My therapist said something backhanded that shook me. My aunt is supportive of me. And she is. In ways, I am innately aware of but rarely receive from my own friends and parents to a degree. So let’s talk about support and what it means.
I spent the beginning of the current COVID 19 lockdown with my father. And every meal I took with him, I was casually reminded that he paid for it. Even if I cooked it. Even if I contributed to it. That was the only thing he would say some days. And after spending time with my friends, this narrow way of looking at the world, that my very existence to the man that gave birth to me was fixated on the fact that he fed me in a world mandated quarantine, was mentally damaging. It made me rely on my budding relationship in a way that was not healthy and in normal situations, avoidable.
Let’s be practical about his reminder- food. Something I knew how to access without him if needed. He was providing housing or extending his housing since he had space I could occupy. And if I had more time to plan for this, I would have taken advantage of food stamps in my state instead of letting him pay for food. But that action would have not been any good. Because I would still be cooking all the food. But as a parent who has not been a part of my life, you think this would not be a thing. Why remind anyone of the food they eat comes funded by your bank account?
So I ran like a woman fleeing an abusive relationship. And realized how easy it can be for a woman to be trapped in that cycle of torture when coupled with the limitations of money. And if it were not due to other family members, I would still be there enduring his controlling mannerisms. And letting family tell me be glad he is letting me stay and congratulating me on being brave.
At least, that is his side of the family.
My mother’s family is a study in co-dependency but warriors, true family working to save the fucking day when I needed a new place to stay. And that knowledge juxtaposed against my father’s family dynamic, I began to break. It was amazing that I realized my past relationships have been some variant of him and despite his leaving at twelve, my mother enforced that kind of behavior in her own actions. It made me think that my efforts were never enough. And seeing that in the face of her own disdain for her family in other ways, such as how her side of the family does not have any money but helps anyway, really broke my anxiety about my situation that has been weighing on me since late February.
So on the seventh of July, I really did have a mental break. And it took a few days to go full, I needed an ambulance, before the break of day. And after a week in the hospital, my family hugged me. My mother asked me to soothe her about my situation and tried to force her personal agenda on my recovery. The rest of my family just wants to make sure I am okay and not going to harm them or me. The difference is simple but amazing in how I can respond in a way that is healthy. And it took a therapist to casually point it out to me that had me crying.
So part of me is grateful that my family loves me. Actually , a whole lot of me is happy to have my family want to come to my rescue in a way that is needed. Even my best friend can’t hit that support level and we did business together.
You have no idea what you are surrounded with until you have nothing left.