Thank you for this article, you wrote exactly what I’ve been thinking about and going through for a long time now (and a lot of other people probably have too). Your story is sad but I can totally relate. Your honesty and insight is pretty powerful stuff too, you’ve obviously dealt with this with humour, grace and intelligence, the only way you can really deal with it.
My family is hardly the Cleavers, it’s more like a twisted mix of a passive/aggressive meets a psychological study in stunted emotional intelligence… but I digress lol.
I’m adopted, so I never felt a bond to my parents at all. They’re not horrible people at all but they’re safely tucked away in their own little world of denial and self-awareness. Yes, I’m appreciative of them raising me but, then again, they chose the role of parents, which is even more magnified and diliberate because I’m adopted.
My older brother is also adopted (we’re from different birth parents) and I’ve never had more than a “two people passing in a hallway” type of relationship with him either. After years of chasing after him for some sort of semblance of a relationship, I finally gave up this year because it’s clearly a waste of time and effort.
Your story reads a lot like mine, which is why it resonates so much with me. I’ve searched to replace my parents and brother along the way with stronger and more influential role models, people who actually can show their flaws and be unselfish in terms of their thoughts and their emotions.
I always think about why my parents chose to adopt in the first place… was it to feel complete or was it to genuinely raise children to put into the world to do great things? Sadly, but with much thought, it’s the former for my parents. They wanted to appear like a “normal” couple with children but had they listened to fate and saw who they were as individuals (with absolutely no parental skills whatsoever), they should’ve remained a couple who was childless. That way, they’d be even further ahead of the rest of the neighbourhood when it came to appearances and keeping up with the Joneses.
You’re absolutely right though, you don’t get to choose your family, which means you don’t have to love them or even stick around for them. Everything I’ve done in my life, I did without their help or support, which is sad but true. I see my parents now as deeply flawed individuals who chose to be the way they are out of pure insecurity for themselves. Hate is a strong word… I don’t hate them but I look at them now with pity and astonishment that they’ve never grown as adults. Maybe it’s their generation but I doubt it, they’re just two people who’re stuck in a bubble floating around until their time is up.