Thursday, 18 August 2011

Family Bloody Family

We are ALL born into a family. Whether we are kept, or passed on for adoption, at some point we all had family. We had no choice as to whether we were born.

Those who are adopted sometimes feel that they had been "unwanted" or "dumped".  Often the case is that the new mother was not in a position to be able to raise a child. Once adopted that baby or child will have a  new family, one that chose them, one that wanted them.

Some of us wish we had been adopted. Some of us wish we had died at birth.

In life we have choices. I chose to "dump" my "unwanted" family and made myself a new one. I now class certain friends as family. I remember the fuss, as I grew up,  that was made because my maternal grandmother's first cousin was the poet and playwright Dylan Thomas. We were supposed to feel special because of this.
Why, then,  was I treated with such utter contempt and disregard? I am proud of some of my lineage, including the Dylan Thomas link. I have traced my father's family back as far as 1609 in Devon and before that I believe they came from France. I am proud of that lineage too. I am ashamed of my roots through my mother's father. I am ashamed that my mother's daughter is related to me.

I am not ashamed of my mother, though;  she eventually gave her life that I might live. My father might not have known how to show emotion, but I loved him nevertheless.

I loved my maternal grandmother even though she didn't always treat me well. For most of my life she treated me like a prince. Was that through guilt though? I care not.

For so much of my life I felt unable to just be myself. I had few friends. I felt unworthy and unclean. Why would people want to be my friend?  I was dirty, I was used goods, I was a coat of many colours - torn, bloody and soiled.

What I have learnt is that it is OK to be myself. I am a man and yes, I show emotions;  I cry, I care about others and I like the gentle things in life.

I have made many new friends recently, some of whom I now class as part of my extended family, a family of my choosing:  a family in which I feel safe, protected and also one that I too can protect and advise. A family born out of friendship, love and a mutual understanding.

Thank you.

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