Tag Archives: Family

The Father I Will Be

Parenting is a sacred task.

dad and baby

It’s a permanent commitment, and the most important job a person could ever undertake; more important than building a house or governing a country. It’s more than full time, it’s 24/7. And like any other job, some don’t qualify for it. Continue reading

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True Family

Lately, I’ve been writing a semi-autobiography about the past 10 years with my best friend Mitch. Writing this book has got me thinking a lot about what true family is. Mitch, and even the rest of his family, truly feel like my own family. He and the rest of them have been my greatest support throughout my teenage-adult years. Hell, his father even took the time to teach me how to drive, whereas my adoptive parents didn’t want to. I’m not related to Mitch by blood, but I would still say that he is undoubtedly the closest thing I have to a true brother. Continue reading

Living For Others

In my book Remnant, I based the character of Ethan on myself. (That kind of thing is hard to avoid when you’re an author. Basing characters on real people makes it easier to make the character more real, and there’s no one we all know better than ourselves.) As the reader learns by the end of the book (careful for spoilers), Ethan is virtually unsympathetic toward anyone except family, and the love he has for family is, arguably, greater than most people have for their family. I think this is Ethan’s defining attribute. Only family matters to him at all. And that, too, I based on myself.

Of course, I can’t say that completely applies to myself. Ethan is a more extreme version of myself, in both good and bad ways. Also, I’ve always had a limited range of people who are actually family in my life, so I’ve always just chosen who I love and treat like family. I choose good people (or, people who I think are good people at the time) as my ‘family.’ And those are the ones I love immensely, while paying little to no attention to anyone else.

Yesterday, I was thinking about people I’ve sacrificed a great deal of my time and energy for. I’m 25, but I don’t feel that old; I feel maybe 20. What makes me feel like 5 years have been shaved off my life? Mainly: Depression, and sacrificing many months of my time to help a junkie become sober, and years trying to make a relationship work out with a toxic, stagnant woman. The depression bit came from what happened right before I turned 20, which is being dumped by my first love after being cheated on.

So, one would think I should focus more on myself and not be overly devoted to others, especially when it puts my life on hold? Well, that would be right. But I don’t have regrets, though. It actually makes me proud that I can, and often do, become so committed to people, whether it be for love or to save their life. This aspect of who I am will likely never change, but the main thing I’ve learned the past 5 years is learning how to control it.

Learning who’s worth such devotion in the first place. Learning how to keep myself growing strong and moving forward with my life while being so committed.

I’ve rarely been ‘obsessed’ with one person at a time; it’s usually several. Like I said earlier, it’s family that I commit to, but at times 90% of my focus can be concentrated on one person, and that’s bad. It should never be that much. Perhaps … 51%, to get super technical.

But hey, at least I can be devoted to people, unlike the majority of people I’ve known in my life. I’ve been devoted to friends, lovers, and family, but what’s still missing in my life is a child of my own to be devoted to.

I Fell In Love

For those who read this article here, you already know the background of this story. But for those who haven’t read it, here it is:

Several months ago, I met a girl. What it was about this girl that made her stand out so much, I’m not sure (in the context of not knowing her at all). But whatever it was, I instantaneously became infatuated with her. I didn’t think much of it at the time. Too many other things on my mind, and too many other things going on in my life for me to concern myself with someone I didn’t even know. However, after about a month, seeing her on occasion, my attraction toward her only grew. So, ultimately, I decided to get to know her. I spent several weeks getting to know her, and the more I got to know her, the more I liked her, until eventually my feelings became near-uncontrollable. She just seemed so amazing. Perfect. Finally, as of the last couple days, we began a relationship.

So, this is why I haven’t blogged in a short while. I’ve been a little … distracted.

I’ve never been with, or even liked, anyone who I thought was so perfect for me. I haven’t discovered a single thing – appearance, past, personality, likes and dislikes, political and philosophical views, etc. – that I don’t like about her. Of course, I know she isn’t actually perfect, and down the road I’ll find a thing or two that I’m not pleased by, but thus far, she’s everything that I thought and hoped she’d be. Never has this happened before, with anyone, even non-lovers. I think what I find most odd about the situation is the fact she’s younger than me by several years, and for my entire adult life, I always told myself I wouldn’t be with anyone younger than, like, 30 or so, because nobody knows what they want in life, or knows what’s truly important when they’re so young. Of course that’s a bit arrogant, considering that’s what my age range is and I do consider myself mature beyond people my age. But, I was wrong. Despite being younger than me, she’s every bit as intelligent and wise as I would expect to find in an older woman. Not to mention, she has a big heart, she doesn’t trash her body with smoking or drinking, has ambitions with her future, and she doesn’t give up on people easily, even if they deserve it.

