Past: Broken Families and Broken Homes
Seeing a black sheep amongst a heard of lambs is a sight to be seen, but if you had the experience of a black sheep, you wouldn’t feel so special for standing out. Being a unique person doesn’t come with ease, and usually comes with years of longing to feel normal, until you find comfort within yourself. My role in my family is similar to the black sheep, I feel unwanted and exiled.
I was raised by my grandparents due to the inability of my biological parents being able to raise me. My mother suffers from cerebral palsy and my father was disabled, but did not want anything to do with me. I was only able to get to know my grandfather’s and grandmother’s side of my family.
Unfortunately, I did not get to know much about my grandfather’s side of my family until he published a book entitled, The Walker Family History. The majority of my relationship with that side of the family involved occasional road trips and visits, but the relationship was not exactly there. I never got to know this family, and the connection is as close as knowing a stranger on the internet.
In comparison to my grandfather’s side of my family, my grandmother’s and immediate family was not much different. The emotional distance felt the same, except I felt it during family gatherings. I did not feel like I was emotionally connected to my family, instead I felt like an outcast. During family events I was often cut off during family conversations and felt that I was resented for being different. I felt that I never was given a chance to be accepted in my family, but instead that I would be treated condescendingly as if I was an unwanted outcast. My family was worse than the bullies who made fun of me in school, they made it their duty to make me feel that nothing I had accomplished had value and I felt low.
On the bright side some family members, did not bully me, there were some who I had developed a relationship with and a sense of belonging. Unfortunately, most of these family members either died or moved away during my childhood. I felt like everything I could ever love would go away, and it created a fear inside of me to get close to anyone. My great grandfather died at the age of 8 and made me feel that I was a part of my entire family. At the age of 12 my great aunt died and seven years later my great grandmother died. Most recently (November 10th, 2015) my grandfather died. These were the most important people in my life, they were the people who formulated the little confidence I had left, and the drive I had to become a better person. Losing them, felt like losing a part of myself. Whose next to die? To be honest, I don’t want to know, but I am afraid to say it probably will be my grandmother.
My grandparents were the only people who made me feel like I had a place to belong. I will always consider them my only true family. They were honest with me when I did wrong, and supportive when I did right. They recognized that I was not like my other family members, and did everything they could to make me feel that I was a part of a family, but unfortunately this was not possible.
I feel that no matter how hard I tried to get closer to my family, I only grew more distant. Every attempt I took to initiate a relationship would turn to cut off conversations and unreturned phone calls. My Grandmother encourages me to remain persistent and I should not lose faith, but it’s hard to keep faith in people, when you are constantly ignored, even if you are related to them. It is possible that things may change for me in the future to be able to reconnect with family, but I can only leave that to the hope of having a brighter future. I have accepted this feeling of defeat, I feel that I have no control over the possibility of feeling that I am a part of a family.
I fear that eventually the family members who do care for me will eventually die. This uncertainty combined with my insecurity with developing healthy friendships and a perceived inability of having a relationship has given me a persistent feeling of loneliness throughout the majority of my life. I feel helpless about my ability to become close to people, and it is something I know I need to work with, otherwise my fear of loneliness may become a self-fulfilling reality.
All hope has not been lost, I still have yet to talk about one factor that has driven me insane, but has also given me meaning to my life; music. Music has been the one place where I have been able to find comfort in every bit of my pain and suffering. My love of music has helped me connect with people in ways that I could not fathom or comprehend. I am thankful for it, despite my broken connections with people. However, I have experienced a great deal of exclusion in the underground music scene which has heightened my feelings of inferiority and lack of self-worth.