I attend the University of The Living. All my education comes from first-hand experience's life throws my way.
We Are All Taught This Very Line
"You Stand By Family"
At a very young age, not many are left standing to where they have never heard the famous family lines. Of how such and such, no matter what is going on, is your blood. You need to stand by them, show them support. Let no one divide the family. To basically stand in their line of fire to show the world you are a protector of them, despite their forward bringing circumstance. That blood is thicker than anyone's water. But is that always true?
When To Stand By Family
I am a firm believer in family ties. The gatherings, hangouts, lunches at random, cousins being raised together, and children having amazing connections with their parents. This is what family should be made up of. But that is not always the case. Take for instance the family member you roll your eyes at when they are about to show up. You know the one. Go on, think about them as I explain where this is headed.
This specific family member is known to create ruckus among other family members. Worse, they are known to be users, takers, drug dealers, or have been in and out of jail since the age of fourteen and they are now fifty. Yes, this is the family member we all seem to have in our bloodline. Some families have a multitude of these blood kin. And due to their upbringing, have sacrificed their own rightful thinking, to not disappoint what was engraved into their tiny minds as the proper thing to do.
You Are Different
Seeing this specific family member is always stressful for you. It is never understood why they can not be civilized. They were raised by the most amazing Auntie and Uncle. Maybe even the very parents that raised you. The very same raising that emphasized on attending college and how to have a successfully peaceful marriage. Where raising your babies to be civilized adults in a crazy man eat man world was of the utmost importance. Then explained why hanging out in jail from hurting others was not an acceptable lifestyle. Why then can this other family member not be more like you, you wonder? Well ... the burning question really should be...
Why must you "HAVE TO" deal with it?!
Days Gone By
Let's take a step back in time. Into an era, none of us have ever lived. A time where all our information on it is found only in family tales, books, and some imagination on what could have happened. Let's say 1850. When a horse thief, no matter the blood, was sentenced to death, jailed, or they were run out of town and all their ties were severed from family. Not by the legal system, but by the family themselves. Due to shame with the damage their own kin caused. They knew what would be thought of them if they supported a horse thief. Family or not. And with that, the good side decided the rightful journey. They cut strings. Disowned the family.
Then sometime around 1950, things began to change. From the women going to work full time, to people standing by their kin, even in the thick of the ugliness.
I am no exception to hearing how my family is blood. That to not stick by them, even in the thickest of their ugliest moments, I am the trader. The backstabber. And could be disowned by the rest of the family. Only to become the black sheep. And here, right now, this is where my tangent will truly begin to fly off the charts.
Let's Create A Couple of Scenario's ...
Let's say I allow a friend to drive my car to the grocery store to buy a gallon of milk for their kid. While they are out, they smoke a ciggy in my car knowing my asthma is a daily battle to control. Then they pick up a friend I've never met, who chugged a couple of beers before sitting down in my passenger seat. He as well whips out a ciggy. As this amazing friend rounds the corner to park my car, his friend offers to circle the parking lot, since it is a quick in and out, just to avoid parking the car. My friend agrees, hands my keys over to a drinking stranger, and walks into the store. From here, a multitude of scenarios can unfold. Then my phone rings. It's the cops. Possible charges are going to be filed against me for stupid reasons (as the law is not perfect), and now the banking company is questioning my loyalty as a driver, and they take my car away. Granted, this is a hyped up scenario but life is weird like this. Mess happens. Mistakes of trust are made.
By now, you may be saying stuff like "Oh hell no!" and have already divorced this friendship. But what happens if that was Uncle Franz from Poland or Auntie Caroline from California? How is that bloodline holding up now? Is it still thicker than water? Are you going to honor what was taught to you, to keep others happy, at the risk of your own sanity?
Love Saying At The End of The Day
It's true, I love this catchphrase. Only because it is true. When the door at night closes, it is you who has to live with yourself. If doing for other blood kin will stand in the way of you not doing by yourself ... Do not play their game. But truth is, only you can decide that. I personally feel no amount of kin blood is ever worth my sanity. Very proud I am able to stand on my own feet and be to thine own self be true.