Lessons Learned 2008: Family

I have learned in 2008 that family will do you worse out of anybody you know.  Forget your friends, your enemies, your frenemies, and your lovers… only your family members know how to screw you over with that special brand of screw over-ness that really gets you up the ass.

Now, you know I’m not really going to get on here and air out all my family’s business, because that would be just dead wrong, but there are things that should be addressed for the sake of therapeutic license. 

Have you ever had some mystery that just went unsolved and it drove you crazy?  You could never get the real truth out of anybody.  You ask this person, they tell you a lie.  You ask another person, they tell you another lie.  When you confront them both, they come up with yet another lie.  I think my whole life I needed to know some real answers about certain things in my family.  I could just never get any real conclusions.

I know what he said.  I know what she said.  I know what I think really happened.

In 2008, I think I got closer to the truth than I ever have before, I think it’s as close as I’m going to get.  It’s like an enormous weight being lifted off my shoulders, finally having some answers.  Everybody wants to think good things about their parents.  You never want to think that your mother or father could be a person that you would seriously loathe.

How can I say that, you ask.  Are you so shocked to discover that I have a seething hatred beneath my skin for certain members of my family?  They are the lucky ones.  They are the ones for whom I still feel something.  There are other people in my family where I don’t feel anything.  Like ice water in my veins, so cold to the point where I am completely numb.  That’s just sad. 

I will remember to count my blessings and be thankful that I was not born to child molesters or someone who would pimp me out for a drug fix.  Parents cannot choose their children and children cannot choose their parents.  That’s just the way the world works. 

2008 has been a revelation as far as family matters are concerned.  I think I put on a lot of blinders about certain people because they are blood.  I wound up getting so fooled.

But that’s okay. 

In 2008, I legally changed my full and complete name.  I realised I was carrying around so much baggage about my family just because of my name.  It was something I wanted to do since I was a teenager.  For aesthetic purposes, I couldn’t stand the name because it’s just so ghetto to me, but on a deeper level it was a serious emotional drain.  Every day looking myself in the mirror and calling myself this name that is virtually meaningless to me.  Everyday signing this name that is supposed to be your label from birth to death.  Someone told me that changing my name would be like changing who I am.

I beg to differ.  Changing my name was like finally realising who I am.  That other name I had was a name for someone else.  It wasn’t my name.  I looked in the mirror and had this name and it just didn’t fit me on so many levels. 

But that is just how family does you.  They fuck you up on every level imaginable.  When I got that court order in the mail stating my new name was legal and binding, it was like getting rid of all that mess that had been following me around since I was born. 

All their drama is exactly that, their drama and I don’t have to be apart of it anymore.  Since he never wanted anything to do with me in the first place, now he really don’t have anything to do with me.  Since she is living on another planet, she can stay living on another planet. 

Parents cannot choose their children and children cannot choose their parents, but I can choose who I am and what I am. 

Now I know everyone is like, “she changed her name?”  Yeup!  But you don’t have to worry about trying to memorise a new name.  Call me whatever you were calling me in the first place.  A rose by any other name is still a rose.  The change of name wasn’t really to placate everyone around me, it was to soothe my own injured feelings and give me a better identity of myself that I previously had not.  My new name may not fit me, per se.  When I look in the mirror and say it, I feel kind of funny.  Like, who the hell are you talking to?

But that is so different than previously.  I would say my old name and feel like I was talking to someone else.  And this new shit has only been legal for two weeks, and I’ve been using it at my new job.  I am still in the process of switching ALL THIS SHIT over, and I had to say my old name today… and it felt so alien.

That is how I know I did the right thing.


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