She’s everything I want in a partner. Devoted, compassionate, hard-working, has a playful side as well as a serious side, takes care of herself, and the things we want for our futures align almost perfectly.

When I worked as a caregiver, I cared for this lady we called “Mow”, and she was my favorite. She once told me about how she and her husband, of (if I remember correctly) 55 years, got together. The most surprising part of her story was how quickly they got married, which was 3 months after they met. Not 3 months of dating, but 3 months after meeting each other for the first time. And that was followed by 55 happy years of marriage? I’m still impressed with that. And that story taught me something: That not everyone is the same, and not all ‘rules’ need to apply to everyone. I think when you know something, you just know. This is especially the case with lovers, I think. If it felt right before you even got together, if it feels perfect while you’re together, it’s at least guaranteed to last a very long time. Perhaps not forever, since nobody knows what the future holds, but for certain, a long time.

Being with my girlfriend, it’s like falling onto a bed. So easy, so right, and so warm. After the disastrous end with my previous relationship, I wasn’t even interested in being with someone for at least a couple years. Not because I missed my ex (though I did for a little while), but because I didn’t want to rush finding my one. Finding the right person isn’t something you can rush, and it’s not something you want to force, or else it’s not real. But with this girl …. this amazing, beautiful, smart girl …. I couldn’t help myself. I felt it HAD to happen, even though at first I didn’t think I stood a chance with her. But I guess she chose to be with me, so I must be at least partially good enough for her 🙂

There was love before we ‘officially’ started being together. I told her she’s amazing just the way she is, and she said I’m perfect just as I am. But I told her, “I don’t just want to be your boyfriend, I want to be your man.” And I absolutely intend to do just that. I see a happy future with her, and I intend to make that happen.

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The Sisters I Never Had

Today is a special day. Or, it would be if life wasn’t notoriously unfair. Today, my 2 little sisters turn 21. Wherever they are, I don’t know, because I never met them. I can only hope they’re safe and happy. In a different life, I would have taken them to their first legal drink, just to celebrate the fact they’re now full-grown adults.

This is a subject I’ve never discussed much with anyone, even the siblings I do know (who are all older than me). Why? Because it’s probably the most sensitive subject I could ever discuss with anyone. I deem it literally the most devastating disappointment of my entire life.

Four-and-a-half years after I was born, my mother gave birth to twin girls, who, according to what I’ve been told, were immediately given away to another family. Our mother couldn’t take care of the kids she already had, so there’s no way she could take care of an additional two. Had my mother not been clinically insane, had my 2nd-oldest brother not been a violent, sociopathic rapist, and had any of us kids had better fathers (or just the same father, at least), I might have been able to know my little sisters. But no, we grew up fractured and separated, and I was always the youngest.

All my life, since my sisters were born, I’ve wanted to know them. I wanted to be their big brother. I remember when I first heard they were born, I was very excited to go meet them. But I never did. Not once. No one told me I’d meet them, I just expected that I would.

I’ve never been sure if my sisters’ births put this innate desire in me to want to take care of people, or if that’s just how I was born, but regardless, it’s in my nature to want someone to take care of. To love unconditionally. It’s hard to do that with older siblings, because, well, they’re older. You need them to teach and protect you, not the other way around. When I was a kid, living with my two older siblings, I was able to watch them and learn from their mistakes without having to make those mistakes myself. But, knowing, for so many years, that somewhere out there I have little sisters that I could be teaching, I always wished I had been. Whenever made a mistake, sometimes I would imagine how I would use the experience to impart the wisdom I gained onto my little sisters. But even as a child, I knew it would just imagination. They weren’t really there.

When I got older, into my late-teens and into my 20s, I realized something. I realized that I wanted a daughter. It didn’t make sense to me at the time. “Why a daughter instead of a son?” I thought. Then, it made complete sense. My longing to be a big brother didn’t go away, it simply evolved. The human psyche is interesting like that. Makes me wonder if people ever really change in their lifetimes, or if their thinking just ‘adapts’ to the current climate.

