either one of my parents or siblings. I wish I could say that I had a real relationship with my sister or brother, but I honestly don't. I am envious people that have a close bond with their own brother or sister. You are very blessed if you do.
If you have a family member that you just can't figure out why they are weird or so #different that your own family, please believe that it's not you. It's because their nature is stronger than the nurture they received. I'm not a doctor or psychologist, but I do have experience in this area. Love your family even if they are completely different than you. Respect them. Talk with them and encourage them. Never make them feel unwanted or forgotten.
I know that I will never have any type of relationship with my siblings other than the passing greeting or Hey, How are You conversation. I can't tell you how many years I dreamed that could change but I feel it's too late, but who knows? If you are in a similar situation, I urge you to reach out and hang on to your family. Never give up on them. While you may never understand or completely agree with them, remember that true #love is #unconditional.