One of my grandkids is struggling with family relationships. I’m writing this to let her know that I’ve been there, but I highly recommend hanging in and trying to work it out. Times have changed. If I had it to do over, I’m not sure what I could have done differently, but given the knowledge and wisdom I have now, I should have tried to stick it out.
I left home when I was 15. Unfortunately neither of my parents had parenting skills, and back in those days ( the 1950’s) no one cared.
My downward spiral began when my folks divorced. I was about 10 years old at the time. In the ensuing 5 years my younger brother and I tried to rise above the adults in our lives but it couldn’t happen. We had no help and no hope. We took different paths. My brother existed in a dark and dangerous world. He made himself invisible to me and the rest of the family and eventually landed in Federal prison. We have no contact and I don’t expect we ever will.
I chose to take a different route. At the age of 15 I didn’t have any conscious goals other than survival, but as I muddled through, making a life for myself, the goals formed and I was able to see that there were possibilities for me.
I made lots of mistakes, had a few disasterous failures, have some regrets, but in the end I raised 3 great kids, went to school and had a career I enjoyed. During those years when I was constructing my life and making my own family I had no help and very little contact with my folks. I’m proud to say I made it all happen on my own and with the assistance of people who became part of my life by choice.
Now, at the age of 64, my life is good. I’ve reconnected with most of my family and I’ve developed cherished relationships with my half siblings. My children and grandchildren are wonderful people and I’m proud of them.