So there’s me. Plus a husband, two children and a new cat. The important family members. Then there’s a few more; mother, father, brothers. You know, the general people one inherits when one is born. The people you can’t choose. You are given these people. They are your family. They might be brilliant, they might be a bit rubbish or they might be atrocious. I have been blessed with having a few that fit into each of those categories.
For the whole of my life I have wondered why I was given to my particular two parents. Don’t get me wrong they weren’t completely useless. They served me well enough to get me through High School with good grades, I was fed, watered, groomed and cleaned.
Although, emotionally they were a little… erm… lacking, let’s say.
Born in 1987, I grew up like any kid in the 90s. Parents working manual jobs, walking to school and back on my own, playing out til after dark, lots of kids on my council house street doing the same, living their own 1990’s life. As the eldest of three, I often got the blame, lots of sibling rivalry, nothing out of the ordinary. Everything was hunky dory. Until I became old enough to realise that my parents were not ‘hunky dory’ at all. Dad was knocking off a woman at work, Mum was sleeping with a bloke to get back at Dad. He left, came back, left and came back about six times before I was even ten. They finally divorced when I was 11 but he came back to get his fill when I was 13.
My brother, five years my junior, was oblivious to more than I was. My other brother, 13 years younger than me and a by-product of that post-divorce fling, missed it all but has bore the brunt of still living with my mother now. Poor lad.
I moved on and got my own life. My own husband and children. Free reign to mess them up as emotionally as possible, as much as my parents did to me. But I didn’t. I took a stand. None of this “my childhood was so bad that I can’t be a good parent.” I am a good parent. And I am a good parent because my own taught me what not to be.
That is the importance of family. Growing up, my family might not have been exceptionally reliable or nurturing, but they taught me what type of adult I wanted to be. It took me a while to get here but I have arrived and my family is important to me…