Sep 8, 2017

Making The Family I Chose My Priority

Happy September, folks.

I'm happy to be back to writing on a consistent basis.
I felt an overwhelming urge to step back a lot from social media, from my computer, from my phone, and from all the nonsense that comes with likes and follows and subscriptions and junk.

Sometimes it's good for the soul to cut ties for one reason or another, and boy have I had more than enough reasons this year.

We wrapped up the summer last weekend with husband's birthday complete with a little Labor Day fiesta, and I couldn't be more content with the transition.

You see, I have been on quite the journey over the last 8-ish months.

Nothing anyone else could really see, for that matter.
We haven't traveled.
No, I'm not pregnant.

It's more in how I feel.
How I am positioning myself with and for others.
How I am as a person.
A growth spurt...if you will.

Let's back-track a bit.

I have always felt that I handled difficult situations with ease. Grace under pressure.
I have always been the rock for many, many people in my life.

And because logistics and planning and care and fixing things came so naturally to me, for whatever reason, it only seemed logical that I spread the wealth, especially since my family was literally begging me for help.

I now see my thought process was silly, but justifiable....I don't have any kids of my own to dole out the love and care and therapy and know-it-all and life lessons I guess I should just do it for everyone else.

A lot of people, specifically, most of my immediate family members, stepped all over the love and support I offered.

My family took advantage of me.
And it made me bitter.

Because of this, I started developing anxiety whenever my phone would ring.
That anxiety spread to family gatherings, and family events, and anything that involved them.
I would sit and be furious, re-hashing events that were long gone.
I was furious that this was happening.
I was furious that I continued to let it happen.
That I was being used.

Because the only time my phone would ring was when someone needed something from me.

And you want to know what ended up happening?

I had a break down.

I became extremely ill for over a month with vision and neurological issues that most doctors couldn't figure out. Countless trips to the doctor, an MRI, and many pills later, and the conclusion was a sinus infection of epic proportions mixed with an overwhelming amount of stress and anxiety.

In a nutshell, it was debilitating. Although I looked relatively fine from the outside, inside I was scared shitless, wondering if this crazy-feeling was going to be my new normal. I had panic attacks while driving and in the middle of the night, my vision doubled if I looked too far into the distance, I couldn't focus on busy patterns and it generally felt like I was high all the time.

I just kept saying yes as people pushed their way into our lives, begging us to sort their shit out for them. And because I guess we felt like we had our head's on straight, we obliged.

But we were never met with equality.
I'm not one to need some sort of trophy for doing normal work. Far from it.
I just wanted to be treated as an equal part of the family.
I wanted people to work with me and love me and talk with me like we were on the same team.

I wanted the people I was helping to say something crazy like, "How are YOU doing? What's new? Hey! You wanna get together?" Without some ulterior motive meant to scheme me in some way. To manipulate me. To unload their bullshit. To make me feel awful.

I didn't get what I wanted.
I took the hit for this, have learned a great deal, and am moving forward.

That's what makes a noble person.
To try and make it better than before.
To learn from your mistakes and all that shit.

Mark and I have always wanted the best for everyone.
And that is God's honest truth.
We want everyone to enjoy life as best as they possibly can, and if that means sacrificing, or working harder, or changing things up to get there, then guess what? We fully support that.
Do all that good shit and report back.
We are happy to hear about and embrace the good you are doing in your own life.

So we always helped out when we could, because, like I said, some stuff just comes easier to us.
Everyone shines at something.

But it got to the point that I clearly remember repeating, "I have given you every possible option imaginable to dig your self out of this. You have all the tools. All the resources. All you have to is apply them as needed and follow-through. It's ultimately up to you."

I washed my hands of the effort and walked away.
I learned over the last eight months that none of that really matters, anyways.
Family is only family if they are there for you. Equally.

They sucked my giving well dry.
And it's now up to me to fill it with goodness again and dole it out sparingly.

The family I chose is more important than the family I came from.
If family is hurting you, it's okay to step back and re-evaluate your involvement with them.

Will it always be like this?
I'd like to say no, but that part isn't up to me.

What is up to me is how I react to shitty situations, how I choose to live my life, and what I allow in it. And through trial and error, it's getting easier.

Easier for me to say no and not feel guilty.
Easier for me to focus on my life and my prospects and my husband and our home.
Easier for me to understand that I am not a bad person for saying no.

Life is simple and beautiful and complex and mundane and chaotic all at the same time.
And it's going to fucking pass me right by if I don't pump the breaks and realize all this time spent running in circles has gotten me nowhere.

So that's the journey I have been on.
To place the right things at the top of my life list, and let the rest fade away.

Welcome Back. I'm happy to be here. XO

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