November 2017
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my relationships are not treated as valid / biofamily doesn't want to know me/ I have never belonged


Last night I brought up the idea to Topaz of having our parents meet and ze seemed hesitant about it. This upset me because it brought up feelings of invalidation. If we were engaged and one of us was assigned male, our parents would want to meet and expect to build a relationship because of the assumption that the kin of kin is important. But the fact is that because we won't be getting married and our commitment is to long-term friendship not romance and cohabitation, zir parents probably just don't see me as family (not to the level of their other kids' partners). And because ze's not male, my parents probably don't want anything to do with us as a couple much less kin-once-removed. I hate this so much. My relationships are more meaningful than most, because they're based on honesty, openness, constant respect, learning, compassion, and growth, yet I don't get treated as if they're even valid.  I shouldn't have to do them the same way as everyone else. And I HATE that friendship is so devalued. Sure, most friendships are not committed and intense, but when they are they should be given the same treatment as if they were romantic. A best friend should be treated like a spouse. If you consider me kin, you should invest in MY kin.

And that also got me thinking about the fact that my biofamily does not want to know me: they just want to see the parts of me that conform to their desires. They never wanted to know me: even when I was a child, the only thing they wanted to know about my life was if I was obeying and if I was performing in 'successful' ways (grades, scores). Now they've stopped trying to make me obey but those two things are still all they care about. I haven't said this to them and I feel I need to, but I can't do it in person because I will just cry, so I have to write a letter.

I have only felt like I belonged in some moments when I lived with the Wynnes (and I feel sure they wouldn't want me now because I was so much more normative then), and when I go to TBC. I have never felt belonging with biofamily because they never cared about who I really was. I yearned so much to belong with my ex-in-laws but I was never more than an accessory, first to Rebecca and then to Ben, nonexistent after divorce. I wanted to belong with Serendipity but there were expectations I couldn't meet and values I couldn't resonate with. I wanted to feel at home with burners but there are so many privilege-denying people in that world that it's super hostile and alienating to me. Ditto to every organized spiritual group I've known. I wanted to feel at home with queers but they're so fuckin urban-cliquey.  I feel at home with the people I draw to me but it is not belonging because it is not a unit: if I stopped holding it together it would cease to exist. I still ache to belong. I want to feel safe and kin in a circle that lives on its own because everyone in it maintains it. I feel I will never experience that and it hurts worse than any breakup.

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Comments
ladywind ══╣Mama╠══
I don't know for certain whether what I'm about to do is helpful or just vexing. I do know that when I'm under a lot of stress and sharing my fears, it's comforting to me to be reminded of conflicting evidence. Lets me maybe reframe the story I tell myself. So that's what I'm aiming for, and if it's inappropriate right here/now, let me know.

I don't know Topaz except through your writing; same for Topaz's family, so I can't state their motivations perfectly. But on 03JAN, you wrote this: I spent so many years wanting to feel included and seen, and though I certainly got that from my tribe, I never got it from 'family' but Topaz' family treats me like I belong. The biggest thing was that it felt genuine, not just a 'well you're here so we gotta get you something so it doesn't seem like a snub.' They acted like it was no big deal and I think to them it really wasn't, they just included me without thinking hard about it, but it was a big damn deal to me. I wrote them a card and sent it in the mail.
Then there are these: http://belenen.livejournal.com/543315 and http://belenen.livejournal.com/556580

All of that together suggests to this outsider that if Topaz is hesitant to put your folks and zir folks in a room together, it's possibly because ze's anticipating social fireworks of the more-loud-than-pretty variety and may not feel ze has the spoons to weather that at the moment.

Stress and rough history make fear easy to listen to.
But fear lies sometimes.
~offers hug and good vibes?~
belenen ══╣analytical╠══
I do appreciate this, I did forget about Christmas this year. But it's a different thing I'm talking about. They accepted me as family (which was new and great) but not as permanent or 'serious' family, it feels very different.

I wasn't upset with Topaz though, just with the situation.

thanks for the hug and good vibes *hugs back*
classical_wolf ══╣╠══
I'm so sorry hon :( HUGS!
belenen ══╣artless╠══
thanks *hugs back*
kiwi ══╣╠══
I just wanted to say that I feel for you. I know how it feels to seek a unit that you can relate to and not find it for one reason or another. It's not a good feeling at all. Sending you hugs.
belenen ══╣artless╠══
*hugggs back*
left_harangue ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣nuzzle╠══
*offers a HUGE hug* thanks so much for this comment, it made me feel very understood and connected.
roina_arwen ══╣Rainbow Sparkles╠══
The family/kin issue seems like a tough situation to weather, but it also sounds to me like if your family doesn't even want to really know YOU, it might be futile for them to know Topaz and/or zir's family.

I'm also wondering how valid a unit is if they would fall apart and "cease to exist" without one person trying to hold everyone together?
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
yeah, the family issue is sorta moot but it still stings.

That is what I am saying is the difference between a unit and not-a-unit: if one person falling away can break it, it's not a unit.
lifeofmendel ══╣╠══
I understand the need to find a sense of belonging, and the desire to shape that, but i feel like the effort should be a within effort as opposed to an external one.

as far as i'm concerned, you can only do so much to make other people feel change their views about something that's so unconventional. The only thing you can do is be yourself, and you should be as yourself as possible. if other people have problems with that, that's their issue, not yours.

now, i know that family is a different sort of issue, that you want to feel a sense of belonging with them because they're kin, because they're people that you love. I'm not sure what to say about that except that you can only do your best to try to make yourself understood. But that should still come from a position of strength and not a position of, well, not *weakness* exactly, but you definitely should come at it with the confidence that the choices that you make are yours, and if others reject it, even kin, well, that's a struggle you'll maybe always have to face and you have to accept it as best you can.

but you shouldn't ever feel like you don't belong. There are always people in your life that will support you, those you love, those who you trust. Strangers or pseudo-strangers like me who understand or have a context to understand what poly is all about and celebrate it as they would celebrate any loving relationship. hold on to that as best you can.
belenen ══╣╠══
All these things are already true but not the thing im talking about. I think maybe i explained it badly.
lifeofmendel ══╣╠══
i could have interpreted it incorrectly too. i'll go back and read it again when things are less busy.

*hugs* in any case. :)
belenen ══╣artless╠══
*hugs back* thank you <3
wildrose ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣artless╠══
*hugs back* thanks friend <3
volamonster ══╣mushroom's dragon╠══
Not feeling like you belong, not feeling seen, and not feeling loved while being fully seen and accepted, is so, so, so painful, and I'm deeply sorry you're going through this. Yearning for a circle like that is something I can relate to. I feel like I'm finding it slowly, but it always strikes me as this incredibly fragile thing, even the nascent foundation of it, because I'm so scared I won't ever actually find it and be able to keep it and yeah. Kin is kin is kin, regardless of romance or lack thereof. I know this to be true in my bones. I hear you, and I'm thinking of you.
belenen ══╣connate╠══
thank you for this resonance and the love <3 I feel you.
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.