Through experience, I’ve gathered that learning the different ways, in which a family unit communicates with one another, is key to understanding the roles that each person plays in keeping their unit strong. Living with 3 different family’s (closed, open, and random) helped me to understand that all families’ are different but didn’t really allow me the time to fully conceive what it meant to feel at home or comfortable enough to communicate with my family. Nothing was stable. Often times because of this lack of communication, I had issues with understanding my role in the family. Having little to no sense of entitlement, subconsciously, I often forced myself to be the outsider. Having time to reflect, I believe that a sense of privilege and belonging is essential to a child’s development in connectedness within their family and even those around them. My mother and father separated when I was 5 years old. I have an older sister by my mother and another man, a younger sister by my dad and his wife, and a stepsister by my dad’s wife and another man. When I was 13 I went from living with my mom, her boyfriend, and my older sister to living with my dad, his wife, and my younger sisters. It was a huge change for me and the transition from being the baby to the oldest was very difficult. I was coming from a very closed family (mother’s home) to an open family (father’s home) but because I was now the oldest in this new space the dynamics of this once “fun-weekend-house” changed dramatically. The reality that I was a teenager that liked boys and lied to hang out with them and friends, took me off the pedestal my father had me on and ended with me being sent to live with my aunt, uncle, and their 2 children in a city 3 hours away.
In my mother’s home, she was the boss and there was no room for further questions or interpretation. Things had to be a certain way and if they fell out of that order “all hell broke loose” To avoid conflict, my sister and I, often times...
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