I wish I could have been there when my sisters were in Jr. High, so I could have helped them know how to avoid stupid drama, and see them in that time of life when they’re getting to know what they’re going to want to do with the rest of their lives. I wish I could have been there when they entered High School, so I could help them not fall for boys that would break their hearts, so I could nag them to take school seriously so that they get properly educated, and be there to comfort them when their hearts did get broken. To see them graduate High School and officially begin their adult lives… Turning ten years old is always significant; so, it would have been wonderful if I as a 14-year-old could see them turn ten and think, “I know how exciting that is.”

Milestones aside, I would never cease being their big brother. No matter how old we got. In a way, they would always look up to me for at least some guidance, for at least some protection. They would always have a friend in me. All my life, friends have pointed out to me how loyal of a friend I am, and it always made me wonder what it would have been like if I was able to focus that kind of energy on my family. Namely, the family members younger than me. I mean, I was the youngest growing up, since my little sisters weren’t around, and I know for damn sure that I always wanted people to be loyal to me too. But I often didn’t have that feeling growing up. With the family I did have, namely my mother, both of my big brothers, and my big sister, there were extended periods of time that I didn’t feel loved by them at all. Which only made me want to be unconditionally loving toward others in return. My mom, brothers, and sister made me feel unloved at times, but I know my little sisters would have never once felt that way from me.

I apologize for how sappy this article is. This is my most sensitive topic. I really do feel I lost something, even though I never actually had it in the first place, and this day only makes it sting more. Never having my little sisters around made me want to be a father to a little girl, but it’s also made me feel I might be utterly unprepared for the job too. I never feel I’m good enough to be a father. Too many fears, too many worries. If I forever lost my child, for any reason, it would break every bit of what’s left of me. It broke me enough to never be able to be a big brother.

Regardless, today my sisters turn 21. They’re not so little anymore. Wherever you two are, I wish I could have watched you grow. At this point I can only hope we meet someday before one of us dies.

Being Rejected by Family

Recently I had a chat with a friend who has issues with her family. Namely, her family accepting certain choices she’s made that they shouldn’t raise an issue about, but do anyway. It got me thinking…

Having come from families, one biological, the other adoptive, that are extremely “““““““traditional”””””” in their beliefs and values (and by traditional I mean religious ultra right-wing), I can understand the feeling of not being accepted by family. I became someone who doesn’t listen to Fox News and talk radio, and likes to check my facts every once in a while. When this happened 7 years ago, it resulted in many of my friends walking out of my life and my adoptive parents saying I can’t live with them anymore. You know, just like what Jesus would do.

Evolutionarily speaking, but more importantly, morally speaking, family should never do this. Ever. Unless your child actually becomes evil and deserves to be locked up for the rest of their lives, of course. Family ought to be the one thing you never lose. The one thing. My friend didn’t lose her family, per se, but many people all around the world do, simply because they turned out to be ‘different’. I hear it happening most of all (Sharia Law countries aside) in the families of gay people. Another friend of mine, who is gay, avoids her family because they’re almost identical to mine in that way.

This isn’t me bashing religion again, though I’d never apologize for doing so. No, this is a simple statement about taking care of your kin. People are people, and sometimes they believe things, or are into things, that aren’t conventional. I think to at least some degree, everyone has a characteristic or two that they hide from the world to avoid being rejected by society, or their family. I’m glad gay people are now widely accepted, and their place in society is far less of a problem now. But it doesn’t matter how different someone is. We all need family. We all need people who don’t throw us away no matter what. Of course that isn’t the same as enabling bad behavior, if the issue is some variety of bad behavior. It’s just very simply understanding that we’re all different.

What do parents like these think? That their child needs to wind up being an exact replica of them? Do they really think so highly of themselves to think their children have to become just like them?

If my kid turned out to be gay, or underwent a sex change, or even became devoutly religious, I still wouldn’t even come close to rejecting them. They’d be my kid. My baby. What would disowning them, distancing myself from them, or harassing them about their lifestyle accomplish?

Nothing, that’s what. So why do it? To these people who treat their family this way for reasons less than criminal, I have to ask: Does family matter to you or not?

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