Family of Choice or Family of Origin: We ALL have a Choice in The Matter It was through their love and understanding I found the courage to *stay down* and accept physical and emotional collapse. Other than one cousin, it is due to my surrogate family that I made the decision to take the steps I did these last 3 years….necessary steps to save my own life. Where my family of origin is concerned, I suppose it is an accurate statement to say, "It is due to my family of origin that I have remain motivated and committed to my work these last three years." Ashley Judd goes on to admit, “…my family of origin, the one in which I was born…. Dad died on July 8, 2012. We buried dad on July 11, 2012. So yes, in dad's final days, hours and for only a few hours after his burial all of *us* were under the same roof. *gasp* Referring back to a recent blog, Man Up Big Brother!! He's my dad too ass hole. | BlogHer In the blog, I share that I learned big brother and I would be under the same roof on a weekend in June and that I did NOT change my travel plans. To my step mom I said, “Time is ticking, and dad is not getting any younger. I am not traveling to town to resolve a lifetime of problems with big brother.... ...plus I know how to be cordial and polite and exist under the same roof.” Without a doubt, I felt the same way as I travelled to Mississippi on July 4. I mean come on! Dad is dying. Hospice has transferred him back to his house so he can die under his roof! So, no, I never thought about, "I wonder if everybody will get along.” Give me a in’ break. Or rather, get some in’ help if this was a number one concern for anyone! Shortly after my nephews, big brother and the girl big brother is F-ing arrived, step mom felt the need to point out to me that I was being ignored by everyone. “Really….not much paying attention... ...and I don’t really give a as I am not here for them. I am in this house for my dad. Maybe step mom thought she was being helpful, but she brought *this* to my attention several times in different ways. I finally had had enough. It was not that I cared if I was ignored, it was the way step mom communicated I was being ignored. “Just give them time to be around you so they can decide if they want to interact with you….” Talk about a ton of bricks toppling down on my head. ENOUGH with the in' scapegoat routine stepmom. As each second ticks away and I try to mentally prepare for someone to bear the unthinkable news, "Dad is dead." I was not exactly in a mind set to hear her words as we stood in the upstairs bathroom. Finally I stopped step mom mid sentence, looked her in her eyes and said, “STOP! WAIT! Do you think I am in this house *on show* for my nephews, big brother, little brother, little brother's girlfriend and the wretched girl big brother is F-ing secretly hoping they decide to accept me into their life or want to have a relationship with me? Understand this step mom, it's a two way street here. And yes, it's difficult not to observe family member's behavior behind the scenes of dad’s death bed. And yes, while we are on the subject, after all is said and done, I am sure I will have made clear decisions about who I want in MY life, be it big brother, little brother, nephews, niece. Get it through your head that a desire to have a relationship with each other works BOTH ways. No one in this house is the judge and jury of me. So be it if I have to make a decision to love certain family members from afar!” I think it went without saying that the same applied to her, little brother and little brother's girlfriend too. Like fuel to a fire...before July 4th... when I thought dad would live step mom created different ways to make comments about other family members…..”What if they don’t care why you disappeared for three years?” My reply, “Ummmm, I don’t really care if they don't care.” How many different ways or times can I say it, I refute BLAME! I am no longer this family's scapegoat. It is not my fault nor do I bear the burden of ongoing drama in our family system. Dysfunction, shame, and disease have intertwined itself around every member of this family like a in' albatross. So no, I did not travel to dad’s house with a secret desire or hope to rekindle relationships with people who exiled me from their lives--ignored me seconds after MY FATHER was dead -- not to mention did so under the roof of my father's house. The man who died was not just a grandfather, husband, mentor, friend or the father to big brother (Hear that wretched girl who big brother SCREWS? Speaking of... I never missed former sister-in-law SO MUCH with all of her compassion, sensitivity, love and class as I did during that week.) The man who died was MY father and some of you had for class. Yeah, yeah, yeah, grieving....this is me grieving.....now pour me another drink. WTF-Ever. Today – right now, I think it is obvious that manners, sensitivity, compassion, and just downright civility and decency were void in those few days all of us were under dad’s roof. YOU put your hands on me! YOU pushed me into the wall! And today - right now, I am sure of one thing: I will always love my family, but more than likely not care one way or another if I see or talk to certain members ever again.