Saturday, April 23, 2011

Family vs Relatives

It's easy to know who our Relatives are - those persons who happen to share a close common genetic background and therefore ties of blood and bone and cell structure at the most fundamental levels of DNA.

Defining who our Family is, as opposed to those who are relatives, is not always such an easy or clearly defined task.  Relatives, after all, are a trick played by fate.  You have no choice about who happens to share common ancestors with you, whether you like them or hate them or could care less one way or the other.  It doesn't even matter whether you've even Met them - they're your relatives by a quirk of fate and not through any effort on their part nor great goodness of their spirit or conduct.

My relatives, without exception, are NOT considered part of my Family.  While I may have no choice about whether I share common ancestry, genetics, or DNA with these people, I DO have a choice as to whether I'm going to associate with them, pay attention to their opinions, care about them in the slightest, or respect their existence.

The question happened to cross my mind recently, while considering the whole "who is my family" issue:  Is it possible for me to consider someone part of my family while they do not consider me part of their family?  Is it possible for me to maintain the loyalty and caring of family towards someone who indicates to me - either by direct words, or by their actions, that they consider me inadequate - not good enough - to be part of their family?

It's something I haven't, yet, been able to answer for myself.  But I will no doubt find some resolution before I set the question aside completely.  I have to, for my own peace of mind.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Trying to explain Me

I've been doing a lot of study over the past several months, along with work (off and on) with a psychiatrist, to try and define myself - to myself.  It hasn't been an easy task, and it's by no means completed.  It may never actually be a "completed" project - due to the nature of the human beast, and it's constantly changing and adapting state.

In the meantime, gaining a definitive sense of Self has been one of the utmost projects in order to arrive at something at least remotely resembling a state of mental and emotional health.  I wasn't joking, after all, when I subtitled this blog "diary of a mad woman."  I am not now, nor have I been for several years, anywhere close to a state of mental health or normalcy.  The trip into crazyville started years ago, took a long time, and it isn't going to be a fast road back to complete health.

Most people know who they are.  They have a very clear view of "ME" and "Self" - I, on the other hand, most frequently do not.  I've spent my entire life wearing whatever mask I happened to think people Expected of me for a particular "role" or situation.  "Mommy" wasn't particularly Real to me - it was a long term role I was expected to play and fumble my way through, hopefully without making to much of a fool out of myself, or causing to much damage along the way.  Same thing with "wife" and "friend" and whatever else happened to be dumped in my lap by fate along the way.  I keep hoping that eventually I'll figure out who *I am, as opposed to who "you" (generic - everyone who doesn't inhabit this body) think I "should" be or "could" be or am "supposed" to be.

I'll find me eventually.  I hope.  And in the meantime, at least I've learned how to slip into the mask for most of the various roles expected of me.