– A journey of Letting Go
Blood makes you related, loyalty makes you family-unknown
Mr. Ex and I both come from rather large close-knit families and lots of friends that we considered family. We both grew up with our cousins being more like siblings than actual cousins. I met Mr. Ex when I was 15 years old through his cousin that knew my cousin. We quickly got to know each other’s families. Naturally, our families and friends began to mingle. They started to interact so much that our family members would go to each other’s gatherings. Pretty soon they were claiming each other as cousins. The bloodlines got pretty blurry.
Blurred lines and all, they say blood is suppose to be thicker than water. In my case, I guess my blood is watered down. During our separation, I couldn’t tell if my people were my blood or his. Once I made it clear that I wasn’t coming back, Mr. Ex made it his mission to reach out to any family member of mines that would listen. He would shame my name and spread lies and my family member would just join in. What they didn’t know is that when they were done gossiping, he would call me and tell me all about it. He wanted to make sure I knew where my family’s loyalty lied.
As if that wasn’t enough, Mr. Ex’s lies and gossip was able to destroy a 20-year friendship. He spun his web of deception back and forth between my cousin, best friend at the time and her then boyfriend (an associate of Mr. Ex). I was not the focus of that gossip but, begin directly connected to the two major players forced me in it. All of this was going on while I was trying to adjust myself and kids to our new living arrangements and a roller coaster of emotions. I offered to speak to my cousin about the gossip and what it was doing to my friend’s relationship. I went as far as offering to set up a 3-way call with everyone except Mr. Ex. For fear that it would just make things worse, I was asked not to so I didn’t. Well, I guess I was too calm and relaxed about it because, in the end, I somehow became the bad guy, not Mr. Ex who started the anguish.
That was just what Mr. Ex was able to accomplish. It seemed like the ones he couldn’t pull away, distanced themselves. They acted like I was the plague. No way were they going to sit around and listen to me moan and complain about the hardship of separation. The sad part is that when they went through their relationship struggles I made a point to keep in contact. I made sure my shoulder was always available to cry on and had a motivational word for whoever needed it.
At one point I just felt so depressed and alone. Then my real family showed up and showed out. I always had my sister’s support but, my relationship with one of my cousins turned into so much more. I also had a friend that was going through her own trials but, made sure we stayed in contact even if she had to pop up on me (which I loved). Those three gave me life and brought me out of the slums that I was sinking into. Their love and support made me realize that Mr. Ex and his lies, along with those that turned their backs, only did me a favor and taught me a lesson.
If you want to know who is with or for you then go through the storm. While you’re there pay attention to those around you. Do they give you an umbrella or do they help you build a storm shelter? When you come out of the storm take stock of who’s left. That is who your family is, blood or not.