Updated: Jan 17, 2021
I'm sad af. Grief is hella uncomfortable to me because I feel helpless. Nevertheless, I am going to hold space for this grief and articulate what hurts right now.
Like many of us, I have complicated relationships with my biological family. In truth, I've been living in my own little world for the last 8 years. I'd seen my parents like 3 times over that entire period. Over the last year, I've been working on my relationships in therapy by identifying what my personal boundaries are, and whether or not these relationships are healthy, safe, or worth working on. It's been raw, but I felt like I'd gotten to a point where I could come around with minimal issues.
Yet here I am, sitting with these big ass feelings because despite clarifying boundaries, and being honest about who I am and what I need, my parents continue to treat me the way that they want to. They continue to project their beliefs while ignoring and rejecting my own lived experiences and knowledge.
I am often told to choose peace. To not argue about everything. To give people room to be human. But these instructions often come from the people who intentionally make decisions that are harmful and invalidating af.
Me choosing peace looks like choosing the people that honor and respect boundaries. It looks like not allowing myself to be guilted into giving people access to me. It looks like leaving folks where tf they at. I don't have to argue or influence anyone's beliefs, but I don't have to subject myself to intentional disrespect and harm.
As I write this, my grief is presenting itself as anger. I am angry that for the last week, I've allowed people to ignore my boundaries. I am angry that I, in my silence and compliance, am prioritizing other people over myself. I am angry that my family believes that they know me better than I know myself. I am angry that my parents continue to call me girl/ma'am/daughter, but even angrier that they expect me to be around and honor them simply because they birthed me. I am angry at the sense of entitlement and indebtedness that they exhibit in word and deed.
They both want me to move to Georgia for my doctoral program but the longer that I am here, the more I realize that I cannot be this close to them. When I had CO-VID19 this summer, it made me evaluate my own boundaries and to examine my priorities. I felt that I could cultivate healthier dynamics with them, but being here is showing me just how much work that actually is.
I am angry. I am angry that I feel angry, hurt, and sad despite knowing who they are and who I am. I am sad that our lives and choices keep us from being able to authentically and peacefully coexist because they choose to dismiss valid boundaries. Of all of the things I am angry about, I am most angry with myself for not honoring my boundaries, and thereby subjecting myself to unnecessary stress...
Fast forward... the previous part of this was written 2 days ago. I took some time, had a much needed conversation with my pops and reminded my mother about these damn pronouns... I'm still angry and lowkey exhausted at what I consider to be a lack of consideration. When I was with my mother and her sister, they went out of their way to disregard what I'd already clarified, and that felt really violent to me. I'm still not in a place where I'm ready to fully unpack how frustrating it is to have someone look you in your face and do things that they know are harmful simply because they feel entitled to do so. My pops asked for some grace, and explained that it's hard to make those changes after 30 years...to which I explained my frustration. I'd given him hellllllllla notice and been trying for months to share my truth and my world...despite knowing how our beliefs do not align. I felt all the more unheard and disregarded, as though all this time I spent trying to share my real self has been for naught. This is something I'll have to sit with longer, but I think it really flares up some innerchild shit....like those moments in childhood when I tried to share concerns or passions and they were disregarded or considered to be a phase, and therefore not worth hearing about...
Ron Burgundy, in a glass case of emotions
Wheeeeeeeeeew.... that's all I got for right now...