Monday, May 7, 2007

If I Ever Get Sick, Don't Tell My Family

The word "family" is so emotionally loaded. It brings forth images of happy people together, sharing, caring and enjoying each other's company. It conjures up images of happy holidays, love, and time well-spent with people that you care about. We are cultured to believe that, when the entire world deserts you, your family will be there at your side.

Were that true in my case.

We've been wrapping up a tough week of visits with out-of-town family members. It's been hard, and I've been constantly reminded how I am the black sheep of the family, deserving of the past years of banishment. I've been reminded again and again of how I live a sinful life, and how the lack of relationship I have with family members is my own fault.

Everything is my fault.

If I ever get sick, if I ever find myself suffering from a terminal disease, please don't tell my family. I'd rather die alone in the hospital than have them at my bedside. Maybe someday I won't feel that way, but today, I wouldn't want them there.

Yes, I imagine that they love me, in their own way. However, that love isn't good enough to transcend what they see as my shortcomings and my faults as a human being. In their eyes, I could be a skinny millionaire, and they'd still find reasons to fault me. In their eyes, all they see is my past failures, not my current or future successes.

They don't see that my currently-successful business has made it past the important five-year mark. Instead, they just remember my first business failure that ended with me filing for bankruptcy. They don't see my currently-successful relationship of nine years. Instead, they see a series of failed relationships, including a marriage that ended in divorce after only three years.

In their eyes, I'm not good enough. I've never been good enough, and I never will be good enough.

They are wrong. I am good enough.

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