I find I’m afraid of being around families, I think. Good families, bad families, close families, crazy families, distant families, loving families. Big families, small families. I’ve been around a lot of families and many have made me feel more than welcome in their homes and lives. I’ve been privy to some of the most private and intimate of occasions and events of some of these families. But even with those families I’ve loved and been loved by, I’ve always been very uncomfortable. It’s like the feeling of being third wheel with a couple, except even more so. It’s an outsider feeling. An exclusion from something intimate, even in the least intimate of circumstances. It’s a feeling of displacement. Foreignness. It’s like looking into a fishbowl and seeing life go on completely separate from you. Sometimes it’s a little bit nice, seeing life like this. Sometimes it’s not. I don’t know if this is hard for me because I’ve never had that family. Any of those families. I don’t know if it’s hard for me because I want that family, if I want to be a part of that. I don’t know if it’s hard for me because I don’t, because I wouldn’t fit into that right. Maybe it’s hard for me because I can’t really believe what I’m seeing. It doesn’t compute.
I have a large family. I love my siblings, and when we’re together we’re close. When we’re apart we miss each other. But we have never been a family that supports each other, that pushes each other, that is there when the going gets tough. We don’t come together in times of need, we freeze. We stall out. We drown. We drown separately, even when we’re all in the same boat.
So maybe that explains my difficulty with families. Maybe it doesn’t. It could, though. I guess the next question is will my desire to once again be part of a family one day, ever be able to trump my discomfort and sense of displacement from any sort of family? I hope the answer to that question is a happy answer. I don’t know what I’ll do with myself if it’s not.