Family

Family

Talking about family ties
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The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb”-Proverb

I don’t remember exactly when I was told my mother was adopted. Probably early on when I started to realize that we didn’t look like my Mother’s family. But it’s how I grew up. It was a fact for our family kind of like how the sky is blue and the world is round. It didn’t really matter to me. But it did cause me to have a rather different view of families than many of the people I went to school with and even now with many of the people I’ve met along the way. To me I had several families. I had the family with my Mom, Dad and brother, the family that was my Mom’s side, the family that was my Dad’s side and my Mother’s biological family. So I just kind of accepted that family comes in strange ways.

(Myself, my cousin Carin, my Nana, Sommer and my cousin Shana in 2012)

My brother and I were raised in Upstate New York with the families being spread out between New Jersey, Florida and at one time California. We didn’t see the family in Jersey as often as we all would have liked but we all knew of each other and when MySpace and Facebook became household names we all had accounts and friended each other with the promise we would be better than our parents had been. So we talk on different messengers and try to keep each other as updated as possible. But we’ve always been family, even though we didn’t see each other and didn’t grow up with each other.

(Above is my brother, my Grandmother and myself in 2008)

On the other hand when I moved to Florida I created my own family. These were not blood but they were the ones I chose. I had started to think of people as family before this but this was the first time that I realized it was happening. I met the Florida group over the 11 months that I was on the internship and as time went on they became the family I chose. We spent holidays together and birthdays and random days in between. These girls were my sisters and I wouldn’t change a thing.

(Thanksgiving 2013 with several of my Ohana)

Since I’ve been back I’ve attended family reunions for my Step-Mother’s family and one thing got brought up that stuck with me. A member of the family proclaimed that these people weren’t family because they didn’t grow up with them. And that kind of threw me. These people were blood to that person. But they weren’t considered their family. And I get it. I do. I understand where they came from with this comment. But it still made me think. These comments were a surprise to me. It made me wonder what my place was in this family. Did I matter? I thought of these people as family. I mean our parents have been together 11 years. There will reach a day where they’ve been together most of our lives. But at what point would I be considered family?

(Myself, my brother AP and my Father in 2014)

(Mom, AP and I)

Comments have been made for most of my time with them how I wasn’t one of my Step-Mother’s children but I thought of her as one of my parents. She’s done a lot for me but I wasn’t sure how to explain that. I’ve never been one to believe that you can only have so many family members. To me the love and care that I feel for those I deem family isn’t finite, it’s infinite so I can have as many members of the family that I choose. Not that I just adopt everyone, I’m selective in who I spend my time with and I’m selective in who I adopt into the group. My Florida crew or my Ohana as I’ve referred to them as joke about my intuition. It’s the Marissa test. If I decide that there is something off they aren’t brought in to the group. Fair? Maybe not but after some of the very memorable events we’ve had because no one (including myself) listened to my intuition we tend to be a little more careful.

(Louis, O, Little Guy, myself and S earlier this year for Mother's Day)

Either way I still see them as family. I don’t refer to them as steps anymore unless I’m trying to explain the different family dynamics that I have. As far as I’m concerned these people are family and I protect my family. Even if I’m not considered part of their family I’m including them in mine. And at the end of the day isn’t family what you make it?

(Mom and Grandpa in Florida)

Cover Image Credit: parentsguideline.com

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6 Signs You Need To End Your Friendship

Subtle ways to tell if your friend is a narcissist
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In your life, you will more likely than not run into people who do nothing but hurt you and bring you down. These people slowly become toxic to you, even if you don’t notice at first, and chances are they might be a narcissist. There comes a point where you will need to cut these individuals off for the betterment of yourself. If your friend does several of the things below, it might be time to reevaluate your friendship!

1. They are extremely self-centered

Everything this person does revolve around them. If it doesn’t help them out or make them look better they won’t bother with it.

Example: This person might come into your home/apartment to talk to your roommate and only acknowledge your presence when they want to brag about themselves to you, or only come over when they need something from you.

