Sometimes Blood Is Nothing More than a Biological Link. #divorce #reallife

All my life I have heard people say the phrase "Blood is thicker than water" in reference to the importance of respecting family ties and family coming before all others.  At 31 years old, I have learned that this simply isn't something which isn't always the case.
A little background about my life:
I am an only child.  When I was very young, my parents divorced and by the time I was 7, they remarried other people and lived 400 miles apart from one another. This meant, that I spent the school year living with my mother and stepfather and school holidays and summer vacation with my father and stepmother.
The man my mother married is an amazing, loving, patient and kind man who didn't think twice about loving me as his own child.  Honestly, I could fill a novel with the respect and love I have for this man.  He stepped into the role seamlessly and effortlessly and never looked back.  I have always felt like he loved me as though biologically I am his. He was the father figure that every little girl needs in her life.
On the other side, the woman my father married is not this way. For as long as I can remember (back to age 5 or 6), she treated me like something that was just a nuisance. It started with her saying things like "Why are you crying for your mommy?!" the first summer I spent away from my mom (again I was 7).  She would tell me lies. I'll never forget the moment they sat me down on the couch to tell me the "truth about my parents divorce". Every moment I can recall, she would force me to speak poorly about people I loved and cared about. During one of the first summers I spent with them, I refused to eat anything hoping they would just send me home to my mom.  This led to cold shower punishments and hurtful name calling.  It wasn't just me she was nasty with, it was anyone whom she felt threatened by.  It was the neighbors, especially if I wanted to spend time at their house instead, or my father's workers because ordering them around made her feel superior. Her behavior continued as I grew up.  I learned to "survive" my time there by just agreeing and pretending to be someone I wasn't.  I wasn't allowed to like country music or talk about my school. When I became a teenager, I decided I wanted to spend some of my summer like my friends and stay at my mom's house half of the time so that I could feel "normal". My stepmother's response? She called me a bitch on the phone (I was 14).
When I graduated high school, they drove the 400 miles to be there, but not without saying to me "You're brainwashed by your mother and that's why you are going to college in that state instead of ours." And to drill this point home more, they refused to help me financially with school. After college, I moved across the country and didn't tell them until afterwards because I knew they wouldn't have anything nice to say. I met my now husband and only took him there a few times, praying they wouldn't scare him away. On the night before my wedding, my father called me crying at 2 a.m. because she was angry and lashing out at him about something with my wedding.
A few months and "incidents" later, I made the decision to stop calling them. Why was I putting so much effort into being treated so awful? I hung up the phone early February 2009 and not once in the last six years has it rang (my # hasn't changed). Since then, I've made no effort to contact them. Why? Honestly, it isn't because of all the hurtful things this woman said and did to me over the course of my lifetime. It is the fact that while all of this was going on, my father, the man that I am half of, my originally designated protector in life, someone that I love so deeply, just stood there and watched and allowed it to happen and even participated. That asshole and coward, stood there like there was nothing he could do about it. He let her do all of it to his child, his ONLY child for over 20 years. Not once did he stand up to her on my behalf, not one single time and I'm not sure I'll ever forgive him.
It's been over 6 years.  And not a single year have I regretted this decision.  It wasn't a decision I only made for myself, it was for my new husband and our future children. Because never, ever in my lifetime will I allow my children to be exposed to this woman. I am their protector, just as my father should have been mine, and no one will hurt my children like that woman hurt me.
And this is how I have learned that sometimes blood is nothing more than a biological link
I believe this:
“Being genetically related doesn't make you family. Love, support, trust, sacrifice, honesty, protection, acceptance, security, compromise, gratitude, respect and loyalty is what makes you family.” ~Unknown

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2 comments

  1. I really admire you for sharing this. I completely agree about how little DNA matters in relationships. Love and loyalty matter so much more. It can be so hard to cut off someone that should love you. I kept telling myself that maybe if I tried a little harder or waited just a little longer then things would get better. Turns out I love myself so much more after I cut toxic people out of my life.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and commenting! I agree 100%, it's so much better to cut them out!

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