My whole life I have been trying to distance myself from my family. I was tired of being associated and judged based off of people and acts that were not me or done by me. I can't tell you how friggin annoying it is to be at someones family dinner (because they thought it would be nice to invite you even though its awkward af because you have no family socializing skills) and their parents ask "so what do your parents do for a living". LOL. This is such a simple question for most people but for me in a matter of seconds this is what goes through my head...
First of all I'm sweating because I know I'm about to be interrogated ... or have a nice conversation, as others would say. I think about the types of experiences I've had with this specific friend. I scan my brain quickly to recall if we've been on similar topics before as to not confuse anyone with different family members/stories.
"Hmmmm. Do I tell them a lie that my parents are lawyers or whatever so they get off my back and then if I'm friends with this person for long, I'll have to continue this lie and go into details about the fictional characters forever? Or maybe I'll explain to them that I live with my grandparents and when they ask what they do (at the time) I say my Grandpa is a Gas Station Attendant and my Grandma is on disability. This answer wasn't taken lightly either. Growing up in Kelowna having a family history of low income and public displays of addiction was not accepted so easily and theres nothing like sitting at a table with people who think your a low life gold digger.
If I'm being honest it was hard as a young adult who was still so nervous about the world, battling ptsd and moving into new homes all the time. I truly didn't know what "family" members to talk about when asked. My Grandparents? My real "mom"? My first set of foster parents or maybe the second? How the crap am I supposed to know how to answer you, OF COURSE there is going to be inconsistency.
I guess what I am getting at is family stuff is NOT NATURAL for everyone. I know that thinking about calling your mom to ask for advice or leaning on your siblings for moral support seems like a no brainer. But that just doesn't exist where I come from and I'm tired of feeling like I NEED these things in order to feel complete or successful.
Yes I believe family history is important and yes I believe that it's good to ask these questions, but only ask them if you truly want to know. Because there is nothing like giving an honest answer about your ACTUAL life only to get weird stares and uncomfortable chair shuffles. We are all craving connection and relatability but I've found that anytime someone (including me but also other than me) actually begins to talk about their life, or maybe just the darker parts of life (which is MOST of my life at this age) people don't know how to act or respond. Which is totally understandable, society hasn't made it easy for people to share these parts of our lives.
We're told to show everything thats sparkling and everything that works out, but not what happens behind closed doors. When in reality it's whats behind closed doors that NEEDS TO BE TALKED ABOUT. Now I know that it may get annoying hearing me talk endlessly about my family history and how its affected me personally, but even if you don't relate to me. Just remember that there are endless children who are going through the exact same experiences, even worse in some cases. I was once a child you know and I was abused immensely so I'm sorry if I seem awkward at your family functions. I've been practicing but it's still a little weird for me.
To all the friends that "get it", thanks for listening, I love ya.