I was waiting outside at the bus stop earlier today when I saw my cousin walk by. My gut reaction was to scream out and run to her. Hey! Remember me? I’m your family! But then I remembered her direct connection to my mother, and I started to panic and hide away.
I’m not even sure why I felt the need to hide. My cousin hasn’t seen me since I was a child, at least 15 years ago. She hasn’t changed much at all; I, on the other hand, look nothing like I did as a child. My eyes are the same, but that’s about it. She would have never recognized me. I probably would have scared her, shouting her name across the parking lot. I was a stranger to her.
As I sat there, processing the hurricane of emotions I just had in that short moment, the realization started to sink in again. I have no family. I felt the emptiness in my heart, and I started to cry. At the bus stop. With people around. Great.
I know that disconnecting from my family was the safest thing I could have ever done. I ran away from my parents, and in doing that, I also ran away from the rest of my family. I can’t risk my life connecting with anyone who is still connecting with my mother. As badly as I want to feel that family connection, I have to realize and absorb that is no longer possible.
What little family I did have left, I have had to disconnect from. Even though they were technically safe and disconnected from my mother, they were not emotionally safe for me. After enough repeated heartbreak and longing for love and support that was just met with frustration and hurt, I had to cut them away.
Now, I literally have no family. I am still grieving that loss. The wound is still fresh. It’s so hard, because no matter how many friends I have, they are not my family. I need family. I’m not sure what’s so wrong with me that I could never get that.