There really isn’t anything quite as painful as feeling like you are disposable, insignificant and easily forgotten within your own family. I have lived with that feeling my whole life. Cast out at 15 and then vilified. Accused of things I never did and sent packing out into the big scary world. I survived and then even forgave. I worked really hard to build a great relationship with my family. I hosted dinners on every holiday, spending days preparing. I organized family trips, babysat, spent countless hours driving family members to drs. appointments, listening to them vent about spouses, lent money and gave my all. Heart and soul.
Yet, when I have needed them most, they turn their backs on me. When I needed moral support, there was none. Just the opposite. As I lay bleeding, at my weakest moment I was completely shunned. The pain was very nearly more than I could bear. Did other loved ones step up and back me up? Of course not. That would have required some effort and clearly I’m not worth it. I have built a wall, an image of strength and it has been close to impossible to maintain it at times. Occasionally I think if I let them see how much they hurt me then maybe it will be a wake up call, things will change. That isn’t the case though. If it inconveniences them, they turn their backs. Fighting for family unity is too messy, too, hard, too much work. So much easier to let it all slip away. Easier to say no when help is needed.
What these life lessons have given me……. determination. Utter resolve to never let my children down like I’ve been let down. Fierce doggedness in my goal to help my children work through any conflicts and to always have a close bond with each other. An insistence that family come first because together we can survive anything. I will fight tooth and nail to help my children accomplish their dreams because I never got to follow mine. Most importantly, I have been given a gift from these hardships, the gift of knowing how devastating our actions or inactions can be on the people we are supposed to love most. No matter how hard life is, I will never give up on my children, will never turn my back on them. They will never feel disposable, insignificant or easily forgotten. They will be loved.