The Messy Side of Family

 

Last week I shared the beauty I experienced with my dad dying. This week is the other side of all that! It wasn’t all sweet and wonderful. I spent about two weeks with my family and that is bound to bring up issues. We have different personalities, tolerances andfamily van messiness. Mine floated ever so effortlessly into clear view. I am number 5 out of 6 kids plus I have two foster sisters who take the first and last spots. I sometimes feel unimportant in my family and my dad’s exit process was no different. I just didn’t think I had a place. I wondered where I fit in. Why should I even be here? I decided after a few days to just go home. Why subject myself to misery?

Each of my siblings, in my opinion, had a role: executor, nurse, caretaker, carry on the family business…
But what about me? For a time I kept thinking my dad didn’t even know who I was…he did. That was just a story I created to support my “I don’t matter” theme. Then I thought he looked at me with disdain, like maybe he was seeing me as he did when I was involved in an affair. Shame poured all over me like waste from a port-a-potty extraction.

Our minds are so powerful! We can convince ourselves of almost anything. Mine was doing a fine job of tearing my worth and value into shreds. When I couldn’t take it anymore, I quietly packed and gently left. No one would have known anything was wrong. I am an excellent, Oscar worthy actress! One of my sisters wanted to have lunch with me before I started my drive back home…that changed everything! She had no idea how fragile I had become or how intensely the toxic stench of shame had poisoned me.
I poured out all the gunk inside of me and laid it at her feet. That’s when the hazmat cleanup started. She and my niece stayed in the icky places with me.They let me have my experience and also added truth. They helped me see my role…everyone has a role! Mine was subtle but still important.

The time with my sister and niece changed an entire course of my life! I could have walked away. I would have missed out on the healing I received from them. I would have missed out on being there for my dad, my mom and my sister in ways only I could fill. Not because “I’m all that” but because I am me and the elements I bring into my relationships are uniquely mine. No one else brings what I do, just as I don’t bring what any one else does. It’s this beautiful place of importance that we all have in the entangled messy rootball of life.

 

Categories: Emotional Healing, Growth, Healing, Recovery, Relationships, Self-Help | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “The Messy Side of Family

  1. Cathy

    Karen, Thank-you for sharing this; I can see myself in so much of what you have written. I love that you can put how I feel at times, into words…it makes it easier to understand what I am experiencing. Blessings to you and your family…and many hugs.

  2. Jerry Davis

    So thankful that you were able to experience some new levels of healing with your family.
    I really appreciated your comment about how you created a story to support your “I don’t matter theme.” Our schemas are so powerful and lead us to create a reality that supports the existing schema – especially the early, critical ones with family. Thanks and blessings to you, jed

  3. Hey Karen, It is kind of funny when we are forced to look back in time. Yes you guys were sort of a clan of sorts.. each of you had different … NO very different personalities. But as a school yard friend I must say that getting a little perspective on the whole is a necessity. I have my brother Mark and I.. and even we have different dynamics going on. I will leave you with one of my favorite movie clips.. that I think pertains to your thoughts… Enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0FX_ROcNV4

  4. Butch Holman

    Never forget that, we are all unique and bring different things with us. Thank you for sharing

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