2. They feel like they are superior to you

Even if you have a better paying job or more fulfilling lifestyle, this person will always let you know that they are better than you. They are always in the right and will argue their point to the ground if need be. Because of this, often times they are quite condescending as well.

Example: Arguing with you on a topic that you clearly know more about and talking down to you in a demeaning tone.


3. They forever play the role of the victim

It doesn’t matter if they were actually the ones to cause trouble, these individuals will twist the story around and make sure everyone sees how “wounded” they are, convincing others that they are actually the victim. This person will consistently place the blame on other people.

Example: They might flirt hard-core with different guys in their room all night, but when their boyfriend breaks up with them it’s not because she blew him off for other guys, it’s because he was because he was being a jerk.

4. They are never there for you

Like mentioned earlier, if it doesn’t benefit them this person doesn’t care. If you need them or want to talk, they might leave you hanging. Emotional support will sound fake or not come from them at all.

Example: You might ask your “friend” to hang out only to find them blowing you off for no reason at all or for somebody else who is going to give them something in return for their time (party invites, food, popularity, etc). It isn’t uncommon for them to be deceiving about this and not often tell you their real reason for not wanting to see you.

5. They are two-faced

This individual can sometimes seem as sweet as can be upfront, but don’t tell them anything important, they might have a habit of using it against you. Trash talking you behind your back is also very common and to be expected.

Example: You tell this person something extremely personal and they turn around and immediately tell everyone they know, disregarding any promises made about secrecy.

6. They make you question yourself

Are they really a bad person, or are you just overreacting? Most of the time, these people know what they’re doing (either consciously or subconsciously) and use it as a tactic to manipulate you.

Example: Something you said with good intentions can be turned into an insult and that person may make you blame yourself for not saying the right thing.

If you go through this list and notice that you do every single one of these things to other people, then I hate to break it to you but you're probably a narcissist

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Ashley Williams from Pexels

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I Wish I Could Remember You More, Mom

I carry you with me; I carry you in my heart.
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It has been fourteen years since I lost you, Mom.

Fourteen years since I have heard your voice, seen you smile, or told you I love you.

There are some days I wish I could remember more. I wish I could remember what music you listened to, your morning routine, or your touch. It would be so easy to remember if I could press rewind and replay those one more time.

I was eleven years old when you were taken from me, yet it doesn’t seem like I was that young. Sometimes I get so angry for not remembering the small things. I will never know what your biggest dreams were growing up, how you became so passionate about art, or what your favorite song was. I will always wonder what your favorite childhood memory was, what you loved to cook, or what your biggest adventure was.

It has always been the little things I want back.

I don't remember every detail about you, but I am blessed to say I remember enough.

Because what I do remember, is vivid enough.

While I complained and whined about going to swim practice, you still managed to attend all my practices and meets in pain, barely able to walk.

While you and dad broke the news to me, you fought back your tears.

And while I was in denial and ignored the pain, you conquered it full on.

I keep these memories close in my heart. These might not be the best moments, but they are some of the most powerful memories on replay.

Sometimes I feel guilty, Mom. I should have been more loving. I should have done more for you. I should have appreciated more. I was just a careless little girl. I'm so sorry.

The night before you past, Dad told me your time was coming soon. We weren't very strong, Mom. It was the first time I saw Dad cry.

He told me to say goodbye, but I didn't want to. I tried my best to get out of it. I told him it wouldn't happen.

Not today, not tomorrow, and not in three years.

That night I told you I loved you, you told me you loved me back.

I heard many voices the next morning. Grandma referred to you in past tense as "the youngest one." Right then and there, I knew my goodbye was real. I hid under my covers Mom, hiding as best as I could. I did everything to avoid walking through my closed bedroom door. I will never forger the reality that hit me when Dad walked through that door.

That night was the last night we spoke Mom, the last time I saw you alive.

While there is so much I wish I could remember, I will never regret nor forget the time I said I love you one last time.

I will never rewind and say this was something I should have done.

I hope one day we will meet again, Mom.

Until then, I carry you with me; I carry you in my heart.


Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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