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Author Topic: What is family?  (Read 1203 times)

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Offline Doom CookieTopic starter

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What is family?
« on: February 21, 2010, 02:06:00 PM »
Dictionary.com has this to say about it:
fam·i·ly
1. a. a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not: the traditional family.
b. a social unit consisting of one or more adults together with the children they care for: a single-parent family.
2. the children of one person or one couple collectively: We want a large family.
3. the spouse and children of one person: We're taking the family on vacation next week.
4. any group of persons closely related by blood, as parents, children, uncles, aunts, and cousins: to marry into a socially prominent family.
5. all those persons considered as descendants of a common progenitor.
6. Chiefly British. approved lineage, esp. noble, titled, famous, or wealthy ancestry: young men of family.
7. a group of persons who form a household under one head, including parents, children, and servants.
8. the staff, or body of assistants, of an official: the office family.
9. a group of related things or people: the family of romantic poets; the halogen family of elements.
10. a group of people who are generally not blood relations but who share common attitudes, interests, or goals and, frequently,live together: Many hippie communes of the sixties regarded themselves as families.
11. a group of products or product models made by the same manufacturer or producer.
12. Biology. the usual major subdivision of an order or suborder in the classification of plants, animals, fungi, etc., usually consistingof several genera.
13. Slang. a unit of the Mafia or Cosa Nostra operating in one area under a local leader.
14. Linguistics. the largest category into which languages related by common origin can be classified with certainty: Indo-European, Sino-Tibetan, and Austronesian are the most widely spoken families of languages. Compare stock (def. 12), subfamily (def. 2).
15. Mathematics.
a. a given class of solutions of the same basic equation, differing from one another only by the different values assigned to the constants in the equation.
b. a class of functions or the like defined by an expression containing a parameter.
c. a set.


To most people a family is their parents, their siblings and themselves. In the ideal family everyone loves each other and they all get a long. Back in my parents' generation there was a lot of that, so why is it that now there are so few? Or am I just friends with people that are equally dysfunctional as I? My parents had good families, were raised right and were happy.

So where did things go wrong?

As long as I remember my parents were angry, mean and always yelling. We didn't do things together as a family and if we did someone was always excluded a little or the butt of every joke and not having fun. My father went from screaming to swinging. That's just the way it was.  Mom screamed worse.

Can I call that a family?

I moved out at seventeen and into my grandparents' home. Now I'm just as unappreciated. I spend the whole weekend cleaning and no one cares. Friday I tried to tell them that the sink was being weird and I didn't know how to fix it. Said it three times. Everyone ignored me as if I wasn't there. The minute I rose  my voice above the tv I called yelled at and asked why I was always such a bitch when I had friends over. (I had three friends over for the night.) Grandma was the one yelling, grandpa ignored it. My aunt was downstairs and out of ear shot, but my friends were not.

She threatened to hit me, just like my dad had for so long before he started to actually do it. It set me off, badly. I yelled back, told her that if she hit me I'd hit her back. Looking at it now I wish I would have told her that I'd walk out on her just like I did mom and dad. She points her finger in my face, nearly hitting my eyes, knee-jerk reaction made me push her hand away, she tells my aunt I tried to hit her.

Can I call that a family?

Why is it that I feel like I have more of a family with my boyfriend then I have with my actual family? I'm not sure what to do anymore, but I know I can't stay here for long.

What kind of family do you have? How was your life growing up? Got any advice?

Offline Nicholas

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Re: What is family?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2010, 02:15:28 PM »
What a person calls a family, it entirely up to them. Personally, a family does not only entail parents, siblings, relatives.

It's who -you- want to be family, I believe. I can, of course, only speak about myself, but I consider my boyfriend and my friends family as well. All the people close to me, all the people I care for and love.

As for my live growing up.. I always had a good relationship and connection with my parents. I am a single child, and I always felt close to them. With the usual trouble during my teenage years. For a while, especially after my coming out, I felt closer to my mother, because I felt that my father had distanced himself a little from me. It hurt, but I respected this with the help of my mother and my friends, and I figured that it just will be a matter of time. But this passed by and since then we have a good relationship, maybe better than before.

I have a good relationship with my grandmother as well, and with some other relatives with the exception of an uncle who, apparently, wants nothing to do with me since he learned that I am gay. It is sad and it hurts, but he has to make the first step.

So yes, in the end, family is what people make of it. Family is who you consider family.

