A friend of mine said to me today that friends come and go, but family is there forever. To me, it’s always been sort of the opposite. Well, not really. It’s the same sentiment, but has a totally opposite meaning to me.
To me, if a friend rejects me, I can part ways with them. It’s sad, but it happens. If family rejects me, I’m stuck with it forever as they shove their disgust in my face, rallying other family members to try and “fix” me, to stuff me back into that pigeon hole. To me, family is who you lie to the most; you have to read between the lines of each question, suss out the “right” answer, and keep your masks up at all times, lest they get a glimpse of some part of you they won’t approve of.
When I’m down and out, it’s friends who know me well enough to comfort me. Family will take advantage of me, manipulate me, clip a muzzle and a leash on me and make me dance for their amusement. Friends know me well enough to know and respect my boundaries; family knows my boundaries and therefore knows how to needle me and hurt me the most. Friends are like a pack of wolves I’ve chosen to adopt and work beside, day in and day out; family is like a hunter who uses his knowledge of wolf psychology to lay traps in the least-avoidable spots.
Am I just damaged? Or does anyone else feel that way?