All in the Family

My childhood was beyond a doubt a tangled and toxic mess but I have to acknowledge that things would have been immeasurably worse were it not for the help of my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and others who had gave help to us here and there. I may have been without alot of things but I always had food in my belly; I always had electricity; I always had running water; I always had a roof over my head. I don't want to give the impression that help never came to us - money, food, clothes, gas, school supplies, Christmas and birthday presents. We never had much but we always had something. Things could have been much, much worse.

When my aunts would come visit my grandparents from out of state, they let me sit beside them as they were getting dressed and I watched them in complete fascination as they transformed themselves into beauty queens. They had fancy mirrors, special brushes, powders, and perfumes. They helped me construct a hazy image of how a young lady should look and behave. When my body started to change during adolescence, one of my aunts took me bra shopping while another talked to me about my impending "period." Uggggh. And every summer one of them would come and take me back to her home in Virginia for one whole week. An entire week of good food, going to the beach, cable TV, shopping, laughing, and just being a kid. Those summer trips were the highlight of the entire year. When I heard that one of the aunts was making that long six hour trip to my grandparents' house, I stared at the driveway for the entire day waiting for her. A weekend here and there, one week out of every summer, they brought a small ray of sunshine to an otherwise gray world.

I rarely see or talk to my extended family anymore. Over the years we have lost touch or grown apart but in thinking about how this blog may affect my them I almost stopped. Should they ever read this, I know they will be hurt. They will be angry. They will not understand why I am sharing our family's private affairs.

When I first sat down to create this blog, it wasn't supposed to be about my life. Originally I wanted to write a blog about green living but then... I don't know what happened. At first I thought it would be a nice journal for my son to look over when he is grown, to see how far he and I have come. Now I hope besides a journal this blog eventually helps someone else to take those first steps of uncovering and treating old, festering emotional wounds. Should my family's eyes ever find a way to these pages I hope they will recognize the good that is coming from this truth-telling instead of being hurt from it. I really do.

Until then I am trying not to think about who is or is not reading these words or where this blog will end up. I'm just writing. It's not a book - just one person's attempt to drive a little darkness into the light.