Despite how confusing and dysfunctional your family may seem to you, be assured that there are other families out there that make yours look like a walk in the park. It doesn't matter if your parents are still together or if they have divorced and remarried or whatever. Anyone in your family is just that family. They will be there for you when you are going through things, they are a support network. The only people that are going to be there for you when the chips are down and your back is to the wall. I am writing this because so often in life we distance ourselves from our families, loose touch, aren't as open and communicative as we can be. I want you to understand that no matter what your family has your back they are going to be there for you when everyone else has taken advantage of you and abandoned you. Sure they may be harsh, condescending and stubborn, they may be an argumentative bunch, seem to be indifferent, but let me tell you when something happens to you, they rally around you and are there for you in whatever way they can. That is what families do. As I have pointed out in several blog entries, you cannot depend on anyone else out there in the world to have your best interests at heart and have your back, with the exception of family. Now this is the first time I have brought up the subject of family, so I am going to describe to you my family and how it is a normal every day dysfunctional family unit, but how we pull together and help those that are in trouble.
My parents have been married to each other and divorced three times. At first my family consisted of my brother and myself, and about 3 years ago my father met a very nice woman and they are living together, now even though they are not married, my brother and I have been accepted into her family. Which adds a whole new mix of relatives into the fray. Which is fine because I haven't met any of her family that hasn't been kind, warm and generous and accepted us with open arms into the family. As most of you are aware back in March my colon ruptured in 2 places and I was put into the hospital for almost a month, and 19 days of that time I was in intensive care because my blood pressure wouldn't stabilize. Now I can tell you that the recovery process has been long and involved. Nancy and my dad were right there lending their support, and help when and where I needed. Nancy's family has been also part of the support network, and that sure beats having to try and doing it all on my own. I am guessing if I had to try and recover on my own from what happened I wouldn't have made it. There were a lot of problems and complications and I needed help giving iv antibiotics, changing dressings and bandages, the whole nine yards.
With the addition of a sister and brother to the family, it also brought their children as well. So now there are new nieces and nephews in the fray as well. I look at these as people I can get to know and hang out with and do things with. There is absolutely nothing wrong with opening up and trying to get to know the new extended family because as I have said they are going to be there for you when you need them most.
Now, whether you have multiple sets of grandparents, parents, brother, sisters, cousins or nephews, etc you should count yourself lucky. Often times we find ourselves alone and lonely. With family around you will always have something to do. Places to go and unfortunately work to do as well. But embrace the fact that you are blessed and be happy that your parents have finally met others that make them happy. Do everything you can to fit in and be patient. Take the time to get to know them. You know that you will be glad that you did and feel like it was all worth the effort. The only thing I caution you is to keep your beliefs and preferences to yourself. Don't force someone to believe or think the way you do, don't push your lifestyle or choices off on them. Just enjoy their company and the time spent with them.
Like I always stress be honest with them, talk to them about yourself. They may not have grown up with you, or live with you currently. But don't try to hide anything from them either because it is eventually going to come back on you. Trust me when I say you cannot have to much family standing behind you. Celebrate and rejoice the fact that they are in your life and cherish the time that you have together, even if you don't agree on each and everything. Learn to compromise and be understanding of their choices and preferences. If you have a certain preference and they don't share it don't try to force it on them. Because it will back fire. An example of this my nephew was on Meet.com talking with some girls and these two guys on their kept hitting on him, and he made a statement to me that he was putting that he was only interested in girls on his profile, he didn't want me to think badly of him because I was gay, and apparently he didn't want me to think that he was putting up there because of me.
I told him it was alright for him to do that. Because I don't think it was right for those guys to push themselves at him and try to coerce him into doing something that he wasn't comfortable with. I don't believe that anyone person should push what they believe or do on anyone period. I also took it as a little heads up that because he knew that I was gay he was trying to tell me subtly that he wasn't interested in me because he was only interested in woman. Now to be honest with you I until he had brought it up by making his statement, I hadn't even considered him in a sexual way, and I actually still don't. I pointed out that I was old enough to be his father, and though I don't mind hanging and chilling with him, I wasn't looking for a child to raise. I wanted someone more my age and style. He did point out that him and I have a lot of common interests, and I think that is great and I think that a strong friendship will come out of it.
Plus, another benefit for anyone that has been reading my blog since the beginning. You all know that there are times when I feel lonely and alone, because I have no one to do things with or hang out with. I look at this as an opportunity to have some fun with someone else, a good friend who wouldn't mind doing some of the same things I am interested in. My father and step mother don't like the same kind of movies I like so it will be good to have someone who does to go with me to see them. In my opinion it is a great thing. I am kind of happy he moved down from Ohio, because up until this point I pretty much hangout in my bedroom and occasionally hangout with my parents but normally I am by myself.
The whole point I am trying to make here, is that parents aren't perfect, relationship's aren't always perfect and there isn't a really decent handbook out there that addresses every conceivable type of situation that a relationship might face and have to overcome. So when a new family comes in with a new relationship, embrace it, accept it, and above all explore everything about it. Get to know one another and before you know it you are going to have a strong and lasting support network, no matter what happens to you in your life.
As always my hopes and dreams are with you,