My two cents. :-)

Offline Doom CookieTopic starter

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Re: What is family?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2010, 02:24:48 PM »
Thank you Nic. In those aspects then I feel that I can only call my boyfriend, his family and my friends, my family. I love my related family, yes, but it no longer feels like a family. It feels like a prison cell. And I can't stand that. I felt that with my parents and moved, and here I am in the same situation again. I think it's more disappointing, and painful, that it happened with the set of family that promised they would treat me better, then it did coming from my parents. They just ended up being the same. And while I have issues with friends from time-to-time, they're still there when I need them. Unlike my guardians and parents. So.. I guess I do have a family. I just didn't look at it that way. Thank you.

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Re: What is family?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2010, 02:29:18 PM »
We have a carved sign hanging up in our living room.  It is one of the first things we show anyone who moves in with us for any period of time.

"The bond that links your true family is not of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life."

Offline Doom CookieTopic starter

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Re: What is family?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2010, 02:31:32 PM »
Then that's definitely not my biological family. But it fits my friends and bf, and his parents lol. I feel I have more of a family at his house then mine. Have since we started dating. <3

Offline Nicholas

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Re: What is family?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2010, 02:32:01 PM »
You are most welcome. :-)

And yes, of course, I have arguments with my friends. Oh yes I have those. ~chuckles~ But I tell you what. After an argument, when everyone involved can laugh about it and say "Yes, okay, that's that." then it's all good, and then I realize what great friends I have. Even because of issues (or maybe because of them) we stick together.

Family is such a bendable, complex thing, if you ask me. But it all boils down to emotional bonds with particular persons, and not what qualifies as family from other peoples points of views. Your family, your decision.

But I am glad that I could offer some help. :-) Good luck!

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Re: What is family?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2010, 02:35:55 PM »
Then that's definitely not my biological family. But it fits my friends and bf, and his parents lol. I feel I have more of a family at his house then mine. Have since we started dating. <3

Frankly, that's how I am with Mr. Oniya's family.  I'm one of those few people that adores their mother-in-law.  <3

Offline Chevalier des Poissons

Re: What is family?
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2010, 02:40:29 PM »
Yo yell, to threaten, to scream, to fight, to be angry with, to push them around, and still to love all of them...

This is my definition of family.

Offline Doom CookieTopic starter

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Re: What is family?
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2010, 02:41:53 PM »
My boyfriend and I talk about the future as if we aren't afraid of it. We can discuss things such as children and where we want to be and it not be awkward. Without saying it we know it'll be the two of us all the way.

We watched the Time Traveler's Wife on valentine's day and in it the man asks the girl to marry him, and she says no at first to see if she could say it. He looked at me and said to never do that to him, I told him I couldn't, I already knew my answer (and still do). He smiled and said "Good, because I'm getting more and more sure of the question." He's hinted at it so much, and I know he'll ask on my birthday, and I know what I'll say. And I know I'll love both my in-laws, because I already do. They really are already family. I talk to him about how I wish my biological family was more like a real family, and he just tells me not to worry, cause "he knows he'll give me a real one some day". Whether it's one we make or just his name, I don't care. I know I'll be happy either way.

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Re: What is family?
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2010, 02:42:40 PM »
Yo yell, to threaten, to scream, to fight, to be angry with, to push them around, and still to love all of them...

This is my definition of family.
Then it does not fit my biological family, because they haven't shown they still loved me in a long time. But it fits my friends to a T.

Offline Spell

Re: What is family?
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2010, 02:50:56 PM »
Family is an awkward concept with me. I was adopted at a really young age because of circumstances. My foster parents were lovely in taking me in, and raised me as if I were their own. They gave me all which I needed and more, they gave me Love, something my ''true'' parents could and would not give to me. I have met my ''true'' parents once, in court, because of some legal issues with my passport, and knew that they did not care about me in any way, judging by their behavior in the present and past.

I do not consider my ''true'' family my family, yes, biologically, they are, but they don't feel like it. I do not have the desire to create and maintain a bond with them. I currently live on my own, with all the support from my foster parents and am currently facing my hardships in life. But I do know that no matter what I have the people that raised me behind me to help me.

That is what I consider family.

Offline Chevalier des Poissons

Re: What is family?
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2010, 03:01:16 PM »
Then it does not fit my biological family, because they haven't shown they still loved me in a long time. But it fits my friends to a T.

To be honest it doesn't fit me as well, since I can't wait for when I will leave my family in Sept.