When I think of family now, I can’t help but think of Sociology. I have always been interested in families and how each one is different. Everyone raises their young differently, but often similarly to their families previous generations. In much of my work, I have spent a lot of time observing children and their families… so much so that it almost seems too easy to cover an entire chapter and week in Intro to Sociology on family.
When I think of the word “family”, I have thought of my family of origin. I have been married for just shy of ten years now, and only recently have I fully thought of my husband as falling under that word of “family”. It might seem weird to others, but I have always had him in this separate category “husband”. My family has been my family and not his family. Yet, recently my husband and my family of origin is now blended into those I would refer to in my family. My in-laws, although they are part of my family, if I were having a conversation, I think that there would be an emphasis on in-laws.
With my in-laws, it seemed that they were very accepting and welcoming of me initially. But since the incident this winter, it seems that I am definitely not a part of their group. I felt rejected, and at times I still do, I am learning to accept. It is still challenging sometimes emotionally, but I remember that it is okay, their $h!t is their $h!t, and my $h!t is my $h!t and how they act is on them and it doesn’t mean that I’m not worth it or worthy of respect.
I think that perhaps some of this is in-group out-group thinking at play. I know that with my family of origin, and especially with my husband, I belong. As long as I have existed, I have been an integral part of my family of origin. But, with my husband, I thought of us as something separate, a couple. And with my family, and with other families, I have seen that relationships do not often last and so I wonder if some of that was a subconscious way of me trying to protect myself out of a fear of not truly belonging with him or that there has been these underlying questions and fears of rejection and attachment. I couldn’t help but question will it truly last? or will it last forever? and will he still love me tomorrow? will he keep me forever? will he want to keep me forever?
In confidence, in reviewing the last few years especially, I think that it seems that I can’t know if it will last forever but I think he will still love me tomorrow and he wants to keep me forever just as much as I want to keep him (and I truly love the $h!t out of this man so I do want to keep him for forever and more!) I know that we are each better together and that we do belong in this world and we belong together. (I feel loved. I know I am loved. And I recognize that I am worth it and worthy of love. …and on a side-note I believe that everyone is, it has just taken me a long time to feel this way fully.)
So am I the only one? Did it take you awhile to redefine your idea of family? was it easier for some of you? or is the concept more fluid for others? I’d love to hear about others’ experiences.
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