Friday, May 21, 2010

The Family.

"...and then the students lived happily ever after once the malicious Finals were completely obliterated. "

The End.

While this is the story that many of us would like to believe to be true, it is not so. the truth of the matter is that many of us tired, academic soldiers trudged home, back into the parent's nest. the concept of returning to the humble abode of one's parents almost has a Hollywood-esque feeling, a nearly romantic appeal as in the biblical story of the prodigal son. I reckon that my fellow students returned graciously, in some aspects over joyous to be home. I would also wager that within 48 hours of the initial homecoming those very same students were questioning why they returned home at all as the warm welcoming spirit dissipated and they were forced to participate in the everyday drudgery one would call "chores".

Its interesting to see an individual's connection with his(or her) family. The smallest actions can entirely upset the delicate balance of the family and cause World War III in the living room. I have come to the realization that such strong displays of emotion are not on account of the people in question hardly tolerating each other, but the exact opposite. It is the love they have for one another that allows such heated tirades because they know that the love they have will weather whatever hurts are inflicted. [[disclaimer: this may or may not be the case in your own family/experience, this is just what I have observed in my own life]] Any way you slice it, your familial bonds permeate your social mannerisms between each other and those who are not of your flesh and blood.

With such close connections to family, one may wonder why we are the least likely to go to our families when something 'unpleasant' may occur. After all, who can give you the most support? Who understands you the best? Your mother even harbored you as a parasite for nine months. With all these things considered, it makes logical sense that you would be closer to your family, and therefore be able to divulge the unpleasing things that occur when life runs amuck. BUT.... we don't. Generally, we try to hide the unsightly from those who are best equipped to support us. Despite other obvious displays of our comfort with our family (aggression, mainly), could the truth be that we are still harboring insecurities? Perhaps we are afraid that the love our family has to offer cannot withstand all of the actions we have taken.

You must be aware of certain choices you've made that would put your relationship with one of your relatives at a standstill at the very minimum. For instance, imagine if your sister had a pet chicken that she loved dearly; darling, with copper eyes, lovely rust colored feathers, and a chicken-esque name of Penny. Now- imagine you going out at night, you climb into your truck, put the keys into the ignition, and begin backing up. *thud* You pause... thud is never a good sign, especially when it is dark and there is not suppose to be anything to make a *thud* noise in the approximate area that you just thudded.... You put the car in park, climb out, and realize that the stupid chicken had decided to sleep in the wheel well, and you just ran over her. what do you do? I suggest you do what any smart sibling who fears retribution would do. you dispose of the chicken victim and blame her disappearance on coyotes. a little low? yes. However, your sense of right and wrong is being driven back by your ever-calculating logical side. If you did tell your sister, she would be upset and now have a person to pin the blame on (although if you think back, its not YOUR fault the chicken was in the wheel well; come to think of it, your sister should have been responsible enough to put the chicken away). Perhaps you two had been fighting previously and had finally patched things up between yourselves; the death of the chicken would open new hurts and rekindle the sibling war~ with so much at stake how could you possibly go to your little sister? Amidst all this thought process you are secretly grieving as your conscience is assuaged by guilt from being a chicken murderer, covering your tracks, and lying.

This judgment, in many ways, holds us back from our full potential. Because our families are so dear to us, we give the "what if"s too much power over our decision making. We are not willing to lose the love our families have to offer and so we hide the darkest parts of ourselves when we should be reaching out. From my personal experience, unearthing the bad has always lead to greater good. let me personally recount the ways it is beneficial to you:

reason 1) misery loves company. no matter how hard you try to be emo, you secretly wish for people to be around to help you out. those people would be your family members because it is essentially their duty. I promise you that friends won't; they have no reason to if they are not obligated. Your family signed a contract in flesh and blood to be there for you, take them up on it

reason 2) you can actually heal; then you won't have need to hide anything because there won't be anything to hide.

reason 3) if you hold it in, the problem will fester.

reason 4) I'm awesome and I told you to do it.

reason 5) your family really loves you and they do actually want to help

now, stop being a sissy. whatever your problems are that you are currently grappling with, I would advise you to take them to your family and sort them out. You really aren't as misunderstood as you make yourself out to be. "I'm misunderstood" is basically a pathetic excuse not to take a course of action. Also, if you are wondering whatever happened about the chicken story, I waited a year to tell my sister. By then she had a new chicken and I figured the repercussion wouldn't be as strong as when she was freshly grieving. did it work? yes, yes it did.